Puerto Alejandro and Tortuguero


Basic Statistics

  • Trail difficulty: 1
  • Reserve hours: none
  • Entrance fee: none

Site Description

Located on the Bahía de Neiba, Puerto Alejandro is especially good for a variety of shorebirds and waders, and gulls and terns. Flamingos are often found here as well. The drive in may also be productive for common thorn scrub species, with a possibility of a variety of Neotropical migrants. Puerto Alejandro may also be accessed via its west side through sugar cane and agricultural fields which offer opportunities for some exotic finches and other agricultural specialties. Tortuguero is located on the adjoining Bahía de Ocoa and can be easily visited on the same day. Tortuguero is known for the American Oystercatcher, but also provides habitat for a variety of shorebirds, waders, and seabirds.

Access

Driving west from Azua, in about 53.1 km (33 miles) you will see a small sign for the village of Canoa. Continue another 0.8 km (0.5 miles) toward a new highway bridge. Turn left on a small and unmarked road just before the bridge. This narrow road will run alongside the bridge for about 100m then turn sharply left to hug a canal. This unpaved road runs through agricultural lands that soon give way to mesquite scrub and thorn scrub, and finally coastal wetlands and lagoons, terminating in a salt works on the coast.

Puerto Alejandro (Map by Dana Gardner)

Puerto Alejandro (Map by Dana Gardner)

Target Species

American Flamingo, Brown Pelican, Yellow- crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Black- bellied Plover, Wilson’s Plover, American Oystercatcher, Black- necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Whimbrel, Gull- billed Tern, Sandwich Tern, White- crowned Pigeon, Mangrove Cuckoo, Yellow Warbler, Green- tailed Ground- Tanager, Village Weaver, Nutmeg Mannikin, Tricolored Munia

Birding Areas

From the turn-off from the main road at Canoa, this unimproved road travels 13.8 km (8.6 miles) to a large protected lagoon on the Caribbean coast. From Canoa to the lagoon, expect travel time to be about 30 minutes. You may stop anywhere along here, but look in particular for narrow trails which may lead to the wetlands and salt flats. The thorn scrub opens into the larger inner lagoon which is where most of the waders may be seen. From here, explore on foot for other waders, shorebirds, gulls, and terns.

The lagoon may also be accessed from the west from the village of Jaquimeyes. From the bridge at Canoa, continue to drive west for 4.0 km (2.5 miles). In Jaquimeyes turn left on a small road marked by a sign for Playa Andina. Look here for exotic finches and other species typical of agricultural lowlands. After 6.4 km (4.0 miles) you will reach the gate house of a shrimp farm. With permission you may drive or walk the dikes.

Finally, if returning towards Azua, a stop at the stony beach at Tortuguero can be productive. As you leave Azua, just 2.2 km (1.4 miles) from the police station you will want to continue straight ahead on a gravel road. After 2.7 km (1.7 miles) you will arrive at a stony beach, Tortuguero. Explore the beach and adjoining mangroves.


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