Brief Itinerary
Keel-billed Toucan
Photo by K. Huffstater
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Photo by K.  Huffstater
Northern Potoo
Photo by K.  Huffstater
Red-lored Parrot
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Pale-billed Woodpecker
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Royal Flycatcher
Photo by K. Huffstater
Day 1:  Mid-Day Arrivals and PM Birding at Tarrales Reserve

Trip participants should arrive at the Guatemala City airport by 1:00 PM.  
Here you will be met by the trip leader and driver. The group will leave from
the airport straight to birding at the Tarrales Reserve. After clearing the
urban center of Guatemala City, we will only have another hour until
reaching Tarrales. We will get to birding on the trip at Tarrales, starting the
trip with several hours of excellent birding in the late afternoon.

Tarrales' main crop is coffee, but they also grow numerous plants for
export. Los Tarrales reserve ranges from 2,300 feet elevation to higher
forest areas at 8,200 feet, with tropical humid savannah and sub-tropical
humid forest habitats. More than 340 bird species have been recorded in
Los Tarrales. The reserve is part of the Atitlán Important Bird Area,
designated by BirdLife International.

The birding at Tarrales can be excellent, and we will have the expertise of
Josué de León, one of the very well-trained local guides here. With two
excellent guides, we will find a lot of birds to start the trip. Near the lodge,
we should find White-bellied Chachalaca, King Vulture, Violet Sabrewing,
Cinnamon Hummingbird, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Yellow-naped Parrot,
Orange-fronted Parakeet, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, White-throated
Magpie-Jay, Rufous-naped Wren, and Prevost's Ground-Sparrow.

At supper, the trip guide will complete the bird checklist with the group and
review plans for the next day (including morning wake-up and breakfast
plans). We will overnight in the nice rooms at this reserve.

Day 2:  Full Day Birding at Los Tarrales Reserve

We will want to have an early start for birding at Los Tarrales, stopping for
a delicious breakfast. Today, in the morning, we will quickly check a
Mottled Owl roost before heading up into the nearby forested areas with
some mixed bamboo. We will work to find Green-breasted Mango, White-
bellied Emerald, Berryline Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, and
Blue-throated Goldentail. Other birds we will hope to find include: Black
Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Tody Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot,
Barred Forest-Falcon and Bat Falcon. We should get good looks at Ivory-
billed Woodcreeper, and everyone will fall for the stunning Long-tailed

When the day gets hot, we will have lunch and take a brief rest before
continuing birding in the afternoon. This afternoon, we will look for Crested
Guan, Highland Guan, Northern Potoo, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Ochre-
bellied Flycatcher, Northern Bentbill, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Orange-
billed Nightingale-Thrush, Blue-gray Tanager, Yellow-winged Tanager,
Black-headed Saltator and Spot-breasted Oriole, among other birds.

At supper, we will complete the bird checklist as a group and review plans
for the next day (including morning wake-up and breakfast plans). Right
after supper, everyone will have the option for some nocturnal birding for
one or two hours. Depending upon recent reports for owls in the area, we
may try for Spectacled Owl and/or Black-and-white Owl. This is an option
for each participant, so you can go owling and/or get to bed. We will
overnight in the nice rooms at Los Tarrales Reserve.

Day 3:  AM Birding Tarrales; PM Birding Las Nubes

Based upon the progress of bird finding at Tarrales, we may spend more
time birding there, trying to find any key species we may have missed. By
mid morning, we will drive a few hours up to Las Nubes. The habitat at this
location includes sub-tropical humid forest which ranges from 2,900 to
9,800 feet above sea level. Forested areas in some parts of this shade-
grown coffee plantation are more dense, concentrating the bird finding.

Upon arrival, we will check into our beautiful rooms at Las Nubes, and then
have lunch on the expansive porch of the main lodge. We may try some
birding at the gardens near the main lodge around lunch time, if the day is
not too hot. Many a life bird has been found from the porch at lunch,
including White-collared Swift, Plain Wren, Grayish Saltator, Painted
Bunting and often a few surprises.

Just after lunch, we will take the jeeps (very basic transportation) over the
rough roads of the plantation up to the Mirador area. We will likely start
birding the trail up to the Mirador. We will look for the Resplendent Quetzal
both at the Mirador and inside the nearby forest. Other birds we hope to
find will include Collared Trogon, Blue-throated Motmot, Yellowish
Flycatcher, Brown-backed Solitaire, Slate-throated Redstart and Azure-
rumped Tanager. Deeper inside the forest we may find Highland Guan,
Spotted Wood-Quail, White-faced Quail-Dove, Emerald Toucanet, Barred
Parakeet, Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner, Ruddy Foilage-Gleaner, Gray-
breasted Wood-Wren, Elegant Euphonia and Blue-crowned Chlorophonia.

