Mountains and Rainforest Birding Safari

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Mountains and Rainforest Birding Safari Mountains and Rainforest Birding Safari
17 Days from $5,740 p/p in USD Departures: Year Round
 

This tour is a mixture of the best birdwatching destinations in Guatemala, including the best locations to appreciate endemic bird species such as pink-headed warbler, blue-throated motmot and rufous-browed wren and Goldman’s Warbler. You will visit Guatemala’s Center Highlands (Mountain Forest), the Pacific Coast (Subtropical Humid Forest), the Biological Corridor of Resplendent Quetzal (cloud forest), las Verapaces and Peten (Tropical Rainforest) in Guatemala’s lowlands.

Overview

  • Country:
    Guatemala
  • You will visit:
    Antigua Guatemala, Finca El Pilar, Tecpan, Todos Santos National Park, Quetzaltenango, Fuentes Georginas, Los Tarrales Private Reserve, Lake Atitlan, San Pedro Volcano, El Rey Tepepul Park, El Quetzal Biotope, Flores Island, Las Guacamayas Biological Station, Tikal National Park,
  • Tour type:
    guided, small group
  • Safari standard:
    luxury, mid-range
  • Wildlife:
    Rufous Sabrewing, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Bushy-crested Jay, Hooded Grosbeak, Elegant Euphonia, Singing Quail, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bar-winged Oriole, Townsend’s, Wilson's, Black-and-White, and Red-faced Warblers together with the resident Slate-throated Redstart, Pink-headed, Crescent-chested, Olive as well Hutton's Vireo, Goldman’s Wine-throated Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Cinnamon-bellied flower piercing, Mexican_violetear, Guatemalan Pigmy Owl, White-bellied Chachalaca, Yellow-naped Parrot, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Long-tailed Manakin, Cinnamon Rufous-naped Wren, Prevost’s Ground-sparrow, Amethyst-throated Slender Sheartail, Violet Olive-sided Towhee, Chesnut-sided Shrike-vireo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Mountain Trogon, Oriole Ocellated Lesser Roadruner, Rosset-crowned Motmot, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Streak-backed Lesseer Ground-Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Streak-Backed Ash-throated Fly-catcher, Altamira Turquoise-browed Herons, Kingfishers, Limpkin, Parrots, Grey-necked Wood-rail, Northern Jacana, Ocellated Turkey; Bat Falcon; Scarlet Macaw; Black-and-White Owl; Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Lovely Cotinga, Rose-throated Tanager; Green-Backed crocodile petenero (Crocodylus moreletii), Orange-breasted falcon, Yucatan Black Catbird, Tanager, Great Curassow, White-fronted Parrot; Mealy Crested Eagle, Slaty-tailed Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher; Montezuma Oropendola. Geoffroy's spider monkey, Guatemalan black howler monkey, Tayra, Guatemalan beaded lizard, Iguana Shero, Tapir, White-tailed deer, Morelet's crocodile, many butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies, and more.
  • Viewing by:
    Guided walking safari, boat safari
  • Getting around:
    Minibus, boat, SUV, internal flights
  • Arrive/Depart:
    Start/end in Guatemala La Aurora International Airport

Highlights

  • Antigua Guatemala
  • Tecpan
  • Finca El Pilar
  • Los Cuchumatanes
  • Quetzaltenango
  • Los Tarrales
  • Lake Atitlan
  • El Quetzal Biotope
  • Tikal National Park
  • Las Guacamayas Station

Activities

  • Bird watching
  • Archaeology
  • Nature
  • Wildlife

Difficulty

  • Moderate-High

Good For

  • Independent birders
  • Couples
  • Small groups minimum 2 travellers

Physical Demand

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

Day by Day

Day 1:  Arrival in Guatemala

Meet & greet at Guatemala's International Airport La Aurora and transportation to Antigua Guatemala.

Day 2:  Finca El Pilar / Antigua

Morning birdwatching at Finca El Pilar, located 10 minutes away from Antigua. The vegetation of this reserve mainly constitutes coffee, pine and oaks, at an altitude ranging from 1,710 to 9,500 feet above sea level. One of the main attractions of El Pilar Farm is that it's in the zone of hummingbird feeders where it is possible to spot a wide variety of hummingbird species that inhabit the area - a great opportunity for birdwatchers. Some of the other birds that you can spot here include 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 before you start a thrilling cultural tour of Antigua, visiting the magnificent churches, ruins and museums that combine with the old cobbled streets, enhancing the stories and legends of those colonial times that you will undoubtedly enjoy and which will 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.

Day 3:  Tecpan / Todos Santos Cuchumatanes

06:00 am departure from Antigua Guatemala toward the Tecpan area. Breakfast in Tecpan Reserve where you will find interesting endemic 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. Midday transfer to Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, with a few birding spots along the way.

Day 4:  Todos Santos Cuchumatanes / Quetzaltenango

Morning transfer to Todos Santos National Park in the quest to see Goldman’s Warbler, this species will be our first endemic species and is located in small area in Huehuetenango and easy to spot in this park. Midday transfer to Quetzaltenango and birdwatching in the afternoon in Los Vados area.

Day 5:  Fuentes Georginas / Los Tarrales Private Reserve

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 Hummingbird, Cinnamon-bellied flower piercing, Mexican_violetear (Former Green_violetear) and Guatemalan Pigmy Owl. After lunch transfer to Los Tarrales Private Reserve and birdwatching around the lodge in the afternoon.

Day 6:  Los Tarrales Reserve

Time for coffee then transfer (with a boxed breakfast) to Vesubio area in the quest to see Azure-rumped Tanager, Rufous Sabrewing, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Tody Motmot, Quails and doves among other species of the highlands. After lunch, take an afternoon birding tour around La Laguneta. This area offers a good opportunity to seek out species such as White-bellied Chachalaca, Yellow-naped Parrot and Rufous-breasted Spinetail among others. Dinner and lodging at Los Tarrales Reserve.

