Guatemala Birding Tours

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Guatemala is the finest birding destination in northern Central America, and it is an easy country to travel in. Perhaps due to an exaggerated bad press it has been off the radar for favorite places to bird in Latin America, but certainly Guatemala can provide a great experience for birdwatchers. The large diversity of habitats, such as steep cloudforest mountains (with 30 active volcanoes), deciduous forests, the Pacific shore, and lush humid rainforest, allow Guatemala to host an amazing set of bird species, such as the fabulous Resplendent Quetzal, Horned Guan, Pink-headed Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Belted Flycatcher, Fulvous Owl, Long-tailed Manakin, Tody Motmot, Blue-diademed Motmot, Keel-billed Motmot, Prevost’s Ground Sparrow, Highland Guan, White-bellied Chachalaca, Pheasant Cuckoo, Keel-billed Toucan, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Buffy-browed Partridge, and Rufous Sabrewing.

Our 14-day trip of course focuses on birds but also provides the opportunity to travel through a country with an incredible history from the Mayan civilization through the Spanish colonial times. We will have the chance to visit the amazing Tikal National Park in Petén, one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Maya civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – not to forget that the Tikal archaeological site is also famous for having been featured in the original 1977 “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope” movie.

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This magical site located near the borders with Belize provides several unique sets of birds shared with Mexico and Belize and known as Yucatan specialists, including the most-wanted Ocellated Turkey. We will spend a couple of days walking around its jungles and through its pyramids, looking for as many birds as possible, including the recently split Mayan Antthrush, Gray-throated Chat, and Orange-breasted Falcon. Wildlife is not uncommon around Tikal, with Central American Spider Monkey and White-nosed Coati among the more-frequently-encountered species.

Our tour starts at Guatemala City’s international airport, but we are rather staying in the beautiful town of La Antigua, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then the tour will pass along a route of spectacular scenery, including the beautiful Lake Atitlan – formerly home of the extinct Atitlan Grebe – and views of the active Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire). Coffee production is one of the main elements of Guatemala’s economy and Guatemalan coffee is known as one of the best in the world, so coffee lovers will enjoy Guatemala’s exquisite coffee taste as well as some of the finest chocolates in this part of the world.

We will stay in several old fincas (farms) now transformed into lodges, and places like Finca La Nube will give the tour a special touch for those who prefer small but charming and quiet places. Our tour also includes an optional long hike to look for Horned Guan above the famous Finca Los Tarrales, which is one of the very few places in the world to see this sought-after species, but our local guides are always looking for new accessible sites for this bird to avoid the strenuous but rewarding hike above Los Tarrales. We invite you to join our Guatemala tour and experience a great birding trip in a country with a lively culture, fabulous scenery, interesting history, excellent gastronomy, and nice people. Please do read our blog about how, when and where to visit this splendid country!

Guatemala: Volcanic Highlands and the Mayan Empire February 2021

Guatemala: Volcanic Highlands and the Mayan Empire February 2021

2021-02-04

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