Pacific Slope, Dry Scrub & Cloud Forest
11 Days Guatemala Photography Tour
All Year Round
Guatemala City Airport
Guatemala City Airport
Pacific Slope, Dry Scrub & Cloud Forest, Day By Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival – Antigua Guatemala
Meet and greet at La Aurora International Airport and transfer to the City of Antigua, Guatemala (1 hour).
Lodging in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 2: El Pilar Nature Reserve – Antigua Walking Tour
Morning birdwatching at Finca El Pilar, located 10 minutes away from Antigua. 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 of the El Pilar farm is in the area of hummingbird feeders, where it is possible to observe about 8 species of hummingbirds that inhabit the area.
The hummingbirds feeding simultaneously represents an excellent opportunity for birders and photographers.
Some of the birds that you can spot at this destination are:
Rufous Sabrewing, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Bushy-crested Jay, Hooded Grosbeak, Elegant Euphonia, Singing Quail, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bar-winged Oriole, among others.
Lunch in a local restaurant in Antigua
14:00 hrs, you will start the thrilling cultural tour of Antigua, visiting the magnificent churches, ruins, and museums combined with the old, cobbled streets. Keep the stories and legends of those colonial times that you will undoubtedly enjoy and make your morning unforgettable. We will be visiting the most important areas of Antigua like La Merced Church, Central Park, the Santa Catalina Martir famous Arch of the 5th Avenue, and much more.
Before finishing the day, you will visit a chocolate museum; this is a place to learn about the process of chocolate production, from the cacao seed to your cup.Day 3: Antigua – Reserva Patrocinio
Day 3: Antigua Guatemala – Patrocion Private Nature Reserve
After breakfast, transfer towards Patrocinio Nature Reserve in the province of Retalhuleu on the south coast of Guatemala (3:30 hrs approx). The reserve is part of the IBA Santiaguito Volcano, an essential site for range-restricted birds of the North Central American Highlands and the North Central American Pacific Slope.
You will descend from Antigua Guatemala through sceneries framed by the Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes. Then, you will take the Pacific International Highway (CA-2), a route adorned by the road sales of colorful tropical fruits.
At the arrival check-in, time for lunch and a rest.
Afternoon for a birding walks through the reserve trails to discover the birds of the pacific of Guatemala.
Lodging at Patrocinio.
Day 4: Reserva Patrocinio
The altitude of the Patrocinio Private Nature Reserve ranges between 800 and 850 meters above sea level within the subtropical rainforest. A little more than 185 species have been documented in Patrocinio. A network of trails designed to enjoy bird watching is distributed within the property, in addition to a tower that provides excellent views over the canopy.
Early birding through the trials and the observation tower.
Some of the birds that you can observe here are White-bellied Chachalaca, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Rufous-browed Wren, Long-billed Starthroat, White-fronted Parrot, Green Kingfisher, Berylline Hummingbird, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Pacific Parakeet, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Rufous-and-white Wren, Scrub Euphonia, White-faced Ground-Sparrow, Cinnamon-bellied Saltator, Chestnut-capped Warbler, Common Pauraque, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Northern Bentbill, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Rufous Sabrewing, Highland Guan, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Canivet’s Emerald, Rufous-browed Wren, among others.
Day 5: Reserva Patrocinio – Los Tarrales
Early birding around the bird’s feeders. The Patorcinio Nature Reserve is a fantastic destination for bird photography as bird feeders have been strategically placed to attract birds.
Breakfast and check out. Then continue towards Los Tarrales Reserve(2:00 hrs. approx)
Lunch and rest before starting a birding walk around the lodge and the bird’s feeders.
Lodging at Los Tarrales Reserve.
Day 6: Los Tarrales
After breakfast, board the transport to visit higher reserve areas through coffee plantations and forests to search for colorful neotropical birds.
Return for lunch and rest.
During the afternoon, you will explore the waterfall area for birding and the possibility of a refreshing bath.
Day 7: Los Tarrales – Dry Scrub Forest
Morning birdwatching at Los Tarrales. After the Birding tour, you will head towards the Dry Scrub Forest, on the route a technical stop for lunch in Guatemala city then continue to El Rancho area (5 hrs. approx)
Lodging at El Rancho.
Day 8: Heloderma Reserve – The Quetzal Biotope Area
After breakfast, depart to the Heloderma Reserve for birdwatching at Chaparral or Thorn Dry Scrub Biome.
Besides birds, you will have the opportunity to spot Heloderma Horridum Charlesbogerti and Ctenosaura Palearis endemics of Guatemala. This natural reserve is located in El Progreso. It protects a very fragile and threatened biome of the country.
Located in the central valleys of Guatemala, between 700 and 1000 meters above the sea level, with an average of 600 mm of annual rainfall; It is characterized by the abundance of cactus and thorn plants.
Some birds associated with this ecosystem are Lesser Roadrunner, Rosset-crowned Motmot, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Streak-backed Oriole, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Streak-Backed Oriole, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Altamira Oriole, and Turquoise-browed Motmot.
Midday transfer to El Quetzal Biotope area; after arrival and check-in, you will have time for a relaxed birding around the lodge gardens.
Lodging at the Quetzal Biotope area.
Day 9: Los Ranchitos del Quetzal – Orquigonia – The Quetzal Biotope
Early transfer to Los Ranchitos del Quetzal Reserve for breakfast and birding.
Some of the birds that you can spot at this destination are Resplendent Quetzal, Highland Guan, Unicolored Jay, White-faced Quail-Dove, Scaly-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, among others.
After birding around Los Ranchitos, you will be transferred to Orquigonia Reserve. Orquigonia is a private nature reserve dedicated to the conservation of orchids. The park offers orchid tours to learn about these beautiful plants and their conservation in Guatemala. Also, provide excellent birding opportunities.
After the tour, a stop for lunch to taste the local cuisine, then return to the biotope for an afternoon birding and nature tour.
Lodging At the biotope Area.
Day 10: Biotope Area – Guatemala City
Breakfast and Birding and nature tour around the biotope area
After the tour, you will be transferred to Guatemala City
Lodging at Guatemala City
Day 11: Back Home
Transfer to la Aurora Internationa Airport to take your flight back home.
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