This Discover Honduras trip takes you to the country’s best spots for higher altitude birding, before descending to the coastal mountain ranges of Nombre de Dios and Pico Bonito NP.
We start our tour in La Tigra National Park, where the cloud forest offers excellent mountain birding along wide and fairly easy trails. This is the home of the some key species such as the Wine-throated Hummingbird, Green- breasted Mountain-Gem, Singing Quail or White-faced Quail-Dove.
The area of Opatoro and Guajiquiro offers Honduras’ best highland bird watching and takes you through a mosaic of farmland, pine-oak forest, villages, coffee plantations and eventually into the cloud forest. The Sparkling-tailed Woodstar, Blue-throated Motmot, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer and the Fulvous Owl are some of the top bird species we can see here.
Rising majestically above the beautiful Lake Yojoa in central Honduras are two of the country’s most impressive mountain ranges: Montaña Santa Bárbara and Cerro Azul Meambar. The rich diversity of habitat types — including freshwater wetlands, pine-oak forest, lowland rainforest and cloud forest — explains the great biodiversity of the area. Some species of interest we can find here are the Keel-billed Motmot, Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow, Resplendent Quetzal, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Barred and Collared Forest-Falcons, Collared Araçari, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Crimson-collared Tanager, and Northern Barred Woodcreeper.
The north-facing coast is characterized by long beaches interspersed with rocky headlands, coastal wetlands and mangroves and the coastal mountain ranges of Nombre de Dios and Pico Bonito NP. The extensive rainforest of these mountains harbors a wealth of top species including the Shining Honeycreeper, Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet, Rufous Mourner, Black-and-White Owl, Purple-crowned Fairy and Tody Motmot.
- October 19-28, 2017
- February 6-15, 2018
- November 29 – December 8, 2018
Arrival at Tegucigalpa airport and transfer to Hotel Gloriales
Birding in La Tigra NP
Transfer to Marcala and birding on hotel grounds
Birding in the highlands of Opatoro-Guajiquiro
Transfer to Cerro Azul Meambar NP and birding at Panacam Lodge
Birding in Santa Barbara NP and visit to La Fuente de Vida
Birding in Lake Yojoa wetlands and transfer to Pico Bonito NP
Birding at Pico Bonito Lodge
Birding in Rio Santiago Nature Resort
Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport
This Discover Honduras Tour was elaborated for the more avid birders. We will have time to learn about culture, history, and nature in general, but the focus is clearly on seeing a variety of great Honduran bird species. Also, even though you don’t have to be an athlete, the trip does require a general level of fitness, as some of the walks can be a bit more strenuous, especially in La Tigra and Santa Bárbara. The trails are not particularly difficult and no special skills are needed, but they can get narrow, rocky and a little steep sometimes. Also, the walks in La Tigra and Santa Bárbara are fairly long, so you should be able to walk for a couple of hours – of course at a slow pace and with many stops as we will be birding all along the way.
Day 1 | Arrival at Tegucigalpa airport and transfer to Hotel Gloriales
The tour begins with afternoon birding around Hotel Los Gloriales. Here we can find higher elevation species such as the Blue-and-white Mockingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Blue-crowned Motmot, White-breasted Hawk and more. After nightfall we enjoy chatting and getting to know each other during a hearty welcome dinner.
Day 2 | Birding in La Tigra NP
La Tigra National Park offers great birding and a wide array of hummingbirds such as the Wine-throated Hummingbird, Green-breasted Mountain-gem, Green Violet-Ear and Sparkling-tailed Woodstar. But we won’t only look out for hummers, there are obviously other interesting species we might encounter too, including the Emerald Toucanet, Singing Quail, Resplendent Quetzal, Mountain Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, Barred Forest-Falcon, Mountain Elaenia, Rufous-browed Wren, Slate-colored Solitaire and many more.
Day 3 | Transfer to Marcala and birding on the hotel grounds
An early morning departure from La Tigra will bring us to highlands of Opatoro and Guajiquiro in the department of La Paz in western Honduras. After settling into our hotel, we take the time to go birding around the hotel, where we are have good chances to encounter species such as the Black-vented Oriole, Red Crossbill, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Whiskered Screech- Owl, Common Black Hawk, Ruddy Crake, Blue-crowned Motmot, Eastern Meadowlark, Great Horned Owl, Fulvous Owl and many more.
