With three nights each at three great lodges, we have the luxury of birding at leisure as we explore the dramatic scenery, rich culture and biodiversity on this Guatemala birding tour, home to more than 700 birds, including 40 regional endemics!

The main part of the tour focuses on the highlands of interior Guatemala, whose rugged chain of mountains was formed by the interaction of the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. A jagged landscape of lush mountains, dry intermontane valleys, scenic lakes, and spectacular volcanoes creates a diversity of microclimates and habitats for many endemics: Bushy-crested Jay, Pink-headed Warbler, Grey Silky-flycatcher, Blue-throated Motmot and many more. This habitat diversity that makes this Guatemala nature tour exciting also produces some of the world’s greatest shade-grown coffees with no less than eight distinct coffee-growing regions, each with its distinct quality and flavor. See (and taste!) it for yourself. It is simply a magical place.

We explore many facets of culture on this tour, including UNESCO World Heritage colonial capital Antigua, where we learn more about the country’s history and art, including its iconic textiles. We enjoy pre-Colombian dining and make our own lunch in a cooking class!

Make sure to book the post-tour extension birding the UNESCO World Heritage Maya ruins at Tikal and Yaxha, which goes on to spend a half day birding El Remate, an idyllic setting on Lake Petén Itzá.

Tour Highlights

  • Settle in and get a sense of place with three-night stays at three great lodges.
  • Search for Resplendent Quetzal, Blue-throated Motmot and Green-throated Mountain-gem on this Guatemala birding tour.
  • Find overwintering warblers in mixed flocks with resident species, including the iconic Pink-headed Warbler and stunning Golden-browed Warbler.
  • Marvel at volcano-fringed Lake Atitlan, the deepest lake in Central America, from our lakefront lodge and spa on this Guatemala nature tour.
  • Develop an appreciation for Guatemalan textiles, art, and history at Guatemala City’s Museos Ixchela and Vox Popol.
  • Explore and dine in beautiful Antigua Guatemala, which retains its grandeur as former capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site! During our stay we enjoy pre-Colombian dining and take a fun group cooking class!
  • Bird at El Pilar, replete with colorful and regionally special bird species such as Bar-winged Oriole, Green-throated Mountain-gem, and Blue-throated Motmot.
  • Discover one of the best eco-lodges in Central America, Los Tarrales Reserve, offering bird lovers and coffee lovers an unforgettable experience!
  • See owls, nightjars, small mammals, and frogs at night around the lodge.
  • Extend your trip with three nights at a lodge inside Tikal National Park whose impressive Maya ruins are among the most impressive in the world.

Trip Itinerary

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

Tues., Mar. 4     Arrival in Guatemala City

Welcome to Guatemala! Arrive today at La Aurora International Airport. It is about a three-hour flight from most USA gateway cities to Guatemala. Upon arrival, you are met at the airport for the transfer to our first hotel in the city, a short 10-minute drive from the airport. For those arriving one or more days early, your transfer is coordinated with the regular hotel shuttle.


The group officially gets together today at 6:30 PM in the hotel lobby to enjoy a welcome dinner where we meet our guides and fellow travelers and enjoy an overview of our birding adventure in Guatemala. 
Accommodation at the Clarion Suites Hotel, Guatemala City (D)

Wed., Mar. 5     Museo Ixchel | Los Tarrales Reserve

After our breakfast at the hotel our first stop is the nearby Museo Ixchel, the textile museum named after the god of the moon, women and textiles. Here we’ll get a background of the Maya textiles which we will see throughout our tour. (In Atitlán we visit a weaving co-op to get a more personal understanding.) Just across from Museo Ixchel is Museo Popol Vuh, named after the 1701 book recording the mythology and history of the K'iche' people. The museum is home to one of the major Maya art and artifact collections in the world, both pre and post Columbian. Here we get a broad look at Maya, and therefore Guatemalan, history, culture and beliefs, as 42% of the Guatemalan population is Maya and a more than half of the rest are Mestizo - mixed Mayan and other ethnicities. Both museums are on the Universidad Francisco Marroquín campus, and if time we’ll do some birding at the delightful Arboretum here. Lesson´s Motmot, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, White-napped Brush-Finch and White-faced Ground-Sparrow may be seen here. We then head west of the city to Los Tarrales Reserve, south of Lake Atitlán, getting lunch along the way. The reserve is part of the Atitlán Important Bird Area (IBA), designated by BirdLife International. The comfortable lodge comprises the original farmhouse where family-style meals are served and newer cabins a short walk away. The immediate grounds are home to a wide variety of birds and extensive walking and 4WD trails range out from the central area. Walking to the dining room through hedgerows of flowers brings sightings of active and colorful hummingbirds. This is a cozy, simple birding lodge to long remember.
Accommodations at the Los Tarrales Eco Lodge (B,L,D)

Thurs., Mar. 6      Full Day at Los Tarrales 

We rise early today for breakfast before meeting our local guide to bird a different area of the reserve. We drive partway up the mountain in four-wheel drive vehicles to a higher area of the forest, where a viewpoint affords splendid views of a lush landscape as far as the eye can see. Finding the mountain specialty birds takes time, so plan on spending much of the day walking the road with scenic views all along the way. Avian treasures we may observe on this walk include Azure-rumped Tanager, White-winged Tanager, Blue Seedeater, Bar-winged Oriole, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, and so much more. Returning to the lodge, we check a secretive pond area that is often highly productive. 

