Note: Early morning, pre-breakfast birding. The drive from Cancun to Punta Laguna Nature Reserve is about 75 miles, approximately, 2 hours. The drive to Chichen Itza is about 86 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking approximately 1/2 mile, 2.5 hours; uneven, muddy, rocky jungle trails.
At the hotel, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet; juice, coffee, tea, water included.
We’ll rise early for a pre-breakfast birding field trip around the hotel gardens here on the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. After breakfast, we’ll check out of the hotel and transfer to Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, also known as Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh, for birding on forest trails. Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh — meaning House of the Spider Monkey and Puma — is the crowning achievement of Punta Laguna’s community-based efforts to protect and preserve the forest and archaeological sites in the area. The reserve, a designated RAMSAR site, covers an area of 5,367 hectares that encompasses sub-evergreen forest, flooded forest, lagoons, archaeological sites, and cenotes. Although the nature sanctuary is best known for protecting hundreds of black-handed spider monkeys and a lesser number of howler monkeys, it also provides a safe haven for all nature of native wildlife and flora. Bird species found at this site include Keel-billed Toucans, Collared Aracaris, White-fronted Amazons, Yellow-lored Parrot (endemic), Black-and-white Owls (rare), Ocellated Turkeys (endemic), Great Curassows, Thicket Tinamou, Collared Forest Falcon, Ruddy Crake, Spotted Rail, Turquoise-browed Motmots, and Northern Royal Flycatcher. Migrants common to the area include American Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts, Northern Parulas, Hooded Warblers, and Black-and-white Warblers. At the conclusion of the field trip, we’ll depart for Chichen Itza.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have a lunch buffet.
Arriving at the hotel, we’ll check in and have some time to freshen up and relax, then join our Group Leader for birding around the hotel garden and trails. We’ll then gather for a presentation by a local expert on Mayan Civilization. While Europe was experiencing the depths of the Dark Ages, the Mayan Empire was at its most powerful through much of Central America and southern Mexico. They Maya are known for their richly decorated stepped temples that rise out of the jungle; their elaborate, 365-day calendar; and advancements in math and astronomy.
At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with choice of entrée; beverages choices included coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.