Experience the rich biodiversity of Costa Tropical, Granada through birdwatching. Explore a diverse range of avian species in this stunning coastal region. Discover hidden gems for bird enthusiasts and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of southern Spain

Charca de Suárez Natural Reserve

Charca de Suárez is the wetland with the highest biodiversity in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula where we can spot some endangered species. Charca de Suárez, situated near Motril’s Poniente beach in the area known as “Pago de Suárez,” spans 14.65 hectares and is surrounded by coastal developments and the Alborán industrial estate. These wetlands are a vital part of a larger region between Nerja and Adra, where a combination of geological, climatic, and human factors has created wetlands closely tied to the deltas of major rivers.

Nestled in the Guadalfeo River floodplain, it stands as the most significant coastal wetland in Granada. Natural springs give rise to perennial lagoons, supplemented by irrigation channels.

Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve

The mild climatic conditions, with an average yearly temperature exceeding 17ºC, combined with ample water from the Guadalfeo River and Sierra Nevada’s snowmelt, fosters a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Charca Suárez is a haven for wintering birds, including the little egret, flamingo, and spoonbill. While common in Andalusia, the spoonbill is a rarity in Granada. Throughout the year, visitors can also spot coots, white wagtails, and grebes.

In the shallower waters, you’ll find bulrushes and irises, while farther out, reed beds and meadows of grasses and legumes flourish, alongside small patches of traditional crops like sugar cane.

Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve

Entrance to this designated natural reserve is free, but there are specific visiting hours. From March to May (inclusive), guided tours are required to safeguard the breeding of resident species.

Tips: We recommend visiting with long pants and long sleeves or using a mosquito repellent. You can use binoculars for better animal observation.

Please avoid using flash photography on wildlife, especially for sensitive species like chameleons, to prevent potential discomfort or stress.

Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve

Contact information

Location: Camino del Pelaíllo, 17, 18613 Motril, Granada.

Contact phone for guided group visits: 651819134 (from 9am to 2pm). Groups: Minimum 10 people and maximum 25.
Emergency contact numbers within the premises: 618 217 508.
Email: charcadesuarez@motril.es.

Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve
Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve
Charca de Suárez Nature Reserve

Laguna de Padul

The Padul Lagoon is a wetland of great ecological value, inheriting the vast lake that once occupied its basin in ancient times. It is one of the best areas in Andalusia for birdwatching, where up to a total of 158 different species have been recorded. The Padul Lagoon covers approximately 60 hectares.

This lagoon system includes the Aguadero and Agia lagoons and is located on the outskirts of Padul. It is equipped with various pedestrian routes with wooden walkways, viewpoints, spaces for dining, and hides, allowing for enjoyable observation.

Historically, the wetland covered a significantly larger area and played a pivotal role in naming the town, as “Padul” originates from the Latin term “padul-padulis,” signifying a lagoon or marshland. Over time, agricultural practices and the harvesting of peat, a valuable organic material for both fertilizer and fuel, led to its gradual depletion. However, concerted efforts were made to revive and safeguard the lagoon and its environs by incorporating it into the Sierra Nevada region. This designation solidifies its status as one of the province’s most ecologically significant areas, warranting diligent conservation and protection measures.

Among the waterfowl speccies, notable species include the little grebe, grey heron, little bittern, kingfisher, various species of ducks such as the mallard, northern pintail, and common pochard, as well as rails like the common coot or the rare little crake.

Within the group of waders, which make up a significant percentage of the wintering bird population, it is possible to observe, among others, the common snipe, common sandpiper, as well as flocks of lapwings among which, sometimes, a common golden plover may appear.

The raptor group is represented by the marsh harrier, pallid harrier, and common kestrel, although during migratory periods, others like the short-toed snake eagle may be observed.

Among the smaller birds, the presence of some tied to the aquatic environment and with restricted distribution on the Peninsula stands out, such as the little bittern, blue throat, Cetti’s warbler, and reed bunting.

Additionally, the springs from the peat bogs give rise to an extensive wetland area with rich biodiversity, hosting a wide range of flora and fauna. In terms of mammals, the water vole, field mouse, and common bat are among those found in the area.

The wetland is also a reference for the study of the paleoenvironment of the Mediterranean region, where remains of mammoths and other prehistoric animals are occasionally found.

Laguna de Padul
Laguna de Padul
Laguna de Padul
Laguna de Padul

Useful info

Guided visits to the lagoon can be arranged through the El Aguadero Nature Classroom (Padul Ornithological Station), a company associated with the Andalusian Natural Spaces Network. They provide you with binoculars, a telescope, and identification guides.

To participate in the activity, there must be a minimum of 20 people per group. (Prior reservation required). You can contact them on:
Telephone: 628 064 266 – Mail: anelaguadero.amaya@juntadeandalucia.es

Schedule: Between 10:30 am and 12:30pm.
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 5 km
Meeting point: Aula de la naturaleza El Aguadero.

We suggest taking water, some food, appropriate footwear and clothing for the season, and don’t forget sunscreen.

Location: Carretera Bailén-Motril, Km153, Padul.

From Granada, the lagoon is just half an hour away by car, driving along the GR-30 and the N-323a.