Box 9021, Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-888-721-3555
On Nature Tour in
For Birds, Butterflies,
and Other Nature
Our Annual Holiday Tour
xx, 2015 - January x, 2016
(tours: FON/GU-2 '15-'16)
Itinerary & price follows.
A tour with "avian gems":
Hummers with garnet and amethyst throats,
Another with an azure-crown, a rare tanager azure-rumped.
This tour may end, and the new year begin, resplendently!
will be numerous birds:
Toucans, Trogons, Tanagers, and Tityras,
And the Resplendent Quetzal, the National Emblem of Guatemala,
Considered by many the most beautiful bird in the world.
During this tour, among the birds, there have been:
Orange-breasted Falcons, Black Hawk-Eagle,
and Pheasant Cuckoo, in addition to the Quetzal.
our past Guatemala tours, our "Top Birds" have included:
The Quetzal, Tody Motmot, Sparkling-tailed Woodstar,
Solitary Eagle, Pink-headed Warbler, Gray-throated Chat,
Azure-rumped Tanager, and Azure-hooded Jay
(We've seen it display during our tours in Guatemala)
tour to be
led by Armas Hill,
who has birded in Guatemala numerous times
Tour Highlights from some Past FONT Tours in Guatemala
A List & Photo Gallery of Central American Birds, Part 1 of4 (with links to Parts 2 to 4)
A List of Guatemala Birds Mammals during FONT Tours in Guatemala (with some photos)
Amphibians & Reptiles in Guatemala & Belize (with some photos)
A List & Photo Gallery of Central American Butterflies & Moths, in 6 Parts
A Photo Gallery of Guatemala Scenery & Nature
Other Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Central America
A Guatemalan Volcano
(photo by Armas Hill)
Itinerary (price follows):
Fri, Dec. 26: Arrival in Guatemala City. Transfer to the attractive, old capital city of Antigua, for our first overnight in an historic building converted now to a nice hotel. It's a pleasant way to begin our Guatemalan tour. And there's some fine birding in the area of Antigua, which we'll have (as time permits) late in the day on Dec. 26 and in the morning on Dec 27.
Sat, Dec. 27: Our birding, through the day, will be in the picturesque western highlands. With travel, this day, from Antigua to Quetzaltenango. In the nice countryside, there will be "nice birds". Notable among those we'll seek would be the attractive Pink-headed Warbler, and the first of a few motmots to be seen during the tour: a denizen of the highlands, the Blue-throated Motmot. Overnight near Quetzaltenango.
Sun, Dec. 28: A morning of good birding in the vicinity of Fuentes Georginas (an area with hot springs, in the cloud forest, near Quetzaltenango). Some particularly interesting birds are possible, including some described as gems: the Garnet-throated and Amethyst-throated Hummingbirds, the Red-billed Azurecrown, and possibly the very rare Azure-rumped Tanager. (If we don't see the Azure-rumped Tanager, we have another, now better, location for it later in the tour. In the late afternoon, we drive to a site by Lake Atitlan to be in a good position for birding in that area, where, during 1 of our 2 days there, we'll be at that other location for the Azure-rumped Tanager and for another spectacular rarity, the Horned Guan. Overnight near Lake Atitlan.
Mon & Tue,
Dec. 29 & 30: Two
days of birding in the area of Lake Atitlan, a lake considered to
be one of the most beautiful in the world. Our birding in the area these 2 days
should be exceptionally good. It has been, for us, in the past. Highlights
during our previous tours here have included: the Horned Guan, Azure-rumped
Tanager, 3 species of Hawk-eagles, the Sparkling-tailed
Coquette, other notable hummingbirds of the mountains, and the dapper
Prevost's Ground-Sparrow. Overall, there's a wonderful assortment of birds
in the region, including various flycatchers, orioles, hummingbirds, and
more. Often, after dark, we can hear the Mexican Whip-poor-will from the
rooms where we'll be staying, during these overnights, again near Lake Atitlan.
photographed during the FONT Guatemala tour in December 2006
(photo by Marie Gardner)
So, yes, these two days should be with some exceptionally good birding. In addition to birds just mentioned, there's a chance that the Resplendent Quetzal could be seen. It's on the same mountain as the Horned Guan. We'll be hiking, one day, on trails up, and then down, that mountain.