The higher altitude forest near The Mirador has a nice birding trail
providing another opportunity to find new species. The start of this trail will
be the stage for a memorable birding opportunity at dusk. For now, we will
look for Red-billed Pigeon, Whiskered Screech-Owl, Spotted Nightingale-
Thrush, Black Thrush, Fan-tailed Warbler, Black-vented Oriole, among
other birds. We will save a bit of the late afternoon to try the Mirador for
the Resplendent Quetzal once again (if we have not yet seen this bird).

As dusk approaches (and perhaps before), we will head up the road to a
fantastic spot for Fulvous Owl. Fulvous Owl is near- endemic, with the
species range limited to Guatemala, Chiapas in Mexico and Honduras. As
dusk and mist surround, the fireflies add to the mystique and romance of
this fine outdoor setting. Then numerous Fulvous Owls descend from
seemingly no-where, swooping by and perching up for excellent views and
photos. This intimate birding experience will linger with you in the years
ahead. Next, we head back down to the lodge to clean up and have
supper. As on every night of the trip, we will complete the bird checklist and
review plans for the next morning and plans for another excellent day of

Note:  Jeep with no doors: Sign special waiver.
Note: This will also be an excellent opportunity to have your laundry done.

Day 4:  AM Birding Las Nubes; PM Birding Fuentes Georginas

In the morning, we will focus on any species we may have missed at Las
Nubes. We will have two choices, but we will need to get started early.

• We will likely start with the high elevation trail, which should provide us
the opportunity for the most new species. We will hope to find Green-
throated Mountain-gem, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, Emerald-chinned
Hummingbird, Golden-browed Warbler, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch,
White-naped Brush-Finch and more

• Depending upon our success the day before, we may take another try at
the forested area near the Mirador with additional chances for
Resplendent Quetzal and for species found in this dense forest area.

As the day warms up and/or based upon how well the birding has
progressed, we will head back to the rooms to pack up the vehicle and to
get on the road. We will bring a packed lunch giving us the flexibility to try
for a few more species on a lunch stop and to assure we get to Fuentes
Georginas by mid-afternoon.

The trip up to Fuentes Georginas includes great views of volcanoes and
travel through the highland farms of Guatemala. Its habitat is cloud forest
at nearly 8,000 feet. We will also stop for a little birding along the road, and
we may have time for buying snacks at the spectacular fruit stands.  

We will spend most of the afternoon birding at Fuentes Georginas. The
road up to and through this hot springs area is key to finding Green
Violetear, Amethyst-throated Hummmingbrd, Garnet-throated
Hummingbird, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Mountain Trogon, Unicolored
Jay, Black Thrush, Mountain Thrush, Pink-headed Warbler, and Cinnamon-
bellied Flowerpiercer. With some luck, we may find Buffy-crowned Wood-
Partridge and Maroon-chested Ground-Dove. Other birds found here
include Black-throated Jay and Bar-winged Oriole.

After an afternoon of birding up until suppertime, we will check into the little
and basic cabins at this resort area. These cabins are convenient for
morning birding, and everyone will enjoy the romance of this cloud forest
resort area. Some participants may choose to enjoy a post supper soak in
the hot springs and/or warming up by the fireplace.

Day 5:  AM Birding Fuentes Georginas and PM Birding Lake Atitlán

The morning offers a few choices for every participant.
• If you would like to rest in this morning, this would be an opportunity to do
• If you do choose to continue with early morning birding, we will start
birding near the lodges.

After a few hours of morning birding, we will go back to the resort area for
breakfast. After breakfast, we will take the van and the full group and start
birding further down the road for another one or two hours. This morning
we will focus on any species we may have missed the day before, and we
should find new species as we walk into the forest edge closer to the
agricultural areas, such as Black-capped Swallow, Rufous-browed Wren,
Brown-backed Solitaire, Slate-colored Solitaire, Rufuous-collared Robin,
and Blue-and-white Mockingbird.

By mid to late morning, we will head towards Santa Clara La Laguna which
has a second-growth habitat with pine-oak forests and thickets. Elevation
ranges from  4,000 to about 7,000 feet above sea level. We will visit this
location for the pleasure of watching the stunning Belted Flycatcher,
because this is one of the less difficult locations to see this beautiful
species. This species has a very localized distribution, only found in
Chiapas (Mexico) and Guatemala. Additional species that might be
encountered at this location are: Rufous Sabrewing, Pink-headed Warbler
(near-endemic), Rusty Sparrow and Black-capped Siskin (near-endemic).
After a few hours, we will head towards Panajachel, a village on the
northern shore of the beautiful Lake Atitlán. We will spend the night in
Panajachel in one of the nice local hotels in this resort area.