Those not up for the walk can enjoy this delightful lodge and the nearby coffee plantation, with chances to watch Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Long-billed Starthroat, White-bellied Chachalaca, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Spot-breasted Oriole, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Barred Antshrike, Roadside Hawk, and other species. Each evening usually finds us watching a variety of parrots flying to their nighttime roosts, with our guide teaching us their distinctive calls and flight patterns.

Dinner is at the lodge each and we may go out to listen for owls and nightjars.
Accommodations at Los Tarrales Eco Lodge (B,L,D)

Fri., Mar. 7       Full Day at Los Tarrales 

Those that wish can greet the dawn beside the lodge, scanning the mature trees that grow along an open soccer field for a variety of species such as Yellow-naped Parrot and Pacific Parakeet—these parrots may provide great scope views as they perch and socialize in the early morning light. We then enjoy breakfast, watching the birds as they busily go about their morning. Hummingbirds love the blooming hedgerow next to the building, putting on an energetic show. This morning and afternoon we explore the walking trails at the lodge. Natural forest is interspersed with shade coffee plantations from 2300 to 5200 feet. It is incredibly scenic and the varied elevation gives us a great variety of birds. The reserve hosts over 400 species of birds and 99 mammals—wow! It is one of Guatemala’s richest birding and natural history areas. Included in the list that the verdant forests of Los Tarrales are home to are Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, White-faced Quail-Dove, White-winged Tanager, and White-eared Ground-Sparrow. As the day warms up, there is also a rich diversity of butterflies, from morphos to daggerwings to crescents. Situated at a lower elevation, your comfortable lodge immerses you in nature with splendid scenery and birdy surroundings with shade-grown coffee plantations (yes, you can buy local coffee!). Some of the highlights we may see right around the lodge include Orange-chinned Parakeet, Lesson’s Motmot, Long-billed Starthroat, White-bellied Chachalaca, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Masked Tityra, Rufous-naped Wren and Yellow-winged Tanager. 
Accommodations at Los Tarrales Eco Lodge (B,L,D)

Sat., Mar. 8       Lake Atitlán

Those that wish can greet the dawn birds beside the lodge once again before we enjoy breakfast, watching the birds as they busily go about their morning. Hummingbirds love the blooming hedgerow next to the building, putting on an energetic show. Then, it’s time to pack up and head to our next exciting destination. After saying farewell to our local guide and others at the lodge we head towards our lodge for the next three nights in the community of Santiago Atitlán on the shore of Lake Atitlán. Few places in the world can match the spectacular beauty of this lake, one of Guatemala’s most prized natural treasures. Geologists state its origin is due to a large volcanic blast that occurred millions of years ago. Pockets of broad-leaf and mixed pine-oak forests grow in the region. 

For many centuries, several native groups of Maya origin have lived on the shores of Lake Atitlán and continue to share a relationship based on community. Divided among numerous small townships, the two main groups that share the lake are the T’zutujiles and Kaqchiqeles.

The Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute (IMAP) is in the community of Pachitulul, part of the municipality of San Lucas Tolimán, on the south side of Lake Atitlán, and i we stop here to continue this morning’s birding. The programs of IMAP work to defend natural resources, the land, and its people by promoting food sovereignty and biodiversity conservation, empowering individuals and communities in Mesoamerica. The property is one of the best places to see Slender Sheartail; other species looked for here are White-eared, Blue-tailed and Azure-crowned Hummingbirds, Sora, Least Grebe, Painted Bunting, White-faced Ground-sparrow, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, Tropical Mockingbird and Gray Silky-flycatcher. We then continue around Lake Atitlán to Santiago Atitlán and our accommodation for the next three nights, Hotel Bambu, set in extensive (and birdy) gardens overlooking the lake. 

