Important Note: We look forward to birding with you! To see the most recent update of our pre-tour and on-tour protocols and our requirements for travel, please visit our tour protocols page.
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, and Fulvous Owl. 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.
ITINERARIES • TOUR STATUS • DETAILS • SPACE REQUESTSITINERARIES • We issue a separate itinerary for each year, typically at least 9 months before that year's first departure. Most itineraries don't vary much year to year, but there may be small or rarely more substantive changes. A sample previous-year itinerary is usually available even if the one for your chosen departure is not. We do not require any deposit for provisional bookings until the itinerary for the departure is ready.
- 2023 sample (PDF)
- 2024 (PDF expected Jun 2023)
DEPARTURES • We have 2 departures currently scheduled through 2025, with details including limits, guides, fees, and space available listed below.
Jan 28 - Feb 6, 2024
Guided by: Micah Riegner & Jorge Montejo-Diaz
Tour Manager: Ruth Kuhl
Tour Limit: 10
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available - The itinerary has not been finalized for this tour. The trip has provisionally filled but, if you are interested, we can waitlist you for the trip. As we do not require deposits until the itinerary and price are finalized, we often have folks drop off a tour when the deposit is required, and so space opens up! Click below to be waitlisted for this tour with no obligation; if you are waitlisted, we will also notify you in case of an added departure of this tour.
Tour Fee: Fee TBD / 2023=$3975
REQUEST WAITLIST OR MORE INFO
Jan 26 - Feb 4, 2025
Tour Manager: TBA
Tour Limit: 10
Status: Open - Space is still available on this tour, and we are accepting provisional bookings. No deposit is required until you receive the itinerary. Click below to book space.
Tour Fee: Fee TBD / 2023=$3975
REQUEST SPACE OR MORE INFO
Enjoy looking through the 1 most recent Field Guides triplists for this tour linked below!