|Host: Knut Eisermann
& Claudia Avendaño
Length of stay: a 21-day itinerary is provided but we can arrange visits of any duration
Minimum number of guests: 1 or more
Languages: English, German & Spanish
Fee: To give you a general idea of our program costs, below is the fee structure for the 21-day itinerary. Fees for shorter trips would be cost correspondingly less overall, but a little more per person
To see examples of hotel rooms, ecolodges, dining rooms, etc. that can be used during our trips, click here.
To view our Photo Gallery of Guatemalan birds, click here.
For a checklist of Guatemalan birds, click here.
PROPOSED 21-DAY ITINERARY
Included meals: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
1st Day (D)
Arrival in Guatemala City Welcome dinner in Guatemala City or Antigua, depending on the arrival time of your flight. Overnight in Guatemala City or Antigua.
2nd Day (B)
Start your vacations in a tranquil way! Relax the whole day in the colonial town of Antigua, which was declared Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO.
3rd Day (B/L/D)
After a restful night and energizing breakfast in your hotel, we will take you from Antigua to the Chelemhá cloud forest. On our 4-hours ride with minibus we will traverse montane conifer forests, dry shrub and lower montane cloud forest. After lunch in the upper Polochic valley we will proceed with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, ascending the steep mountain slope to Chelemhá at 2000 m (6560 ft). Visit of a Maya Q'eqchi' family with a welcome Cacao drink, a special ceremonial drink of the Maya.
4th Day (B/L/D)
Full day birding in the cloud forest of Chelemhá. Breakfast in the woods. We will hike uphill to a favorite viewpoint for observing the display flights of the Quetzals. We will continue on a trail inside the forest to a vantage point where we will relax and have lunch. On our way back to the Biological Station we will traverse different formations of cloud forest, including elfin ridge forest, oak ridge forest and aguacatillo-treefern forest. Complete loop about 5 km. In the afternoon relaxing in the Biological Station. Dinner at the Station.
5th Day (B/L/D)
Short early morning birding excursion in secondary forest in the surroundings of the Biological Station, where Quetzals, Highland Guans and Howler Monkeys were already seen. After breakfast in the Biological Station, guided tour in the reforestation area, where the NGO UPROBON id building up a forest with native tree species.
6th Day (B)
After breakfast in the Biological Station in Chelemhá we will drive to the highland town of Cobán, main city of the department of Alta Verapaz, 3 hours away by car. Lunch in a restaurant on the way. After check-in at the hotel we will visit the Vivero Verapaz, home of one of the most beautiful collections of orchids from the country. Various restaurant choices for dinner considering your preference.
7th Day (B/D)
After a typical breakfast in Cobán, we will proceed to the northernmost department Petén. After a ride of 4 hours and a half we will arrive Flores, an island town in the Lake Petén Itzá. There we will have lunch before proceeding to Yaxhá (1 hour), a national park and archeological site in the south of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Relaxing afternoon in the tranquil environment of El Sombrero Eco-lodge on the shore of Lake Yaxhá. We will have dinner and spend the night at El Sombrero.
8th Day (B/L/D)
We will enjoy sunrise at top of temple 216 in the Yaxhá archeological site. This is a perfect point for birding at canopy level and enjoying the view over lake Yaxhá. After breakfast on top of the pyramid an archeology guide will lead us through the park and tell us all about its ancient history. We will have lunch back at El Sombrero. After a 'siesta' we will start a late afternoon excursion by boat along the shoreline of Lake Yaxhá looking for crocodiles. Dinner at El Sombrero.
9th Day (B/L/D)
Early morning birding excursion at the Yaxhá lagoon by boat. After breakfast in the boat archeological tour in Topoxté, a small site on an island which was settled until the 16th century. Lunch at El Sombrero. Afternoon is free for relaxing. Dinner at El Sombrero.
10th Day (B/L)
Birding morning in the ruins of Yaxhá. We will have lunch back at El Sombrero and then leave for the most famous Mayan temples around, Tikal - the trip will take us about an hour and a half in our microbus. After check-in at our hotel, we will enjoy sunset on top of one of the ancient buildings and then eat dinner back at the hotel.
11th Day (B)
Full day birding at Tikal. For sunrise we will be on top of the Central Acropolis, watching the birds passing by and enjoying the beautiful early morning light over the arrangement of Great Plaza, Temples I and II and the Northern Acropolis. After breakfast we will proceed to the Lost World complex. All our birding excursions in the Tikal National Park will be combined with archeological information. For lunch we will be back at the hotel. After a little 'siesta' we will visit the archeological museums (ceramics and stelae) at Tikal. Sunset excursion to one of the ancient buildings in the park. Dinner at the hotel.
12th Day (B)
Early morning birding and crossing our way with mammals in Tikal. Sunrise on top of the pyramid of the Lost World. After breakfast there, we will walk to the northernmost part of the center of Tikal. Time for extending our species list until noon. After lunch in the hotel and a little siesta, we will check on water birds at the Tikal ponds. After a sunset excursion dinner in your hotel.
13th Day (B)
We will have another morning to observe birds and wildlife in Tikal. After lunch our microbus will bring us to the Santa Elena airport, where we will board our flight to Guatemala City. From there we will proceed to Antigua. Dinner in Antigua.
14th Day (B/D)
After breakfast in the hotel we will have time to visit the handicraft markets, art and book stores of Antigua, where you will find a great assemblage of souvenirs. After early lunch in one of Antigua's restaurants we will proceed to Lake Atitlán (2 hours). Enjoy beautiful views over the lake from the panoramic road. From Atitlán our microbus will bring us to Los Tarrales (1 hour). The afternoon we will have for a birding excursion in the surroundings of the Tarrales Eco-lodge. Dinner and overnight at Tarrales Eco-lodge.
15th Day (B/L/D)
Early morning birding excursion in the lower montane humid forest of Los Tarrales, home to the Long-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis). Breakfast in the forest. For Lunch we will be back at Tarrales Eco-lodge. After a 'siesta', guided coffee tour. Dinner and overnight at Tarrales Eco-lodge.
16th Day (B/L/D)
Early morning birding on a trail in shade coffee plantation. Breakfast on the way. After lunch at Tarrales Eco-lodge, guided tour in the plantations of ornamentals. Dinner and overnight at Tarrales Eco-lodge.
17th Day (B)
After breakfast in the Tarrales Eco-lodge we will proceed to Monterrico on the Pacific coast. After 1 hour and a half we will reach the coastal mangrove swamps. After crossing the Chiquimulilla canal by ferry we will reach Monterrico beach. Check-in at the hotel. After lunch, free time to relax at the beach. Dinner and overnight in Monterrico.
18th Day (B)
Early morning birding tour by boat to the reed swamps, wintering and foraging area of thousands of water birds. Breakfast on the boat. In the late morning we will be back at the beach. Enjoy 'siesta' during the hottest hours of the day. In the afternoon we will visit the Conservation Center from San Carlos University, where efforts are made towards the conservation of sea turtles and iguanas populations in the region. Dinner and overnight in Monterrico.
19th Day (B)
Early morning birding tour by boat to the mangrove swamps. The mangrove belt in Monterrico is about 3 km wide. Breakfast in the boat. Lunch back in Monterrico. The afternoon is free for the beach. Dinner and overnight in Monterrico.
20th Day (B)
The morning is free to enjoy the ocean in Monterrico. After lunch in Monterrico we will drive to your hotel in Guatemala city. Good-by dinner in Guatemala City.
21st Day (B)
Breakfast in the hotel. We will accompany you to the airport.
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