El Charco del Ingenio


Date of Visit: December 30, 2008

Most of the attractions of San Miguel center around the colonial center. If you tire of sightseeing, shopping, and restaurants and wish to get out into the countryside there's a convenient attraction just outside the city. This is El Charco del Ingenia Jardín Botánico.

The facility occupies a canyon and valley overlooking the city. There are 220 acres with dry chapparal, wetlands, and canyon zones. There's a conservatory of Mexican plants, cactus gardens, trails, two dams or presas, overlooks with views of the valley and San Miguel, and even a small store and cafeteria. Entry fee is 30 pesos per person.

This is a pretty good birding destination too. Here are the species we spotted in a three hour visit to the jardin.

  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Great Egret
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Mexican Mallard
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Killdeer
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Vermillion Flycatcher
  • Curve-bill Thrasher
  • Canyon Towhee
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • American Coot
  • Black Phoebe
  • Groove-billed Ani
  • White-winged Dove
  • American Kestral
  • Caracara
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Cactus Wren
  • Mexican Jay
  • Gila Woodpecker
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Marsh Wren
  • Cassin's Finch
  • Bulloch's Oriole
  • Inca Dove
  • American Pippit
  • Gray Flycatcher
  • Black-chinned Sparrow

See below for pictures of the trip. For more information about RV destinations, things to do, and campgrounds throughout Mexico see our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping.

Entrance Sign

Open from 9 am to 5 pm

The Map

Display Map

It's easy to see what the jardin has to offer. Your 30 peso entrance fee includes a map to carry along.

The Upper Dam

Upper Dam
The Canyon
The Canyon
Vermillion Flycatcher
Vermillion Flycatcher
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Presa del Obraje and San Miguel beyond
Presa del Obraje
Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike


Upper Reservoir


Upper Reservoir
Mexican Mallards
Mexican Mallards
Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Northern Pintails
Northern Pintails

American Pippit

American Pippit
Cactus Wren
Cactus Wren


A welcome sight after 3 hours on the trails.


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