Guatemala is hardly the size of Portugal yet is home to 700 species of bird! It has huge pristine forests, an amazing cultural heritage, and is liberally sprinkled with 33 volcanoes, 3 of them active.
These volcanos are home to all manner of beautiful creatures. There’s the lovely Pink-headed Warbler, denizen of the wonderfully architectural bromeliads that make the oak trees their very own gardens. There’s colourful Blue-throated Motmot, Hooded Grosbeak and Lesson’s Motmot, and we can find beautiful dragonflies such as Ornate Helicopter, Many-striped Skimmer, Great Spreadwing, Carmine Skimmer and Slough Amberwing. Sky-blue Greatstreak, Blue Metalmark, Red Cracker, Tiger Mimic-Queen, Confused Tigerwing, and Yellow-fronted Owl-Butterfly are amongst a host of lovely butterflies that also include Orange-striped Eighty-eight and Guatemalan Copper. We’ll search for the lovely Azure-rumped Tanager, and other beauties are Wine-throated Hummingbird, Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Unicolored Jay, Highland Guan, and with luck the near-mythical Horned Guan.
Many square miles of spellbinding ruins are dominated by five magnificent temple-pyramids that rise above the rainforest canopy. Ocellated Turkeys and inquisitive White-nosed Coatis wander by intricately carved stellae and even the normally shy Great Curassow struts confidently around Tikal’s paths. Howler Monkeys produce a crescendo of sound at dawn as squadrons of multi-coloured Parrots fly in to pluck fruit ahead of acrobatic Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys. The rare Orange-breasted Falcon sits watching from the top of one the temples, whilst over nearby forest soar Ornate Hawk Eagle and the striking King Vulture. Nearer at hand Purple-washed Eyemark and the Dark Kite-Swallowtail might distract us from the ruins and certainly the Flame-tailed Pondhawk will.
Unique dry thon-forests are home to the endemic Guatemalan Beaded Lizard, a close relative of the Gila Monster. Here we can find Lesser Roadrunner, Yellow Grosbeak, Elegant Trogon and Russet-crowned Motmot, the elegant Filigree Skimmer and the lovely Rosita Patch.
Perhaps the highlight though will be Laguna del Tigre National Park. Las Guacamayas Lodge, and the associated biological station, are set in the heart of the park in some of the most biodiverse habitats in Central America. The name comes from one of the area’s most famous residents, the fabulous Scarlet Macaw. We’ll take a boat trip to look for the rare and lovely Agami Heron though Sungrebe, Green Jay, Russet-naped Wood-Rail, and Bare-throated Tiger-Heron will try and distract us from our quest! Around the lodge itself we can find Wedge-tailed Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Red-capped Manakin, White-collared Manakin, Black-headed Trogon, Golden-hooded Tanager, Tody Motmot, and Royal Flycatcher, and butterflies are abundant with Long-spotted Silverdrop and Transandean Cattleheart among them.
Birds & Butterflies. Also Mammals, Odonata, Reptiles, and ancient sites.
Phil Benstead, and Maynor Ovando
Very gentle. However paths are sometimes muddy and occasionally steep for short distances
Included in the Price
All flights. Transport, accommodation and all meals in Guatemala, also Entrance fees to archaeological sites. Services of your leaders. Please Note: drinks, tips and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 9.
We start with a night at the Maya International Hotel in Guatemala City before moving to the Las Guacamayas Lodge for a three night stay. Set in the heart of some of the most biodiverse habitats in Central America this lodge is a wildlife-lovers dream. Very comfortable, good food, and with wildlife everywhere you look! Next are three nights at the Hotel Tikal Inn, within walking distance of Tikal’s magnificence. Rooms are spread around the pleasant shaded grounds with only the forest beyond. After a single night in the Camino Largo Hotel in the San Esteban region we’ve two nights in the Mesón de Maria Hotel in Antigua. The lovely rooms have very fine furniture and the gorgeous old building is covered in potted plants. After a night in Unicornio Azul we’ve a single night in Las Cumbres Hotel before a two night stay in the Los Tarrales Lodge whose lovely rooms are set amid fabulous wildlife-filled grounds. Our last night in Guatemala City (will be at the Radisson Hotel. All rooms have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are via Madrid or US Airports (there’s a choice!) from London Heathrow to Guatemala City. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports and other many European Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Pleasantly warm for the most part though it can become quite hot in the middle of the day so relaxing siestas are certainly in order in the lowlands! Rain can be expected during some of the afternoons and is sometimes prolonged.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Bird and butterfly checklists are available.