Copalita Eco-Archeological Park

February 26, 2014

Our time in Hualtulco is running out and with the exception of a tour to a local farm, I have only birded in areas that are walking distance from the marina.  I have been wanting to go wandering around the Rio Copalita area in hopes of finding a Russet-crowned Motmot. I have been a little nervous about going by myself though. Several local ladies have stopped me for a chat while I was out birding and expressed a little concern that I was alone and carrying a camera and binoculars. I don't mean to imply that Hualtulco is a dangerous place, it seems far from that to me.  The locals are warm, friendly and helpful, but there are thieves everywhere and the ladies were just telling to keep an eye out.  Being out in the wilds by myself might not be a great idea.  I saw a sign on the main drag advertising the Copalita Eco-Archeological Park, and I figured it would be a safe place for me to wander by myself, and it was.  I had a great day walking in this park and would like to go again before we take off.  I got my Russet-crowned Motmot! Too bad I couldn't get a good shot, this is the best I got. Another endemic. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I was in the park for about four hours.  I was so hot and tired when I finally wandered back to the entrance that I decided I would do the archaeology guided tour on another trip. Most people come to the park to learn something about ancient humans rather than looking for birds. There is an ongoing dig within the park boundaries uncovering a pre-Hispanic site.
The 'pathway' through the park is an amazing feat; a hand laid flagstone sidewalk that splits and goes in different directions.  I have no idea how many square feet it is, but it is a lot. 
I wonder how many hours in hot conditions went into this extensive sidewalk; it's a work of art. The fence is made of vines.
Over-looking the mouth of the Copalita River.
Long stretches of beautifully laid sidewalks.
If you go to the park, do not go on a Monday, it's closed.  I went on a Monday, but it was no biggy, I had the taxi driver take me to Bocana Copalitia (river mouth), and I birded  my way up to Tangolunda.  It was a good day and I went to the Eco Park the next day; manana.
Bird List:
Yellow-winged Cacique
Rufous-crowned Motmot
Empidonax sp.
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier?
Roadside Hawk
Great Kiskadee
Social Flycatcher
Lineated Woodpecker
Golden-cheeked Woodpecker (heard)
Squirrel Cuckoo
Great Blue Heron
Magnificent Frigatebird
Reddish Heron
White-tipped Dove
Orange-breasted Parakeet
White-fronted Parrot
Rufous-naped Wren
Squirrel Cuckoo
Roadside Hawk


  1. Sounds lovely Sue. Your picture of the Motmot is great! It is a shame that you can't go wandering into the wilds by yourself. I sometimes take it for granted that I can go searching for butterflies without worrying for my safety here. It wouldn't be like that all over the world, but there are times when it is easier being a man!!

    1. Hi Nick,
      I have pretty much wandered the wilds at will around the world. I probably would have been ok here, but I was warned and I didn't want to tempt fate! The park was a great place and I could wander. It's always easier being a man! :) ;) Lots of butterflies at the park too. We have to move on and we sail away from this paradise tomorrow. We have both enjoyed it here very much. Kudos for saving the Small Tortoiseshell. What a beauty that one is.