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Free and Sovereign State of Quintana Roo

Yucatán Jay Cyanocorax yucatanicus ©Gábor Orbán Website

The State of Quintana Roo is named after Andres Quintana Roo, Yucatan's first poet. In a fateful paradox, this was the first landfall of the Spanish conquistadors (1517); but the last part of Mexico to be conquered. It was designated a federal territory on 1902, but it was not until 1974 that it became a fully-fledged Mexican state, just in time to build Cancun.

Quintana Roo has a population of almost 1 million people living in several cities (Cancun, Chetumal, Cozumel, Carrillo Puerto, Isla Mujers and Playa Del Carmen); and many little Mayan towns throughout the state. The climate is hot and humid inland but ocean breezes cool the coastline. It rains in the summer.

The vegetation is mainly low and medium jungle, with a big section of mangroves and some savannah. The whole of the state is rich in both marine and land wildlife; we have part of the second largest coral reef in the world and a big Biosphere reserve where many animals and plants find shelter from development.

Our main protected areas are: Siankaán, Holbox, El Eden, Puerto Morelos, Cozumel reefs and Isla Contoy where ecotours are available so one can enjoy the wildlife. Furthermore, Quintana Roo has probably the friendliest people of all of Mexico (together with all the Yucatan in general).

Top Sites

Siankaan Biosphere Reserve


Satellite View

Siankaán was established as a Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and incorporated into UNESCO`s list of natural world heritage sites in 1987. Covering more than 1.5 million acres along the central coast of the State of Quintana Roo, it is one of the largest protected areas of Mexico. The reserve is composed equally of semi evergreen tropical forest, wetlands & savannas and marine habitat.

The Yucatan peninsula has over 527 bird species in 62 families of which 12 are endemic with 4 subspecies, 2 morphs and 14 hipotetical registers. Siankaán itself is home to more than 345 bird species, including over 1 million wintering migratory songbirds from the US and Canada and the rare Jabiru stork.

The challenge in the area is to promote rational and sustainable use of the natural resources that is compatible with the conservation of the reserveand at the same time beneficial to the local inhabitants; integrating environmental policy into regional development planning.


Useful Reading

Fieldguides, CDs etc.

For a selection of appropriate fieldguides and CDs etc see the general Mexico page of Fatbirder…


Pronatura Península de Yucatán


Pronatura Península de Yucatán, A.C. (PPY); is a non-profit organization, affiliated to the national conservation organization Pronatura A.C. It was founded in 1985 with the enthusiasm of Mrs. Joann Andrews, who started the work with a group of volunteers working at her library. Today it is a well established organization, where the work of committed proffessionals is making a difference…


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

El Eden Ecological Reserve


Satellite View

Welcome to the Home on the Web for the El Eden Ecological Reserve. Here you can learn about research projects in progress at the reserve, available facilities, and details of the different habitats of the Yucatan Peninsula…

National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos


Satellite View

Running alongside the Yucatan Peninsula is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is the second-largest coral reef in the world.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…


Tour Operator

Explore the fascinating Maya World, refuge of great biodiversity, exhuberant jungles, the second largest coral reef in the World, natural springs (cenotes); the most important archeological sites of the ancient Maya and impressive colonial cities - This unique eco-tour is specially design for bird watchers. We will be able to visit the main protected areas in theYucatan peninsula such as Sianka`an, Holbox, Coba, and El Eden, as well as Guatemala and Belize rainforest. Mexico has around 1,040 different bird species, just in the Yucatan peninsula there are 509 different species in 62 families, from which 12 are endemic, with 4 subspecies, 2 morphos and 14 hipotetical registers. Belize and Guatemala have also more than 550 species of birds.

Motmot Tours

Tour Operator

Offering tours in the Yucatan peninsular...

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [03 March] - Jason Hill


I spent one week chasing birds and Mayan ruins in the Yucatan during early March of 2006. I traveled by myself via the bus in a circular loop starting and ending in Cancun…

2007 [03 March] - Gail Mackiernan & Barry Cooper - Isla de Cozumel


…We did not get a whiff of either resident tanager, the attila (a Cozumel endemic subspecies), nor any raptors save a single kestrel. The status of these birds seems to be uncertain as several recent reports also have missed them. Wintering North American warblers also seemed thin on the ground. We saw no wintering thrushes…

2011 [01 January] - Brian & Isabel Eady


..After downloading a Clements “Yucatan Peninsular” checklist from “Avibase”, it became apparent that quite a few of the 546 bird species would not be new sightings for us, having previously visited Trinidad, Tobago and Costa Rica where we had picked up a total 261 of them. However it still left us with a sizeable number of species which could be available for us to swell our life list, and of course re- familiarise us with species we had seen before…

2012 [05 May] - Chris Drysdale


…It takes a few kilometres to get into the taller trees, where activity subsides. It’s worth staying out of the trees for a little while if you are trying to separate Blue from Ruddy Ground-Doves – both found moving carefully in the nearby scrappy fields - often together, and Olive from Green-backed Sparrow…

2016 [04 April] - Nick Crouch - Yucatan Peninsular

PDF Report

At the start of April 2016 I travelled to Mexico with my new wife, Amy, for our honeymoon. We’d settled on the Yucatan Peninsular as providing the ideal mix of beach, jungle and activity, and weren’t disappointed with our fortnight stay. Plus, it would be my first taste of New World birding.

2016 [08 August] - Ross & Melissa Gallardy

PDF Report

Birding the Yucatan Peninsula is very straight forward. All of the birding spots are easily accessible, the roads are wide, paved, and in great condition, and people (away from the super touristy areas) are very friendly. Although it took us 10 days to cover this area, a dedicated birding trip covering all areas could be completed in a few less days...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Amigo's B&B - Cozumel


Cozumel bed and breakfast, Amigo's B&B, started back in 1998 with the opening of Cozumel bed and breakfast, Amigo's B&B Cozumel.Here you will find three cottage style units, all with private bath and complete kitchenettes. A large swimming pool is most refreshing after a day Scuba Diving the famous reefs of Cozumel…

Baldwin's Guest House


What a wonderful place to stay. Your accommodations and hospitality are first class…


Ride Into Birdland


Bird photography travels in the Yucatan Peninsula on a classic BMW F650 motorcycle… A bilingual blog (English-Spanish) about bird photography and bird observation in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Created by writer-photographer Ivan Gabaldon.

Other Links

Dan Mennill's Bird Songs of the Yucatan Peninsula


Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is home to an amazing diversity of birds, yet the vocalizations of most resident birds have not been studied in detail. By recording the songs and calls of tropical birds and presenting an analysis of their vocalizations on this website I hope to accomplish three things…