After lunch we have one of our tour’s cultural events, visiting a women’s textile weaving and embroidery co-op. We’ll see the ways of making dyes from natural ingredients, spinning and dying yarn and weaving using hand looms. As we will have seen at Museo Ixchel individuals make designs traditional for their areas but here also bring their own personal touch to color and design. Late afternoon we will likely visit a lakeside farm for a variety of waterbirds and open scrub birds. Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Purple Gallinule, up to seven or eight species of herons and allies, the sedentary local white-breasted race of Sharp-shinned Hawk, Green Kingfisher, Golden-fronted and Golden-olive Woodpeckers, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Bushy-crested Jay, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Brown-backed Solitaire, Black-headed Siskin, Black-vented Oriole and Melodious Blackbird are among the many species found here. 
Accommodations at El Bambu, Santiago Atitlán (B,L,D)

Sun., Mar. 9       Chichicastenango

We make an early start today with just coffee and snacks (we’ll stop to sample some typical Guatemalan food along the way) as we are heading for Chichicastenango and its famous market, located at the base of the Santo Tomás church, built in 1545, and the adjacent monastery where the Popol Vuh was discovered. We’ll cross the lake by boat with the dawn light starting to brighten the encircling volcanoes, then meet our vehicle for the ninety minute drive north. The market is the largest in Central and South America and attracts local sellers and buyers from all over the region, plus its share of international travelers. Textiles, clothing such as women’s Huapile blouses, distinct to each village, market goods - the variety of fruit and vegetables can be overwhelming – and much more. Just down the street is the colorful cemetery which we can also visit. As it is a Sunday depending and on our timing access to the inside of the church may be restricted but the market will be in full swing. The inside often has candles, drawings and offerings on the floor, plus petals and other items not usually associated with Catholicism. The church was built on the site of a Mayan temple and the eighteen steps leading to doors are part of that temple. As such the steps, each representing a month of the Mayan calendar, are revered by the Maya people and offerings and other rituals may be seen here; the whole church has a mix of Catholic and Mayan religions. 

After Chichi we return to Panajachel for a late lakeside lunch and birding the grounds; Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird will be one of our main targets. We then return across the lake to our hotel.
Accommodations at El Bambu, Santiago Atitlán (B,L,D)

Mon., Mar. 10      Birding Mirador Rey Tepepul

Today we have a choice of birding activities in the morning. The standard one is after breakfast at the lodge setting off for our birding destination of Mirador del Rey Tepepul. At this site we hope to observe not only the stunning and iconic Resplendent Quetzal, but also the highly sought after endemic Azure-rumped Tanager, as well as Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Barred Parakeet, Chestnut-capped Brush-finch, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, Grey Silky-flycatcher, Brown-backed Solitaire, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Golden-browed Warbler, the Northern Central American sub-species of Hairy Woodpecker, Mountain Elaenia, and so many more. Finding a late Wine-throated Hummingbird is also possible here. We spend the whole morning birding the trails here before heading back to the hotel.

Alternatively you may opt for a very early start and a long and harder hike up Cerro Paquisis for the near-mythical Horned Guan; a bird that may not make the work required seem worth it, until you lift your bins and see it properly; the hike then fades away as you stand transfixed. The hike gains some 3000ft of altitude ending around 8500ft. The plan is basically a march up for the guan, then birding for the plethora of other high to mid altitude birds to be seen along the trail on the way back, including Emerald Toucanets, Singing Quail, the brilliant all-blue Central American Steller’s Jay and perhaps Chestnut-sided Shrike-vireo. The night before these alternatives will be discussed more fully so you choose the most suitable alternative. 

During our stay at Atitlán we will visit the local home housing the effigy of Maximón. Maximón represents both dark and light, a trickster who is a go-between the Gods and the Shaman who people hire to help them in some way. The Shaman engages in a lawyerly like discussion with Maximón entreating him to ask the Gods for assistance. Smoking and drinking by both Shaman and Maximón is part of the ritual. Each year a different home houses Maximón and we will endeavor to time our visit when an entreaty is to be made.
Accommodations at El Bambu, Santiago Atitlán (B,L,D)

Tues., Mar. 11         Pink-headed Warbler at Tecpan | Antigua Guatemala

After breakfast at the hotel we check out and travel to Antigua Guatemala, stopping in route at Finca Chichavac, located in Tecpan. Finca Chichavac is in the mountain forest biome of Sierra de Tecpan, 30 miles from La Antigua Guatemala at an altitude of 8200 feet. Today we look for the Pink-headed Warbler again, easily observed in this pine-oak forest that dominates much of the interior highlands of Guatemala. This beautiful warbler occurs in the same forest type where we may find Tufted Flycatcher, Olive Warbler, Gray Silky-flycatcher, Band-backed Wren, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, Hooded Grosbeak, and possibly the rare Black-capped Siskin. We may also see a few friends we know from back home: Steller’s Jay (though this Central American form is all brilliant blue, without the black head of US birds), Acorn Woodpecker, Hutton’s Vireo, and Spotted Towhee. Warblers are here in good number and species may include Red-faced, Rufous-capped (a local form), Golden-browed, Townsend’s, and Hermit.

After lunch we start making our way to Antigua Guatemala. Depending on our arrival time there may be some free time for a look around the city from our well-situated and delightful lodgings. We have dinner at the hotel. Afterwards perhaps enjoy the rooftop bar overlooking Volcán de Fuego or take an after-dinner stroll to admire the lights and historic buildings. 
Accommodation at Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar, Antigua (B,L,D)

Wed., Mar. 12      Antigua Birding at El Pilar | Free Time or a City-tour in Antigua 

In the morning we head to an excellent reserve at Finca El Pilar. This site features a mixture of shade-grown coffee plantations and oak-pine forest. Patches of good bird habitat occur at the nature reserve and shade-grown coffee plantation. Here, we may find a fantastic and stunning variety of regional highland endemics such as Black-capped Swallow, Bushy-crested Jay, Highland Guan, Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-collared Robin, and Blue-and-white Mockingbird. Other species we may observe include Singing Quail, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Pacific Parakeet, Chestnut-sided Shrike-vireo, Brown-backed Solitaire, and Gray Silky-flycatcher. Hummingbird feeders attract numerous species such as Green-throated Mountain-gem, Rufous Sabrewing, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, and White-eared Hummingbird. We return to downtown for lunch at a local restaurant featuring Pepién, a traditional chicken stew derived from the fusion of very old Mayan and Spanish recipes.

In keeping with our lunch this afternoon we learn more about Guatemalan food, including how to prepare it ourselves, at a local cooking school. Guatemala is one of the largest exporters of vegetables, fruit and spices to the US and Mexico thanks to its year-round growing season, range of altitudes and widespread volcanic soils. We’ll learn how to transform this bounty, and the spices for which Guatemala is a major exporter such as cardamom, to delicious meals and snacks. 
Accommodation at Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar, Antigua (B,L,D)

Thurs., Mar. 13     Finca El Pilar | Guatemala City

We return to El Pilar this morning to further explore the hillside trails and the birds of this forested area, going further into the reserve where we may encounter Fulvous Owl, and have a second opportunity at the feeders. Also not to be missed is the water drain which attracts a variety of moths and butterflies. The drain offers great close photo opportunities for these insects, and often the lizards that also take advantage of it.

This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of Antigua (more correctly La Antigua Guatemala or just Antigua Guatemala , and even more correctly its original name, Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala. Antigua Guatemala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its incredibly well-preserved 17th Century Spanish colonial architecture. Founded in 1542 and partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1776, it was once the third largest city in the Americas, after Mexico City and Lima. It was also the colonial capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, which at that time extended from Costa Rica into southern Mexico. We explore the city’s plazas, palaces, churches, and convents. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a favorite local restaurant to celebrate all the beauty and fun of our Guatemala tour!
Accommodation at Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar, Antigua (B,L,D)

Fri., Mar. 14       Departures

We leave Antigua this morning and head back to Guatemala City where the tour ends. This afternoon those going on the Tikal extension will fly to Flores and then visit the Yaxha area in route to their lodging in Tikal; others will either catch their flights home or overnight to fly out tomorrow. (B)

 

Tikal Post-Tour Extension

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

Fri., Mar. 14: Flight to Flores | Tikal


We check in for our short flight to Flores we meet up with our local guide; en route to Jungle Lodge we visit the beautiful Yaxha area, located 40 miles from the airport. Yaxha, always an ally of Tikal, has imposing pyramids and is all connected with causeways. It is also within the Maya Biosphere Reserve and located near the Yaxha Lake. The site is part of the National Park Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo, which protects lowland rainforest. It is birdy here, as well as fascinating from a cultural perspective—a good start to seeing a host of new species in this lush habitat. Birds we might see include Slaty-tailed and Gartered Trogon, Red-lored and White-fronted Parrot, Blue Bunting and Keel-billed Toucan – our first taste of birding in the wet Central American lowlands.
Accommodations at Jungle Lodge or similar, Tikal (B,L,D)

Sat., Mar. 15 & Sun., Mar. 16: Tikal National Park


Protected as a national park in 1955, Tikal preserves the most magnificent example of pyramids, plazas, and temples of the ancient Mayan culture. With towering pyramids that reach more than 240 feet, one cannot understand how impressive they are without being in their presence. Once the epicenter of Mayan commerce and trade, Tikal’s towering pyramids stretch towards the heaven and beyond the highest jungle canopy, providing a mystical view of the area’s rich flora and fauna.

In addition to its rich architecture and archeology, Tikal encompasses more than 3 million acres of rainforest in northern Guatemala’s Mayan Biosphere Reserve. In fact, UNESCO designates Tikal as a World Heritage Site based on both its incredible biodiversity as well as its historical heritage. More than 400 species of birds have been found within Tikal National Park, including exceptional numbers of parrots and raptors. While walking through the forest, visiting the different archaeological groups with plazas, pyramids, and palaces, Howler and Spider Monkeys, and showy birds like Squirrel Cuckoo, Keel-billed Toucan, and Ocellated Turkey are also moving around. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant inside the park, and then you have the option to continue exploring. If you find yourself wanting a siesta, our hotel is just outside the gate! These days are to wander through the jungle among the famous ruins, learning about Maya history with time for birding. The archeological zone of Tikal is large, magnificent, and worthy of additional exploration. Mornings and evenings can be very active with the cacophony of commuting parrots, including Brown-hooded, White-crowned, Red-lored, White-fronted, and Mealy Parrot. We also pay attention to what is soaring above us, and we may see Hook-billed, Plumbeous, and Swallow-tailed Kite, perhaps even Ornate or Black Hawk-Eagle!
Accommodations at Jungle Lodge or similar, Tikal National Park (B,L,D)

Mon., Mar. 17: El Remate | Guatemala City


This morning we continue our birding at another site today, El Remate. This is an idyllic spot at the eastern end of Lago de Petén Itzá, and here we have lunch. A nice variety of water birds occur along the shores of the lake, including both Limpkin and Snail Kite. Rank grasses might attract small flocks of Morelet’s Seedeater and Groove-billed Ani. We should also see a nice selection of herons and egrets.

We have scheduled an afternoon flight for the 45-minute jaunt back to Guatemala City, where we spend our last night in the same comfortable city hotel. This evening you have time to pack, get organized for your trip home, and relax during a final evening with friends.
Accommodations at Clarion Suites Hotel or similar, Guatemala City (B,L,D)

Tues., Mar. 18: Departures


Depart at your convenience this morning from La Aurora International airport. Keep in mind when booking flights that you need to be at the airport approximately three hours ahead of your flight, so mid- to late-morning is far more comfortable than an early morning flight. Breakfast for those on a schedule that allows is in the hotel. The tour ends this morning with the transfer to the international airport. (B)

  • Barred Antshrike, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Birding Tikal, Naturalist Journeys
  • Olive-throated Parakeet, Guatemala, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Purple-crowned Fairywren, Guatemala, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Pygmy Kingfisher, Guatemala, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Spot-breasted Oriole, Guatemala, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys
  • Indigo-throated Anole, Guatemala, Guatemala Nature Tour, Guatemala Birding Tour, Naturalist Journeys

Cost of the Journey

The cost of this journey is per person and based on occupancy: $4390 DBL / $4750 SGL, from Guatemala City. This cost 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. If you plan to join your expert local guide on a hike to search for the Horned Guan, there is an excursion charge (approximately $170). While the hike is formidable, we highly recommend taking the opportunity if you are able, as the Horned Guan is an amazing bird, a bonus bird if there ever was one for our Guatemala birding tour! Cost of the Tikal extension is $1895 DBL / $2120 SGL and includes your internal flight. The cost does not include transportation to or from your home to Guatemala, or items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone charges, porterage, maid gratuities, or beverages from the bar.

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: La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City

Arrival Details: Plan to arrive March 4, no later than 4:00 PM. We have a 6:30 PM group dinner on the first day.

Departure Details: Plan flight departures March 14, after 12:00 PM. For those going on the extension tour, plan March 18 flight departures at your leisure. 

Travel Tips: If you are arriving early to rest up from your travels, we can book extra nights for you at our first night tour hotel, the Clarion Suites Guatemala City. The hotel is in a good part of the city with many dining options nearby and has a convenient airport shuttle. If you want to explore Guatemala City, there are plenty of things to do! We’ll visit some fabulous museums on our first day of the tour, but there are many other sites worth visiting. The National Palace, the former headquarters of the President, has beautiful architecture and many paintings and sculptures done by Guatemalan artists. It’s also adjacent to Central Park, the main outdoor area in the city that’s a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. On a clear day you can have a great view of Agua Volcano from here. If you want to do some shopping, check out one of the local artisan markets such as Mercado Central, a popular market for local food and crafts. All these attractions can be reached via taxi or Uber. We can also arrange a guided tour of the city for an additional cost. 

 

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

Guatemala

  • James Petersen

    James grew up in New Jersey and started birding at a young age. He continued that passion by getting an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine. Since then, he has worked and birded extensively across the United States, including conducting point counts and banding ducks in Maine; identifying and counting waterfowl in Nebraska; counting migrating raptors in Texas, Arizona and Wyoming; and surveying for Northern Goshawks in northern California. The past three springs he has been a bird guide in the Chiricahua mountains in southeast Arizona, and he enjoys sharing his passion for birds with others. His favorite bird is the Red-headed Woodpecker.

