Introducing Las Guacamayas
In the small village of Reforma Agraria, 49km southwest of Benemérito, the beautiful ecolodge of Las Guacamayas (in Mexico City 55-5329-0995, ext 8004; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.colegiomexsur.edu.mx/rm_lg.html; Ejido Reforma Agraria; campsite per person without/with tent & bedding M$50/100, dm M$180, d cabaña M$750-850, tr cabaña M$1000, ste M$950-1100, meals M$60-110; ), is the heart of an impressive community program to protect the local population of scarlet macaws. This spectacular and endangered member of the parrot family once ranged as far north as Veracruz, but its only Mexican home today is far eastern Chiapas. Numbers at Reforma Agraria have increased to more than 100 pairs since 1991, when the 14.5-sq-km macaw reserve was founded. The birds move in and out of the reserve in seasonal pursuit of food; the best months for observing them are December to June, when they are nesting.
The very friendly and welcoming lodge is right on the bank of the broad Río Lacantún, one of the Usumacinta’s major tributaries, with the Reserva de la Biosfera Montes Azules on the opposite bank. Large, comfortable, thatch-roofed cabañas, with full mosquito screens, verandas and ample bathrooms with hot showers, are spread around the extensive grounds, linked by wooden walkways. There’s a good restaurant overlooking the river, serving straightforward but satisfying Mexican meals.
Two-hour guided macaw-spotting walks cost M$300 – they’re best in the early morning or at dusk. Boat trips into the Montes Azules reserve cost M$1200/1400 for two/three hours. You should spot crocodiles and howler monkeys, and with luck toucans and white-tailed deer. Villagers in Reforma Agraria also rent out horses for M$100 per hour. Note that all prices drop around 20% in low season.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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