Neblina Forest Birding Tours

Guatemala

Birds you want to see on the Guatemalan Sierra Madre

Itinerary 1

Itinerary 1

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS, MARCH 2011,

Detail of Included meals: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Day 1

Arrival in La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City. Overnight in Guatemala City.

Day 2. (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast we will drive 2 hours to Tecpán for birding at high-elevation mixed forest looking for highland species like Pink-headed and Crescent-chested warbler. Drive (3 hours) to Los Tarrales Reserve on Southern slope of Atitlan volcano. In the late afternoon, birding will happen in the surroundings of the lodge. Dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales lodge.

Day 3 (B, L, D)

Full day birding in Los Tarrales. At about 1400 meters (4620 feet) we will be in search of Azure-rumped tanager, Bar-winged oriole, and White-eared ground sparrow. At a lower altitude (750 – 900 meters (2475 – 2970 feet) we will look for White-bellied chachalaca and Pacific parakeet. Lunch, dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales.

For those willing to make the effort of walking, this day there is an optional Tour to the habitat of the HORNED GUAN (for a group of maximum 4 people). This group will start, early morning, with a 4-WD ride (45 minutes) from the lodge ascending to an elevation of 1400 meters (4620 feet). From there, we will start a very strenuous up-hill hike to an area between 2200 and 2600 meters (7260 to 8580 feet), on an uneven, steep and narrow path (without switchbacks) in the cloud forest. The main target is the Horned guan, plus other highland specialties, such as Highland guan, Black-throated jay, and Green-throated mountain-gem. Dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales.

Day 4 (B)

Early morning birding in the shade grown coffee plantations and mixed habitat around the main house in Los Tarrales. After breakfast, drive to Antigua Guatemala. Afternoon birding at El Pilar Coffe Farm. Some target species here are Rufous sabrewing, Blue-tailed hummingbird, Bushy-crested jay, Bar-winged oriole. Overnight in Antigua Guatemala.

Day 5 (B, D)

Early morning drive to Cerro Alux, a pine and oak forest between Antigua Guatemala and Guatemala City. Some of the target species here are Blue-throated motmot, Blue-and-white mockingbird, Black-capped swallow, and Rufous-browed wren. From here we will drive to the motagua Valley for Lunch and birding in the afternoon in the dry forest. Last stretch of the drive today will take us to a hotel near Biotopo del Quetzal for our overnight. (Our mean of transportation will be a 4WD-vehicle for the route between Antigua Guatemala and Chelemhá.)

Day 6 (B, L, D)

After breakfast, drive from Biotopo del Quetzal to Chelemhá (3,5 hours). Afternoon birding around the Chelemhá lodge. Some target birds: Garnet-throated hummingbird, Buffy-crowned wood-partridge, and Prevost´s ground sparrow. Lunch, dinner and overnight in the Chelemhá lodge.

Day 7 (B, L, D)

Full day birding in Chelemhá (cloud forest and secondary growth adjacent to the forest around the lodge). Some target species: Highland guan, Garnet-throated hummingbird, Emerald toucanet, Green-throated mountain-gem, Blue-throated motmot. Overnight in the Chelemhá lodge.

Day 8 (B, L, D)

Full day birding in Chelemhá.

Day 9 (B, L)

Morning birding at Chelemhá. Late morning drive back to Guatemala City, with a birding stop on the way. Dinner and overnight in Guatemala City.

Day 10 (B)

Transfer to La Aurora International Airport.

DATES FOR THE FIRST TRIP

Arrival 4-March-2017
Departure 13-March-2017

OPTIONAL SEARCH FOR THE HORNED GUAN: ADDITIONAL $ 45.00 per person.

Máximum of four participants. Note: This is a 3 to 4 hour hike up Atitlan Volcano, very strenuous hike not recommended if you have any health problems that would restrain you from heavy physical exercise or if you are not used to strong physical effort.

EXTENSION TO TIKAL AND YAXHA – FIRST TRIP

5 days / 4 nights

Detail of Included meals: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Day 1 (B, L, D)

Early morning flight (40 minutes) from Guatemala City to Flores. After breakfast in Flores, drive to Yaxhá (2 hours). Birding in the surroundings of the lodge and the archeological site of Yaxhá. Species like the Mealy parrot and White-crowned parrot are expected in this area. Lunch, dinner and accommodation at El Sombrero Eco-camp at the shore of Yaxhá Lake.

Day 2 (B, L, D)

Morning session birding at Yaxhá during a boat ride towards the archeological site. Drive to Tikal right after lunch. Upon arrival, afternoon birding session. Overnight in our Hotel Jaguar Inn or similar in Tikal.

