Trip report: Guatemala custom tour (March 2011) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Michael Retter. This was a custom tour.

For such a tiny country, Guatemala has a lot to offer. The birds are diverse and colorful: Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, Spot-breasted Oriole, Garnet-throated Hummingbird. With the exception of Tikal, this custom tour visited the same locations as our new set-departure, offing a wide range of habitats: cool high-elevation pine forest, a spectacular volcanic lake, dry thornscrub, lowland rainforest, and cloudforest. Though many of Guatemala’s endemic birds are shared with Mexico, here they’re easier to find and to get to. Cabanis’s (Azure-rumped) Tanager, for instance, is readily found via short ride in a vehicle just above a comfortable lodge—a far cry from the 25+ miles of hiking necessary to see this species in Mexico! And need I even mention the emerald-and-red Resplendent Quetzal? The quetzal is even the unit of currency in Guatemala. Could there possibly be a better place to see it?

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