See Golden-cheeked Warbler in winter habitat
- Pace: Early mornings, some rough driving roads, lots of walking
- 11 days/10 nights
- Scheduled dates: 2019: Jan 3-13 (FULL) Jan 15-25 (AVAILABLE)
- Price: 2019: $3095 per person in double room. Singles $395.
- NOTE - we added a second departure Jan 15-25, which is available, including female seeking roommate!
- Download detailed itinerary for Jan 3-13
- Download detailed itinerary for Jan 15-25
- Click for mini-slideshow of target birds
Join this unique birding tour to beautiful Guatemala, visiting a number of sites in the highlands that you won’t find on any other birding tour. Seek out many of the species that are endemic to Northern Central America such as Blue-throated Motmot, Black-capped Siskin, and what is possibly the most beautiful of all warblers, Pink-headed Warbler. Along the way we’ll look for many other great Central American species like Highland Guan, Rufous Sheartail, the rare Belted Flycatcher, and a bird that needs no introduction, the national bird of Guatemala, Resplendent Quetzal. Our trip ends in the humid lowlands of Tikal. We will bird the trails around the incredible Mayan pyramids looking for a whole new suite of birds like Keel-billed Toucan, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Ocellated Turkey, Tody Motmot, several species of parrots, and some great raptors including the rare Orange-breasted Falcon. We’ll also see some cool mammals like Coatis, Agoutis, and Spider and Black Howler Monkeys.
Our tour begins in the Western Highlands and we're excited to be staying at Albergue Caleras Chichavac, the guesthouse where Dr. Alexander Skutch lived for more than two years in the 1930s while studying birds and collecting birds. The albergue is located in the middle of great birding.
You will spend three nights at an agro-ecology campus near Cobán, where we will learn about reforestation efforts at local farms and a program to educate local school children in ecology. This area also gives Austin birders a very special opportunity to see the Golden-cheeked Warbler on its wintering ground in the cloud forest just 10 kilometers from where the species was first described by ornithologists in 1860!
Our local guides will be Rob and John Cahill. Rob runs Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC), and his son, John, is the top birder in Guatemala (see his story in Birders Guide, October 2014) and in his 20s, he is part of the new generation of birders. CCFC focuses on agro-ecology, training local subsistence farmers in sustainable practices. They also run a leadership training program for girls at their campus near Cobán, where we will stay for three nights. The program trains girls and young women in sustainable agro-ecology, nutrition, cooking, health and family planning, career and educational options, and other life-skills, with the goal of helping them stay in school and continue their education.
Eric Stager , board member of Travis Audubon, will be leading the group for JB Journeys, with minimum 8 participants.
This is a true example of sustainable tourism.
- Accommodations: Lodges or lodges, simple, but with private baths and hot water. At Albergue Caleras Chichavac participants must share bath.
- Included: 10 nights hotel, all meals, ground transportation, taxes, entry fees, tips for drivers, hotels, meals, services of bilingual local guides, and donation to Travis Audubon Society.
- Not Included: airfare, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks, personal expenses, and tips for the guides.
Bring: Binoculars, bug spray, hat, sunscreen, field guide (Peterson Field Guide to birds of Northern Central America, Fagan & Komar, 2016), field clothing. More information later.