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Join us in November 2023 for a week-long trip to the fabled Lower Rio Grande Valley to experience what is probably the best butterflying in the United States. This special region of Texas has documented more than 300 species of butterflies with almost half of those seen nowhere else in the United States. 
This trip is for all levels whether you are a butterfly newbie or a practiced naturalist.

This week-long tour will take you to many different habitat types of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in search of some south TExas specialties!

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival at NcAllen International Airport

Arrive in McAllen, Texas. Check into our Mission, TX hotel with an evening meet and greet.

Day 2

National Butterfly Center

We will explore the areas around the National Butterfly Center including Bensten Rio Grande Valley State Park, Bentsen Palm RV Resort, and the Retama Village Wall. The National Butterfly Center gardens are home to more than 230 species of butterflies with first U.S. records of Tawny Mottled-Skipper, Greenish Brown-Skipper, One-spotted Prepona, Smudged Hairstreak, Broad-tipped Clearwing, and Four-spotted Sailor. First U.S. records for Bensten Rio Grande Valley State Park include Painted White, Thick-tipped Greta, and Beautiful Beamer.

Day 3

Falcon State Park

We venture west to Falcon State Park to explore its wonderful butterfly garden and trails. The first thing one notices upon entering the gardens is that the plantings seem to be alive with butterflies, clouds of Queens to be exact. It takes the untrained eye a few minutes to sort through the hoards of Queens to pick out the Theona and Elada Checkerspots, dozens of Southern Dogfaces, Coyote Cloudywings, and Sickle-winged Skippers.
This is also a great location for birds where Varied Bunting and Green Kingfisher are all possibilities.

Day 4

Heading East Today

Heading east out of Mission we will go in search of Xami Hairstreak, Definite Patch, Blue Metalmark, Pale-rayed, Boisduval’s Yellow, Walker's Metalmark, and Double-dotted Skippers at a few select locations in Cameron County. Possible stops include Sabal Palm Sanctuary, Palo Alto National Battlefield, and Laguna Atacosa National Wildlife Refuge. This will be our opportunity to finds some of the coastal butterflies that we are not likely to see anywhere else on the trip including Obscure Skipper and great Southern White. We have also had Celia’s Roadside Skipper here in the past.
Birds of note at these locations include Tropical Parula, Aplomado Falcon, and Tamaulipas Crow.

Day 5

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

We will stick a bit closer to our home base and explore areas around Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, which boasts a butterfly checklist of nearly 300 species
and 2000+ acres to explore. The refuge encompasses many habitat types allowing us the opportunity to see butterflies such as Zebra Heliconians, Julias, Malachites, Mexican Bluewings, Vesta Crescents, or Silver-banded Hairstreaks.

Day 6

Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

We will spend our final full day in the Valley exploring areas to the north of McAllen. Destinations include Edinburg Scenic Wetlands as well as a stop within the Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge to explore a productive arroyo. Possible species include Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak, Lacy's Scrub-Hairstreak, and Erichson's White-Skipper

Day 7

Flights Home Today

If time permits before our flights home, we may spend the morning back at the National Butterfly Center as it is just a short drive away from the airport.
Depart for home

  • Accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Local transportation
  • Fees (entrance and guide fees)
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Soft drinks and water
  • Airfare
  • Dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal items
  • Tips

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  • Pricing Name Texas Rate
    Start Thursday May 26, 2022
    End Thursday May 26, 2022
    1 - 12 Pax
     

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