Yesterday afternoon, Emily and I went on a walk at Laguna Seca with Luis, the nature guide who picked me up from the airport on the first day. This experience is one of many guided walks offered at Chan Chich Lodge.
The tour started as soon as we hopped into the truck. Throughout the 25-minute drive to Laguna Seca, Luis would stop whenever he saw a bird among the trees along the road. He would intricately describe what and where he was looking, because to the untrained eye, it seemed like he stopped the vehicle for no reason.
How he can spot an olive-colored parakeet in olive-colored vegetation in his peripheral vision I will never know, but he – along with the several other guides at Chan Chich – offers an invaluable skill to the property and the nature surrounding it.
Once we finally arrived at Laguna Seca, which translates to ‘Dry Lake’ in English, I could see that this habitat was anything but dry. Luis later explained that the lake completely dries up during heavy dry seasons. Luckily for us, the trail was beaming with wildlife…
We encountered Monarch Butterflies, Flocks of Red-lored Parrots, Northern Jacana, Turkey Vultures, Parakeets, White-tailed Deer, Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Owl Butterflies, Great Curacao, Agouti, Russet-naped Wood-Rails, and a Roadside Hawk…
Just to name a few.
For an hour, we walked a loop around the lake, Luis carrying a gigantic bird-watching scope, and me with my eyes fixated on every branch and leaf that had the potential to be a disguised creature. Occasionally, we would stop and Luis would point out certain trees or leaves and tell us the properties of each.
I have spoken with most of the guides and staff here at Chan Chich, and their knowledge of and appreciation for the jungle will never cease to amaze me. I have walked several of the paths here since I have arrived, but this is the first time I had done so with a guide. It definitely made a difference! When I walked the trails alone, I was passing so many amazing trees, plants, and wildlife, and I didn’t even know it! Having a guide, filled with so much local knowledge, added a layer of richness to the experience.