Rise and shine, you can sleep in tomorrow
The Laguna de la Ventanilla is a wildlife sanctuary located approximately 25 minutes east of Gecko Rock Resort. The reserve features a huge mangrove-lined lagoon where you can spot migratory and indigenous birds, huge land turtles, green iguanas and crocodiles. Plus, they’ve got these incredible flowers that actually change color throughout the day!
We recommend you arrive at 8am to get the most out of your tour. Many of the lagoon’s feathered residents beat feet during the hot midday sun, so the cooler morning temperatures are better for bird watching and more comfortable.
Take a tour with Lagarto Real
There are two cooperatives that operate tours of the lagoon but our recommendation is to give your business to Largarto Real as they’re more in tune with what eco-tourism is all about.
There’s only one road heading down to La Ventanilla Beach. To find Lagarto Real just head all the way to the end and you’ll see their office on your right. They’re easy to spot in their bright red shirts and welcoming grins.
Traversing the lagoon
The tour begins with a 5 minute walk down the coastline to the mouth of the lagoon. An interesting characteristic of the beach here is the presence of a black magnetic mineral in the sand. Geologists believe that the Tonameca River washed the dark minerals down centuries ago from the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Once at the lagoon, you will go out on a rowboat powered by a single oar, but you can sit back and relax as your guide does all the heavy lifting. Motor driven crafts are not permitted in the lagoon as oil and gas pollute the water and engine noise frightens the animals.
You can expect your boat ride to last around an hour and a half.
A paradise for bird enthusiasts
The lagoon is inhabited year-round by a wide variety of bird species. Some are native to the area and others are migratory, so you’ll see a broader selection during the winter months. Another great time to visit is May, when most of the species are nesting.
Expect to check off quite a few different egrets, herons, cormorants, kingfishers, gray-billed toucans, hummingbirds and more from your bird watching to-do list!
How to get there
If you’re staying with us at Gecko Rock Resort, we’ll help you arrange a taxi or show you where to catch the bus or colectivo. Otherwise, head to the Mazunte crossing on highway 200 and hop a taxi or colectivo from there.
The entrance to La Ventanilla is about 3km before Mazunte, so most visitors continue on to Mazunte to enjoy a fresh seafood lunch on the beach and visit to the National Turtle Center.