Guatemala Birdwatching Expedition
This tour is a mixture of the best birdwatching destinations in Guatemala including the best locations to appreciate endemic bird species.
We will visit Guatemala’s center highlands (Mountain Forest) and Peten (Tropical Rainforest) in the Guatemala’s lowlands.
- Day 1: Arrival – Transfer to Antigua Guatemala
- Day 2: Finca El Pilar
- Day 3: Volcan de Pacaya
- Day 4: Rincon Suizo – Tecpan Area – Quetzaltenango
- Day 5: Fuentes Georginas / Finca Tarrales
- Day 6: Los Tarrales Nature Reserve full day
- Day 7: Tarrales / Santiago Atitlan
- Day 8: Santiago Atitlan – San Pedro Volcano / Santiago Atitlan
- Day 9: Santiago Atitlan / RamTzul private reserve
- Day 10: Quetzal Reserve
- Day 11: Quetzal Reserve / Flores Island
- Day 12: Flores – Las Guacamayas Biological
- Day 13: Las Guacamayas Biological Station
- Day 14: El Peru / Las Guacamayas Biological Station / Tikal National Park
- Day 15: Tikal National Park
- Day 16: Tikal National Park full day
- Day 17: Yaxha National Park– Guatemala City
- Day 18: Back Home
Finca El Pilar is a small paradise located in the mountain forest of Guatemala and just 10 minutes away from the center of La Antigua Guatemala.
It has an infrastructure of trails for bird watching, which spread through the organic plantations of coffee, mountain forest and cloud forest as well.
The vegetation of this reserve is mainly constituted by coffee, pine and oaks, settle at an altitudinal range from 1,710 to 9,500 feet above sea level.
One of the main attractions in El Pilar farm is in the zone of hummingbird’s feeders where it is possible to spot a wide variety of hummingbird’s species that inhabit the area feeding oneself at the same time which represents a great opportunity for birdwatchers.
Some Species that inhabit El Pilar Farm are:
Rufous Sabrewing, Violet Sabrewing, Magnificent Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Blue-throated Motmot, Emerald Toucanet, Bushy-crested Jay, Black-capped Swallow, Gray Silky-flycatcher, Hooded Grosbeak, Rufous-collared Robin, Rufous-collared Sparrow.
Tecpan – Rincon Suizo
This tour begins visiting Tecpan area that it’s located at the center highlands of Guatemala in Tecpan valley with an Altitude of 2,286 MASL. After 1 hour of travel from Antigua Guatemala we will arrive to this pine-oak forest and effortless birdwatching destination where you can watch many endemics species of the north Central American highlands like Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, and Rufous-browed Wren.
During migratory (winter) season you will find Townsend’s, Wilson’s, Black-and-White, and Red-faced Warblers together with the resident Slate-throated Redstart, Pink-headed, Crescent-chested, and Olive Warbler, as well as Hutton’s Vireo.
The flocks are often accompanied by Spot-crowned, and sometimes by Spotted Woodcreepers, and also Brown Creepers. With some good luck you may see a Chestnut sided Shrike-Vireo within the flock. Bushtit dwells through the forest in large flocks of sometimes more than 30 birds.
San Pedro Volcano National Park
Atitlan is home of the sixth rarest and beautiful bird that is endemic to the cloud forests of this region.
The Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus) is a Pleistocene relic of the Cracidae family that persists today only in small fragments of its previous range.
Its habitat is limited to cloud forests above approximately 1650 meters. This bird is the size of a turkey and the adult male has a one-inch scarlet-colored “horn” projecting straight up from the top of its head.
In this amazing destination you can find species such as Horned Guan, Crested Guan, Highland guan, Emerald Toucanet, Blue-throated Motmot, Belted Flycatcher, Blue and white Mockingbird, Black capped Swallow, Bushy-crested Jay, between others.
Los Tarrales Private Nature Reserve
Los Tarrales is located southeast of Atitlan Volcano and inhabit the regional endemic Azure-rumped Tanager; here you will find different types of forests due to the altitudinal range from 2297 to 8200 feet above sea level.
