• Day 1: Arrival – Antigua
  • Day 2: El Pilar Farm / Antigua Guatemala
  • Day 3: Ixichme / Tecpan / Quetzaltenango
  • Day 4: El Mirador / Fuentes Georginas
  • Day 5: Quetzaltenango / Corazon del Bosque / Panajachel
  • Day 6: Mirador Rey Tepepul Santiago Atitlan
  • Day 7: Reserva de Atitlan / Los Tarrales
  • Day 8: Los Tarrales
  • Day 9: Los Tarrales / Mixco Viejo / Guatemala City
  • Day 10: Back home

We will welcome you at the airport of La Aurora in Guatemala City and directly take you to the beautiful, colonial city of Antigua, about an hour drive away from the capital.

Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala

After a good night of sleep your first bird watching tour is about to begin! We will take you to Finca El Pilar, a private protected area that consists of dry forest at the lower section, and pine-oak and cloud forest at higher elevations.  From the beginning of the trail there are good views on the canopy of the northern slope of the valley, where flocks of Bushy-crested Jays can be often seen. Many canopy birds can be spotted, like Rose-throated Becard, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Emerald Toucanet, and with some good luck Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo and Bar-winged Oriole, which often move quietly in pairs through the canopy. Also several woodpeckers can be seen, like Golden-fronted, Golden-olive, and Hairy Woodpecker. In the scrubby undergrowth live White-eared and Prevost’s Ground-Sparrows, White-napped (Yellow-throated) Brush-finch, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Rufus-capped Warbler, and White-tipped Dove.

Hummingbird feeders are located at the lower entrance of the trail. This is a good spot to see Rufus Sabrewing, which is endemic to the Pacific slope mountains of Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Furthermore the regional endemic Green-throated Mountain-gem is seen frequently, and also Magnificent, White-eared, Azure-crowned, Berylline, and Blue-tailed Hummingbirds, as well as Violet Sabrewing and Green Violet-ear use the feeders.

The forest harbors a typical highland bird community with Slate-throated Redstart, Golden-browed Warbler, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, and White-faced Quail-Dove. With some good luck it is possible to see Highland Guans. Remember that forest birding can be challenging and there might be very quiet days without much movement.

After our first morning full of impressions we return to Antigua for lunch, which is followed by a captivating cultural tour of Antigua Guatemala. We will visit the majestic churches, ruins and museums and learn about the stories and legends of Antigua’s colonial town while walking its cobbled streets.

Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala

We leave Antigua Guatemala and continue our trip to the archaeological ruins of Iximche. As we will learn while exploring the beautiful ruins, this site was one of the most important Mayan cities of the Highlands due to its relationship the Mayans hold with the Spanish conquerors. Iximche was named the first capital of Guatemala after the arrival of the Spanish.

In the afternoon we will continue our bird watching tour in the Tecpan Reserve. Here you will find interesting endemic species of the north Central American highlands such as 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 Warbler, as well as Hutton’s Vireo. We will then take you to the second biggest city of Guatemala, Quetzaltenango.

Accommodation in Quetzaltenango.

We will start the day with a moderate hike to El Mirador del Volcan Santiaguito. The hike will take us through a beautiful mountains forest where we can appreciate species such as the Pink Headed Warbler, Elegant Euphonia, Band-tailed Pigeon and Mountain Trogon among others. Besides we will have a stunning view of the active Santiaguito volcano at the summit of our hike. This volcano is the youngest volcano of Guatemala and can almost always be seen erupting smoke.

In the afternoon we will continue our bird watching tour in the very humid sub-tropical forest of  Fuentes Georginas. Here we hope to spot Wine-throated and Garnet-throated Hummingbirds, the Cinnamon-bellied flower piercer, Mexican violet-ear (former Green violet-ear) and the Guatemalan Pigmy Owl. In addition to being a great birding destination, Las Fuentes Georginas are natural hot spring with beautifully developed pools, where you can take a welcoming bath after your full day of bird watching.

Accommodation in Quetzaltenango.

We leave Quetzaltenango and take off to Corazon del Bosque, a pine-oak woodland situated at an elevation of 2400 m (7960 ft) in the north of the Sololá department. The Association for the Development of Farming and Handicrafts ’La Guadalupana’ recently developed a tourism program including rustic lodges, a restaurant, and a network of trails within the forest. These alluring trails offer opportunities to observe northern Central American endemics such as the Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-browed Wren, Rufous-collared Robin, and Black-capped Swallow.

We will have lunch along the road and then resume our trip to Panajachel at Lake Atitlan. You will have a free afternoon to explore this charming town by yourself, enjoy the stunning views of the lake or embark on a boat trip to one (or more) of the other indigenous villages surrounding the lake.

Accommodation in Panajachel.

This beautiful viewpoint is situated within the natural park “Parque Regional Municipal Rey Tepepul”, and offers an alluring view of the southern part of the lake. The park is one of the protected areas around Lake Atitlan, making it a great and tranquil place for bird watching. We will try to spot species like the Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Common Bush Tanager, White-eared Ground Sparrow, White-faced Ground Sparrow, Chesnut-sided Shrike-vireo and even the Resplendent Quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird.

Accommodation in Panajachel.

