Birding Puerto Vallarta

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Birding Puerto Vallarta

Birdwatching in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta and surroundings
October 2015

Bird watching is a form of recreation that has started to develop as a hobby, and I am happy with it. I have been an avid bird watcher since I was 12 years old, so I see the changes in America and Europe. One thing that hasn't changed is the charm of exotic places. And with field guides and the Internet now providing an easy way to identify and record birds (see ebird), birding in the tropics has never been better.

This short show documents our wandering around Puerto Vallarta during Hurricane Patricia in October 2015 (11 day visit). We mostly stayed at Playa Las Gemelas (about 8 miles south of PV) and also spent two nights in San Blas. Most of the trips were conducted using a new landscape assessment method (LAP protocol), but we do not present them here. We focus on places and birds…

Highly recommended.


Near Playa Las Gemelas we stayed at the Best Western ($50 a night, great place).


Jelapa (easy boat trip south).
Yelap River.

A small tourist boat village in Yelapa.

A boat for a trip to Yelapa.

I feel safe in Mexico.

A random mission to turn onto the highway in Guadalajara (near San Sebastian). The taxi driver who directed us was from Chicago.
San Sebastián has a mountainous Casio-Mediterranean climate, where even the guava trees bear fruit; we eat a lot. I am very comfortable here.

Traveling by bus is the best way to travel and is very cheap.
We ride many public buses. only one has a new bullet hole. We also hitchhiked once and took a lot of taxis (it was low season so bartering gave us an edge).
San Sebastian, a trendy place to visit. And the surrounding pine forest feels exotic. Extraordinary.
In a migrant village near San Blas. Vaso appreciated the view, the taxi driver took us.
The buses are old, but touristic (and with English subtitles). This was a stop for us on our way from the Botanical Gardens to El Tuito. On the way back to Vallarta, we boarded a very fast modern bus (nightmarish speed...).
Botanical garden.

The town of El Tuito is well worth a visit (take the local bus).
The best view. Near Tepic, far from San Blas. Waiting for the macaw. Unforgettable.

Vaso walks barefoot along a rainforest path to the Botanical Gardens, then gets bitten by a fire ant...

Chencho with his wonderful Indian eyes is the best guide for the boat trip through the mangroves of La Tovara, he showed us many birds, including the amazing Squirrel Cuckoo. We were the only customers in San Blas the day after Hurricane Patricia.
Wasson with the Huichol Indians, known for their art and religion. They went to San Blas to sell trinkets.


Yellow-crowned night crane on Río Cuale Island, Puerto Vallarta.
Snowy big drum with cranes on golf course near Puerto Vallarta airport.

Three-colored stork, Yelapa.

Black vulture, Yelapa.

Herman's Gull, Mismaloya.

Black leaf, Mismaloya.
Yellow-winged heron, Playa Las Gemelas.

Limkin, San Blas.

North Potou, San Blas.

Gray Eagle, San Blas.

Masked Titira in El Tuita.

San Blas Jay, Las Gemelas Beach.

"Garza canella" reindeer boatman in San Blas.

Neotropical cormorants in the Río Cuala in Puerto Vallarta.

Cinnamon Hummingbird, Las Gemelas Beach.

A pot-bellied chachalaca in the upper suburbs of Puerto Vallarta. It's normal!

I have to say that all these photos were taken with two very cheap cameras; In Mexico, birds are very tame. For information about the bird photos in this post, see the eBird account: zogaris stamatic

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