As we did that hiking, during our most-recent Guatemala tour, birds included: Spotted Wood Quail, Spotted and Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrushes, Blue-crowned and Blue-throated Motmots, Blue-and-while Mockingbird, Brown-backed Solitaire, Chestnut-sided and Green Shrike-Vireos, Scaly-throated and Ruddy Foliage-gleaners, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Black-throated Jay, Emerald Toucanet, Golden-browed Warbler, and Blue-naped Chlorophonia, in addition to the Azure-rumped Tanager and the Horned Guan.
The Horned Guan (our primary "target") was not our only guan. We also saw the Highland Guan.
And yet, another "very good bird" that would be possible to see is be the not-often-seen Maroon-chested Ground Dove.
photographed during the FONT Guatemala tour
in July 2007
Wed Dec. 31:
This day, we'll travel to Verapaz (in the eastern highlands)
with some birding enroute in the Upper Motagua Valley,
a dry area, with a number of birds in Guatemala unique to that area. Among them,
the Russet-crowned Motmot. If we've already seen the Resplendent
Quetzal, it wouldn't really be necessary to travel as far as the Verapaz
highlands. But, if we do, we'll stay at the Posada Montana del Quetzal. (If we
don't go to Verapaz, we'd overnight near the dry desert area to be in position
for early morning birding there. In the evening, we would have our encounter
with the Buff-collared Nightjar; in the morning with birds such as the Lesser
Male Resplendent Quetzal
Thu, Jan. 1: Either an early morning visit to the area of the Biotopo del Quetzal to see the Resplendent Quetzal, a truly spectacular bird, and the national symbol of Guatemala, followed by more birding in the Verapaz highlands, or birding, as noted above, in the arid habitat of the Upper Motagua Valley. Either way, we'll begin the year with a nice list of birds. Travel, late in the afternoon, back to Guatemala City where we'll spend the night.
Sat, Jan. 2 & 3:
An early morning transfer by plane (on
Jan. 2) from
Guatemala City to Flores. From Flores, travel by land to Tikal,
where our birding
will be in the environs of the
one of the truly outstanding archeological sites in the world,
amidst the jungle in the Peten. And a place always
with great birding. The ruins and the birds are there, where we
are, when we wake up. Probably, as well, mammals, such as
monkeys and coatis. Two full days of birding.
With many birds to be seen ranging from the Great Curassow
down to the Tody (that is the smallest) Motmot.
Some of the large birds should be readily visible: Ocellated
Turkey, Keel-billed Toucans, and various parrots.
Smaller birds would also be seen, including: manakins,
antbirds, and hummingbirds. With more to be sought:
some crakes, a spadebill, and wood-quail.
After dark, owls and nightjars. During our tours at Tikal in the
past, in addition to birds already noted, we've seen Orange-breasted Falcons,
Crested Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Pheasant Cuckoo, and Gray-throated Chat. Two overnights within the park at Tikal.
At Temple 4 in Tikal, during FONT tours in January 2002 & 2003,
there were pairs of Orange-breasted Falcons.
Either there, or by other temples at Tikal, Orange-breasted Falcons
have been seen since then - recently, during our tours in
March 2006, January and July 2007, and January 2008 & 2009.
Sun, Jan. 4: Most of the day with birding at Tikal. In the afternoon, travel to Flores, and the flight back to Guatemala City. Our farewell dinner and final overnight in Guatemala City.
Mon, Jan. 5: Departure from Guatemala City.
in U.S. dollars, per person, and based upon
Single supplement: $295
All overnight accommodations.
All transportation within Guatemala, including flights between Guatemala City and Flores (for Tikal).
All meals (except those on Dec 26 & Jan 5).
Services of the FONT birding leader familiar with the birds and localities.
does not include:
Drinks and other items of a personal nature.
International flights to/from Guatemala.
Focus On Nature Tours can arrange air travel, and would seek the best possible fares.
Deposit of US $500 required to register for this tour.
Temples at Tikal, with Bat Falcons, Ocellated Turkey, and Tody Motmot.
Drawing by FONT tour participant, Charles Gambill.
An Ocellated Turkey at Tikal.
Web pages by Risė Hill.