This fantastic birding destination inhabits resident species such as White-bellied Chachalaca, Long-tailed Manakin, Yellow-naped Parrot, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and Rufous-naped Wren.
Also there is possible to find out species such as Tody Motmot, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow, White-eared Ground-Sparrow, White-faced Quail-Dove, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, among others.
Los Tarrales Private Nature Reserve is an important place for conservation and has promoted bird monitoring and forest preservation of the area.
This protected area was established in 1976 with the main objective to protect the Guatemala’s national bird the resplendent Quetzal and the cloud forest habitat.
Some of the species that inhabit this biotope are: Highland Guan, Magnificent Hummingbird, Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Bushy- crested Jay, Hooded Jay, Black – throated Jay, Black Robin and Chestnut – headed Oropendola.
Located in the buffer zone of the Quetzal Biotope this destination proposes an effortless opportunity to observe the resplendent quetzal and another species such as Highland Guan, Violet Sabrewing, Bushy – crested Jay, Black Robin, and Chestnut – headed Oropendola among others.
The reserve promotes the conservation of the Quetzal´s habitat and is also a member of the Cloud Forest Biological Corridor Association.
Las Guacamayas Biological Station
The biological Station is a paradise for lovers of nature; the station base is located in the Laguna del Tigre National Park, at the banks of San Pedro River and near the Sacluc stream.
The ecosystems of the park include an extensive wetland complex and Mayan jungle with an abundant wildlife such as spider monkeys and howler monkeys (saraguate), occasionally Jaguars, tapirs, crocodiles, and a great variety of birds, among those we can mention the scarlet macaw, toucans, blue herons, parakeets, and many more…
The Biological Station promotes the investigation of the biodiversity of the area and more than 300 bird species has been identified in this place such as Ocellated Turkey; Bat Falcon; Scarlet Macaw; Black-and-White Owl; Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Lovely Cotinga, Rose-throated Tanager; Green-Backed Sparrow among others.
Note: At the Biological Station, due to the periods of nesting of the Scarlet macaw it is possible to guarantee its observation during the months from January to May. From June to December the second day of the tour we will do it in the savannahs and low forest of the biological station.
Tikal National Park
Due the extraordinary and abundant natural and cultural richness Tikal was declared UNESCO’s World Heritage site. Tikal is part of the nucleus areas of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, with a high level of conservation activities.
The exuberant forest and the impressive temples remnants of the ancient Maya culture located in the middle of the Mayan jungle are ideal places for birdwatching.
Due to the rarity and number of species of fauna, Tikal is considered one of the most important areas in Guatemala; more than 400 species of birds have been recorded within Tikal National Park, including 30 birds of prey and 60 migratory species.
Rare species found nesting in Tikal include the orange-breasted falcon (Falco deiroleucus) and the Guiana crested eagle (Morphus guianensis), which makes Tikal one of the few nesting areas in Central America for this species. One can easily spot species such as the ocellated turkey.
It is also possible to observe a great diversity of fauna such as foxes, Coatis, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and other diverse fauna.
Some species that can observer at Tikal are: Great Curassow; Ocellated Turkey; White-fronted Parrot; Mealy Parrot; Crested Eagle; Orange-breasted Falcon; Slaty-tailed Trogon; Keel-billed Toucan; Chestnut-colored Woodpecker; Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher; White-bellied Wren; Montezuma Oropendola and many more.
Yaxha National Park
The tropical forests are the areas with bigger riches of botanical species of the world and Yaxha is representative of these forests and favors the abundance of water in the area the great diversity of the fauna.
Yaxha National Park is part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Inside the National Park there are four important archaeological sites: Yaxha, Nakum, Naranjo and Topoxte.
The city of Yaxha being a very important city for the ancient Maya culture and the forests inside are very well-preserved and the Yaxha Lagoon is one of the most important water systems in the Maya Biosphere.
Yaxha have reported 150 birds’ species, 40 species of mammals, 14 amphibious, 45 reptiles, and 22 species of fish. Some species of birds that inhabit this reserve are Crane Hawk, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, Brown Jay, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, and Blue Bunting among others.