(Updated June 2020)
Staying awake partying at Paradise nightclub until almost 3am was probably not the smartest idea. I had a packed day filled outdoors and wildlife activities with a few other tour mates. This is an optional excursion from Contiki and wasn’t very popular. However after hearing what we would be doing, I immediately jumped in, along with Stef, Steph, and Aimee.
Barra Vieja: Laguna de Tres Palos
In the morning, following breakfast, the four of us girls got into an unmarked white van. It was strange at first, but our tour guide was in the driver’s seat so we weren’t too worried. His name was Roger Doger. I wasn’t totally sure what this day trip was really going to include. But, I’m traveling it’s Mexico so I just went with it.
We started out heading towards south Acapulco to a popular location known as Barra Vieja for a motorboat ride along Laguna de Tres Palos. This particular freshwater lagoon is a very common location for many different exotic species of tropical birds. It is also sanctuary for the wildlife found in Acapulco.
The boat ride took us through the lagoon for a good hour. We enjoy the opportunity to try our hand at bird watching through this lagoon. We saw the most popular bird, the white heron, several times along the ride. Poor Steph had a difficult time. Thankfully towards the end, she able to spot a few beautiful birds.
On the boat ride, Roger Doger was teaching us about the wildlife found in this particular location. He was using his very own hand drawn images of the specific birds that he’d seen in the region. It was truly a unique opportunity. You don’t often find tour guides so passionate about their work and their city.
I was lucky enough to be able to capture a few of the bird species. I don’t remember what the names are, but apparently, they are common to this area in Acapulco. Late nights don’t bode well for learning.
At the end of the lagoon, we entered into this small mangrove tunnel. This tunnel led us to an open water area filled with water lilies and lily pads. I was at a loss for words. I felt like I was in the scene from the Notebook.
The funny part was when the four of us looked at the captain after we ended the grove. He had his hand in the water.
At this point, I was questioning what he was doing until he lifted a lily onto the boat. He proceeded to manipulate the stem, with the four of us starring at him bewildered. In less than 30 seconds, the stem became part of a lily necklace and it was beautiful.
As we continued our way back to the shore, the four of us kept talking about how we could spend our whole day with the fresh breeze in our hair. It was just such a refreshing moment. We spend so much of our time on the bus, so it was nice being outside.
After we finished with the lagoon, we were off to our next stop at Campamento Tortuguero. Campamento Tortuguero is a conservation and protection camp for marine turtles. It is located in Barra Vieja on a stretch of beach known as Playa Larga.
This conservatory is ran by a local biologist/environmentalist, who spends his time rescuing, releasing and educating others regarding the three different turtle species located along the Guerrero coast line. Among these species is the endangered Tortuga Golfina. This conservatory has helped increased the survival rate of these turtles from 1% to 5%. This is a huge increasing for these beautiful creatures.
Campamento Tortuguero is a hands on conservatory. This means that after a little education regarding turtles, you are able to hold and release your own adoptive Golfina sea turtle into the ocean. What I learned from our 15 minute introductory lesson was how the sex of the turtle is based on the location and temperature within the nest. Males on top, females on the bottom.
Turtles are probably one of my favorite animals. Given this opportunity to hold something so fragile and endangered was more than words could say. These Sea turtles were so tiny. They just rest in your hands flapping their little fins. Talk about adorable.
I named my turtles, Hercules and Merida (if you watch disney movies you’d understand). Steph gave her’s redneck names (I can’t remember specifically what she named them) and the other Stef named her’s Michelangelo and Raphael. This was diffidently the highlight of the trip thus far.
At this point, all four of us are beginning to fade. We were technically suppose to go to the botanical gardens after lunch, but our tour guide accidentally started to head back to the hotel. None of us complained. We all were pretty happy to end our tour after the turtles.
Nothing could have beat holding baby turtles and releasing them into the ocean. A true highlight of my time spent in Mexico and Acapulco. Instead, Amy and Steph took a nap and Stef and I headed down to the pool to meet up with some of the other tour mates. It was quite the afternoon of lounging around and drinking beers/margaritas in the sun.
Sunset Boat Cruise
The day wasn’t quite over, however. Tonight was another exclusive Backstage Pass inclusion offered by Contiki.
We took a party boat sunset cruise around Acapulco Bay and Isla Roquette. The party cruise lasted about 90 minutes and while some of us were enjoying the complimentary beverages, others were struggling/recovering from last nights extravaganza. I luckily wasn’t battling a hangover, like others so I was able to enjoy some free beverages.
But, I planned to go scuba diving the next day for another optional excursion, I was on a drinking time restriction. It didn’t take away from the experience and I really do love boating on the water especially at sunset.
After the cruise, we headed towards a local restaurant for dinner. By this time, there were about 4 tour mates who started not feeling good. They opted to head back to the hotel instead of staying with us at the restaurant.
We are five days into this tour and we’re dropping like flies. One by one, people have been beaten and bruised from this bus-curse of a sickness. I feel horrible for those who’ve missed out on tonights meal, especially since I might have been the one to stay it (oops).
Ish mention that the restaurant made delicious chicken, steak and pork items including quesadillas and tacos. We also enjoyed another yummy Mexican traditional beverage called Horchata.
Horchata is a rice-based milky style drink that is a combination of sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. It is pretty darn delicious. It didn’t help that the restaurant over looked the coast line with the sunsetting behind the hills. For dinner I enjoyed delicious steak tacos with an order of guacamole (my all time favorite).
Once dinner ended, we made our way back to the hotel and quite frankly I don’t actually remember what we did. I think I called it an early night. I couldn’t drink and everyone was just trying to recover. We are boring I know.
I’m pretty excited though because I thought my last time diving for a while would have been in Cancun. BUT, I am going diving in the morning! Yay for surprise diving. Can’t wait for another day out on the water for another scuba diving adventure.