Birding in Guatemala 

Birding Tour
Birding Tour

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    Birding in Guatemala offers an immersive 17-day adventure, showcasing the country’s diverse avian life, from Antigua’s hummingbird havens to the rare Resplendent Quetzal in cloud forests.

    • Duration:17 Days, 16 Nights
    • Difficulty:Moderate
    • Group Size:Minimum 2
    • Comfort Level:Standard to Luxury

    Birding in Guatemala:

    A Feathered Adventure Through Time and Nature

    Discover Antigua’s Charm

    Begin your journey with a warm welcome at La Aurora International Airport, leading you to the historic heart of Antigua Guatemala. As the sun sets, rest in the cozy confines of local lodging, gearing up for the adventures ahead.

    El Pilar Farm: A Hummingbird Haven

    Just a stone’s throw from Antigua, immerse yourself in the verdant landscapes of Finca El Pilar. This sanctuary is a hummingbird hotspot with towering oaks and aromatic coffee plants. Post a delightful birdwatching session, relish a local meal before diving deep into Antigua’s colonial past and exploring its churches, ruins, and museums.

    Highland Wonders: Tecpan to Todos Santos Cuchumatanes

    Venture to Tecpan, a realm of endemic bird species like the Pink-headed Warbler. As winter migrates, witness a symphony of colors with various warblers gracing the region. The journey continues to Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, with birding surprises en route.

    From Thermal Springs to Private Reserves

    Experience Fuentes Georginas, where hot springs meet with birdwatching. Spot vibrant hummingbirds and the elusive Guatemalan Pigmy Owl. Later, the private reserve of Los Tarrales beckons, home to the Azure-rumped tanager and other highland species.

    Lake Atitlan: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

    After exploring the highlands, Lake Atitlan offers serene birdwatching spots. The nearby San Pedro Volcano promises sightings of the majestic Horned Guan and other unique species.

    El Rancho & Quetzal Reserve: Dry Scrub to Lush Forests

    Journey through El Rancho’s dry scrub biome, home to the Rosset-crowned Motmot and other specialties. The Quetzal Reserve later unveils the iconic Quetzal amidst diverse avian life.

    Las Guacamayas: Scarlet Macaw’s Sanctuary

    Navigate the San Pedro River to Las Guacamayas Biological Station. Beyond the Scarlet Macaw, this sanctuary teems with over 260 bird species, from herons to parrots.

    Tikal National Park: Where History Meets Nature

    Concluding in Tikal, marvel at ancient Mayan ruins while indulging in birdwatching. From the Ocellated Turkey to the Lovely Cotinga, Tikal’s diverse habitats are a birdwatcher’s dream.

    Goodbye, Birding Adventure in Guatemala Ends

    As you leave Guatemala City, make lasting memories and stories of the diverse birdlife and rich cultural heritage experienced throughout your birding journey in Guatemala.

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    Pick up / Drop off locations

    La Aurora International Airport

     

    Transportation

    • SUV
    • Minibus
    • Boat

    Physical demand

    Trip may include activities like walks, hikes and boat rides.

    What's Included

    • Birdwatching
    • Archaeology
    • Nature
    • Wildlife

    Highlights

    • Las Guacamayas
    • Tikal
    • Los Tarrales
    • Quetzaltenango
    • Lake Atitlan
    • Quetzal Biotope
    • Todos Santos Cuchumatanes

    Birding in Guatemala : Itinerary of the trip

    This itinerary idea can be customized to suit your and your family’s interests. Contact us; we are pleased to hear your comments, wishes, and expectations, and we are ready to design the trip to suit you

    Day 1Arrival - 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 2El Pilar Farm – Birding in Antigua Guatemala

    Morning bird watching at Finca El Pilar, based 10 minutes from Antigua. Coffee, Pinus, and oaks mainly comprise the plant life within this reserve, settling in an altitudinal range between 1,710 to 9,500 ft above sea level.

    One of the significant points of interest in El Pilar farm is around hummingbird feeders, where it is possible to find numerous hummingbird species that reside in the area feeding themselves together, addressing a fantastic chance for birdwatchers.

    Lunch break in the local restaurant in Antigua Guatemala.

    14:00 hrs, you will start the exciting cultural excursion of Antigua, discovering beautiful churches, ruins, galleries, and museums joined with aged stoned paths. Keep the stories and tales of the colonial times that unquestionably please you.

    Day 3Tecpan - Todos Santos Cuchumatanes

    6:00 am. Departure from Antigua Guatemala, toward the Tecpan area. Breakfast in Tecpan

    Bird watching tour In Tecpan Reserve, where you will find interesting endemic species of the north Central American highlands like the 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.

    Midday transfer to Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, there will be few birding spots along the way.

    Day 4Todos Santos Cuchumatanes - Quetzaltenango

    Morning transfer to Todos Santos National Park in the quest of Goldman’s Warbler; this species will be our first endemic species located in a small area in Huehuetenango and easy to spot in this park.

    Midday transfer to Quetzaltenango and birdwatching in the afternoon at the Los Vados area

    Day 5 Fuentes Georginas – Los Tarrales

    Morning birdwatching in the very humid sub-tropical forest at Fuentes Georginas; in addition to being a great birding destination, Fuentes Georginas is a hot spring with developed pools. Here, we hope to spot Wine-throated and Garnet-throated Hummingbirds, Cinnamon-bellied flower piercing, Mexican violetear (Former violetear), and Guatemalan Pigmy Owl.

    After lunch, transfer to Los Tarrales Private Reserve and birdwatching around the lodge in the afternoon

    Day 6Los Tarrales

    Time for Coffee and transfer to the La Isla area in the quest of Azure-rumped tanager, Rufous Sabrewing, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Tody Motmot, Quails, and doves, among other species of the highlands. Breakfast at the place (boxed breakfast).