Day 7:  Los Tarrales / Lake Atitlan

Time for coffee before the transfer (with a boxed breakfast) to La Rinconada area where it's possible to find species such as Long-tailed Manakin, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Rufous-naped Wren. Midday transfer to Lake Atitlan and afternoon birdwatching around the lodge.

Day 8:  Volcan San Pedro / Tarrales

Early boat ride toward San Pedro La Laguna where we will climb San Pedro Volcano in the quest to see Horned Guan and other interesting 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 and more. Lunch will be served en route (boxed lunch). Note: today's tour requires high effort

Day 9:  Lake Atitlan / El Rancho

Morning birdwatching around the Lake and El Rey Tepepul Park. Midday transfer to El Rancho and afternoon bird watching in the dry scrub forest

Day 10:  National Park Lo de China  / El Quetzal Biotope

Morning birdwatching at National Park Lo de China (Caparral or thorn dry scrub biome). This natural reserve is 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 1,000 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 Roadruner, Rosset-crowned Motmot, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Streak-backed Oriole, Lesseer Ground-Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Streak-Backed Oriole, Ash-throated Fly-catcher, Altamira Oriole and Turquoise-browed Motmot. Midday transfer to El Quetzal Biotope for bird watching in the afternoon,

Day 11:  Biotopo del Quetzal / Guatemala City / Flores Island

Morning birdwatching at Ranchitos del Quetzal to try to spot the Quetzal and other interesting species, After lunch transfer to Guatemala City for a 17:15 flight to Flores. Arrive at 18:00, meet & greet and transfer to Flores Island for one night in a lodge. 

Day 12:  Las Guacamayas Biological Station

07:00 leave from Flores to Paso Caballos for a trip of approximately 3 hrs. The whole road proposes great birding opportunities, where we can watch some birds in open areas, secondary forest and ponds, such as Flycatchers, Hawks, Herons and Kingfishers among others. Arrive in the community of Paso Caballos where we will board a boat to take us through the San Pedro River towards Las Guacamayas Biological Station (aprox. 20 minutes). Birding en route, species such as Herons, Kingfishers, Limpkin, Parrots, Grey-necked Wood-rail, Northern Jacana and many more.

On arrival, you will be received by the EBG staff and they will give an introduction on the activities of the station, solid waste management, research programs, conservation and social projection. Lunch then at 15:00 a birding tour around the base station ending at Las Guacamayas lookout, 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 an 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.

Day 13:  El Peru Archaeological Site

05:00 time for a coffee (breakfast en route) and we 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 as well as other interesting species such as Ocellated Turkey, Bat Falcon, Black-and-White Owl, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Lovely Cotinga, Rose-throated Tanager, Green-Backed Sparrow. On a night time aquatic excursion explore the stream Sacluc, an experienced guide accompanies us and with the support of a flashlight, our guide illuminates the night time creatures that live here, including the crocodile petenero (Crocodylus moreletii), bats, birds and more. Note: You can spot Scarlet Macaws from February to May.

Day 14:  Las Guacamayas / Tikal National Park

Morning birdwatching in San Pedro River. After breakfast transfer to Tikal National Park, en route you will stop in Flores to have lunch. Quick stop at El Remate to do some birding then a sunset tour in Tikal National Park.

Day 15:  Tikal National Park

Early birdwatching tour in Tikal National Park. Tikal is part of the nucleus areas of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, with a high level of conservation activities and research. The monuments, remnants of the ancient Maya culture located in the middle of luscious jungles, are ideal places for bird watching where we will find interesting species such as Ocellated turkey, Orange-breasted Falcon, Yucatan Jay, Black Catbird, Rose-throated Tanager, Great Curassow, White-fronted Parrot; Mealy Parrot, Crested Eagle, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, White-bellied Wren, Montezuma Oropendola and many hummingbirds, among others. During migratory season flocks of warblers, tanagers and others makes this destination a fantastic tropical paradise. At midday enjoy an archaeological tour.

Day 16:  Tikal National Park / Flight to Guatemala City

Second day in Tikal with birding and an archaeology tour. Afternoon transfer to the airport for an 18:30 local flight from Flores to Guatemala City. Arrive at 19:30, meet & greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 17:  Back Home

Breakfast and transfer to La Aurora International Airport in time to catch your international flight back home.

Rates

RATES - PER PERSON USD


From USD 5,740 per person, based on double occupancy

Single Supplement: USD 515


Not valid for:

  • 19 December 2019/2020 to 05 January 2020/2021
  • 05 April to 11 April 2020


Includes

  • All lodging as per itinerary, sharing room with en-suite facilities
  • Meals described in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Boat transportation for Lake Atitlan and Las Guacamayas
  • Biological Station Birdwatching specialized tour guide
  • Reserve and parks entrance fees
  • Round trip flight from Guatemala / Flores / Guatemala City
  • Check list
  • Hotel taxes


Excludes

  • Extra charges for payments with credit card (4%)
  • International flights
  • Airport departure tax (Q20 per person each way, about USD3.00)
  • Difference in price of hotel accommodation on holidays (Holy week, Christmas and New Year season)
  • Travel insurance
  • Telephone calls, laundry or any other items of personal nature
  • Tips to drivers and guides
  • Non specified services

 


Disclaimer

  • This itinerary is owned and delivered by 'Birding Expeditions'
  • All prices are 'From' and may vary at the time of booking
  • Display price is usually based on two people sharing
  • 'Birding Expeditions' reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
  • All itineraries are subject to availability
  • Tours can be customized but may be subjct to additional costs

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