MEXICO – A NATURALIST AND PHOTOGRAPHERS DREAM

Mexico, four times larger than Spain, with its Caribbean and Atlantic beaches, spectacular mountains, active volcanoes, jungle and desert, is a country with everything. It has a rich Spanish legacy and links to the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Mexico City is actually built on top of the Aztec capital of Tenochititian.

This colourful country with its special culture, history and food, has an exceptional diversity of animal and birdlife. Their habitats in the humid jungle, hot desert and the waters off its western coast are a naturalist’s dream.

The Baja Peninsula, off the west coast of Mexico, sometimes referred to as “The Island of California,” and the Sea of Cortez combine to provide one of the world’s finest areas to see whale’s in their natural environment. The San Ignacio Lagoon is the home to the “friendly” Grey Whale. Every year, around 20,000 of these monsters make the 8000 Km journey from the icy waters of the Bering Sea to mate and calve in the warm sheltered waters.

Further south, off Magdalena Bay are found Bryde, Humpback and Fin Whales with huge pods of Common Dolphins. The coastal mangrove swamps hold Reddish Egrets with Terns and Skuas feeding over the Bay

Banderas Bay is the home of a wide range of waders and seabirds such as Heerman’s Gull, Royal Tern and the Blue Footed Booby. The coastal thorn forests are the home of the Orange-Breasted Bunting and the rare Flammulated Flycatcher. San Blas, on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, is one of the best bird-watching places in Mexico The nearby mangrove and coastal wetlands are home to exotic tropical species and wintering land and sea birds including the Hook-Billed Kite, Tiger Heron and the Mangrove Warbler.

The deep and warm waters of the Sea of Cortez with a maze of submarine canyons and mountains are rich in food for whales. The Blue Whale, which can grow to 90 feet in length, shares these waters with Fin, Minke and Sperm and the elusive Orca and Pygmy Killer Whale. Bottlenose and Common Dolphins also frolic in these waters. The remote islands are home to seals and birds such as the Gila Woodpecker, Xantu’s Hummingbird and the rare Red-Billed Tropicbird. As a break from all this exotica, you can try snorkelling amongst the turtles and the other 650 species that live in the Sea of Curtez.

Moving onto the mainland at Mazatian, you can explore the coastal thorn forests in search of Purple-Back Jays, Russet-Crowned Motmot and Elegant Quails.

This is a unique ecotourism holiday with mind-boggling photographic opportunities, actually touching Grey Whales and swimming with turtles in this historic and vibrant country which is Mexico.

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