To Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Morning mist is rising over the tranquil river waters as the boat glides between living walls of red, white, and black mangroves. Fishing along the banks are Wood Stork, White Ibis, and Bare-throated Tiger-Heron. Boat-billed Herons, with huge, scoop-shaped bills, roost quietly in buttonwood trees that arch over the boatway. Perched on top the mangroves are Common and Great Black-Hawks, Osprey, and even, possibly, Crane Hawks with scarlet red legs. Emerald Green Kingfishers flash across the canals; skulking in the shadows are Rufous-necked Wood-Rails and Mangrove Cuckoos. Small birds include Tropical Parula and the red-headed “Mangrove” subspecies of Yellow Warbler. The most common bird of all, perhaps, is the Anhinga. Loafing on boughs, five-foot-long Green Iguanas stare with beady eyes as the boat passes by. This outing is only one of many gifts awaiting you during our week-long stay in San Blas, Nayarit. The restaurant chef was trained in Europe and the grounds of the family-run hotel feature lush, tropical plantings. Best of all, there are no hotel changes the entire tour. Located approximately 1,000 miles down the west coast of Mexico, San Blas is surrounded by jungles, rivers, beaches, and mountains. It is here that the Sierra Madre Occidental plunges into the Pacific Ocean. A leisurely walk under 150-foot-tall Silk Cotton Kapok and Gumbo Limbo trees may yield Citreoline and Elegant Trogons, Mexican Woodnymph and Cinnamon Hummingbird, both large, flame-crested tropical woodpeckers—the Lineated and the Pale-billed, as well as the endemic Gray-crowned Woodpecker, parrots, parakeets, and parrotlets. The Barranca country between Puerto Vallarta and San Blas is famous for its flights of turquoise-winged, scarlet-tailed Military Macaws. In a single ravine on Cerro San Juan we may find Bumblebee Hummingbird, Russet-crowned Motmot, Green Jay, and Blue Mockingbird. There is no better place in the Mexican lowlands to see long-toed Northern Jaçanas walking on lily pads and Roseate Spoonbills in the lagoons, or wintering Black-capped Vireos and U.S. warblers in the highlands. There will also be time to visit the old church and ruins of Fort San Bacilio overlooking the harbor, and for swimming or just relaxing at our beautiful hotel.
Leader: Rick Taylor
Cost of Jungle & Barranca: San Blas, Nayarit includes all accommodations, all meals, our boat rides on the Río San Cristóbal, and all air and land transportation beginning and ending in Phoenix, Arizona—$2995.
Photo: Black-throated Magpie-Jays, San Blas
Photo by: Rick Taylor