Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake and is located on the border of of Jalisco and Michoacán. To give you an idea of how big it is, it took us approximately an HOUR to drive it’s width!!!
I had been unknowingly driving along past this gem of a lake my entire life during the commute from the airport in Guadalajara to where my family lives in Michoacán. It wasn’t until a trip in adulthood that I took the time to actually notice it, stop and explore it a bit. It’s size really is astounding, many times throughout our drive, I found it hard to believe I wasn’t at the ocean because the only thing I could see in the distance was water and islands. Lake Chapala is home to 3 small islands, non of which I have had the pleasure of visiting.
As mind-blowing as the lake itself was, nothing was more breathtaking and awesome as the number of migrating pelican’s I saw in the small fishing village of Petatan. About to 260,000 birds migrate from Canada each year and a large part of those end up at Lake Chapala. You have never seen anything like it! I imagine it to be something like the wildebeest migration in Africa, but the aviary version of course. I was completely in awe not only by their numbers but by the size of the birds themselves. I guess I had never really paid attention to how big they are until that moment.
It took me a minute suppress the idea of contracting some sort of bird flu and get close enough to them to toss some discarded fish parts to them given to me by the locals but once I let loose enough, it was so much fun!
My dad and I took turns posing in front of them and taking silly pictures.
My dad at a lookout in front of the lake
Pelican’s are not the only species of birds to be found here.
Even the livestock enjoy long walks on the beach here. Ha!
There was also a cute park located right in front of the lake. A perfect place to bring the kids, or pretend like you are one!
I do not know the exact time frame of the pelican’s migration to lake Chapala but I CAN tell you that I was there in January(2014) for an annual missions trip with my dad. So you can for sure catch this phenomenon at the lake in January! 😀
Have you witnessed the pelican migration at Lake Chapala? Have you witnessed any other super amazing migration you’d like to share? Please feel free to tell me about it in the comments of this post!