IN RÍA LAGARTOS BIOSPHERE RESERVE
WHAT KINDS OF TOURS ARE THERE?
FLAMINGO TOURS: The most popular tours are boatrides up the estuary to view flamingos. That's what the lady is doing above. Several licensed guides with special training are available, plus numerous fishermen on a freelance basis conduct tours. Some do a good job and others don't. Especially there's the problem of certain guides getting so close to the flamingos, or actually boating in among them, that they upset the birds and cause them to fly. This is hard on the birds but such excitement may produce for the "guide" a bigger tip from some people.
BIRDING TOURS: Diego Nuñez deals with most serious birders wanting to be ferried around the area. At the right a group is birding from the back of Diego's famous Flamingomobile, along a little backroad following the boundary between savanna/ranchland and marsh/mangrove ecosystems. Species diversity along this route is amazing. Diego offers several inland tours, as well as boat tours in the estuary and through the maze of mangrove islands around the estuary. Some birders just want to see a variety of birds at a leisurely pace, while others come with lists of rare and endemic species they want to see, and during their tour search only for those species. Endemic birds seen in this area include the Yucatan Wren, Mexican Sheartail hummingbird, Yucatan Bobwhite, Orange Oriole and Zenaida Dove. Species seldom seen elsewhere in Mexico include the Kelp Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull. In 2015, King Vultures were seen several times, and a Jabiru was spotted once. Diego's tours are described online.
FISHING TOURS: Flyfishing for Tarpon inside the estuary, on a catch-and-release basis, is becoming popular. It's easy to make contact with guides providing boating service to go into deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico north of town, beyond the Reserve, as well.
CROCODILE BOAT TRIPS: These tours leave in early evening and spot crocodiles with bright lights. At night the crocs can be approached close up and amazing photography usually is possible.
A DAY AT THE BEACH: The Gulf of Mexico's sandy beaches are accessible by boat from both Río Lagartos and San Felipe. For a small fee you will be conducted to the beach and the boatman will return to get you at the hour you specify.
PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS: The picture below shows what one vistor experienced: