PO Box 9021, Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-8
 or 302-529-1876

Website:  www.focusonnature.com 


A Focus On Nature Tour in


For Birds, Butterflies, 
and Other Nature

Our Annual Holiday Tour

  December 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!

There 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.

Also during 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

Northern Royal-Flycatcher
(We've seen it display during our tours in Guatemala)

This tour to be led by Armas Hill,
who has birded in Guatemala numerous times
since 1980.

Itinerary follows.


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.  

A Prevost's Ground Sparrow
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.  

A Horned Guan 
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 Roadrunner.)

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.

Fri & 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 Mayan ruins, 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.



Tour Price, in U.S. dollars, per person, and based upon double-occupancy: $2,895
Single supplement: $295

Price includes: 
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.

Price does not include: 
Drinks and other items of a personal nature. 
International flights to/from Guatemala. 
Airport tax. 

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.