OAXACA HIGHLANDS AND VALLEYS AUDUBON'S OAXACAN EXPERIENCE JULY 4-10, 2012 More information
TLAXCALA MEXICO'S SMALLEST LEAST EXPLORED STATE AUGUST 20-24, 2012 More information
LAKE CHAPALA REGION & HIGHLANDS JALISCO'S PUEBLOS MAGICOS SEPTEMBER 20-24, 2012 More information
SIERRA GORDA BIOSPHERE RESERVE AUDUBON'S INSIDE LOOK OCTOBER 25-29, 2012 More information
COATEPEC & XALAPA ORCHIDS, CLOUD FOREST & ARCHEOLOGY NOVEMBER 13-19, 2012 More information
DISCOVER THE OTHER SIDE OF MEXICO CITY MEXICO CITY SUR, XOCHICALCO & TEPOZTLAN DECEMBER 6-10, 2012 More information
Recent Trips Photo Galleries
Audubon's Roads Less Traveled By Colleen Besman Audubon Trips Coordinator
Audubon members are often asked what makes our journeys so unique. It is a good question that often requires some thought to explain the emotional and intellectual effect these adventures have on us. Each trip is a separate story with varied points of view allowing every traveler to internalize the complexity and beauty of Mexico’s landscapes, whether it’s walking around the Lake Patzcuaro area, hiking the monarch butterfly trial in the Rosario Reserve, or exploring the beaches and lagoons of Oaxaca.
The Sociedad Audubon de Mexico, based in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, is the only Audubon organization in Mexico. It is devoted to protecting the environment of this magnificent country and sharing its wonders with birders and naturalists in Mexico and from all over the world.
Audubon’s commitment to traveling with small groups (no more than sixteen travelers) allows us to visit areas seldom seen by large-group tourists. We are given an opportunity to slip into the flow of local life and get as close as possible to nature, providing spontaneity and camaraderie. We often take meandering routes and intriguing detours permitting us to enjoy traveling at a slower pace and exploring local culture in depth.
Wherever we go, we invite local children, their parents, teachers, and community leaders to learn more about why we bird-watch and why we take an interest in their natural surroundings. These interactions have created lasting and meaningful memories for the communities we visit and for our travelers. Audubon believes in minimizing our footprint. Through education and sustainable business practices, we are working rigorously to establish lasting relationships with local naturalists, who take us into areas seldom visited by most tourists.
Mexican adults often think we bird-watchers are odd, but once we explain our interest and share our understanding of birds with them, they begin to understand our passion. For some, it has changed their perspective enough to prompt them to become bird guides themselves. We always take extra binoculars on our trips to share with local children and adults who have an interest in their environment.
Having visited numerous and diverse regions of Mexico with Audubon in the past year, we’ve hiked the lake area of Patzcuaro, viewing the unique birds of that region, visited botanical and water gardens in the State of Mexico, explored the beach lagoons and ocean waters of Oaxaca and Guerrero, hiked the Rosario Reserve trail into a magical world of swirling monarchs, and discovered the festivals, markets, cuisine, and archeological wonders of each region.
In the Sierra Gorda, a biosphere in the state of Queretaro, we drove up a one lane dirt road to a mountain ridge for a hike. As we walked with our local guide to a viewpoint that displayed ridge after ridge of green forests, we could feel the thermals rising along the bluff beside us. We had lunch in the tiny village of Cuatro Palos. Gorditas filled with nopales, cheeses, and chicken from local farms were prepared for us on an open wood-fire stove by the women who live in that remote village. This experience was coordinated with El Centro de la Tierra, the organization that manages and protects the Sierra Gorda Biosphere in Queretaro, one of the local resources with whom Audubon coordinates its trips.
On a trip to Puerto Escondido, we took a small boat out into a vast lagoon at dusk. The sky was filled with stars, fireflies flew about us, and a seasonal bioluminescence in the water awoke our sense of wonder in this sparkling nocturnal world. The next morning we boated six miles offshore to see pelagic birdlife and were visited by hundreds of dolphins. Three different species swam to us, but the spinner dolphins were the happiest to have our attention. They stayed with us for more than an hour, spinning, leaping, and showing off. Our expert guides were impressed as well, and happy to stay for the display put on by the dolphin pod.
How fortunate we are to be traveling in Mexico, a rich and diverse country that offers striking and unique natural beauty, abundant wildlife, remarkable historical and archeological sites, traditional festivals, and warm, welcoming people. The Audubon Society of Mexico offers trips that combine nature, culture, and the history of this captivating land, usually on roads less traveled. The next time you see an Audubon trip that looks interesting to you, think about joining us for an adventure and an education.
Audubon works with Rodrigo Lopez Valdes, owner and operator of Travelian Eco-Tours who helps us design and achieve our trips. We would not be able to accomplish our ecologically-based travel goals without his vision and dedication.
My first trip to Puerto Escondido lead by Audubon's Rodrigo Lopez was so delightful that I stayed three extra nights.Who wants to leave warmth,humidity,lush vegetation,tropical rivers,coconut palms and a blue green Pacific in January?
My first time birding from small boats with Audubon was at dawn in Manialtepec Lagoon . The birdlife was so abundant and active that you almost couldn't take it all in !
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better --- our expert bi-lingual guide took us to a palapa on the beach where we had delicious food prepared by a local Mexican family.
Our second morning included an ocean trip to see leaping manta rays ,sea turtles, spouting whales and best of all for me --- we were surrounded by hundreds of spotted dolphins for at least forty minutes.(Why didn't I jump in?)
In an unforgetable trip to a beach at susnset we released hundreds of newly hatched baby turtles into the ocean.
On another sunset trip into the lagoon we explored mangroves and after a "happy hour "on the beach returned to the starlit lagoon to witness the dazzling phosphorescent algae. Between the small Lisa fish jumping into the boat and Rodrigo jumping into the black water to show off the phosphorescence,it was a lot of fun .
Rodrigo's attention to every detail of the trip included scouting out different (and very good) restaurants to try each night.He made reservations for the details of everyone's transportation --- via air,jeep,van,etc. and kept in touch by phone so that we all came together .
Our hotel had a nearby beach club with restaurant,swimming pools as well as lush grounds with coconut palms ,swimming pools.The staff women wore beautiful Oaxacan dresses. The hotel employees were all very helpful .I couldn't ask for more.