Guatemala has more than 700 different species of birds living within its borders. In the last few decades, the country has become increasingly well known for its fantastic birding. Among the many species that live or pass through Guatemala, the resplendent quetzal remains one of the most emblematic — the national currency is, after all, named for it. Bird watching tours take travelers to Guatemala’s best birding sites, which are usually in national parks or reserves. Naturalist guides accompany the tours and help travelers to spot a range of colorful, feathered creatures.
15 Things to Do
Fincal El Pilar’s gardens hum with the tiny, whirring wings of its resident hummingbirds. This farm does not produce agriculture, but rather exists to help conserve some of the rare and endangered species of plants and animals in Antigua.
On the first day of your journey, you’ll start your exploration of the area’s wildlife on a trail through the jungle of the Tikal National Park. Eventually you will come to a clearing, scattered with the stony ruins of Mayan temples and palaces. You have arrived at Tikal, home to one of the most prominent dynasties during the Mayan classic period. OPTIONAL only Professional Bird guide, lunch ,entrance fee to site.
3 hrsFrom $154
Make a trip to the Bíotopo del Quetzál to look for quetzals with jewel-toned green plumage. Their feathers were used as currency by the pre-Hispanic Mayans. They dwell in the branches of the aguacatillo trees, which are identifiable by their avocado-shaped fruits.
6 hrsFrom $69
Cayala ecological park is part of Guatemala City’s metropolitan green belt. Green belts are sometimes referred to as the “lungs” of a city – a sizeable population of trees in an urban area has a demonstrably beneficial effect on air quality.
Finca Filadelfia has had the same purpose for several generations – growing and selling high-quality coffee. Here you’ll get to see over a hundred different species of birds that live throughout the 535.5 acres of the reserve.
Just outside of Guatemala City, a 19th-century farm has transformed itself into an ecological safe haven. Finca Santiago functions as an ecotourism site, creating a safe zone for 17 acres of wildlife. Proceeds from tourism go towards the preservation of the surrounding mountain forests.
Cerro Alux covers 13,270 acres just outside of Guatemala City. This ecological reserve is known for its unspoiled tract of pine oak forest, and a clean water supply that helps quench the local population. Cerro Alux is also a federally-maintained Important Bird Area .
This hike through the tree canopy of the Atitlan Reserve will give you a bird’s eye view of an exciting environment. Atitlan Reserve is shaped by the three volcanoes that surround Lake Atitlan. Pristine Lake Atitlan and the surrounding grounds of the reserve offer more natural beauty than you can capture with a few snapshots. To get the most out of this scenery, get a view from the top.
3 hrsFrom $69
Located between the Santa María and Santiaguito volcanoes, Finca Patrocinio is between 2,297 and 2,789 feet above sea level. Its lofty height offers a great view of the surrounding forests.
23 hrsFrom $267
- Elliot H.
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