Pacific Mexico Birding Tour

Dates:  Returning in March 2020
Tour Fee, 2018 prices: $4,250 single / $3,800 double occupancy
Leaders: Steve Shunk plus add'l local guide
Questions: Contact Paradise Birding owner Steve Shunk
How to Register: Click the button below to view and download the tour itinerary and registration form for the 2018 tour. 



In the spring of 2008, our friends Chuck and Dorothy Gates took us to this awesome place on the Pacific Coast of Mexico that they had been raving about for years. The pueblo of San Blas, in the Mexican state of Nayarit, lies halfway between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Traditionally a Mexican tourist town, San Blas has attracted birders for several decades for the fascinating combination of a diverse avifauna and an authentic Mexican birding experience. Sipping a cerveza or fresh jugo at sunset while sitting at the “fort” that overlooks the town, you may see Short-tailed Hawk cruising by at eye level or a Blue Bunting in the shrubs. A boat tour through mangrove tunnels will put you eye-to-eye with Boat-billed Heron and Common Potoo. And the woodlands and jungles above town support such west-Mexican endemics as Mexican Parrotlet, Citreoline Trogon, Purplish-backed Jay, Black-headed Siskin, Mexican Hermit, and Rufous-bellied Chachalaca.

More recently, we started exploring to the south and noted that habitat diversity changes quickly with latitude, especially in the tropics. Through our participation in the Vallarta Bird Festival, we found Rancho Primavera, a lovely private estate nestled among the mixed woodlands of the southern Sierra Madre and just outside the historic pueblo
of El Tuito.

The Ranch property itself boasts still more resident endemics, including: West Mexican Chachalaca, Russet-crowned Motmot, San Blas Jay, Blue Mockingbird, and Black-vented Oriole. Woodpeckers on the property include the giant Lineated and Pale-billed, plus the endemic Golden-cheeked Woodpecker. Habitats surrounding the ranch host even more endemics, just a few of which include Mexican Woodnymph, Golden Vireo, and Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow. And in case you get overwhelmed with resident Mexican birds, the abundance of wintering North American songbirds will make you feel right at home! Escape with us to Pacific Mexico, and wrap yourself in a warm, laid-back birding paradise.

-Your host and guide, Stephen Shunk


My every wish granted–from the racket of the dawn chorus to tasty home-cooked meals using local fare to Christine and Francisco’s professional guidance, fielding this newbie’s questions. Rancho Primavera– is a beautiful hideaway in rural Jalisco, hosted by Pat and Bonnie, a vivacious mother and daughter team who have lived at the Rancho for decades, I felt part of the family
— Marion Davidson, Oregon
Five of us took the Paradise Birding trip with Steve Shunk to Puerto Vallarta/San Blas in March, 2013, and it was just great! As usual, the Paradise Birding emphasis on great birds, excellent guides, top-flight lodging, great local cuisine, and trademark unlimited snacks in the van made for a comfortable and immensely fun and fulfilling experience
— Andy Mauro, Oceanside, CA.