Toledo has a karst landscape formed from soluble limestone rocks where rivers disappear into sinkholes and reappear from mountainsides and the rocky hills rise out of a flat plain that, combined with annual rainfall of more than three metres, is ideal for growing rice. These swampy plains attract Woodstork, Jabiru and Bitterns, Sora and Purple Gallinule, Peregrine and Laughing Falcons and a wide range of other species.
The area in central Toledo close to Big Falls is known as Dump, being named after the dumped causeway that formed the original road running across the swampy plain. Early morning and evening birding there offers rewarding birding experiences.
Close by the Piedra Lagoon is a deep “cenote” (a lagoon formed after the collapse of the roof of an underground cavern). Herons and egrets roost in the trees surrounding its edge and the Pied-billed Grebe, Least Grebe and Sungrebe are regular visitors.
Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary was more easily accessible in the past when a wooden boardwalk ran a mile and a half into the sanctuary towards the tree main lagoons. It is still accessible during the drier months from January to May. It is a four mile trek in and out again. More than 250 species have been observed there; Jabiru, Woodstork, Blue-winged Teal and Black-bellied Whistling duck are common sights.