A “must see” stop for any visitor to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is the delightful wild animal refuge and education center – El Refugio de Potosi. Located on the road to Barra de Potosi, it is an easy jaunt to visit and then continue on to lunch and enjoy the beach in the quaint fishing village of Barra de Potosi.
At El Refugio, you will discover local ambassador animals that have been rescued and cannot be retuned to the wild; military macaws, a coatimundi, a Mexican dwarf porcupine and a pygmy owl named Chuelta, to name just a few. There are always new creatures in the process of rehab and recovery; one never knows who you might get to meet!
El Refugio de Potosi boasts the largest sperm whale skeleton on display in Mexico, a Humming Bird Common where you can always spot the endemic cinnamon and usually the double’s day (a rare fellow) among a host of others. Climb the panoramic 50 foot high observation tower to get a bird’s eye view of the area and perhaps a sighting of flocks of egrets, roseate spoonbills or wood storks – depending on the timing of your visit.
Enjoy the Butterfly Pavilions well as all the free flying butterflies – there are over 170 species in our area! Walk the trails to see the enormous iguanas taking the sun. Along the trails you will be introduced to endemic bromeliads, both epiphytic and terrestrial and other native plants. You can see local and migratory birds in the trees or visiting a feeder. El Refugio’s guides will explain all about the local animals, their life cycles and habits as well as many other interesting facts about nature in our area.
El Refugio de Potosi is the perfect place to start to get to know more about the abundance of nature in our area, not just in the sea and sky, but all around us. And don’t forget to add a locally caught seafood or fish lunch in Barra de Potosi, just a few minutes down the road and on the beach.
For more information, visit: www.elrefugiodepotosi.org
By: Barbara Erickson