Day 3 and 4 (B, L, D)

Two full days birding in Tikal. Some target species are Ocellated turkey, Orange-breasted falcon, White hawk, Pheasant cuckoo. Both overnights in our Hotel Jaguar Inn or similar in Tikal.

Day 5 (B, L)

Morning birding in Tikal. In the afternoon drive to Flores (1.5 hours) and immediately check in for our flight to Guatemala City. Farewell dinner in a restaurant and accommodation in Guatemala City.

Day 6 (B)

Transfer out to La Aurora International Airport.

DATES FOR THE EXTENSION TO FIRST TRIP

  • Beginning 13-March-2017
  • Departure 18-March-2017
  • * All photos above by Claudia Avendaño

Itinerary 2

Itinerary 2

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS, NOVEMBER 2011

Detail of Included meals: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Day 1

Arrival in La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City. Overnight in Guatemala City.

Day 2. (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast we will drive 2 hours to Tecpán for birding at high-elevation mixed forest looking for highland species like Pink-headed warbler and Crescent-chested warbler. Drive (3 hours) to Los Tarrales Reserve on Southern slope of Atitlan volcano. In the late afternoon, birding will happen in the surroundings of the lodge. Dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales lodge.

Day 3 (B, L, D)

Full day birding in Los Tarrales. At about 1400 meters (4620 feet) we will be in search of Azure-rumped tanager, Bar-winged oriole, and White-eared ground sparrow. At a lower altitude (750 – 900 meters (2475 – 2970 feet) we will look for White-bellied chachalaca and Pacific parakeet. Lunch, dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales.

For those willing to make the effort of walking, this day there is an optional Tour to the habitat of the HORNED GUAN (for a group of maximum 4 people). This group will start, early morning, with a 4-WD ride (45 minutes) from the lodge ascending to an elevation of 1400 meters (4620 feet). From there, we will start a very strenuous up-hill hike to an area between 2200 and 2600 meters (7260 to 8580 feet), on an uneven, steep and narrow path (without switchbacks) in the cloud forest. The main target is the Horned guan, plus other highland specialties: Highland guan, Black-throated jay, and Green-throated mountain-gem. Dinner and overnight in Los Tarrales.

Day 4 (B, L, D)

Morning birding session in Los Tarrales within mixed habitat and in a shade coffee plantation. After lunch, drive to Panajachel along the shore of Atitlan Lake. Accommodation in a hotel in Panajachel (Hotel Cacique Inn or similar).

Day 5 (B, L)

After breakfast we will spend the morning birding a private reserve near Panajachel. Some species expected are the Rufous sabrewing, Blue-throated motmot, and Prevost's ground-sparrow. After lunch time drive to Antigua Guatemala (3 hours). Accommodation in a hotel in Antigua Guatemala (Posada San Pedro or similar).

Day 6 (B)

Early morning drive to Cerro Alux, a pine-oak forest near Antigua Guatemala, to have our morning birding session. Some target species are Blue-throated motmot, Blue-and-White mockingbird, Black-capped swallow, Rufous-browed wren. Time for lunch at a restaurant in Antigua Guatemala.
After lunch drive to the El Pilar reserve near Antigua (15 min) for birding the whole afternoon. There some target species are Rufous sabrewing, Blue-tailed hummingbird, Bushy-crested jay, Bar-winged oriole. Dinner and accommodation in a hotel in Antigua.

Day 7 (B, L, D)

Early morning transfer from Antigua Guatemala to La Aurora Airport in Guatemala City for our flight to Flores, Petén. After a 40 minutes flight we will have breakfast in Flores. Then we will drive to Tikal (1.5) for birding the rest of the day. Accommodation in a hotel in Tikal (Hotel Jaguar Inn Tikal or similar)

Day 8 (B, L, D)

Full day birding in Tikal National Park. Some target species: Ocellated turkey, Orange-breasted falcon, White hawk, Pheasant cuckoo.

Day 9 (B, L)

Morning birding in Tikal. In the afternoon we will drive (1.5 hours) to Flores and fly (40 minutes) back to Guatemala City. Farewell dinner in a nearby restaurant and accommodation in a hotel in Guatemala City (Hotel Stofella Best Western or similar).

Day 10 (B)

Transfer out to La Aurora Airport. Flight back home.

DATES FOR THE SECOND TRIP

Arrival 1-November-2017
Departure 10-November-2017

OPTIONAL SEARCH FOR THE HORNED GUAN: ADDITIONAL CHARGE Maximum of four participants.

Note: This is a 3 to 4 hour hike up Atitlan Volcano, very strenuous hike not recommended if you have any health problems that would restrain you from heavy physical exercise or if you are not used to strong physical effort.