    Other trips with James Petersen

Map for Best of Guatemala: Birding & Culture

Essential Information +

Ahead of Your Tour Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months after Read more

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months after the date of your scheduled return to the U.S.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Guatemala 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 La Aurora International Airport (GUA). 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 in La Aurora International Airport (GUA), Guatemala City

Please note: If you are delayed in travel, please FIRST call the number of our Guatemala operator. As a backup, contact our office or the Naturalist Journeys staff cell (both numbers are on your emergency contact list).

Plan to arrive at the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City by mid-afternoon; we formally start the tour with a 6:30 PM dinner that evening. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport for transfer to our first hotel in the city, a short 10-minute drive from the airport. For those arriving one or more days early, your transfer is coordinated with the regular hotel shuttle. Our ground operator is happy to help if you want a city tour or have interests in specific parts of the city. The textile museum is quite remarkable!

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from La Aurora International Airport (GUA), Guatemala City

If departing after the main tour, please plan to depart from the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) after noon on the last day of the tour. Please note that you need to be at the airport three hours before your flight and plan your departure accordingly.  

If you continue on the Tikal extension, plan to depart at your convenience on the final day.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

Guidelines and regulations can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s documentation requirements 60-90 days ahead of traveling. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Guatemala.html. If you are from another country, please contact the tour destination’s embassy website for guidelines.

Passports: At the time of writing, you must have a passport that is in good condition and at minimum is valid at the time of entry through your scheduled return to the U.S. (To allow for unexpected delays in return, we suggest validity at least 3 months AFTER return to U.S.). Please check that expiration date! You should have at least one blank page per entry stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. 

Visas: At the time of writing, a tourist visa is not required of US citizens for the length of this tour.

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!

Health requirements for entry to any country can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s health requirements and recommendations 60-90 days ahead of traveling. A helpful website for planning is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Guatemala or by phone (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

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.

The CDC recommends discussing anti-malaria medication with your physician. At the time of writing, the risk of malaria is perceived to be low and although this tour does not occur during a high mosquito time of year, still the best precaution is to dress with long sleeves and spray up! More information can be found at redplanet.travel/mdtravelhealth/destinations/Guatemala.

Vaccinations:  Bring copies of your current vaccination records with you. At the time of writing there were no required vaccinations to enter Guatemala. However, the CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date with routine vaccinations and basic travel vaccines (such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid) before traveling to any destination. Please check with your doctor for recommendations at least 4-6 weeks before departing on your trip. 

Prescriptions: 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. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. 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 prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, *congestion, head or body aches, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

*Attention: At the time of writing, the U.S. State Dept. warned that Pseudoephedrine is banned in Guatemala since it can be used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is commonly found in decongestants, like Sudafed, in the U.S. Check your decongestant's ingredients before you pack them!

Annoyances & Hazards

Mosquitoes can be present in the forests; therefore, a supply of insect repellent containing DEET is essential. At some 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 are also poisonous snakes and insects, though encountering them is rare. Do listen carefully to any advice given by your local guide.

There have been dengue outbreaks in Guatemala. You should prevent mosquito bites. You can protect yourself from the risk of bug bites by following these simple steps:

Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and hats.

Use an appropriate insect repellent (containing at least 20% DEET). Repel or Ben’s makes wipes that are very easy to use, as an alternative to spray.

Use permithrin-treated clothing and gear (do NOT use permithrin directly on skin).

Food & Drinks

We eat in a nice selection of our favorite restaurants. Generally speaking, the level of sanitation and attention to proper food handling techniques has improved immensely in Guatemala. All the restaurants that we will visit during the tour are places that we have researched and can vouch for. We have nothing but the highest confidence in their attention to cleanliness and maintaining the health of our participants. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the price of the trip. We typically ask guests to keep track of their consumption during the trip and we settle up at the end of the trip, adding up your totals and adding for tip. We will always have snacks, drinks and water available in the van during our drives.

Purified water will always be available. You may need to purchase bottle water at meals. Tap water should not be consumed. In an effort to reduce plastic waste, you may want to bring a product, like SteriPEN, to purify your drinking water. This operates with UV light in 90 seconds, your tap water is safe to drink, wonderful!

Weather & Climate

Weather on this trip can vary a bit, particularly depending on elevation. Overall, expect lows in the 50°Fs (sometimes cooler) at night and early in the morning. Daytime temperatures can be in the 80s. There is a minimal possibility of rain, though if it rains, temperatures can be a bit lower. If you combine this tour with the Tikal extension, you will be in lowland tropical forest, so expect temperatures to reach the 90’s and be quite humid. For further information, query the internet for weather in particular areas.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Dress is very informal. While some people will change for dinner, it is usually just to a drier or cleaner version of what they wore during the day. Lightweight long-sleeve shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing, as they protect from sun, vegetation, and biting insects that may carry disease. Also, choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty, and things that are comfortable and easy. In general, a fleece vest and raincoat should suffice for the cold.

