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13 July 1998

Original Query:

"My wife and I are heading down to Quintana Roo next week for ten days, and I'm curious what birding advice anyone has. We're probably going to spend at least as much time snorkelling and ruin-hopping as birding (since I'm an archaeologist and she's a beach bum), but I hope to squeeze in a couple of days. I was planning on visiting the Sian Ka'an Nature Reserve, but the one guidebook I have is woefully out of date, so I'm not sure how best to go about visiting there.

Thanks in advance for any advice",

Alec Christensen

Reply #1:

"By all means contact Arturo Bayona and Adriana de Castro, principals of Econciencia, an environmental education organization headquarter in Felipe Carrillo Puerto.  They know the Sian Ka'an intimately.  They have vehicles.  If you prefer English, they speak the language well.

They will want to show you the Casa de la Naturaleza, their natural history collection, and will want to tell you about the work they do with kids, mostly of Mayan descent, in public schools throughout the state.

They will appreciate a donation.

I can fax you additional material or send you a write-up as an attachment.

Arturo and Adriana do not have a telephone, but they can be reached by fax at (011-52) 983-400.73.

Address:  Apdo. Post. #23
                Felipe Carrillo Puerto
                QR 77200

If you don't hear from them, they may be off camping in the Sian Ka'an.  Arturo, a biologist, did baseline studies of the Reserva and continues to document its flora and fauna."

Jim Barton
Cambridge, MA


Reply #2:

"You can visit Sian Ka'an by water or by road. Water trips leave from Cabanas Ana y Jose on the road that runs south from Tulum to Punta Allen. These trips are run by Amigos de Sian Ka'an (  For land birds the best way is probably to rent a car and bird the Vigia Chico Rd.  This runs from Felipe Carillo Puerto to Vigia Chico. Some info on this road
can be found in Winging It of March 1995.  I had an excellent day's birding along this road in January. The Tulum-Coba Rd as well as Coba ruins themselves are also excellent early in the day."

Paul Sweet
Senior Scientific Assistant
Department of Ornithology
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street at Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Tel.  212 769 5780
Fax  212 769 5759


Reply #3:

"The Vigia Chico road is rough.  If you rent a car and try to do the road by yourself, make sure you get the right kind of vehicle and that your insurance will cover you off the main roads."

Jim Barton
Cambridge, MA

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