Guest Post: Photo Essay – Crocodile Sanctuary in Ixtapa, Mexico

animals in mexico

At Playa Linda, just north of the town of Ixtapa, Mexico, in the forest beside the dock, hidden away in the tangle of trees is the unexpected gem of a crocodile sanctuary. The area of Ixtapa was once home to many crocodiles. Before the government established the tourist town of Ixtapa, these ancient reptiles roamed the land in vast numbers. When people first started living there, trucks and vehicles were constantly running over them on the highways … some say the ghosts of all the highway fatalities still rise in the mist when a large rain covers the roads. Eventually a sanctuary was built to maintain the crocodile population in their natural habitat. Thousands now live there.

animals

The upshot of an undisturbed lagoon-like habitat is the settlement of many bird species within the protected area, including the very exotic spoonbill. A large population of iguanas reside near the area just off the beach, where the proprietor of the nearby restaurant feeds them cabbage one or twice a day, providing great photo opportunities for the handful of tourists who might be around. I’ve been there on several days in which I was the only visitor. There is no admission price. There is a wooden viewing platform just off the highway that runs out of Ixtapa, near a little hub of tourist trinket shops – a place where taxi cabs often gather and the occasional tourist bus stops. You can follow the fence-line of the reserve from there down to the beach.

animals in mexico

Occasionally you may see a crocodile catch an egret or a large fish in the water. I was amused by an intrepid black cat who was missing a foot, yet hobbling through the sanctuary a stone’s throw from the crocodiles, apparently unconcerned with the possibility of losing another foot.

animals in mexico

What I found most entertaining is that occasionally a crocodile escapes the reserve and ambles down the beach. Sometimes, I’m told, they will go for a swim in the ocean. The locals are used to this, but it can scare the daylights and more out of a tourist who never expected to see a crocodile approach their sandcastle while sunbathing, nor slide through the salty sea beside them, sinister eyes just above the surface, while taking an afternoon dip in the serene waters of Playa Linda.

OYL_crocodile escaping

BIO:  Shara Johnson plots her travels from her home base in Nederland, Colorado, where she scrapes up travel money hosting other travelers in her B&B studio. You can follow her adventures on SKJtravel.net, and be her friend on Facebook or Twitter.

animals in mexico

spoonbill

animals in mexico

animals in mexico

Green Heron

Egret

Egret

animals in mexico

animals in mexico

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Guest Post: Photo Essay – Crocodile Sanctuary in Ixtapa, Mexico”

  1. Tristan March 14, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Great pics! I’ve been in Mexico for about six months now but haven’t been to Ixtapa. I’ve heard good things, though, and these photos definitely made me want to visit. The crocs look great but I have a thing for iguanas. I love iguanas!

    • Shara March 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks, Tristan. I learned to love iguanas from being at this sanctuary! I never thought much of them before, but I spent so much time watching them in Ixtapa, I’ve become completely fascinated with them. 🙂 Definitely try to check out the sanctuary!

      • big daddy March 24, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

        Thanks tristen! Really like your words of wisdom!! =)

  2. Meredith November 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this! We are visiting Ixtapa in a month and can’t wait. We were a little conserved there wasn’t much to do outside of our resort (Capella) but are now looking very forward to the animal life! Any other suggestions or blog posts on sights, food or activities there? Mucho gracias!

Leave a Reply

css.php