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Published: February 16th 2010
We wanted to see more of the birds and other wildlife here, and decided to take a tour of the estuaries around Nuevo Vallarta. Now, if you want the weather of Mexico, along with the beautiful beaches, but with all of the luxuries and none of the dirt roads and chickens, then Nuevo Vallarta is your place. It is mostly big condo developments along the beach-front, and huge homes belonging to famous people like Julio Iglasias and Ricky Martin back along the estuaries with private boat docks and marina access. We didn't see any public beach access as we walked along the street that was closest to the beach - only if you were staying at the condos or in one of the resorts could you get in. I hear they have a nice beach - but we couldn't see it. And aside from one shopping mall with overpriced shops, there didn't appear to be much else in Nuevo. However, we hadn't seen it all yet!
Anyway, we went there for the tour, not the beach. We were told to get off the bus on the highway at the first road into Nuevo. We were also told that we could
take another bus, or walk - the walk to Paradise Village marina would be about 20 minutes. Well, we waited about 5 minutes for the second bus, but decided to walk - a 20-minute walk would be easy, right? Well, we walked, and we walked....and after about 30 minutes we came to the end of the road, but no Paradise Village. We looked at the signs that said to go to the left, and turned left....and walked another 20 minutes. This doesn't sound like much, but close to noon in the sun and without knowing exactly where you are going - it seemed like forever! So, note to anyone thinking of doing the same - definitely wait for the bus! We were hot and tired and thirsty, and we both had blisters, but we found the place! After a cool drink at a Starbucks, we were ready for our jungle tour. Departing every 20 minutes from the marina at Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta. $300 pesos per person.
Anyway, amongst the big beautiful homes along the estuaries we found what we were looking for - crocodiles! Turns out that there are a lot of crocodiles making their homes here,
Now walk down this road to the end
Notice that Nuevo Vallarta is nicely paved and treed
and we saw the muddy mounds that are their "nests", along with several little ones, and a few big ones too. We also saw great blue herons, grey herons, cormorants, egrets, and lots of others, along with iguanas and puffer fish from the ocean. The tour was excellent, with the drivers making sure that we stopped and had time to take pictures of all that we saw. The captain and his mate were very knowledgable about the animals, and we learned a lot about the animals and their habits, as well as the trouble they make sometimes when they get into the homes and the pools of the homes along these estuaries. We were told that when people build their homes and the area was developed, they didn't know that crocodiles were so common there. It isn't something you will find in the tourist brochures, but they are definitely there! Mexico protects their crocodiles too, so getting rid of them is not possible. This was a very interesting trip - one I would recommend to anyone.
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