Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Mexico: Veracruz. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document sent to all tour registrants, whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
ENTERING MEXICO: Mexico is now requiring a valid passport for entry by U.S. citizens. Citizens of other countries may need a visa and should check their nearest Mexican embassy. Your passport, as a general rule, should be valid for at least six months after the date the tour ends. Tourist cards are required and are obtained upon entry at the border customs.
MAP AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view maps of Mexico in the University of Texas series here. Click on the map’s lower right corner to adjust size. You can review the U.S. Department of State background notes on Mexico here.
HEALTH: No specific inoculations are necessary, although up-to-date tetanus protection is always a good idea. Bottled water is now widely available in motels, restaurants and even the simplest stores. You can review the latest CDC advisories here.
PACE OF THE TOUR: As with all tours in the tropics, we’ll try to be in the field around dawn which means about 6:00 a.m. On a few mornings we will need to leave the hotel by 5:00am. It’s important to be out early as the heat of midday depresses birds and birder alike and we’ll almost certainly take siestas, at least during some lowland days.
Walking is mostly along roads and fairly wide trails that are level to gently sloping, with the some short stretches of steeper gradients. The highest elevation where we will be is no more than 6500 feet.
CLIMATE: Mexico’s climate is extremely variable. The lowlands around Veracruz, Cardel and Los Tuxtlas are humid and hot. Daytime highs could reach 90°F while in the lowlands. The highlands around Xalapa will be more comfortable, but early mornings may be cool enough for a jacket and warm clothing (high 40°s F). Rain is likely. We highly recommend your bringing a folding umbrella..
ACCOMMODATIONS: Both hotels in Veracruz offer the standard tourist facilities. The first towers over the harbor and has three pools and a rooftop garden; the second along the Costa de Oro also has three sizable pools and is within a minute’s walk from the foot of the terraced gardens. Our stay in Xalapa is at a charming family-run hotel with comfortable fan-cooled rooms. It tucked away on a quiet side-street, but still within walking distance of several nice restaurants for dinner. Our stay in the Los Tuxtlas region will be at a hotel along the shores of Lake Catemaco (over 100 species have been recorded in and around the hotel grounds) — rooms are air-conditioned with satellite television (note that only one channel may be viewed by everyone at the hotel at any one time).
DRESS: Informal throughout.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation during the tour is by 12-passenger vans.
SMOKING: We request that you do not smoke in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, we ask that you do so well away and downwind from the group, if possible.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: A more complete General Information for Veracruz, Mexico, Tours will be sent to each registrant on receipt of their booking. Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Updated: November 2010