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Lagunas de Chacahua National Park

Chacahua Lagoon Mexico web
Chacahua Lagoon Mexico web

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park is a national park located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. In total, the park spreads across over 132 kilometers, with more than 20% of the park covered by lagoons. Surrounding smaller lagoons throughout the park are two main lagoons: Chachua and Pastoria.

Getting There

The park is approximately 50 kilometers west of Puerto Escondido. Many people choose to fly into Puerto Escondido for the destination. There is usually only one flight per day from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido. From Puerto Escondido, you can choose to take a cab to the park or the nearby village of Zapotalito. Once in Zapotalito, you can take a private or group boat to the park.

In general, we recommend to visit the national park in the months between October and March. This ensures you avoid the sweltering season of April and May or the rainy season from June to September. If you’re traveling during popular holiday times, such as Spring Break or Christmas Break, you will likely have to deal with crowds.

Chacahua Sunset - Oaxaca
Chacahua Sunset – Oaxaca

History

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park became a national park in 1937. It is one of 67 national parks in Mexico. A national park declaration means the park has federal protection from damage or commercialization.

Life Forms

The vast ecosystem of Lagunas de Chacahua National Park hosts ten types of vegetation, 246 species of flowers, and many species of birds, and animals, including 180 amphibians. There are likely more species within the park yet to discover. Some of the creatures often spotted throughout the park include turtles, herons, storks, albatross, and pelicans.

Tourism

Tourists can choose from a wide range of activities when visiting Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, including beaches, surfing, snorkeling and scuba, fishing, hiking, exploring mangrove tunnels, bird watching, viewpoints, a crocodile sanctuary center, and tours and guides of the park.

Some of the more popular tours are boat lagoon excursions. These excursions take visitors throughout the park on a boat to view the mangroves, shores, and birdwatching. It’s an excellent opportunity to take in the beauty and landscape of the park. Most of these tours include a stop for local food and a visit to the crocodile sanctuary, which hosts several Mexican Pacific Coast crocodile species.

For the tourists that come at the right time, they can witness the sea turtle release program. The program looks to protect the young of three local turtle species: the Olive Ridley Sea turtles, the Hawksbill turtles, and the Leatherback turtles (which is the largest species of all living turtles). Scientists, environmentalists, and tourists gather to protect the turtle eggs from predators and help ensure hatchlings make it safely to the sea without being eaten.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Information on the Chacahua Lagoons National Park is at http://www.lagunasdechacahua.com.

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