Birdwatching and kayacking trip to Barra de Potosí

By Colleen Besman

Escape to Barra de Potosí. Are you tired of cold nights and chilly mornings? Do you dream of tropical breezes and warm sandy beaches? Well, now you have a chance to escape the mountains and spend some time enjoying the smell of the ocean and the natural beauty of the Barra de Potosí area, because the Audubon Society has added an extra, unexpected trip  — from March 15 through 19 — to its schedule. Barra de Potosí is a secluded fishing village on the Pacific coast, in the state of Guerrero. It is located only 12 miles south of Zihuatanejo, yet is tranquil, away from crowds, and surrounded by nature. The pristine ocean beach is rich in bird life, including roseate spoonbills, frigate birds, and cormorants. There is horseback riding along the beach and frequent whale sightings. Until the mid-20th century, families from nearby coastal areas settled Barra de Potosí. Their palapa huts, built at the mouth of the lagoon, were lost to extreme tides following the earthquake of 1985. There was an outpouring of international aid, which created the current village in its present location. Sixty lots were given by lottery to members of the qualifying families. The village still consists of these families and their descendants (about 600 people). The houses were all built by the Red Cross of Italy, Japan, and Germany and were painted red and white with red crosses on them. Now all but a few are stuccoed and painted in different colors as tourism has developed. The picturesque mangrove reserve of Laguna de Potosí is a four-mile-long saltwater lagoon with a large sand bar at its mouth. A few years ago, it was declared an “Important Area for Bird Conservation” by a tri-national effort (Canada-US-Mexico).

Travel: To Barra de Potosí With the Audubon Society. Thu, Mar 15-Mon, Mar 19. US$519 or 6,490 pesos. For more info or

The trip will include kayaking on the lagoon through mangroves and tranquil open waters to view and photograph its flora, fauna and birds. The trip will also include visits to Xihuatlan, a 3,000-year-old archaeological site; Zihuatanejo, for galleries, museums or shopping;  Refugio de Potosi, a wildlife sanctuary; and lots of eating at enramadas, beachfront restaurants where the fish on your plate was maybe caught half an hour before it is served. Audubon invites you to enjoy the natural wonders of this beautiful and diverse area and to help with its efforts to protect the environment. The cost of the trip is US$519 (6,490 pesos) based on double occupancy. Audubon members will receive a US$21 discount. The single accommodation supplement is $120. Full information can be found at If you are interested in this trip, please contact Colleen Besman, the Audubon Board Trip Coordinator, at or (415) 152-3644 as soon as possible.

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