Flamingo Watching in Chabihau, Yucatan

We just got back from yet another awesome weekend in Chabihau. Jorge’s been going his whole life and I’ve been going for 6 years, but it feels even more like home now that we’ve bought land there.

I have a bunch of stuff to share from our latest visit, but I’ll start with some flamingo pictures.

I’ve mentioned before that the Chabihau lagoon has tons of flamingos, even if they never venture too close to shore. This time, Jorge’s cousin Jimmy offered to take us out in a little boat (known as an “alijo”) to go out onto the lagoon to see the flamingos up-close. I’d been waiting for years, so I jumped at the opportunity!

The lagoon (technically it’s a salt flat) is only about 2 – 3 feet deep, despite it’s large size, so Jimmy was able to take us all the way across the lagoon gondola-style.


My favorite thing about the lagoon is all the birds! Before we even got to the flamingos, we saw this one huge group of pelicans and sandwich terns. Jimmy says they always hang out at this spot around sunset.


Think we scared them away, though…


About half an hour later, we’d reached the other side of the lagoon. I could see hundreds of flamingos way out on the horizon, and we had to speak very quietly so we wouldn’t scare them off.


Jimmy had warned us that if they saw us coming, they would start to walk in the opposite direction and it would be impossible to get close enough for a good picture.

Sure enough, they saw us coming from far away and did their best to keep their distance.

Still, thanks to some great maneuvering by cousin Jimmy the boatman, we were able to sneak up on one group by hiding behind a mangrove patch then sneaking closer.


Once they spotted us, they took off flying. But that’s ok because sometimes the in-flight pics are the best ones.


We decided to take advantage of the daylight we had left to sneak up on another group of flamingos. Again we snuck around a mangrove patch.


BAM! Close enough for some clearer pics!


After a few seconds, though, we were again spotted. The entire heard began to walk away to the left.


We followed alongside them (still from a distance) as best we could, but after a few minutes they got sick of us and once again decided to fly off.


It was starting to get dark, so we finally left the flamingos alone and headed back home to the other side of the lagoon. The sunset made for some nice pics!


Have you ever seen flamingos before? Where?