Birding in Cozumel – Remote Day-Expeditions

Tour Duration:

Approx. 5 Hrs.

Days / Times:

  • Daily departures
  • The departure time is at 6:00 a.m.
  • The schedule can be flexible, but alternate times will need to be confirmed, via e-mail

Language of Tour:



US$ 110

per adult


Cozumel is an excellent location for birding, or birdwatching. It is an oceanic island, and characterized by the species of migratory birds coming from North America in the winter, in addition to the resident species of the island. There are 19 species and subspecies endemic to Cozumel, making this a truly unique birding location, and a wonderful experience for bird lovers.


While opinions still differ among certain local experts, a comprehensive study of 5 main bird inventory reports  – including resident, endemic, migratory, and vagrant types – have led to a reliable consensus that there are approximately 310 species of birds that can be found on the island of Cozumel.


Birding tours can be carried out in three+ different environmental zones, including, coastal dune, aquatic wetlands, and terrestrial environments.  See “Details” tab for more information.


Weather permitting, your group can choose among the three (3) different locations/environments, and four (4) main ways to conducting your tour:

  • Walking through the trails in a jungle environment
  • Using Bicycles, bike paths, trails and / or roads to reach jungle environment or wetland areas
  • Riding on board a motorized boat (outboard motor) to visit the northern lagoons within the island.
  • Using canoes to enter lagoons and mangrove areas in remote areas of the island (this option sometimes depends on the season and the water levels – please ask, and we’ll find out if this is available at the time of your visit)

Upon completion of your birding expedition, the experience is summarized and discussed over lunch, including sightings made, associated fauna, etc.



Listed below are the three different locations for this tour, and more information re. the activities that can be carried out for bird watching in each of them:

  1. Punta Norte. The Natural Protected Area, of Flora and Fauna, Northern Zone of Cozumel Island.
  2. Punta Ixpalbarco. The Natural Protected Area of Flora and Fauna, East of the island of Cozumel.
  3. Villa Maya, Private Nature Reserve located in the central part of the island in the vicinity of the archaeological ruins of San Gervasio.


  1. Punta Norte

In this location there are three (3) options for bird watching:

  1. On board a small boat (23-25 feet) with outboard motor. Visit coastal lagoons north of the island and estuarine waters that are home to a wide variety of waterfowl. The community is mangrove.
  2. Walking/hiking through trails and other walkways to the Punta Norte area – a protected natural area. The hike is about 3 – 4 km. The community is wetlands, particularly mangrove and tasistal.
  3. Mountain biking through trails and roads to Punta Norte, as well as lowland environments and the artificial wetland in San Juan. This wetlands area is derived from the excavation of a bank of material left in the early 80s. This excursion represents a greater physical challenge.
  4. Punta Ixpalbarco

In this location there are three (3) options for birding:

  1. Aboard and rowing! an aluminum canoe (17 feet ). You’ll experience the Ixpalbarco wetlands (these freshwater lagoons may not be navigable – this is dependent on the rainy season and the amount of precipitation). If accessible, however, these lagoons are pristine environments, with a great biodiversity.
  2. Walking through the path of access to Punta Ixpalbarco, along mangroves, and coastal dune scrub. This is an excellent opportunity for sighting water birds. The hike is about 4-6 km, The main communities are wetlands, beaches and coastal scrub, and has interesting vegetation, including chit palm species, siricote, sea grape, and creeping plants as riñonina, suriana and tournefortia.
  3. Mountain biking through the same path to Punta Ixpalbarco. Environments already described, above, are visited, but the experience is even more demanding, as greater distances can be covered within the protected area.
  4. Villa Maya
  5. This location is experienced by walking/hiking on the trails within the nature reserve. The reserve is located towards the center of the island at a point where you can visit different plant communities. In addition, the natural relief turns along the way, so you are able to see differences in the shaping of the relief and soil types, allowing greater recognition of the Geologic history of the island. These differences have also allowed different plant communities to develop: tropical forest, lowland forest, and wetlands. The walk is done through 5 km of trails that penetrate the dense vegetation of the rainforest.


Once your day, chosen location(s), and activity/mode for the tour is defined and confirmed, you’ll be informed where to meet up with the guide (at convenient meeting point in town).  Your guide will then lead you to the remote sites of the island.

Maximum / Minimum:

Min. 2 people

Max. 6 people


  • Transportation from the meeting point the different environments
  • Different ecosystems for birding, or birdwatching
  • Guides – knowledgeable in this specialized field
  • Regional lunch and drinks with natural fruit
  • Time to share your sightings
  • Learning about the natural history of the island of Cozumel

Not Included:

  • Transportation To Meeting Point
  • Photographs, photographic cameras or binoculars.

What to Bring:

Backpack, long pants, long sleeves and closed tennis shoes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars, camera, money for photos, gratuities or other beverages.

Meeting Point:

The Museum of the Island of Cozumel is located at Av. Rafael Melgar (the main drag / Malecón along the west coast of the Island), between Calles 4 and 6, in the center of the town of San Miguel.


You will receive your confirmation via e-mail with precise instructions on how to find the Meeting Point.

Prices & Policies:

  • Cost: $110.00USD (Deposit $20.00 to reserve space)
  • Deposit must be paid via our PayPal to secure any booking
  • Cancellations made more than 24 hours in advance will be refunded; deposits for “no-shows” or cancellations within 24 hours of the start time will not be refunded
  • We recommend you pay your tour balance when you arrive to the meeting point in US dollars, cash. You can also pay by PayPal online in advance, but then the tour operator has to convert the amount into pesos and add a 7% fee to cover exchange rate loss and processing fees. (This also means it will likely cost you more, in the end.)


Cancellations and Refunds:

  • Cancellations made more than 24 hours in advance will be refunded; deposits for “no-shows” or cancellations within 24 hours of the start time will not be refunded

Accessibility Info & Important Notes:

This is an active excursion, in a fairly remote location. It is considered moderate-difficult, physically – especially the mountain biking and canoeing options, and therefore requires a good level of fitness.


The minimum age for this activity is 12 years old.


This expedition is not suitable for people with physical disabilities or who have cardio-pulmonary problems, obesity, or other challenges to their physical endurance.

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