Monday, June 7, 2010

From the Green Mountains to the Pacific Lowlands

Enough with the pause! My paisanos are remarkable and unstoppable, so if they manage to get up on their feet right after the storm, literally speaking, we should do the same and continue with our journey; after all, we still have 5 amazing regions to discover!
According to the Inguat's regional classification, the Pacific Lowlands are included in region  No.6: The Exotic and Diverse Pacific Ocean, an area where we will enjoy biological preserves, archaeological sites, recreational theme parks, long stretches of black sand beaches, world-class deep sea sports fishing, impetuous surfing waves, enchanting towns and villages, and probably, much more...
We interrupted our trip last week when we were about to visit Manchon Guamuchal, the transitional area between the highlands and the lowlands of the Pacific Coast, so, Manchon Guamuchal will be today's starting point. This beautiful  Nature Reserve is located between the departments of San Marcos and Retalhuleu.
This wild, 13,500-hectare wetland reserve harbors the last remaining undisturbed mangrove swamps in the country. It is included in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, encompassing a list of globally important sites, particularly those that provide habitat for aquatic migratory and resident birds.
Manchon Guamuchal, is also a red and white mangrove forest, which is an important stop along the path of migratory birds coming from Canada and United States of America. Among the species that can be found in the area, are: 14 duck species (12, migratory), sparrow hawks, buzzards, falcons, and around 20 species of egrets. Birds arrive sometime in October to November, leaving in March after wintering in the lagoons. In addition to birds, there are crocodiles, iguanas, and abundant fish.
Despite its natural beauty and even though it is recognized as one of the most complex and productive ecosystems in the world, tourism in Manchon Guamuchal is not formally developed yet; however, there are plenty of activities that can be performed there, including birdwatching and kayaking, and for what I have seen and read, for nature lovers, exploring this area promise to be a rewarding experience.

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