EXTENSION TO YAXHA – SECOND TRIP

3 days / 2 nights

Detail of Included meals: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

Day 1 (B, L, D)

We will have a morning drive from Tikal to Yaxhá (2 h). We will be birding Yaxhá in the afternoon. We will have lunch, dinner and our overnight at El Sombrero Eco-camp on the shore of Yaxhá Lake.

Day 2 (B, L, D)

Full day birding at Yaxhá archeological site and around the lodge. Species like the Mealy Parrot and White-crowned Parrot are expected in this area. Meals and overnight at El Sombrero Eco-camp.

Day 3 (B, L)

One more morning birding at Yaxhá. After lunch, drive to the airport for the flight back to Guatemala City. Accommodation in a hotel in Guatemala City (Stofella Best Western or similar).

Day 4 (B)

Transfer out to La Aurora Airport. Flight back home.

DATES FOR THE EXTENSION TO THE SECOND TRIP

  • Beginning 10-November-2017
  • Departure 13-November-2017
  • * All photos above by Claudia Avendaño

Itinerary 3

Guatemala Vibrant Cultures amidst Lush Nature

14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS

  • Dates for this 14 days / 13 nights Itinerary
  • January 3rd to the 18th, 2017
  • May 18th to the 31st, 2017
  • December 29th, 2017 to January 11th, 2018

Day 1 CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA (D)

Arrival in La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City. Depending on the time of arrival we will visit Cayalá Park to do some birding and a slow pace walk. Dinner and overnight at 5 star Vista Real Hotel

Day 2 GUATEMALA CITY to FLORES, PETEN: YAXHA NATIONAL PARK & TIKAL NATIONAL PARK (B, L, D)

After collecting our pack breakfast, we will have an early flight to Flores. There we will have our transportation and our local guide waiting to drive us to Yaxha. Before lunch time we will arrive to Yaxha. During our afternoon session we will visit Cerro Cahui. Evening transfer to Tikal National Park. Dinner at the Hotel. Overnight in Jungle Lodge Hotel or Tikal Inn Hotel

Day 3 TIKAL NATIONAL PARK, PETEN – GUATEMALA CITY AND ANTIGUA GUATEMALA (B, L, D)

Carrying our pack breakfast we will start birding right from the exit of our hotel at the entrance of the parking lot of the Tikal National Park. We will bird this UNESCO World heritage site with a short break around noon for lunch at our lodge. Overnight in Jungle Lodge Hotel or Tikal Inn Hotel

Day 4 ANTIGUA GUATEMALA (B,L)

After collecting our pack breakfast, we will depart to Mundo Maya International Airport to take our flight back to Guatemala City. Flight availability might change our expected departure time. However, birding will happen on our way to the airport in Flores as well as from La Aurora, in Guatemala City, to Antigua. One of our birding stops could happen at Cabaña Suiza, looking for White-eared hummingbird. Lunch in Antigua Ten minutes away from Antigua, there is a renowned Coffee Farm "Finca Filadelfia", where we will look for Black-headed Siskin, Black-capped Swallow, and Bushy-crested Jay. Overnight in Hotel Las Farolas

Day 5 ANTIGUA GUATEMALA (B, L)

Early morning visit to Finca El Pilar and Picnic breakfast as we are birding, with the background of a sunrise on Acatenango Volcano. We will spend all our day birding the forest trails of this property, with a pack lunch. We will end our visit at the feeding stations located next to the main house of the Finca, looking for Rufous saberwing and Magnificent hummingbird. A short evening walk is suggested after dinner for us to enjoy the Spanish colonial architecture decorated with lights strategically located. Overnight Hotel Las Farolas

Day 6 ANTIGUA GUATEMALA– FINCA LOS ANDES (B, L, D)

Early in the morning, carrying our breakfast, we will be transferred to Finca Los Andes. Three hours later, depending on traffic we will arrive to the Finca, located amidst a Coffee plantation at the base of the Atitlan Volcano. After some leisure birding we will have lunch. Right after lunch we will start walking to explore the surroundings of the main house looking for White-eared and Prevost's ground sparrows, among others. Overnight in Casa Olivier, Finca Los Andes.

Day 7 FINCA LOS ANDES (B, L, D)

Early in the AM we will drive up the hill to watch the sunrise and look for the Resplendent Quetzal. After chasing the quetzal and Crested and Highland Guans, we will have our pack breakfast. As we quietly have breakfast we might hear and luckily encounter some Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridges, Spotted Wood-Quails, and Scaled Antpittas. We will have a pack lunch with us to keep on birding the upper limit of the forest. Among the birds likely to be spotted as the day warms up are Solitary Eagle and King Vulture. By the end of the day, we expect to have in our list Cabanis' Tanager, and Black-crested coquette, among other specialties of the pacific slopes. We will watch the sunset before we drive back down to the main house for shower and a well deserved dinner. Overnight in Casa Oliver, Finca Los Andes.