    Lunch.

    Afternoon birding tour around La Laguneta, this area offers an excellent opportunity to discover species such as White-bellied Chachalaca, Yellow-naped Parrot, and Rufous-breasted Spinetail, among others.

     

    Day 7Los Tarrales – Santiago Atitlan

    Time for coffee and transfer to the La Rinconada area where nd species such as Long-tailed Manakin, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and Rufous-naped We can be found, among others. Breakfast at the place (boxed breakfast).

    Midday transfer to Lake Atitlan and afternoon birdwatching around the lodge.

    Day 8 Santiago Atitlan – San Pedro Volcano

    Early boat ride toward San Pedro La Laguna, where we will climb San Pedro Volcano in the quest for Horned Guan and other exciting species such as Prevost’s Ground-sparrow, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, Slender Sheartail, Rufous Sabrewing Violet Sabrewing, Bushy-crested Jay, Olive-sided Towhee, Chesnut-sided Shrike-vireo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Mountain Trogon, Bar-winged Oriole and Ocellated Quail among others.

    Day 9Lake Atitlan - El Rancho

    Morning birdwatching at Rey Tepepul; this Park is located in Santiago Atitlan, on the western slopes of the Atitlan volcano. This reserve has an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level, and there is a subtropical Humid Forest; this forest is expected at the foot of Guatemala’s Pacific slope, with an average annual rainfall of 1500 mm.

    Some bird species you can spot here are Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Azured-rumped Tanager, Slender-sheartail Hummingbird, Bar-winged Oriole, Elegant euphonia, Crested Guan, Emerald toucanet, Chestnut-sided shrike-vireo, white-eared Ground Sparrow, Green-throated Mountain-gem, Rusty Sparrow, Black Hawk-Eagle, Pacific Parakeet and eventually Quetzal.

    Midday transfer to El Rancho (approximately 6 hours)

    Afternoon birdwatching in the dry scrub forest

     

    Day 10Quetzal Reserve

    Morning birdwatching at National Park Lo de China (Chaparral or Thorn Dry Scrub Biome)
    This natural reserve is located in the municipality of El Jícaro in El Progreso and protects a very fragile and threatened biome of the country.

    Located in the central valleys of Guatemala, between 700 and 1000 meters above sea level, with an average of 600 mm of annual rainfall, The abundance of cactus and thorn plants characterizes it.

    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 for birdwatching in the afternoon

    Day 11Quetzal Reserve – Guatemala City

    Morning birdwatching at Ranchitos del Quetzal and try to spot the Quetzal and other exciting species,

    After lunch, transfer to Guatemala City,
    17:15 hrs, flight to Flores,
    18:00 hrs, meet & greet in Flores and transfer to Flores Island

    Day 12Flores – Las Guacamayas Biological Station

    Enjoy this fascinating birding tour in the Scarlet Macaw´s sanctuary and prepare to discover the natural world of more than 260 species of resident birds

    With abundant wildlife such as spider monkeys and howler monkeys (saraguate), occasionally tapirs, crocodiles, and a great variety of birds, among those, we can mention the scarlet macaw, toucans, blue herons, parakeets, and many more…

    7:00 am. Leave from Flores to Paso Caballos for approximately 3 hrs. The whole road proposes excellent birding opportunities to watch some birds in open areas, secondary forests, and ponds, such as Flycatchers, Hawks, Herons, and Kingfishers.

    Upon arrival at the community of Paso Caballos, we will board a boat that will carry us through the San Pedro River towards Las Guacamayas Biological Station (approximately 20 minutes). Birding on the route, we can find species such as Herons, Kingfishers, Limpkin, Parrots, Grey-necked Wood-rail, Northern Jacana, and many more.

    Upon your arrival, the EBG staff will receive you, and they will give an introduction to the station’s activities, solid waste management, research programs, conservation, and social projection.

    Lunch at 3:00 pm.. birding tour around the base station ending at Las Guacamayas lookout.

    Day 13El Peru Archaeological Site

    5:00 am. Time for a coffee (breakfast on route) We will board our boat for a birding tour through the archaeological site El Peru, where we will visit the most important nesting area of the scarlet macaw (Ara Macaw) in Guatemala and we can find exciting species 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: You can spot Scarlet Macaws from February to May

    Nighttime aquatic excursion: Explores the stream Sacluc. Our experienced guide accompanies us for the nighttime marine tour. With the support of a flashlight, our guide illuminates the nighttime creatures that live here, including the crocodile petenero (Crocodylus moreletii), bats, birds, and more.

    Day 14Las Guacamayas – Tikal National Park

    Morning birdwatching in San Pedro River.

    After breakfast, transfer to Tikal National Park; on the route, you will stop in Flores for lunch—a quick stop at El Remate to do some birding.

    Sunset tour in Tikal National Park

    Day 15Tikal National Park

    Morning birdwatching in San Pedro River.

    After breakfast, transfer to Tikal National Park; on the route, you will stop in Flores for lunch—a quick stop at El Remate to do some birding.

    Sunset tour in Tikal National Park.

    Day 16Tikal National Park - Birding in Guatemala

    Tikal second day Birding and Archaeology tour

    Afternoon transfer to the airport,
    18:30 hrs, local flight from Flores to Guatemala City
    19:30 Hrs, meet & greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel,
    One night of lodging in Guatemala City

    Day 17 Back Home

    Enjoy breakfast before heading to La Aurora International Airport for your international journey back home, marking the conclusion of your Birding in Guatemala tour.

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