Day 6: AM Lake Atitlán Area Birding; Mid-Day Return to Guatemala
City with Birding at Rincon Suizo and/or Other Birding Sites

In the early morning, we will be driven to a nearby hotel to have breakfast
and take advantage of the beautiful gardens for fabulous birding. At this
location, we will be able to find a few more trip species, such as White-
tipped Dove, Slender Sheartail, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Azure-
crowned Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Northern (Guatemalan)
Flicker, Tropical Mockingbird, Prevost's Ground-Sparrow, Rufous-collared
Sparrow and Flame-colored Tanager. After some good birding at this site
we will head to Rincon Suizo, one of the many Important Bird Areas of
Guatemala. The habitat here includes pine-oak forests at 7,870 feet and
we will hope to find Magnificent Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountain-
gem, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, Mountain Trogon, Blue-throated
Motmot, Hairy Woodpecker, Spotted Woodcreeper, Spot-crowned
Woodcreeper, Bushy-crested Jay, Black-capped Swallow, Rufous-browed
Wren, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Rufous-collared Robin, Blue-
and-white Mockingbird, Gray Silky-flycatcher, Olive Warbler, Crescent-
chested Warbler, Golden-browed Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Pink-
headed Warbler, Painted Redstart, Slate-throated Redstart, Yellow-eyed
Junco, Elegant Euphonia, Black-headed Siskin and Hooded Grosbeak. We
will eat at the Rincon Suizo's restaurant. We will begin the drive back to
Guatemala City and hope to arrive by mid-afternoon.

•  For those going on the extension to Tikal, we will head straight to the
airport and check in for our flight. After check in, we will have supper at the
airport before catching our flight (at about 6 PM) to Flores airport, near
Tikal National Park. Upon arrival in Flores, we head to Yaxha for our
overnight stay.
•  For those not taking the Tikal extension, another local guide will drive to
one of the nicest hotels in the city to have supper and rest.  

Day 7 for Those Not on Tikal Extension:  Flights Home

For those not on the Tikal extension, we will arrange a transfer to the
airport with the reliable hotel staff.

Extension Day 1/Day 7 of Trip: Yaxha National Park

We will start our day early in the morning with a good breakfast at the
Lodge and then be transferred to Yaxha National Park, which is located
scarcely 4 km away from our hotel. Yaxha is a Mesoamerican
archaeological site in the northeast of the Petén Basin region, and a
former ceremonial centre and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization.
Habitat here is tropical humid forest between 490 and 820 feet above sea
level. Birds to be seen here are: Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Slaty-tailed Trogon,
Gartered Trogon, White-whiskered Puffbird, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Pale-
billed Woodpecker, Barred Forest-Falcon, Collared Forest-Falcon, Bat
Falcon, Brown-hooded Parrot, White-crowned Parrot, Red-lored Parrot,
Mealy Parrot, Olive-throated Parakeet, Royal Flycatcher, Bright-rumped
Attila, Yucatan Flycatcher, Green-backed Sparrow, Blue Bunting, Giant
Cowbird and Montezuma Oropendola.

After successful birding we will head back to the Lodge to enjoy lunch. As
soon as lunch is finished, we will prepare to depart for Tikal National Park,
with several sites worth a stop along the road. One of these stops is at El
Remate, which is on the easternmost shore of the beautiful Petén Itza
Lake. At this location we will try for: Neotropic Cormorant, Least Bittern,
Tricolored Heron, Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, Limpkin, Least
Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Mangrove Swallow. After we wrap up the birding
in El Remate we will head straight to Tikal National Park. Upon arrival, we
will be taken to the lodge for a quick check in, then begin birding the
surrounding area. We will hope to find Roadside Hawk, Gray-necked Wood-
Rail, Gartered Trogon, Keel-billed Toucan, Red-lored Parrot, Brown-
crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social
Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, Brown Jay, Melodious Blackbird, Giant Cowbird
and Yellow-tailed Oriole. Before dawn we will head back to the Lodge and
get ready for supper. At supper, the trip guide will complete the bird
checklist with the group and review plans for the next day (including
morning wake-up and breakfast plans).

