The Birds of Guatemala Highlands
GuatemalaBirding Tour Package
11 Day Guatemala Birding Itinerary
This birding tour package is an 11-day expedition that will take you through essential destinations that inhabit the most exciting birds of Guatemala. An area with high regional endemism and a very well-designed infrastructure to enjoy a birdwatching experience.
This region is home to species that we only share with the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Still, in Guatemala, we have the best infrastructure for observing these restricted birds.
Apart from the exciting birds, these destinations have good lodging facilities, colorful cultural content, and phenomenal cuisine to make your trip a unique experience.
- Highlights: Pink-headed Warbler | Goldman’s Warbler | Resplendent Quetzal | Azure – rumped Tanager | Horned Guan | Wine-throated Hummingbird | Belted Flycatcher
- Activities: Birding – Photography
- Difficulty: Moderate to High
- Holiday Type: Birding Expedition
- You will visit: Guatemala
- Trip Style: Couples – Small Groups – Couples – FIT’s
- Comfort level: Standard
- Transportation: Minibus / Boat
- Length: 11 Days / 10 Nights
- Physical demand: The trip may include activities like walks and boat rides
- Day 1: Arrival – Transfer to Antigua Guatemala
- Day 2: Antigua Guatemala
- Day 3: Tecpan / Todos Santos
- Day 4: Todos Santos
- Day 5: Todos Santos / Quetzaltenango
- Day 6: Fuentes Georginas / Los Tarrales Natural Reserve
- Day 7: Los Tarrales Natural Reserve
- Day 8: Los Tarrales / Santiago Atitlan
- Day 9: Santiago / Paquisis
- Day 10: Santiago / Rey Tepepul / Guatemala City
- Day 11: Back Home
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Day 1: Arrival
Meet & greet at the International Airport La Aurora (Guatemala) and transportation to Antigua Guatemala.
Dinner in a local restaurant in Antigua
Two nights of lodging in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 2: Antigua Guatemala
Transfer to San Cristobal El Alto early in the morning to start the birding day tour.
Breakfast in a local restaurant with stunning views of the volcanoes.
Then continue birdwatching at Finca El Pilar, located 10 minutes from Antigua.
This private area protects habitats ranging from 5000 to 8000 ft elevation, including a dry forest in the lower altitudes and oak-pine and cloud forest at higher elevations.
Day 3: Tecpan / Quetzaltenango
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 the 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 Warblers, as well as Hutton’s Vireo.
After lunch, transfer to Huehuetenango.
Day 4: Todos Santos Cuchumatanes
Todos Santos is a region with a unique landscape in Guatemala.
Due to climatic conditions and altitude, the area combines sub-alpine meadows, rocky areas, and slow-growing vegetation (3,850 meters).
It is one of the geologically oldest areas and has the highest mountain formations in Central America.
This is one of the areas with the most remarkable biological diversity and endemism in the country.
Several endangered species of flora and fauna can be seen, like Guatemalan Fir (Abies guatemalensis), Hartweg’s Pine (Pinus hartwegii), and Huitum (Juniperus standleyii), Maya Mouse (Peromyscus mayensis) Cuchumatanes Salamander (Dendrotriton chujorum), among others.
Avian species related to this area are Goldman’s Warbler, Black-capped Siskin, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Common Raven, and Savannah Sparrow.
Morning transfer to Todos Santos Municipal Park in the quest of Goldman’s Warbler; this species will be our first endemic species and is located in a small area in Huehuetenango and is easy to spot in this park.
Day 5: Todos Santos Cuchumatanes
Morning birding around the lodge.
Mid-morning transfer to Quetzaltenango (3 hours in total). Afternoon birding
Day 6: Fuentes Georginas / Los Tarrales Private Reserve
Morning birdwatching in the very humid sub-tropical forest at Fuentes Georginas is an excellent 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 Green-violetear), and Guatemalan Pygmy Owls.
Afternoon transfer to Los Tarrales Nature Reserve
Day 7: Los Tarrales Reserve
Time for coffee and transfer to the La Isla area in the quest for 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).
Afternoon birding tour around La Laguneta, this area offers an excellent opportunity to find species such as White-bellied Chachalaca, Yellow-naped Parrot, and Rufous-breasted Spinetail.
Day 8: Los Tarrales / Santiago Atitlan
Time for coffee and transfer to the La Rinconada area.
Finding species such as Long-tailed Manakin, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and Rufous-naped Wren is possible.
Breakfast at the place (boxed breakfast).Midday transfer toward Santiago Atitlan (1.5 hours)
Midday transfer towards Santiago Atitlan (1.5 hours).
Afternoon birding around the lodge and on the shore of the lake,
Afternoon birding around the lodge and on the shore of the lake.
Day 9: Paquisis Volcano
Note: This activity demands high effort
We will ride the boat toward San Pedro La Laguna, where we will climb Paquisis Volcano in the quest for Horned Guan and other exciting species, such as Prevost’s Ground-sparrow and Amethyst-throated Hummingbird.
Also, Slender Sheartail, Rufous Sabrewing Violet Sabrewing, Bushy-crested Jay, Olive-sided Towhee, Chestnut-sided Shrike-vireo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Mountain Trogon, and Bar-winged Oriole among others.
Day 10: Rey Tepepul / Guatemala City
Morning explore Rey Tepepul and Lake Atitlan, and after lunch, transfer to Guatemala City (2.5 Hours)
Farewell dinner in Guatemala City
Day 11: Back Home
Breakfast and quickly transfer to the airport to catch your international flight home.