Laundry services are available at most lodgings for an additional fee. Hair dryers are mostly not available – if you must bring one, make sure it is very low wattage.

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

We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as cash, an ATM card, and a credit card. The official currency in Guatemala is the quetzal. For the current exchange rate, please refer to an online converter tool like www.xe.com, or your bank. U.S. dollars are accepted at some businesses but shopping for smaller handicrafts may necessitate using local currency. If you choose to do U.S. dollars, you’ll want to bring small denominations ($1s and $5s) in good condition. U.S. coins are not accepted.

Since not all places will accept U.S. currency, we suggest you have some local currency. The easiest way to get cash is by using an ATM. ATMs are available at the airport and in Guatemala City during your trip. 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. If you plan to exchange cash in country, bring large U.S. bill ($50 or $100) in good condition that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency.

Major credit cards are accepted in Guatemala. 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). 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.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted. They can be difficult to exchange. We do not advise you use them.

Many people ask how much money to plan for spending money. Part of that depends on how much you want to shop. Typical items people purchase include: local souvenirs and T-shirts, carvings, beads, textiles, artworks, drinks before or with dinner, maps 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

You may wish to bring small gifts for local people that you meet and enjoy (this is totally optional!). T-shirts, school supplies like pens and small notebooks, inexpensive watches and baseball caps are always popular. Your guides can pass along school supplies to a local school if you bring them. They also love any nature books/coloring books.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

Your guide is well connected and can help if any urgent communication need arises. However, it is highly recommended that you travel with a cell phone, if only as a precaution for the unfortunate occurrence of a medical emergency during an outing and needing swift accessibility to critical personal or medical contacts. 

Please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in your destination country and ask for “international roaming” service for your phone. If you still have a cell phone that accepts a SIM card, you can buy a local SIM card at the airport to insert in your mobile phone.

If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Another option when you have access to Wi-Fi is to use smartphone apps like Skype, WhatsApp or Viber to send text messages and make voice or video calls. Many smartphones, tablets and laptops come with one of these apps pre-installed or you can download for free. If bringing a laptop or tablet, get a good dustcover to protect it at all times.

Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone for calling that you turn off your cellular data. You keep it in airplane mode. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. You can still use it for photos, ebird and everything else not requiring cell reception and will decrease battery usage as well.

Your hotel and lodges provide Wi-Fi at least in their common areas. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions due to the remote location.

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests; plan on cell phone call use on your own time.

Electricity

The standard in Guatemala is the same as in the United States: 110-120 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. If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. More information can be found at www.power-plugs-sockets.com.

Time

Guatemala is in the Central Standard time zone and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. A great website if you want to tell someone to check ahead of calling you is www.timeanddate.com.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys or telephone at 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!

 

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 your 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 is an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

Weather on this trip can vary a bit, but this time of year it is pretty perfect! Overall, expect lows in the 50°Fs at night and early in the morning, occasionally cooler. Daytime averages are in the mid-80°Fs, with possible 90°Fs on the Tikal extension. There is a minimal possibility of rain, though if it rains, temperatures can be a bit lower.

Dress is comfortable and informal throughout the trip. Dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun and vegetation. But if you like to wear them, you can bring shorts. 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, and in some countries, not legal to wear. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the 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 or convertible hiking pants, 2-3 pai
  • Shorts/skirt (optional)
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts, 2-3
  • T-shirts, sleeveless and short-sleeved or equivalent, 2-3
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes)
  • Personal underclothing (consider what dries quickly if you plan to do laundry)
  • Socks – lightweight, easy to wash and dry
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes) and lightweight hiking boots
  • Sandals for evenings, travel days and/or flip flops (optional)
  • Lightweight jacket: fleece fabric is ideal, or a pullover/sweater
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho
  • Hat with broad brim for sun/rain
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when hot and sweaty)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Field vest (optional), a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • 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 to carry gear while hiking
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and charger/extra batteries, memory cards/film, lens cleaning supplies and instruction manual (optional)
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional – guide will have them)
  • Tablet/laptop for personal use and/or transferring photos, USB stick, USB cord and charger (optional)
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored (optional)
  • Walking sticks (optional, but recommended if you usually use them when hiking)
  • Flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Alarm clock, or use your cell phone
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Insect repellent – something containing DEET and sulphur powder (can be found in garden store) or other for chiggers if you can find it)
  • Toiletry articles
  • Earplugs (if hotel noise or roommates snoring may bother you; optional)
  • Water bottle (can easily be bought in the airport and refilled daily)
  • Worldwide power adapter (optional)
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing
  • Rechargeable power bank (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 (and copy of vital prescriptions, including glasses)
  • Personal first aid kit including medications for general and stomach ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, etc.)
    Note:
    Pseudoephedrine is banned in Guatemala since it can be used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is commonly found in decongestants, like Sudafed, in the U.S.
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on van, etc.
  • Heath insurance and vaccination information (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Band-Aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer, small vial

 

Suggested Reading List +

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

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

Top Picks

Birds of Mexico and Central America

Merlin App – Guatemala 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 Guatemala.

