Posted June 28th, 2015, 09:28 PM
I'm looking for tips and info on the birding at
1. Cartagena Colombia
2. Colon Panama
3. Puerto Limon Costa Rica
4. Costa Maya Mexico and
5. Cozumel Mexico
Unfortunately, I can only provide limited assistance due to a combination of factors. On a previous Canal cruise I have been to ports 1, 4, and 5, and I have also birded Cozumel twice on week-long trips there. I have never been able to find a guide for any of them. In addition, Cartagena and Costa Maya were our first visits to those ports and, thus, my ability to dedicate the day to birding was limited due to marital pressure.
In Cartagena we hired a cab for 4 hours and mostly toured the city. Birding was minimal; mangrove swallow was about the most "interesting" species.
Costa Maya essentially consists of the port area and little else. Excursions are available to Mayan ruins areas, but we declined, having previously visited them. Instead, we booked a day pass at Almaplena Beach Resort & Eco Lodge and took a cab there. Unfortunately, the day was rainy and windy to the extent that the owner refunded our deposit. Too bad, because the place was both attractive and isolated and also had a restaurant. In addition it had what looked like it would be good snorkeling in better weather. I would bet there might be good birding walking the adjacent, lightly-trafficked road. The only interesting birds that rain-shortened day were two yellow-backed orioles.
We have been to Cozumel three times and, for birding, I would recommend renting a car. The island can be easily traversed in your allotted time. The popular beach park and lagoon on the southwest side has a small trail which can be good, but the best birding is really in the interior. As I remember, the road on the western side south of the docks had several dead-end roads to the east which can be very productive. Just park and walk. When we stayed there, I would do that many mornings. The San Gervasio ruins in the middle of the island had some good birds, too. Finally, the mangroves and rural area at the north end of the western road were usually good for black catbirds. Please understand that it has been a few years, so development may have wrecked some of what I have described.
Sorry I could not recommend guides. I hope some of this helps.