Day 8 FINCA LOS ANDES – FUENTES GEORGINAS – FINCA LAS NUBES (B, L, D)

Early morning drive to Fuentes Georginas, carrying our breakfast to go. On the way there we will look for Pink Headed Warbler, Yellow-eye Junco and Black-capped Siskin before entering the resort. At midmorning we will drive back down the road to Mazatenango for Lunch (not included). We will arrive to Las Nubes early in the PM to birdwatch the premises: the coffee plantation and the deep gorge east from the house. We will accompany our birding with one of the best cups of coffee of the region. Overnight in Las Nubes

Day 9 LAS NUBES (B, L, D)

Early mornign drive up the hill to the forest preserve which protect the water supply for the Finca. We will be looking for Resplendent Quetzal and Highland Guan. Back to the Finca for Lunch. After lunch we will drive to EL MIRADOR on the slope of Cerro Pecul, Santo Tomás Volcano. Overnight in Las Nubes.

Day 10 FINCA LAS NUBES - FINCA LOS TARRALES (B, L, D)

Early breakfast in Finca Las Nubes, with all luggage ready for the transfer to Los Tarrales. Los Tarrales is a Private Forest Reserve located on the South Eastern slope of Atitlán Volcano. Their reserve protects a range of vegetation formations from Tropical Forest of the Lowlands to Cloud Forest. Close to the house, on Las Pavas Trail, there is a constant Lek of Long-tailed Manakin. We will take our lunch with us so we are able to look for the Manakin and stay on the trail until dusk. Overnight in LOS TARRALES.

Day 11 FINCA LOS TARRALES- VOLCAN SAN PEDRO- SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA (B, L, D)

Early morning breakfast. Then drive to San Lucas Tolimán to board our boat across Atitlán lake to San Pedro del Volcán. There we will drive to the visitor center on San Pedro del Volcán Reserve to start the hike in search of the Horned guan. This is a strong hike along a steep path that crosses the life range of this unique guan. Hiking boots, walking stick and good physical condition are required. During the hike we will overlook Atitlan Lake, which is not only a sacred icon for the indigenous people who live on its shores, but one of the few volcanic craters that became a lake sheltered among younger parasitic volcanoes. About 4 PM we expect to be back at the village of San Pedro to take our boat to our hotel in San Juan La Laguna. Overnight in San Juan La Laguna.

Day 12 SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA – CHICHICASTENANGO – SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA (B, L, D)

Early transfer to Chichicastenango, the indigenous village which harbors one of the world famous Crafts Outdoor Markets in Central America. There we will witness a unique Mayan ritual at the Santo Tomás Church. Lunch at Hotel Mayan Inn - Chichicastenango. After lunch drive back to San Juan La Laguna to do some birding in the afternoon at the lake and to visit town in the evening. Overnight in San Juan La Laguna.

Day 13 SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA - CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA (B, L)

Early breakfast, walk to search for the Belted flycatcher and mid morning transfer to Guatemala, city. Lunch on the road, at Rincón Suizo (not included). There we can have another go to search for Pink headed Warbler and Mountain trogon. Expected time of arrival in La Aurora Airport 2:30 PM for the check in to your flight back home. Otherwise, longer stay at San Juan La Laguna and Rincón Suizo. Later arrival to a three star hotel in Guatemala city (Overnight and dinner on your own).

Day 14 GUATEMALA City, Departure (B)

[Extra morning for those leaving before or around noon] Early transfer to La Aurora Airport for people leaving early in the AM or Early Birding at Cerro Alux for those that fly back around noon.

Included / Not Included

Services Included:

• One expert birding guide for a group of 2 to 4 passengers, and two guides for a group of 6 or more passengers.
• Accomodations in double room and private transportation throughout the trip (including transfers in and out Guatemala City).
• One round trip flight from Guatemala to Tikal (with airport tax).
• Boat transportation at Yaxhá Lake
• Most meals but those not marked in the itinerary.

Not Included:

• International flight and Airport taxes.
• Extra drinks alcoholic and non alcoholic.
• Tips for porters, hotels, restaurant services, and guides.
• Travel insurance

 

NOTES:

If you buy ONLY the extension trip you will have a 100 USD surcharge. The meals not included give the passengers the chance to try different food alternatives in cities where the restaurants have a broad range of options.
* All photos above by Claudia Avendaño

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