We leave the lake early in the morning and drive to Reserva Atitlán, a private natural reserve west of Panajachel. The area protects dry pine-oak forest, which is home to a number of birds restricted to the highlands of northern Central America and Mexico. The lower part of the reserve is more humid and gardened with flowering plants, attracting species like the Rufous Sabrewing, White-eared and sometimes Garnet-throated Hummingbird and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird. Scrub and adjacent open spaces are home to Yellow-throated Brush-Finch and Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow. In the oak forest mixed warbler flocks can be found foraging during the northern winter, including migratory Black-throated Green, Townsend’s, Golden-cheeked, Nashville, and Wilson’s warbler, and resident Slate-throated Redstart. Flocks are often joined by Rufous-browed Peppershrike and Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo. Flocks of Bushy-crested Jays roam through the open forest canopy. On flowering canopy trees, such as Grevillea robusta (introduced from Australia) in a small coffee plantation in the lower part, different orioles can be seen, including the resident Yellow-backed, Black-vented, and Bar-winged Oriole.

In the afternoon we will continue our trip to the wonderful Private Reserve Los Tarrales. We will stay here two nights to be able to visit all its different and equally interesting sites. This afternoon we will pay a visit to the Vesuvio area, in the quest of Azure-rumped tanager, Rufous Sabrewing, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Tody Motmot, Quails and different Doves among other species of the highlands.

Accommodation in Los Tarrales

After breakfast and a good cup of coffee we will explore the La Rinconada area, where it is possible to find species such as the Long-tailed Manakin, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and the Rufous-naped Wren.

In the afternoon we will continue our birding tour around La Laguneta, and area that offers good opportunities to spot species such as the White-bellied Chachalaca, Yellow-naped Parrot, and Rufous-breasted Spinetail among others.

Accommodation in Los Tarrales

We will leave this beautiful reserve behind and travel to the archaeological site of Mixco Viejo. This interesting site is located 60 kilometers from the capital and contains pyramids, observatories and stadiums used for the ancient ball game pelota. It is surrounded by dry forests, making it possible to spot our last couple of birds that are characteristic of this type of forest, such as the Squirrel Cuckoo.

We will then head back to the capital, where you can enjoy a free afternoon or ask the guide for another activity of your choice.

Accommodation in Guatemala City.

Time to say goodbye! We will take you to the airport and make sure you are all checked in and settled for you flight back home before saying goodbye.

End of services.

Price for services guide: 125 USD per day.

We can also provide you with transport and lodgment , price depends of the number of participants in the group as well as the hotel category you choose . Just ask !

  • Day 1: Arrival / Antigua
  • Day 2: Antigua / Ocos
  • Day 3: Ocos / Finca Tamaxan / Ocos
  • Day 4: Ocos / Takalik Abaj
  • Day 5: Takalik Abaj / Monterrico
  • Day 6: Monterrico
  • Day 7: Monterrico / Antigua
  • Day 8: Back home

We will welcome you at the airport of La Aurora in Guatemala City and directly take you to the beautiful, colonial city of Antigua, about an hour drive away from the capital.

Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala

Prepare for a long but beautiful ride! Today we will drive all the way from Antigua to the Pacific Coast, to a small town at the seaside called Ocos.  After the six-hour drive you will be able to enjoy a welcoming swim in the Pacific Ocean and have a relaxed afternoon at the black, volcanic beach.

Accommodation in Ocos.

Today our birdwatching adventure is ready to begin! We will visit the Finca Tamaxan, a farm situated in the municipality of La Blanca San Marcos, close to the Mexican border. The finca is a perfect place to spot coastal endemic birds, as well as migratory birds from North-America that come to the coast of Guatemala to pass the cold winter. Species that we will hopefully be able to see are the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Redhead, Wood Stork, Anhinga, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Harris’s Hawk, Limpkin and Black-necked Stilt, among others. We will pass the full day in Finca Tamaxan, and then return to our hotel in Ocos to spend the night.

Accommodation in Ocos

We leave behind the Pacific Coast and travel to the archeological site Takalik Abaj. This site holds one of the most emblematic ruins of Guatemala, known for its interesting history and influences of different cultures, such as the Olmec and the Maya. The stones that were used to build their houses and temples came from the river and were shaped naturally into rounded entities ready to use in construction, giving the ruins their particular look.

Besides exploring the history of this fascinating archaeological site, we will be able to spot a lot of different species in the area surrounding the site, such as the Collared Aracari, Laughing Falcon, Lesson’s Mot Mot, Gartered Trongon, White-bellied Chachalaca, Golden Olive Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Pacific Parakeet and Yellow-naped Parrot. We will stay in Takalik Abaj Lodge, enabling us to be birdwatching until dusk.

Accommodation in Takalik Abaj

Today we return to the Pacific Coast, this time to the town of Monterrico, situated very close to the El Salvador border. Monterrico is a protected area, established in 1977 to promote the conservation of the estuaries and mangroves ecosystems. On its beaches you can find marine turtle hatchery sites, where we can see and learn about the process of incubation, as well as turtles, iguanas and crocodiles that are in danger of extinction. The afternoon can be spend visiting this reserve or just relaxing on the beach.

Accommodation in Monterrico

Today we will spend a full day of birdwatching in the reserve of Monterrico, a beautiful mangrove area. It will be an adventurous day, mostly spend in canoes crossing the mangrove waters in search for species such as the White-bellied Chachalaca, Bare-throated, Tiger-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Boat-billed Heron, Yellow-headed (Savanna) Vulture, Snail Kite, Mangrove Swallow, Mangrove Vireo, Yellow (Mangrove) Warbler, Spot-breasted Oriole, Yellow-winged Cacique and Rufous-tailed Jacamar.

The morning will be spend looking for species that might have escaped our attention the day before, and to say goodbye to this beautiful little paradise. After lunch we will head back to Antigua Guatemala, where we will spend our last afternoon and evening looking back at all the incredible new species we spotted.

Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala

Time to say goodbye! We will take you to the airport and make sure you are all checked in and settled for you flight back home before saying goodbye.

End of services.

Price for services guide: 100 USD per day.