Discover Honduras, a fascinating country with abundant lakes, lush mountains, and pristine beaches. This is also a land of stunning biodiversity with a rich history of ancient civilizations. More than 800 species of birds occur here, including the endemic Honduran Emerald and the stunning Resplendent Quetzal. The country also hosts many mammals, including Manatee, Jaguar, sloths, monkeys, Tapir, and Peccary. While ecotourism is still emergent here, Honduras has preserved important habitats in nearly 100 outstanding reserves.

Our journey highlights the country’s rich biodiversity, friendly, relaxing lifestyle, and several of its archaeological gems. Honduras is perhaps best known for the ruins of Copan, the “Paris of the Mayan World.” In addition to this stunning location, we visit the prime sites of Las Sepulturas and the Lencan archaeological site of Los Naranjos.

Along with excellent ruins, we explore stellar birding locations that showcase the country’s wide range of habitats, from the vast wetlands and seasonal flooded forests of Lago Yojoa, the country’s largest freshwater lake, to the beautiful mid-elevation forests near Copan. We also take in the broadleaf rainforest of Cerro Azul Meambar National Park and the pine-oak and cloud forest of Santa Barbara National Park.

Expect a rainbow of birds: Green Violetear, Violet Sabrewing, Green-throated Mountain Gem, Collared Trogon, Flame-colored Tanager, Barred Parakeet, and more. Your guide is also one of the world’s foremost experts on butterflies, particularly here in his home territory!

Tour Highlights

  • Travel with the author of the Guide to the Birds of Honduras, expert Robert Gallardo whose Guide to the Butterflies of Honduras makes him your double-expert naturalist for beautiful winged creatures
  • Spend a full day exploring the stunning Maya ruins of Copan
  • Bird and boat on Lake Yojoa, Honduras’ largest natural freshwater lake
  • Explore the lush Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park, teeming with birds and also the beautiful cloud forest of Santa Barbara National Park
  • Relax and let birds come to you at Panacam Lodge’s buzzing hummingbird feeders
  • Enjoy species that are easier to see here than elsewhere in their range, including Keel-billed Motmot, White-breasted Hawk, Guatemalan Screech-Owl, Great Swallow-tailed Swift and Bushy-crested Jay

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Sun., Feb. 2     Arrivals | Lake Yojoa

Upon arrival we make the one and a half hour drive to scenic Lake Yojoa. The flat terrain with farmland gives way to forested slopes as we approach the lake. This is the country’s largest natural freshwater lake. The surface covers 30+ square miles and sits in a volcanic depression. On the east side, Cerro Azul Meambar National Park covers more than 40,000 acres and consists mostly of broadleaf rainforest. Santa Barbara National Park, on the west side of the lake, is pine-oak and cloud forest. The lake itself is surrounded by vast wetlands and seasonal flooded forest—a great location to start our trip!
Accommodations at Panacam Lodge, Meambar National Park (D)

Mon., Feb. 3      Cerro Azul Meambar National Park

This morning we look for birds and other wildlife around the visitor’s center and some lower trails. There is also a tower where we have a chance to spot some canopy-dwelling species. Purple Porterweed not only attracts hummingbirds, but also an assortment of beautiful swallowtail butterflies. Some of the birds we seek out include Long-billed Starthroat, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Stub-tailed Spadebill, and Blue-crowned Chlorophonia. Lesson’s Motmot is almost tame here. Close to the visitor center is the best place in Honduras to see the tiny, yet amazing Black-crested Coquette, which your guide compares to a miniature Samurai warrior fully equipped with a headdress and body armor! This location is also be our best chance on this trip to see the prized Keel-billed Motmot. Honduras is at the center of this bird's distribution and is actually our fairly common in places.

Hummingbird feeders entertain us with the giant and dazzling Violet Sabrewing and Long-billed Starthroat, our constant companions. In the afternoon, we may choose to take a walk to a nearby waterfall or walk partway down the entrance road.
Accommodations at Panacam Lodge inside Meambar National Park (B,L,D)

Tues., Feb. 4      Lake Yojoa

This morning we make the short drive down to the lakeshore for a different experience. We board a boat and cruise along parts of the shoreline. Snail Kite is abundant here, feeding primarily on aquatic snails. Waterfowl of all sorts frequent the lake, including resident and migratory ducks, herons, gallinule, and Osprey. The scenery is breathtaking as we enjoy a full morning out on the water. We take our lunch at a restaurant with a beautiful view and fresh local cuisine. After lunch we try our luck finding secretive crakes and rails in the nearby marsh. We then return to Meambar National Park for some late afternoon bird watching.
Accommodations at Panacam Lodge inside Meambar National Park (B,L,D)

Wed., Feb. 5      Los Naranjos Archaeological Site

This morning we return to Lake Yojoa, where we visit the Los Naranjos archaeological site. This site was thought to be of Lencan origin and in actuality very little excavation has been done, but there is a small museum with some pottery on display. The area, however, is filled with birds in a beautiful seasonally flooded forest. There is a gravel trail as well as an elevated boardwalk where we search for Rufous-and-white Wren, wild Muscovy Duck, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, White-winged Becard, Red-lored Parrot, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, and Ivory-billed Woodcreeper.

We return to Meambar National Park for some late afternoon birding or relaxing on the cabin patio. We look for fruiting wild fig trees, which attract a wide range of birds, including euphonias, chlorophonia, tanagers, parrots, trogons, toucans, and more.
Accommodations at Panacam Lodge inside Meambar National Park (B,L,D)

Thurs., Feb. 6       Meambar National Park to Copan Ruins

We do some early morning bird watching around the visitor’s center, have breakfast, then check out. We begin to make the five-hour drive to the extreme western part of the country to our next destination, Copan, stopping along the way for lunch and birds.

After arriving in Copan, we stay three nights at Hacienda San Lucas, which sits on the side of the mountain overlooking the Copan River and the main ruins site. Nestled amidst a mixed deciduous forest away from the hustle and bustle of town, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the cuisine, birds, and local atmosphere.
Accommodations at Hacienda San Lucas (B,L,D)

Fri., Feb. 7     Main Copan Ruins

We wake this morning to some fresh coffee in a different environment. The surrounding deciduous forest harbors a different set of birds than we’ve seen so far, including Altamira and Streak-backed Orioles, White-throated Magpie-Jay, and Elegant Trogon.

After breakfast we visit the main site of Copan Ruins and are immersed in Maya culture. The elaborate artistry of the stelae and altar encountered in this once-sprawling city is amazing. Many were carved during the golden age (711-736 A.D.) and one of the highlights is the Hieroglyphic Stairway, which preserves the longest written record of Maya history in stone and describes the lineage of the sixteen rulers. This site is often likened to the “Paris of the Maya Kingdom” due to all its preserved glyphs. We enjoy a guided tour by a local expert and following that, we visit Copan’s Sculpture Museum, which houses a full-sized replica of the Rosalila Temple.

Amidst these birdy ruins, we hope to see Rufous-naped Wren, Red-throated Parakeet, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Streak-backed Oriole, Turquoise-browed Motmot, and Rufous-browed Peppershrike in the lush vegetation. There is also an active Scarlet Macaw breeding and release program and we witness their bright colors as they light up the site.

We have lunch at Copan and have the option to do some sightseeing around the town’s main plaza.
Accommodations at Hacienda San Lucas (B,L,D)

Sat., Feb. 8       Las Sepulturas Architectural Site

This morning we visit a nearby archaeological site where nobles and scribes once lived. Its name, in English, means “the graves” because these Maya elites entombed their dead within their homes. A raised flagstone path once connected this residential area to the main site. This small area receives very few visitors, one reason it happily teems with bird life. Here we find Rufous-naped Wren, Yellow-green Vireo, Altamira Oriole, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, and Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush. We then have some free time to explore town, see a small museum, and maybe find a souvenir.

In the afternoon we return to San Lucas. We can relax and enjoy the sunset on the lawn while birdwatching. Oftentimes, parrots, egrets, and parakeets fly past on their way to roost, and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl comes in to hunt. We enjoy a candlelit dinner on this last night in country.
Accommodations at Hacienda San Lucas (B,L,D)

Sun., Feb. 9       Departures or Pico Bonito Extension

This morning we travel 3.5 hours to San Pedro Sula for late afternoon international flights. (B)

  • Birding Honduras, Bird Watching Honduras, Central American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot, Copan Ruins, Maya Ruins

    Copan Ruins

  • Birding Honduras, Bird Watching Honduras, Central American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot, Copan Ruins, Maya Ruins

    Montezuma Oropendola

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    Honduras Beach

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    Collared Aracari by James Adams

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    Scarlet Macaw in flight

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    Blue Morpho Butterfly

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    Bird of Paradise

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    Waterfall

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    Copan Ruins detail shot

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    Copan Ruins

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    Honduras Scenic

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    Wine-throated Hummingbird

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    King Vulture

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    Banana Flower, Copan Ruins

Cost of the Journey

The cost of this journey is $TBD DBL / $TBD SGL, per person, from San Pedro Sula. This cost is based on double occupancy and includes all accommodations; meals as specified in the itinerary, group airport transfers, professional guide services, local park and other area entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Arrival and Departure Airport: The airport for this tour is Ramón Villeda Morales (SAP) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Arrival: Please arrive no later than 2:00 PM on February 2, 2025.

Departure: Please plan to depart after 4:00 PM on February 9, 2025.

Travel Tips: Our guide and operator in Honduras recommends if you plan to come the day before to rest up from travel, or need to stay over for a morning flight the following day, that you book close to the airport at the MetroTel Express. This is a popular spot for travelers from the US and affordable. It has a restaurant and a nice tropical garden and he can pick you up there. This can be booked online.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.

Honduras

  • Robert Gallardo

    A California native who moved to Honduras in 1993 for the Peace Corps, Robert stayed to make a life there, diving headfirst into the world of tropical birds. He is now considered the country's leading authority on both avifauna and butterflies – a double expert on beautiful flying things. He leads tours for Naturalist Journeys to Panama, Honduras, Texas and Trinidad & Tobago. Robert is the current President of the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation, a small non-profit which promotes nature-based sustainable tourism and environmental education. He is also the co-founder of the Honduran Ornithological Society. He has authored two editions of the "Guide to the Birds of Honduras." He and his partner Olivia hope to publish the "Guide to the Butterflies of Honduras" sometime in 2022. The couple lives in Emerald Valley where they protect 50 acres of rich mid-elevation rainforest and are working to install a nature center with their foundation.

    Other trips with Robert Gallardo

Map for Honduras: Stellar Birding & Maya Ruins

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least THREE months AFTER the date of your scheduled return to the U.S.
  • No Visas are required for U.S. citizens for length of this stay in Honduras. It is advisable to check for updated information at travel.state.gov for travel to Honduras 4-6 weeks before departure. If you are from another country, please contact the Embassy of Honduras website for guidelines.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Honduras and consult with your doctor about general travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “General Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations arriving into Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP). Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office, please.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP), Honduras

Please arrive in San Pedro Sula at the Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP) no later than 2:00 PM. If you need to arrive a day early, we suggest you book the MetroTel Express near the airport and we can pick you up there. Upon arrival, you will pass through the Immigration, baggage claim, and Customs. Your Emergency Contact list, sent ahead of the tour, will be helpful when passing through immigration and they ask where you will be staying, and please keep proof of your return flight handy. Get into one of the lines for Visitors and after your passport has been stamped for entry you will enter the luggage claim area to pick up your bags. One you have your bags, to pass through Customs, unless you have something to declare, choose the exit marked “Green Line” to bypass the customs procedure on your way out of the terminal. However, if you have anything to declare, or if the Green Line is closed, please use the “Red Line”.

Your guide will be waiting for you outside the Customs area, with binoculars around his neck. If for any reason he is delayed (a very unusual circumstance), please wait for him. You have his cell phone number on your emergency contact sheet. He will provide you with an overview of your trip as you drive towards your first stop. Please keep your binoculars and walking shoes handy in your carry-on baggage for birding stops en route. Please make sure we have a copy of your flight reservations, so we can arrange to meet you.

Please check the Travel Details tab on the tour’s web page for additional and updated information.

Departures from Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP), Honduras

Please check the Travel Details tab on the tour’s web page for additional and updated information.

Passports, Visas & Documents

You must have a passport in good condition and that remains valid for at least THREE months AFTER your scheduled return to the U.S. You should have at least one blank page per stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. 

At the time of writing, a tourist visa is not required for the length of this stay, but you will need proof of a return ticket.  We advise that you bring your eContact list of hotels for use at immigration as well.

It is advisable to check for updated information for travel requirements link below at least 4-6 weeks before departure. Information and updates for U.S. citizens traveling to Honduras can be found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Honduras.html. If you are from another country, please contact the Honduras embassy website for guidelines.

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health & Inoculations Information – Be Prepared!

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency.  

Anti-malarial drugs are not required for any area that you visit. There are occasional reports of Dengue Fever in lower elevation areas, for which there is no vaccine. Dengue fever, Zika, and other diseases are contacted by mosquito bites so be sure to use mosquito repellant containing DEET or Picaridin. Travelers can reduce their risk of disease by protecting themselves from mosquito bites in lower elevation areas by using protective clothing. You spend a good portion of your stay at elevations where mosquitos are not an issue.

Vaccinations: Bring your up-to-date vaccination records with you. At the time of writing, although there were no other required vaccinations to enter Honduras, Honduras currently requires travelers arriving from or traveling to Panama and every nation in South America to present proof of yellow fever vaccine.  The CDC does recommend that all travelers should be up to date with routine vaccinations before traveling to any destination. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio and your yearly flu shot. The CDC also recommends current vaccines for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.  It is always advisable to check with your physician (as well as the CDC) 4-6 weeks ahead of time for recommendations and changes in policy. For more information, see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Honduras or reach by phone (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

Prescriptions and Allergies: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers.  It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for common ailments (such as upset stomach, headache, motion sickness, diahhrea, minor scrapes, bug bites, etc.).

Daily Itinerary

We generally follow the published itinerary but do network with other guides and may make changes if we hear of great bird sightings or a new opportunity. The joy of our travel is tremendous flexibility, and we make every effort to do the things you particularly want to do. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

Weather & Climate

Honduras can be hot at lower elevations, but most of your trip is in the mountains. So it’s best to have layers so you can add or subtract as you need them. Early mornings and evenings will be cool. Mid-day can be quite warm. We are not opposed to enjoying the very refreshing Latin custom of a Siesta! It may also rain, at times quite intensely - a light rain jacket or poncho is good and YES - do bring an umbrella. Your raincoat can double as a layer to combine with a light jacket possibly some evenings.

Annoyances & Hazards

Mosquitoes can occur in the forests; therefore, a supply of insect repellent containing DEET is essential. At grassland or farm locations you may encounter chiggers, if so, spray your shoes with repellent, and tuck your pants into your socks, this helps a lot. When back, be sure to shower and air out your clothing. Your guide should have a good read on if it has been wet enough that chiggers are active, they are a part of lowland, and mid-elevation habitats throughout Central and South America. There can also be poisonous snakes and insects, though encountering them is rare. Do listen carefully to any advice given by your local guide. And remember sun is strong and be prepared.

Food & Drinks

Most of our meals will be at our hotels, and in local restaurants recommended by our guide during travel. You may want to skip street-food despite the tempting smells unless your guide indicates it is okay. Please plan to purchase bottled water, which your guide will make opportunities to stop for. Most restaurants will offer this, and also the local beer is good. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Dress is very informal and laundry services are available for a fee at our lodges. While some people will change for dinner, it is usually just to a drier or cleaner version of what they wore during the day. Again, the climate is warm to hot, so you will be comfortable in lightweight clothing.

Please, pack light. We are serious about this – we move around a lot; you just do not need much to cope with tropical life! Please do not bring anything more than you must. 

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Wear your most important shoes for the field and have one day’s clothing change (including a change of underwear!). And please do not pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

Spending Money

Currency in Honduras is the Lempira. We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as cash, an ATM card, and a credit card. For the current exchange rate, please refer to an online converter tool like www.xe.com, or your bank. You will be able to change money after your arrival at banks or hotels, and in many places you can use US dollars. Bring large U.S. bills ($50 or $100) that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency. ATM machines are available at the airport, and Copan. Please test your ATM card out and make sure you know your PIN number; you may want to ask the bank about using it if you do not do so on a regular basis.

When using the ATM to withdrawal cash, keep in mind it might only accept cards from local banks or not allow cash advances on credit cards. Many U.S. banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey.

We suggest you have more than one card available, if possible. You may want to bring more than one brand of card (VISA and Mastercard are commonly accepted; American Express is less common). You can use credit cards at lodges to pay your bar and gift tabs. Not every shop will accept every card. Some smaller shops and restaurants, or taxis require cash, so it is always a good idea to ask before making a purchase. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling abroad to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges. If you have a choice of cards, bring one with no foreign exchange fees.

Many people ask how much money to plan to bring for spending money. Part of that depends on how much you want to shop. Typical items people purchase include: local souvenirs, handicrafts and T-shirts, drinks before or with dinner and natural history books.

Gratuities

Tipping is optional and completely at your discretion. If you would like to show our appreciation to your guides, lodge and hotel staff or anyone associated with this tour, it is entirely appropriate. Know that they appreciate anything you care to give and of course you can do more if you wish! Lodges normally have a box for tips that the staff share, and hotels you would just tip the maids as you do at home. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services.

Here is a standard suggestion for tipping on birding trips:

  • Birding tour guide: US $10.00 - $15.00 per day per guest
    Note: If there is more than one guide, this can be split among them, so that is a total, per person, per day
  • Tour driver if different from guide: US $5.00 - $7.00 per person/day
  • Lodge staff: US $6.00 - $10.00 per day per guest
  • Transfer (airport shuttle) driver: US $2.00 - $3.00 per person
  • Hotel & international airport bellmen: US $1.00 per suitcase

Electricity

The standard in Honduras is the same as in the United States: 110 volts AC (60 cycles). Plugs are set up in the same style. However, three-pronged outlets can be scarce, so it's helpful to bring along an adapter for a two-prong outlet. Also some places have the old same-size flat blade plug, while most US plugs have one longer prong. If you have a choice, bring both types of plugs. More information can be found at www.power-plugs-sockets.com.

Time

Honduras is on the same time as Central Standard Time in the US, though they do not observe Daylight Savings Time.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone us toll free at (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!

 

Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.

Transportation

As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Packing List +

PLEASE PACK LIGHT! Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid Read more

PLEASE PACK LIGHT!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use soft luggage. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle. It is our hope that you can pack in one checked suitcase that does not exceed 45 pounds. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this makes an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

In general, the weather during your stay should be warm to hot, averaging in the mid-70s to low 80°F during the day, and cool in the early mornings and evenings averaging the low 60°F. You may also see some rain.