Field Guides

Birds of Central America

Peterson Field Guide to Northern Central America 

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

Flowering Plants of the Neotropics

Natural History

The New Neotropical Companion  

Tropical Nature

A Bird Watcher’s Adventures in Tropical AmericaThe Birds of Tikal: An Annotated Checklist for Tikal National Park and Peten, Guatemala

History and Culture

Lords of Tikal

The Maya

Breaking the Maya Code

Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya

Maya Weaving Slideshow (Online Resource)

Traditional Weavers of Guatemala

Guatemala - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Guatemala (National Geographic Adventure Map)

There is a good selection of books available for sale at visitors’ centers, and your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants 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

Encyclopedic Overviews:

Guatemala

Guatemala City

Chichicastenango

Antigua Guatemala

El Pilar

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birds of Guatemala

Bird List with Status

Mirador del Rey Tepepul – Birding Checklist

List of Endemic Species

Bird Studies Guatemala – Eisermann & Avendaño

Jardines de Provenza – Lavender Fields

Conservation

Audubon – Birding and Ecotourism in Guatemala

ARCAS – A Guatemalan Civil Association dedicated to endangered wildlife conservation preservation

Community Rainforest Conservation in Guatemala

Protection of Guatemala’s Environmental Resources - USAID

Guatemala – protected areas map (interactive)

Tarralas Natural Reserve

Antigua Mountain Trail - Finca El Pilar

Lake Atitlán – Global Nature Fund

Geology & Geography

Geography of Guatemala

Field Guide to Guatemala Geology

History & Culture

Guatemala Country Profile – BBC News

Antigua Guatemala - UNESCO World Heritage Convention

Guatemalan Cuisine

Backstrap Weaving in Guatemala

Mayan culture in Guatemala

Tikal (Optional Tour Extension)

El Remate

Lago Petén Itzá

Tikal National Park (UNESCO)

Maya Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO)

Helpful Travel Websites

La Aurora International Airport (GUA)

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 - Guatemala

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Guatemala

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories - Guatemala

Travel Health Pro (UK) – Guatemala

Electricity and Plugs - Guatemala

Date, Time, and Holidays - Guatemala


Photo credits: Banners: Tikal Ruins by Lori Conrad; Central American Spider Monkey by Peg Abbott; Keel-billed Toucan by Doug Greenberg; Red-eyed Tree Frog by Greg Smith; Boat-billed Herons by Tom Dove; Red-capped Manakin by Peg Abbott; Rufous-tailed Hummingbird by Sandy Sorkin; Black Howler Monkey by Peg Abbott; Fork-tailed Flycatcher by Hugh Simmons Photography; Red-lored Parrots by Sandy Sorkin; Black-headed Trogon by Peg Abbott; Unicolored Jay, Irene Rodriguez, courtesy Operador Latino; Horned Guan, Peg Abbott; Spot-breasted Oriole, Paul Roberts; Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Robert Gallardo; White-throated Magpie-Jay, Robert Gallardo; Wine-throated Hummingbird Luis Burbano, courtesy Operador Latino; Pink-headed Warbler, Majo Lou, courtesy Operador Latino; Azure-rumped Tanager Majo Lou, courtesy Operador Latino; Keel-billed Toucan, Doug Greenberg; Tikal x2, Lori Conrad; Central American Spider Monkey, Peg Abbott; Squirrel Cuckoo, courtesy Operador Latino; Barred Antshrike, Carlos Sanchez; Olive-throated Parakeet, Paul Roberts; Purple-crowned Fairywren, Alex Navarro, courtesy Operador Latino; Pygmy Kingfisher, Peg Abbott; Spot-breasted Oriole, Paul Roberts; Indigo-throated Anole, Paul Roberts. Unicolored Jays, Irene Rodriguez, courtesy Operador Latino; Lake Atitlan, PA; White-throated Magpie-Jay, RG; Wine-throated Hummingbird Luis Burbano, courtesy OL; Pink-headed Warbler, Majo Lou, courtesy OL; Azure-rumped Tanager Majo Lou, courtesy OL; Rose-throated Becard, Tom Dove; Violet Sabrewing, Sandy Sorkin; Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Sandy Sorkin (SS); Yellow-backed Oriole, PA; Olive Warbler, PA; Pygmy Kingfisher, PA; Tikal x2, Lori Conrad; Central American Spider Monkey, PA; Keel-billed Toucan, Doug Greenberg.

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