Guatemala is a wonderful birding destination with many avian specialties, beautiful scenery, a colorful culture (including the proud Mayan, perhaps the richest indigenous culture remaining in the New World), and some of the best coffee in the world. We combine all of these to give you a truly unforgettable experience.
For much of the tour we'll be based at shade-coffee plantations with native forest on their land. Where else can you wake up to a warm breakfast at a friendly family-run finca, drink your morning cup of locally grown coffee, walk up shaded mountain trails, and then sit at benches specially set up for birders to watch for the rare Azure-rumped Tanager? And on the way back to lunch you could very well encounter a Resplendent Quetzal, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The habitats we will visit are varied, from the cool pine-oak forests near Antigua and Fuentes Georginas (think Pink-headed Warbler and Highland Guan) to humid tropical lowland forests near Retalhuleu ("Reu" for short).
We will also have a few cultural outings such as an afternoon guided walk around Antigua, a quick visit to the pre-Classic ruins of Abaj Takalik (where there is good birding, too), a boat trip across Lake Atitlan, and a coffee tour of Finca Las Nubes, if desired.
In addition, a pre-tour extension to the Classic Mayan site of Tikal will add a large number of new birds (not possible on the main tour), including the opportunity to see Orange-breasted Falcon, as well as several Yucatan endemics that include Ocellated Turkey, Yucatan Poorwill, Yucatan Flycatcher, and the striking Gray-throated Chat. There will also be a half-day within the main ruins site where our local guide will be able to take us through the rich Mayan history. Tikal is easily one of the best birding sites in all of Central America, but it will also amaze you for the immensity of the surrounding forest and the grandeur of the temples and complexes. This extension is a must!
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