Sailing the Costalegre
Making landfall in Bahia Chamela after 8 days at sea seemed like we found an exotic land of eternal summertime and pristine white sand beaches located just south of the Tropic of Cancer. The borders are marked by palm trees with fronds dancing to the rhythm of the gentle but consistent breezes of the Costalegre. These tropical anchorages boast a rich array of diversity from rocky, cactus-lined cliffs to expansive tropical jungle, isolated beaches, small mountains and lush lagoons. The forests of the Costalegre are among the richest tropical dry forests in the world, supporting more than 700 species of vertebrates and almost 1,200 species of plants. One of the most threatened ecosystems in the world also thrives here in this delicately balanced chain of life: the mangroves that exist within the lagoons, rivers and streams throughout the Costalegre.
Unfortunately mangrove habitats around the world are being destroyed as infrastructure from tourism encroaches at a rapid pace. In addition commercial shrimp farming destroys many mangrove ecosystems, waterways and lagoons. Without careful attention it will undermine the rare ecology and natural beauty that make this coast so unique.