The wildlife-rich upper reaches of the Laguna de Navidad stretch for miles and are only a boat ride away. Besides the ordinary varieties of egrets, terns, herons, pelicans, frigate birds, boobies, ducks, and geese, patient bird-watchers can sometimes snare rainbow flash-views of exotic parrots and bright tanagers and orioles.
As for other creatures, quiet, persistent observers are sometimes rewarded with mangrove-edge views of turtles, constrictors, crocodiles, coatimundis, raccoons, skunks, deer, wild pigs, ocelots, wildcats, and, very rarely, a jaguar. The sensitivity and experience of your boatman/guide is, of course, crucial to the success of any nature outing. Ask at the tourist information office in Barra or the dock-office of the Sociedad Cooperativa de Servicios Turísticos (Barra de Navidad, Av. Veracruz 40) on the lagoon front. You might also ask Tracy Ross at Crazy Cactus Real Estate (Barra de Navidad, Veracruz 165, across from the bus station, tel. 315/355-6091), or Nan Niemela and/or Enrique Palominos of Sea to Sierra Outdoor Adventures (Barra de Navidad, Veracruz 204, across from the jardín, tel. 315/355-5790, www.seatosierra.com ) to recommend a good guide, or even a complete wildlife-watching excursion.