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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Mexico: Oaxaca and Western Chiapas

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

ENTERING MEXICO: U.S. citizens traveling to and from Mexico must have a passport valid for at least six months after the date the tour ends, or another secure, accepted document to re-enter the United States. Tourist cards are required and are distributed by your entering airlines.

Citizens of other countries may need a visa and should check their nearest Mexican embassy.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Mexico at

HEALTH: No specific inoculations are necessary.

Malaria: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC - indicates that travelers to the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas are at a low risk for malaria.

Altitude: We will be at elevations of about 5000 feet in the Valley of Oaxaca and up to 9000 feet in the mountains of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Insects: Insects and arachnids are seldom a major nuisance although chiggers and biting gnats can be locally numerous.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

PACE OF THE TOUR: We will try to be in the field at dawn or shortly afterward. Most birding sites are about 30 to 60 minutes from the hotels; the longest day is our drive from Tehuantepec to Oaxaca City, which takes most of the day (with birding stops and lunch en route). Most or all breakfasts will be picnic-style in the field. Some lunches will be picnic and some will be in restaurants. All dinners, except perhaps one when we go owling in the mountains near Oaxaca City, will be in restaurants. On several days we plan an afternoon break (siesta) after lunch, when it will be too hot for enjoyable or productive birding.

In the Valley of Oaxaca, other than uneven ground and a few narrow, scrubby trails, the walking presents no particular problem. At 8,000-9,000 feet in the mountains of Chiapas and Oaxaca, we’ll be birding on dirt roads and not in any rush. Near Tehuantepec and Arriaga we may be on narrow trails in thorn forest (one quite steep, but we take our time), and at El Sumidero we’ be birding mostly from a paved road. Near Arriaga, some may wish to venture onto the sandy mud-flats, which could involve getting wet feet.

CLIMATE: Overall the weather should be warm (70s to 80s F) and dry (inland) to humid (near the coast), although possibly cool (40s F) in the early mornings, especially around Oaxaca City. We rarely encounter rain except at El Ocote (which is rain forest), but light rain or mist is possible in some areas, especially at Cerro San Felipe.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We stay in comfortable hotels throughout the tour, with private bathroom facilities and restaurants.

FOOD: WINGS tours are all-inclusive, and refunds cannot be issued for any tour meals participants choose to skip.

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is by 12-passenger or 15-passenger vans. Those who suffer from motion sickness should bring their preferred medication, as some drives involve distinctly winding roads.

Created: 11 July 2014