Day 2 of Extension/Day 8 of Trip: Full day birding at Tikal National

We will start our day with a very early breakfast so that we can start birding
in Tikal by 7:00 AM. Our first trail will have habitat ranging from scattered
forest to tall brush, and the trail ends at a nice pond which has some really
interesting birds. With some fantastic luck, some visitors find Jaguar
drinking from this pond. Birds we may find here include Thicket Tinamou,
Plain Chachalaca, Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Pheasant Cuckoo,
Olive-throated Parakeet, Mangrove Vireo, White-breasted Wood-Wren,
Green-backed Sparrow and Gray-throated Chat. Two kingfisher species
that frequent the ponds here are Green Kingfisher and American Pygmy
Kingfisher. The area is also good for seeing Scaled Pigeon, Purple-
crowned Fairy, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Collared Aracari, Strong-billed
Woodcreeper, Northern Bentbill, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Stub-tailed
Spadebill, Tropical Kingbird, Couch's Kingbird, Louisiana Waterthrush and
Northern Waterthrush. A few tough-to-get North American breeding
warblers can also be found here, so we will be on the lookout for Worm-
eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler and Hooded Warbler as well.

At mid-morning we will enter the forested archaeological area and at some
point we will reach the main plaza where we will have amazingly close looks
at Ocellated Turkey and Ridgway’s (Northern) Rough-winged Swallows.
The structures of the main plaza also provide nesting grounds for Orange-
breasted Falcon, an endangered species not likely to be found elsewhere
in Guatemala. With some real luck, we may see King Vulture, Black Hawk-
Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Plumbeous Kite and a Lesser Swallow-tailed
Swift fly by.

At mid-day we will have lunch at the restaurant situated inside the forest
and then we will take some time to rest at the hotel and meet again in mid-
afternoon to continue birding. We will hope to see: Great Tinamou, Little
Tinamou, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-
crowned Parrot, Black-faced Antthrush, Sepia-capped Flycatcher, Eye-
ringed Flatbill, Royal Flycatcher, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, White-collared
Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Lesser
Greenlet, Gray-headed Tanager, Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, Red-
crowned Ant-Tanager, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Blue Bunting, Yellow-
throated Euphonia. By about 6 PM, we will head back to the lodge to clean -
up for supper. At supper, we will complete the bird checklist with the group
and review plans for the next day (including morning wake-up and
breakfast plans).  

Extension Day 3/Day 9 of Trip: Tikal to Flores, full day birding at
several sites

After an early breakfast at the lodge in Tikal National Park we will drive to
several sites before arriving in the city of Flores. The sites that we will visit
are El Remate, Cerro Cahui Biotope, and the road bordering Lake Petén
Itza, looking for Black-throated Bobwhite, Least Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe,
Anhinga, Snail Kite, Pale-vented Pigeon, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Ringed
Kingfisher, Black-crowned Tityra, Black Catbird, Rose-throated Tanager,
Gray-throated Chat, Red-winged Blackbird, and few more birds that we
might have missed in Tikal. We will have lunch at one of the many good
restaurants in the surrounding area and then continue birding. At mid-
afternoon we will make a short stop at a local hotel to bird for an hour and
a half before heading to our hotel in the city of Flores were we will
overnight. At the local hotel birding site we will hope to see: Ruddy Crake,
Scaled Pigeon, Squirrel Cuckoo, Long-billed Hermit, Stripe-throated
Hermit, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Northern Bentbill and Mangrove Vireo.
After finishing birding we will have supper and then complete the bird
checklist with the group and review plans for the next day (including
morning wake-up and breakfast plans). We will also review everyone’s
plans to get to the Flores airport in the morning for flights to Guatemala
City and then plans for transfers home.

Extension Day 4/Day 10 of Trip: Flight from Flores to Guatemala city
and flights home

We will have an early breakfast at our hotel in the city of Flores and then
drive to Mundo Maya International Airport to take our flight back to
Guatemala City. We will arrive at 9 AM at La Aurora International Airport
and wait to take our flights back home.
Crested Guan
Photo by  H. Enríquez T.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Yellow-throated Euphonia
Photo by K. Huffstater
Pink-headed Warbler
Photo by  K. Huffstater
Bushy-crested Jay
Photo by K. Huffstater
Pale-billed Woodpecker
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Blue Bunting
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Prevost's Ground-Sparrow
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Keel-billed Toucan
Photo by K. Huffstater
Red-lored Parrot
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Photo by K. Huffstater
Northern Potoo
Photo by K. Huffstater
Crested Guan
Photo by  H. Enríquez T.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle
Photo by H. Enríquez T.
Birding in Guatemala
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles in the United States or
Ian in the United Kingdom. Charles can be reached at 888-203-7464 or directly at
720-320-1974. Ian can be reached at 07719-052820. Also feel free to e-mail at
Guatemala: Spectacular Central American Birding
Detailed Itinerary
Trip Description