We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Newfoundland and...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
49 reviews
Save Topic
Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

We were debating between Celestun for flamingos and Rio Lagartos and with some help here decided to stick with Rio Lagartos.

We are now realizing that there is also flamingo viewing off of Holbox at "Bird Island" (available through a tour, 1/2 day).

We are already going to be at Holbox - can someone tell us which opportunity for viewing flamingos out of these two options would be the most rewarding, with the best overall scenery and chance to see the most?

If Rio Lagartos is still the winner hands down, we will make the effort to get there, but if it is the tour on Holbox, then we can simply do it from there rather than make the potential detour to Rio. Any reply would be super.

Many thanks.

Jackson, Mississippi
9 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Hi Mommy Barbie,

Glad to see your trip is coming together. I have never seen to see the flamingoes in Holbox so I can't give you any advice about Holbox, but one thing that was told to us and was true about Rio lagartos was the fact that Flamingoes go there to reproduce because of the salt lakes. Actually, when you go see the flamingoes they take you to a place called las coloradas, which is where one of the largest natural deposits of salt are located in the Mexico. Anyway, long story short, the excess of salt in the water in that area has something to do with the extremely bright pink for color of the rio lagartos flamingo. Never seen flamingoes that beautiful before. Extremely pink to the point that some are almost red. According to our guide, the high salinity is directly tied to that color.

Newfoundland and...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Hi again Hickson,

It is great to see you replying with another helpful response - thank you.

Our trip is coming together but I am noticing that we are a day short!! Now we're not sure what to do - we need another night out near Uxmal/Merida, but that would mean giving up a night in Holbox (so 4 there instead of 5 nights : (

Also I have just noticed that there are flamingos along the coast over in Xcaret, certainly more commercial there though but we are thinking of going there (or Xel-ha). Did you go to either of these places? This would be much different than seeing the birds in the wild which is probably the key thing. What I might do is see about stopping in Rio en route to Holbox if we can find that third extra night and drive. I checked out some photos when we were comparing it to Celestun and it looked pretty nice there - I haven't found photos of the bird island yet, so like you, I can't compare.

Sure would be great to do some fishing there too.

Merida, Yucatan
Level Contributor
1,733 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Having been to see flaminoes in both Celestun and Rio Lagartos, I'd say the latter is far more impressive. Huge flocks of birds.

If you take a trip out on a boat, they include a Mayan mud bath!

Newfoundland and...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Hi Londoner - Thanks for adding this - another vote for Rio!!

Have you had a chance to get out to Holbox Island? It would be great to compare Rio to Holbox for the whole flamingo thing (on Holbox there is a tour to another island near by for flamingos - we can also go back to the mainland for a Rio tour when we are on Holbox, but it is more complicated for sure. If the birds on Holbox's "bird island" are just as good (and with salt baths too)? then maybe we could stay at Holbox??

Merida, Yucatan
Level Contributor
1,733 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Sorry, never been to Holbox.

Newfoundland and...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Great advice on Rio Lagartos which is supposed to be outstanding.

I think the name of the "bird island" near Holbox is Isla Contoy.

Can anyone make a comparison between the scenery and opportunity to view flamingos and other birds at Isla Contoy vs. Rio Lagartos?

Newfoundland and...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

Just a follow up on these posts to let you all know how things went - early April (time of our visit) looks to be too early for Flamingo viewing (outside Xcaret and other tourist venues). We did check out a couple of bird islands during our trip and saw plenty of pelicans and unusual looking fellows, which was great. In the future, we would aim to look for flamingos during the month of May. Thank you again for all the great tips on the trip. We did see Rio Lagartos from up in the air and it looks pretty cool - lovely colours down there, flamingos or not.

8. Re: Birds/Flamingos - Holbox vs. Rio Lagarto

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 February 2016, 01:15