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The Land of the Mayas

Mexico Birding Tours: our Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico bird watching holiday explores the far eastern region of the country, a place where Yucatan endemics mix with North American migrants, resulting in some superb bird watching. Our Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico birding tour includes a brilliant selection of special, mostly endemic birds, ranging from the impressive Ocellated Turkey to the dazzling Mexican Sheartail and, as a bonus, a great Mayan archaeological site.

Sunday 21st February — Thursday 4th March 2021
(12 days)

Leader: a Birdquest leader

Group Size Limit: 7

Tour Category: Easy walking and comfortable accommodations

The magnificent country of Mexico has an amazing avifauna of over 1050 species, and, together with the more difficult-of-access northern Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Nicaragua, holds no fewer than 215 regional endemics. A number of these are restricted to the Yucatan Peninsula, most of which lies in Mexico.

During this very easy and highly enjoyable tour we will visit the xerophytic habitats of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Yucatan lay at the very centre of the Mayan empire, an empire that extended across a vast area of Central America and which was one of the world’s great civilizations. Much about the Mayas is still a mystery and it remains a ‘lost’ civilization with a very special fascination. The amazing ceremonial temples of this extraordinary empire stand amidst the vast deciduous forests of this limestone peninsula. Alongside these cultural wonders, the Yucatan is known as a holiday destination with well known resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel attracting visitors from all over the world.

For birders, the attraction of the Yucatan Peninsula is its rich avifauna and in particular its many endemic species, ranging from the spectacular Ocellated Turkey and the gaudy Yucatan Jay to the pretty little Mexican Sheartail and the gorgeous Orange Oriole. We will visit the eastern side of the huge and rather dry Yucatan Peninsula and also explore the offshore island of Cozumel. By visiting this part of Mexico we can not only look for every one of the Yucatan endemic specialities but also enjoy one of the finest waterbird sanctuaries in Middle America (at Ría Lagartos) and experience for ourselves the extraordinary Mayan ruins at Calakmul.

First we will travel to the pleasant island of Cozumel, situated just off the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and home to such endemic specialities as Yucatan Parrot, Yucatan Nightjar, Cozumel Emerald, Cozumel Wren and Cozumel Vireo.

Next we will explore the estuaries, lagoons and saltpans of the north coast of the Yucatan at Ría Lagartos, enjoying one of the richest sites for waterbirds in all Mexico where highlights will include Bare-throated Tiger Heron, the strange Boat-billed Heron and thousands of American Flamingos, never mind endemics such as Yucatan Bobwhite, Mexican Sheartail, Yucatan Woodpecker and Yucatan Wren.

Next we will explore the edge of the huge Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve in Quintana Roo where we will be hoping to find Yucatan Jay, Orange Oriole and Grey-throated Chat amongst other specialities.

Our final birding will take us to the remote and remarkable Mayan site of Calakmul which is surrounded by a tract of pristine jungle where wacky Ocellated Turkeys wander about unconcernedly and where endemic White-bellied Wrens creep about the tree roots. The occurrence of Yucatan Black Howler and Central American Spider Monkeys testifies to the quality of this area and we should also encounter Great Curassow and Crested Guan.

Birdquest has operated tours to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula since 1987.

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels are mostly of good standard, but sometimes of medium standard. Road transport is by minibus and roads are reasonably good.

Walking: The walking effort is easy throughout.

Climate: Generally warm or hot, dry and sunny. Whilst overcast weather is quite regular, rain is infrequent at this season. It will be fairly humid at times.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are quite good.

Can be taken together with: SOUTHERN MEXICO


Birdquest Inclusions: our tour prices include all tipping. Some bird tour operators do not do this, yet for participants these costs are an unavoidable part of the tour. The value of these inclusions on this Birdquest tour amounts to approximately $150.


£3080, $4160, €3530 Cancun/Cancun. Deposit: 10%.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Single Room Supplement: £540, $740, €620.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Many of the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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