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Highlands and Mayan World

Highlands and Mayan World

Highlands and Mayan World Birdwatching Tour

13 days / 12 nights
Availability: All year round

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), the pacific coast (Subtropical Humid Forest), the Biological Corridor of Resplendent Quetzal (cloud forest), las Verapaces and Peten (Tropical Rainforest) in the Guatemala’s lowlands.

Day 1: Arrival – Transfer to Antigua Guatemala
Day 2: Rincon Suizo – Tecpan Area
Day 3: Lake Atitlan – San Pedro Volcano
Day 4: Los Tarrales Nature Reserve
Day 5: Los Tarrales Nature Reserve
Day 6: Cloud Forest – El Quetzal Biotope
Day 7: Cloud Forest –Los Ranchitos– Hun Nal Ye Ecological Park
Day 8: Hun Nal Ye Ecological Park – Chiminos Island Lodge
Day 9: Natural & Cultural Monument Aguateca – Tikal National Park
Day 10: Tikal National Park
Day 11: Tikal National Park
Day 12: Tikal National Park – Yaxha National Park – Guatemala City
Day 13: Back Home

Services included:

  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • All breakfasts
  • Indicated meals
  • Tour Guide specialized in bird watching
  • Checklist
NOTE: Our tours and birdwatching expeditions are a suggested birding ideas and can easily be customized to suite your travel dates, target, interest and budget…

We visit:

Tecpan – Rincon Suizo

Guatemala as one as the best Central American bird watching destination has a high diversity of birds with a high degree of regional endemism located in four main zones.

One of them is called the highlands of northern Central America and include parts of Oaxaca and Chiapas (Mexico), Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Tecpan is located in the central highlands of Guatemala at an altitude of 2,286 meters above sea level and near to Iximche archeological site. After 1 hour of travel from Antigua Guatemala we will arrive to this pine-oak forest that inhabit many interesting regional endemic species such as Pink-headed Warbler, Rufous-browed Wren, Mountain Trogon, Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-collared Robin and Green-throated Mountain Gem among others.

This small region located in the mountain forest biome creates a very attractive and effortless destination for birdwatchers adding the archaeological and cultural attractions that highly complement our bird watching tour.

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.

Quetzal Biotope

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.

Los Ranchitos

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.

Hu Nal Ye Ecological Park

Located in the tropical rainforest near 984 feet above sea level in San Pedro Carchá in Las Verapaces district this destination proposes good birding activities inside the dense forest, open areas as well small lakes and rivers.

Some species of birds that can be observed in this destination are Lovely Cotinga, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Royal Flycatcher, Central-American Pigmy-owl, Grey Throated Chat, Golden-hooded Tanager, Clay-colored Robin, Greenish and Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Mealy Parrot, White-crowned Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Olive-backed Euphonia, Blue-gray Tanager, Yellow-winged Tanager, and Red-capped Manakin among the more than 180 species recorded at this location

Petexbatún – Aguateca Archaeological Park and Cultural Monument

The archaeological site of Aguateca report more than 200 species of birds and is approximately 15 Kms. from Sayaxche very near to Petexbatún stream, in this archaeological place temples or palaces that impress don’t exist but has magnificent trails and a geologic fail that it served as natural defense of the place.

The trip toward the place can consider it more as attractiveness through rivers surrounded by a great quantity of characteristic birds of the region and birdwatching is mainly by boat over Petexbatún lagoon, the Archeological Park where some trails between the monuments are.

This destination is special for those who enjoy natural places, adventure and history. You will have the opportunity to observe birds in the Petexbatún lagoon, flanked by beautiful jungles until you reach the Archeological and Cultural Monument of Aguateca.

Some species: Bat Falcon, Plain Chachalaca, Red-capped Manakin, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Gray-headed Tanager, Montezuma Oropendola

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.