For this new tour, we head all the way south to Chiapas. With its colossal mangroves, coastal savannahs, tropical dry forests, and orchid-filled cloud forests, Chiapas is home to a dazzling array of birds, many of which are found nowhere else. Biogeographically, Chiapas is set apart from the rest of Mexico thanks to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the low, narrow strip of land that acts as a barrier to montane species. This isolation has set the stage for the evolution of a unique suite of birds found only in Chiapas and neighboring Guatemala -- birds like Pink-headed Warbler, Bearded Screech-Owl, and Blue-throated Motmot. We'll see these specialties in the highlands, and bird the lowlands for Rosita's Bunting, Belted Flycatcher, Bar-winged Oriole, Giant Wren, and White-bellied Chachalaca.

Our journey begins in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the bustling capital of Chiapas with 600,000 inhabitants and from there we'll escape to the tranquility of Reserva El Ocote. Located just 40 minutes from Tuxtla Gutierrez, Reserva El Ocote is the most biodiverse reserve in all Mexico with over 500 birds recorded within its boundaries. Here lives the endemic Nava's Wren, an elusive songster of limestone outcroppings. Hearing its loud, rich song is easy...getting to see it as it mouses its way through the cracks in the rock is a bit trickier, but we'll try our best! Slate-colored Solitaires, Band-backed Wrens, Black-headed Saltators, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaners, and Tawny-winged Woodcreepers add to the dawn chorus here at El Ocote. It's also one of the best places to see the endemic Long-tailed Sabrewing. Another attraction just outside Tuxtla is Canõn del Sumidero, a truly mind-boggling kilometer-deep gorge carved by the Rio Grijalva. We'll spend an afternoon here taking in the views and looking for Belted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Chat, and Fan-tailed Warbler in the dense bamboo thickets along the road.

From Tuxtla we'll drive up in elevation to the colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas. While we're not sipping hot chocolate or walking the narrow cobblestone streets downtown, we'll see Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, and Blue-and-white Mockingbird in the conifer forests above. In the evening we'll try for both Bearded Screech-Owl and Unspotted Saw-whet Owl, two rarities favoring lush, bromeliad-laden pine-forest slopes.

Then it's down to the Pacific lowlands to look for Rosita's Bunting, Sumichrast's Sparrow, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Long-tailed Manakin, and Green-fronted Hummingbird in the dry forest near Arriaga. In the mangrove forests at the Centro Ecoturistico Costa Verde we'll seek Giant Wren, White-bellied Chachalaca, Northern Potoo, Agami Heron, and Yellow-naped Parrot. And on our way down, we'll scan an overlook for Great Swallow-tailed Swift, truly one of the great birds of Mexico!

Our tour ends in the cool cloud forests of Volcan Tacana. Here, we'll be based out of a lodge in the village of Union Juarez and we'll bird the hummingbird-filled slopes of the volcano. Some of the species we'll look for here include Black-crested Coquette, Green-throated Mountaingem, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Slender Sheartail, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Ocellated Quail, Fulvous Owl, and Resplendent Quetzal. If you've been with us to Oaxaca or the Yucatan Peninsula and are craving another dose of Mexican birds (and food and culture!), then put on your hiking boots and let's head for the forest! We're looking for an enthusiastic group of birders for this truly immersive adventure -- vamonos, let's make it happen!

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Combo Tours
If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
MEXICO: OAXACA VALLEY