Southeastern Lowlands

The international airport at Villahermosa, Tabasco serves the region. The birding route visits the states of Campeche and Chiapas using Mayan ruins sites along major rivers for our preferred birding locations. The route usually begins and ends in the same location.

As with the El Triunfo Route, also in Chiapas State, there are no geographic features to create endemic bird zones in the southeastern lowlands. The pool non-endemic MUST-SEE BIRDS are species with limited ranges in Mexico, birds that require extensive tracks of undisturbed forest, or birds that survive only with protection in major reserves. Some of these species include: Little & Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Pinnated Bittern, Jabiru, Double-toothed & Gray-headed Kites, Bicolored & Black-collared Hawks, Black-and-white, Black, & Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Great Curassow, Ocellated Turkey, Ruddy Crake, Gray-headed & Gray-chested Doves, Scarlet Macaw, Guatemalan Screech-Owl, Central American Pygmy-Owl, Purple-crowned Fairy, White-necked Jacobin, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Black-crested Coquette, White-whiskered & White-necked Puffbirds, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Ruddy, Northern-barred, & Tawny-winged Woodcreepers, Mexican Antthrush, Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Yucatan, Ruddy, Northern Royal & Sepia-capped Flycatchers, Rufous Piha, Rufous Mourner, Lovely Cotinga, Nightingale Wren, Gray-throated Chat, Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, Rose-throated Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager, Lesser Seed-Finch, Variable Seedeater, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Green-backed Sparrow, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Chestnut-headed Oropendula.

The choice of a strategy for birding this region depends on target species and the season of the year. The winter season seems to be perfect for birds and birders alike. Springtime and early summer trips will also be successful - as responsive territorial birds add up to less time looking for targets - however both the heat and the rainfall increase dramatically after mid-March.

Key birding destinations are located the states of Tabasco, Campeche, and Chiapas:

1. The Usumachinta River basin - targets include Jabiru and Pinnated Bittern
2. The Mayan site at Calakmul - large game birds like Ocellated Turkey
3. The Mayan sites along the Upper Usumachinta - Yaxchilan & Bonampak
4. The Pristine Lacantun River and its tributaries
5. The Mayan site of Palenque - still good for birds but no longer great

Birding trips in the region will average between ten and fifteen days depending on the number of habitat-pockets covered and/or the season of the year [winter birding is wonderful here]. In addition the Guatemalan Highlands can be accessed easily from the route, often an addition as part of Custom-Tours in the region.