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Top Guatemala


In a country that is home to more than 720 species of birds, it would be a sin to leave your binoculars at home. Guatemala’s diverse habitats enable birdwatchers to view endangered Cabanis Tanagerp on the coast of Logo de Atitlan or spot Golden-cheeked Warblers in the wetlands of the Atlantic coast. Some of the region’s rare endemic species can’t be seen outside of Guatemala or Chiapas, Mexico.

The Pacific Slope

Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii nature reserve, on the Pacific coast, is well known for its nesting leatherback and ridley turtles, but it is also full of avian activity and a good place to catch a glimpse birds that are on your must-see list, as well as many of the birds that characterize the Pacific mangrove swamp.

The Highlands

The Highlands offer an astonishing array of colorful birds such as the Hooded Grosbeak and Pink-headed Warbler. The cloud forests of the region are perfect for finding rare species of hummingbirds and parakeets. If you’re lucky, you might spot the elusive Resplendent Quetzal which nests in the cloud forests.

Nestled at the base of Atitlan volcano, Los Tarrales Reserve is a hot spot for bird activity. With reliable access on four-wheel drive roads, tour guides will get you to the cloud forest and beyond. The reserve has several local bird guides on hand to answer questions and point you in the direction of the best spots to see birds like Green-Throated Mountain-Gems and Black-Throated Jays.

El Petén

In addition to the stunning sight of ancient ruins that rise up above the jungle’s canopy, travelers are drawn to Tikal for the opportunity to see birds they won´t find elsewhere. It’s known to be one of the best places in the country to see birds of prey. You might find an Orange-breasted Falcon or a Black Hawk Eagle while you are hiking though the jungle. The top of the temples make for excellent birdwatching perches.

The nearby Yaxha offers a similar type of birding experience but, with its permanent water supply, birders are likely to see aquatic birds and several species of migratory birds.

Central and Eastern Guatemala

Birders will find a rich diversity of species along the Atlantic coast. More than 500 different types of birds have been recorded in that region including Black-crested Coquette, Pacific Parakeets, and Northern Potoo. The Patrocinio Reserve is a highly recommended place for Birdwatching. Visitors can rest comfortably in a recently constructed observation tower while watching flocks of Pacific Parakeets fly by. Those who used the tower reported spotting as many as 60 different types of birds, within only a few days.

Laguna Lachuá National Park, located northwest of Cobán, is another great place for birding. There, winding trails allow you to go deep into the rain forest to view several of the 177 species living in the park. If you’re a fan of waterbirds, Laguna Lachuá will most likely have something to offer. The lake attracts Blue-winged Teal. Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Snowy Egret and many other varieties of waterbirds.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: Birdwatching Tours and National Parks In Guatemala.

06 Jul 2010

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