Orange-chinned Parakeet

Oaxaca & Chiapas

April 21 - May 2, 2020

Leader: Jan Hansen

$2850 from Oaxaca City

Bridled Sparrow

Bridled Sparrow

The Oaxaca valley is well-known for its splendid scenery, unique artisans, colonial architecture and pre-Columbian ruins, and fabulous cuisine. The birding is also great with a habitat mix of thornscrub, cactus laden foothills and montane pine forests. In and around the Oaxaca valley it is possible to see 27 species of birds endemic to Mexico including Beautiful and Dusky Hummingbird; Ocellated Thrasher; Slaty, Dwarf and Golden vireos; Oaxaca and Bridled Sparrow and White-throated Towhee. In the nearby mountains of Cerro San Felipe a different set of endemics can be seen including Collared Towhee, Red Warbler, Dwarf Jay and Long-tailed Wood-Partridge. In addition to birding the Oaxaca Valley we will have time to visit the pre-Mayan ruins at Monte Alban and Yagul, the weavers market in Teotitlan and the historic central zocalo in Oaxaca City. Further enhancing the experience will be each evening’s culinary adventure during which we can sample the delicious cuisine for which Oaxaca is worldrenowned. The second half of the tour will be spent in the state of Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico. Here over 500 species of birds occur including local rarities like Rose-bellied Bunting, Giant Wren, Nava’s Wren, Slender Sheartail, Long-tailed Sabrewing and Belted Flycatcher. While in Chiapas we’ll visit Sumidero Canyon, nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon, but cloaked in tropical dry forest. This spectacular geographical feature is a birder’s paradise and we’ll spend one full day seeking its avian treasures. We’ll also spend time in the coastal lowlands around Puerto Arista looking for Giant Wren, White-bellied Chachalaca, Double-striped Thick-knee and Spot-breasted Oriole, and visit the Tuxtla Gutierrez Zoo where Great Curassow, Crested Guan and Plain Chachalacas wander the trails. We’ll spend one day in and around the the beautiful colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas where Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-collared Robin and Rufous-browed Wren can be found. The entire tour holds the possibility of 300 species of birds including over 40 species endemic to Mexico. Despite these overwhelming numbers, the tour will be conducted at a leisurely pace and, given the cultural opportunities, will be appropriate for both serious and casual birders alike. We will spend 4 nights in Oaxaca City, 4 nights in Tuxtla Gutierrez, 2 nights in Arriaga and a single night in Juchitan. This will keep packing and moving and their related stresses to a minimum, further enhancing your enjoyment of the tour.

Tour Map