Dress is comfortable and informal throughout the trip. Dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun and vegetation.  But if you like to wear them, by all means bring some shorts.  Also, choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy and things that are comfortable and easy.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors, though camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing & Gear

  • Lightweight long pants, 2 pair
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts
  • T-shirts or equivalent (1 per day recommended – remember you may be buying some there anyway!)
  • Shorts (optional)
  • Personal underclothing and pajamas
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho
  • Lightweight jacket, fleece fabric is ideal, or a sweatshirt
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes or a skirt, sundress, etc.)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Lightweight hiking boots – (good tread and support is essential!)
  • Sandals for evenings, travel days (optional) – a type that work well in boats is good, like Tevas
  • Bathing suit and sun cover-up (you’ll enjoy the pools immensely when it’s hot)
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana
  • Field vest (optional), a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), travel insurance info, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person at all times (such as a secure, under-clothing document pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Small daypack or fanny pack for carrying your field gear
  • Umbrella (compact and not brightly colored)
  • Hiking sticks or poles, especially if you use them regularly
  • Small flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Alarm clock, or plan to use your phone
  • Sunscreen/Chapstick
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (containing DEET), and sulphur powder or other for chiggers, if you can find it
  • Anti-itch cream or stick
  • Toiletry articles
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional)
  • Camera and extra battery, film, lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual (optional)
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook and pen or journal (optional)
  • Spanish phrase dictionary
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Sink plug (often not available, a flat universal one is easiest to use)
  • Washcloth (again, available some places and not at others)
  • Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing
  • Earplugs – in urban and even rural areas barking dogs and traffic noise can be annoying. 
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • 3- to 2-prong adaptor in case B sockets are not available (optional)
  • Steri-Pen or other UV water treatment device to help cut down on the use of plastic bottles (optional)

 

WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical & First Aid Items

  • Personal medication
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on drives; altitude sickness medication (optional)
  • Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, etc.)
  • Copy of insurance information, eyeglass prescription, medical prescriptions, and any medical alerts
  • Heath insurance and vaccination information (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contact
  • Band-aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Hand sanitizer

 

Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Honduras; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Honduras; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

Merlin App – Honduras Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Honduras.

Guide to the Birds of Honduras

Field Guides

Peterson Field Guide to Northern Central America

A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico

Collins Guide to Tropical Plants

Wildlife & Nature

The New Neotropical Companion

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America

Birds of Tropical America: A Watcher’s Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity

Seven Names for the Bellbird: Conservation Geography in Honduras

History & Culture

Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, & Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

Animals and Plants of the Ancient Maya: A Guide

Breaking the Maya Code

Copan, the Rise and Fall of an Ancient Maya Kingdom

Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copan and the Ancient Maya

Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary

Your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.

 

Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more

General

Overview of Honduras

Lake Yojoa

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birds

Birding Lake Yajoa

Honduran Emerald Hummingbird

Butterflies of Emerald Valley Nature Reserve by this tour’s guide Robert Gallardo!

Endemics of Honduras

Cloud Forests

Herpetofauna of Cloud Forests

Ecoregions of Honduras

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Honduras Conservation Coalition

Mesoamerica Biological Diversity Article

Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park

Geology & Geography

Geology of Honduras

Geology of Honduran Geothermal Sites

Geography of Honduras

History & Culture

History

General Cultural Overview

Ancient City of Copán

Las Sepulturas Architectural Site

Los Naranjos, Honduras

Honduran Cuisine

Helpful Travel Websites

Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP)

National Passport Information Center

Homeland Security Real ID Act

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information - Honduras

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Honduras

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories - Honduras

Travel Health Pro (UK) - Honduras

Electricity and Plugs – Honduras

Date, Time, and Holidays - Honduras


Photo credits: Banners: Howler Monkey, Copan Ruins, Scarlet Macaw, Montezuma Oropendola, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Thumbnails: Turquoise-browed Motmot, Violet Sabrewing, Guatemalan Screech Owl, Mantled Howler Monkey Three-toed Sloth, Red-lored Parrot, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Scarlet Macaw

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