A walk through the wild side.
During this tour, you’ll watch birds and animals playing in their natural habitat. This is nature tourism at its very finest.
Find a tour that is right for you in the heart of McAllen at Quinta Mazatlan:
Custom Tours at Quinta Mazatlan, World Birding Center :
A 1930’s country estate in the heart of McAllen, Quinta Mazatlan is an historic Spanish Revival adobe hacienda surrounded by lush tropical landscaping & native woodland. A unique conference & events center, close to airports & hotels, Quinta Mazatlan is also an urban oasis, where quiet trails wind through more than 15 acres of birding habitat.
If you have a large group, we invite you to schedule a private tour at Quinta Mazatlan. Our specialized staff can make the arrangements for your perfect outing. Groups are welcome to bring their lunch and have a “Picnic in the Park” following the tour.
$3.00/person with $30.00 minimum fee for small groups
We can accommodate large groups, please call us for more information.
Pricing for Private Tours:
To make a reservation for your private tour, please contact Quinta Mazatlan at (956) 681-3370.
Or you can take an extended 3 day tour throughout the Rio Grande Valley:
Your day will begin very early with a quick, filling breakfast at the hotel. You should be on the road east to Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge by 6:30 a.m. On the short trip to the Refuge, you will pass by many fields that make up most of the Valley landscape today. Santa Ana is one of the few pockets of virgin native growth, with over 2,000 acres of thorn forest draped in Spanish moss. Here your group will have the opportunity to see some of the beautiful and rare birds that can only be seen in this part of the U.S. for example – the Great Kiskadee, Plain Chachalaca, and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. This refuge is home to over 350 species of birds and 200 species of butterflies. There are also numerous walking trails to explore, some of which handicap/wheelchair accessible.
After a few hours exploring Santa Ana, you will continue east to Brownsville and visit the Sabal Palm Audubon Center & Sanctuary. This 527-acre wildlife sanctuary is the largest and best-preserved piece of the South Texas Sabal Palm forest. Explore the rugged trails through the palms and search the resaca for the elusive Least Grebe, and maybe even the diminutive Green Kingfisher. Watch for Buff-bellied Hummingbirds in the Turks-cap (native hibiscus) and inspect the palms for Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and White-tipped Doves.
By now your group will be looking for a nourishing pick-me-up, so it’s off to lunch at one of Brownsville’s fine restaurants. After lunch, head north to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Your first stop will be at the visitor’s center to check out the exhibits and learn about the refuge’s Ocelot and Aplomado Falcon projects. Small groups should take the short walk to the photo blind and try to get an up-close look at Green Jays and maybe a Northern Cardinal or White-winged Dove. Load the bus for the lovely drive through the refuge on the 12-mile loop that goes by the Laguna Madre. Along the way your party may see coyote, alligators, bobcats, birds, butterflies and beautiful coastal habitats. Some of the birds you will most likely see include Osprey, Great Blue Heron, various Gulls, White and Brown Pelicans, Reddish Egret, Roseatte Spoonbill and a whole host of shorebirds and prairie birds. After your driving tour of the refuge, your participants will be ready to stretch their legs.
Then it’s off to South Padre Island and the Birdwatching Boardwalk where you can get a closer look at some of the shorebirds that make the Laguna Madre their home. After a long day of bird watching, it’s time to relax and watch the sun set over the bay from the deck of one of the Island’s most popular restaurants, Louie’s Back Yard. Here you can enjoy the freshest seafood and tastiest tropical drinks anywhere. If your group is so inclined, you can stay a while and enjoy the evening with entertainment and dancing.
Have a safe drive back to McAllen and rest up for another full day of birdwatching out west.
After a good breakfast at the hotel, it’s off to Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park for a morning walk through one of the few preserved native habitats in the Valley. Depending on the time of year, you may see the gorgeous Painted Bunting or a Groove-billed Ani; but you can count on the Green Jay and Altamira Oriole all year long. There are several short trails and a two-mile trail that takes you to the banks of the Rio Grande.
Your next stop will be Rancho Lomitas, in Rio Grande City. You will notice on your way that you are entering a new ecosystem, the Texas Scrub Chaparral. Botanists, Benito and Toni Trevino, will guide you. Here you will learn about the native plants of the Valley, what role they play in the overall ecology of the area, and their various medicinal and practical uses. Lunch will be served al fresco and will contain some of the plants you saw on your tour. (If native plants are just too exotic for your palate, Caro’s Restaurant in Rio Grande City will serve you some of the best Mexican food in the Valley.)
After lunch, continue west to Falcon State Park & Dam to explore the habitats of this special and historic area. With the new habitats come new and different birds. Here you can see the Brown Jay, Audubon’s Oriole and Scaled Quail. After an exciting day of exploring the wilds west of McAllen, return to spend the evening enjoying the nightlife south of the border in Reynosa, or Progreso. There are several fine restaurants to choose from.
Buenos noches and good night!
Spend a leisurely morning packing to leave deep South Texas and head north toward Kingsville and Corpus Christi. On the way there take time out to visit the Inn at El Canelo and have a tour of the yard, searching the trees for their resident Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. Then tour the ranch, where you can spot Crested Caracaras, White-tailed Hawks and Pyrrhuloxia, not to mention deer, bobcat and javelina.
We hope you enjoy your time with us and we look forward to serving you again soon.