Guatemala Highlights

Horned Guan © Ondřej Prosický Dreamstime

Antigua, Lake Atitlan,

& Tikal National Park

February 5-15, 2025

Rufous Sabrewing by Aaron Steed

Optional High Mountains pre-trip for Goldman’s Warbler & Ocellated Quail
Feb 5-15, 2025
Your place on this Venture is reserved when your completed registration form and deposit of $700/person has been received. You may register via the ‘book now’ button above, or by contacting the Ventures office. We accept credit cards for an additional fee (2.9% for MC, Visa, Discover; 3.9% for AmEx), but you may also pay by bank transfer, cash, check, or money order (payable to ‘VENTURES BIRDING’) sent to PO Box 1095, Skyland, NC 28776. This Venture is limited to 10 participants.

Cost of Guatemala Venture $4,750 per person based on double occupancy from Guatemala City; Single supplement: $460 Price includes: All ground transportation, all accommodations, meals, service charges & gratuities (except for leaders & local guide), information packet & bird checklist, services of 1 Ventures guide and local guide throughout, round trip airfare from Guatemala City to Flores for Tikal leg Not included: Airfare to Guatemala City, alcoholic beverages, laundry service, tips/gratuities and any items of a personal nature

A relatively relaxed exploration of some of the best birding areas in Guatemala, beginning in the southern highlands and finishing in the lowlands of Tikal National Park in the north. Includes visits to Mayan ruins at Yaxha and Tikal, and one (optional) strenuous hike in the mountains to see the incredible Horned Guan.

Though not as visited as its more southerly counterpart Costa Rica, Guatemala is indeed a special place for birding and is home to a number of species not easily found elsewhere in Central America. Despite being the most populated country in the region, only about 2% of its total area is urbanized, leaving the vast remainder unspoiled and chocked full of wonders both natural and archaeological.

On this 10-day Venture, we first visit the southern highlands, where we bird our way across the slopes of volcanoes, montane and sub-tropical humid forests, beautiful gardens, shade-grown coffee plantations, and fincas. As many as 300 species are possible during our week here, including the truly wonderful Resplendent Quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, as well as other major targets not found outside the region, such as the stunning Azure-rumped Tanager, Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, the endangered Horned Guan, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Rufous-collared Robin, and many others. We will be on the lookout as well for a colorful array of breathtaking hummingbirds such as Sparkling-tailed, Garnet-throated, Wine-throated, and Emerald-chinned Hummingbirds, Amethyst-throated & Green-throated Mountain-Gems, and Rufous Sabrewing, just to name a few. Our tour takes us through the lovely, Spanish colonial town of Antigua to the scenic shores of Lake Atitlan, a volcanic crater turned lake, and Los Tarrales Nature Reserve, our base and gateway to birding the slopes of Atitlan Volcano.

We then spend an additional 3 days at Tikal National Park, situated in the far north of Guatemala in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon. This is some of the best birding in the country and we’ll look to add another 250 species to our trip list in our short time here. Tikal offers not only a wealth of avian attractions (including such Yucatan endemics as Ocellated Turkey, Yucatan Flycatcher, Yucatan Poorwill, Black Catbird plus other great birds like Orange-breasted Falcon) but cultural pursuits as well, and we will visit the Mayan ruins at both Yaxhá and Tikal.

Join us and discover all that this Central American birding paradise has to offer!

Some of the Birds We Hope to See

Highlands: White-bellied Chachalaca, Highland & Horned Guans; Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge; Singing Quail; Mexican Whippoorwill, Hummingbirds (Mexican Violetear, Rivoli’s, Garnet-throated, Sparkling-tailed, Broad-tailed, Wine-throated, White-eared, Azure-crowned, Berylline, Cinnamon; Green-throated & Amethyst-throated Mountain-Gems, Rufous Sabrewing); Whiskered Screech-Owl, Northern (Guatemalan) & Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls; Mottled & Fulvous Owls; Unspotted Saw-whet Owl; Resplendent Quetzal; Mountain Trogon; Blue-throated, Lesson’s, & Turquoise-browed Motmots; Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Pacific Parakeet; Yellow-naped Parrot; Spotted & Spot-crowned Woodcreepers; Long-tailed Manakin; Mountain Elaenia; Guatemalan Tyrannulet; Tufted, Pine & Yellowish Flycatchers; Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo; Brown-capped Vireo; White-throated Magpie Jay; Bushy-crested, Black-throated, and Unicolored Jays; Black-capped Swallow; Rufous-browed, Band-backed, Rufous-naped, and Rufous-and-white Wrens; Blue-and-white Mockingbird; Mountain & Black Thrushes, Rufous-collared Robin, Gray Silky-Flycatcher, Olive-backed & Elegant Euphonias, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Black-capped & Black-headed Siskins, Hooded Grosbeak, Common Chlorospingus, Chestnut-capped & White-naped Brushfinches, Rusty Sparrow, Yellow-eyed Junco, White-eared and White-faced Ground-Sparrows, Bar-winged, Black-vented, Streak-backed, Spot-breasted Orioles; Crescent-chested, Golden-browed, and Pink-headed Warblers, Flame-colored, White-winged, and Azure-rumped Tanagers, and much, much more!

Tikal: Great Curassow; Crested Guan; Ocellated Turkey; Yucatan Poorwill, Northern Potoo; Purple-crowned Fairy, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing; Buff-bellied Hummingbird, King Vulture; Ornate Hawk-Eagle; Gray-headed & Double-toothed Kites; Pale-billed & Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers; Orange-breasted & Bat Falcons; Barred Forest-Falcon; Royal, Ruddy-tailed, and Yucatan Flycatchers; Mangrove & Yellow-green Vireos; Yucatan Jay, White-bellied Wren, Black Catbird, Green-backed Sparrow; Black-cowled Oriole, Gray-throated Chat, Rose-throated Tanager; Black-throated Shrike-Tanager; Blue Bunting plus parrots, raptors, woodcreepers, and warblers galore!