We set aside our second full day in Celestún for the much-touted flamingo tour. This is what brings most tourists and locals alike to Celestún.
Naturally, we decided to walk into town from our guest house rather than take a taxi. It was a nice walk of a couple of miles, as the river and dock are past the town center.
On the way to the docks, we spied this gorgeous cache of birds right off the side of the main road. Flamingos, Egrets, Herons, and more at no charge!
This bridge painted in flamingo pink leads into town and provides a nice view of the tour boats that will take visitors out to see the birds.
This sign explained what we would see on our tour. Interesting that it is described as both a 1.5-hour tour and a 1-hour tour. To be honest, I can't recall how long our tour lasted, but it was long enough to see plenty of flamingos.
It took us quite a long time to get onto a boat. We came on a Monday, which must be the least busy day for tourists. A set price is charged per boat (around $115 USD), and that is divided among the passengers. So if we went as a party of two, we'd pay a lot more than if we could join some other folks to fill up a boat. For that reason we waited to see if anyone else would show up so we wouldn't have to bear the entire tour cost on our own. As I recall, we arrived in the mid-morning and waited for over an hour.
It was a slow day for flamingo tours! We'd read that these tours are packed on the weekend, and probably busier in the main breeding season of January through March, while we were there in early December. But finally, we were able to hop on with two men who showed up, cutting our cost in half. Here is our boat.
The flamingos were not as plentiful as they would be later in the season when there can be thousands at a time, but we still got to see plenty. They are so pretty and odd-looking! I didn't realize that they are born white but develop their rosy hue from the brine shrimp they feast on.
I played around with some camera settings to get a couple of different looks to my flamingo photos.
They are so interesting and so looooooong in flight!
In addition to Flamingos, we saw other birds, including ospreys, cormorants, and gulls,
The next phase of the tour took us through a mangrove tunnel.
The large, dark blob is a termite nest. We saw many of these in Belize.
Next, our boat zipped down to the Ojo de agua (eye of water, or a spring). This was an interesting and exotic spot, but the mosquitoes were ferocious! Make sure to take insect repellent if you ever take this tour!
We got to see a croc!
And this lovely Egret hunting....
The tour was excellent, and we highly recommend it if you ever have a chance to visit the charming fishing village of Celestún, on Mexico's Gulf coast. You can take a day trip from Merida or spend a night or two, as we did.
I'll have one more post covering the remainder of our time in Celestún, so please stop back soon!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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