The San Blas Islands boast one of the best environments for tropical bird watching in the world (Image from http://sanblasrivieranayarit.com/en/birdwatching-2/)

Ecotourism: Birding on San Blas Islands

The San Blas Islands sit just 2 hours north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Known primarily as a fishing village, the historically significant San Blas has more to offer than its pristine beaches and mangroves. It also boasts one of the best environments for tropical bird watching in the world.

The San Blas Islands boast one of the best environments for tropical bird watching in the world (Image from http://sanblasrivieranayarit.com/en/birdwatching-2/)

The San Blas mangrove eco-region, which includes the San Pancho and El Pozo Estuaries, Peso Island and the La Tovara Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary are the primary locations in the San Blast Nayarit for birding. The Audubon Society estimates there are up to 250 species of birds in the area, with up to 80% in the winter months coming from migratory North American birds.

The local exotic bird species you might find include Belted Kingfishers, Inca Doves, Bronzed Cowbirds and The Great Kiskadee, among others. There are plenty of reputable, fully-guided bird watching tours in the area, including Wildlife Connection’s 1-Day Tour.

This tour takes you to on a boat ride to La Tovara and through the mangrove channels, giving you the best opportunity to see lots of birds in short period of time. It’s length makes it a perfect excursion for those passing through on a cruise ship. The company even offers special later departures for cruise ship passengers, depending on their arrival to port, but is recommended for those that arrive early and leave late, or stay overnight.

The tour goes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and takes you from the pick-up area to San Blas and back. Coffee, juice and cookies are provided and there is a stop for lunch in the town of San Blas. The tour is intended for small groups with a maximum of 8 people.

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