We decided a small road trip was in order so we took the short drive over to Quinta Mazatlan. Quinta Mazatlan is a 1930’s country estate located pretty much in the middle of McAllen. What is it? It is a “adobe hacienda surrounded by lush tropical landscaping & native woodland”. This unnatural oasis is comprised of more than 15 acres of lush vegetation typical of this area before agriculture changed its face forever. It is also an active birding hot spot but has some wonderful art on display around the park..
The habitat surrounding the large villa is known as Tamaulipan Thorn Forest. If you are a birder of a buterrflier – I guess that is a word???, you will love this place.
Quinta Mazatlan literally means “country estate” in Spanish and the place is free if you don’t want to see the historical house and only $2.00 to see the house too (Seniors 65 and over only a $1.00).
When we got to the place there was a small parking lot just outside the entrance that provided free parking for visitors. We walked into the park past a small building and when we did a fellow popped out and chatted with us a bit. This friendly Hispanic park employee asked if we were birders and we said yes! He told us he had a treat for us and took us to a place where a Pauraque was day roosting (I will talk more about this bird in another blog). It was a fun sighting and not easy to find as it blended in perfectly with its surroundings. We were glad to see it and thanked the fellow we chatted with for showing us the bird.
This may be a great birding and butterfly place but we also came to look a the art found along The Forest Sculpture Trails. There are many beautiful pieces by an artist named Douglas Clark that were sponsored and donated to the park. These non-natural inhabitants are a real treat to see as you amble along the trail. And every now and then you might even see one of the real critters exhibited in his artwork.
The plaza and grounds in and around the hacienda were beautiful. We could certainly see why so many couples choose this place for weddings. It was such a pleasant walk that I am sure we will return to Quinta Mazatlan again soon.