Day 4 | Birding in the highlands of Opatoro-Guajiquiro
Today we spend all day in the Opatoro and Guajiquiro highlands. We drive through patches of farmland, coffee plantations, pine-oak forest and cloud forest in search of some northern Central-American specialties such as the Blue-throated Motmot, Green-throated Mountaingem, Black-throated Jay, Rufous-collared Thrush, Fulvous Owl and Cinnamon- bellied Flowerpiercer, Flame-colored Tanager, White-faced Quail-Dove, Highland Guan etcetera.
Day 5 | Transfer to Cerro Azul Meambar NP and birding at Panacam Lodge
We leave early to the Lake Yojoa area, home to the biggest variety of bird species in Honduras. We have lunch at a restaurant on the Lake which offers splendid view over the lake and the surrounding wetlands and marshes. Over here we have the opportunity to spot water birds such as Pale-billed Grebes, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Bare-throated Tiger- Herons, Ringed Kingfishers, Snail Kites, Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures and so on.
After lunch we drive up to our hotel PANACAM Lodge. Once we are settled, we have time for afternoon birding around the Lodge in search for the Black-crested Coquette, Barred Forest- Falcon, Collared Araçari, Keel-billed Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Crimson- collared Tanager, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, White-throated Thrush, Long-billed Hermit, Violet Sabrewing and more.
Day 6 | Birding in Santa Barbara NP and visit to La Fuente de Vida project
This morning we drive up to Santa Bárbara National Park. We visit the La Fuente de Vida ecotourism project that Beaks and Peaks is supporting. The communities up here are trying to protect a beautiful parch of forest for the future. They have decided to make the change from exclusive coffee growing to providing sustainable tourism services. They have for example built a series of beautiful trails that offer excellent birdwatching opportunities.
Very early in the morning, we drive up to the community. That should take us about an hour. Upon arrival we enjoy breakfast with one of the local families and after that we start looking for birds such as the Prevost- ground Sparrow, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Resplendent Quetzal, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, White-breasted Hawk, Green- throated Mountain-Gem, Buffy-crowned Woodpartridge, Slate-colored Solitaire, Rusty Sparrow, Collared Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, Scaly- throated Foliage-Gleaner, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Black-headed Nightingale- Thrush, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch, White-naped Brush-Finch, Spot-breasted Wren etcetera.
Day 7 | Birding in Lake Yojoa wetlands and transfer to Pico Bonito NP
Today we do some early morning birding around the Lake, searching for more great species such as the Masked Duck, Least Bittern, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Black-crowned Tityra, Green-backed Sparrow, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Grey-breasted Crake and others.
We then have a long drive ahead of us, all the way to Pico Bonito on Honduras’ north coast, in the Nombre de Dios mountains. Upon arrival, it will be time for dinner and a good night’s sleep so we are fit again the next morning for yet more birding at our last destination.
Day 8 | Birding at Pico Bonito Lodge
Pico Bonito Lodge combines the adventure of the outdoors, the beauty of the rainforest, and the personal service of a boutique hotel. In this luxurious setting, we enjoy yet another splendid birding day, as the area offers an incredibly varied array of bird species such as Brown-hooded, White-fronted and White-crowned Parrots, Little and Great Tinamous, Grey- chested Doves, Olive-throated Parakeets, Black-cheeked Woodpeckers, Wedge-billed and Cocoa Woodcreepers, Paltry Tyrannulets, Guatemalan Screech-Owls, Great Potoos, Violet- headed Hummingbirds, Purple-crowned Fairies, Slaty-tailed, Gartered and Collared Trogons, Red-capped Manakins, White- and Grey-breasted Wood-Wrens, White-throated Thrushes, Olive-backed Euphonias, Kentucky Warblers, Giant Cowbirds, Red-throated and Red- crowned Ant-Tanager, Keel-billed Motmot, Green Shrike-Vireos and Black-faced Grosbeaks. And those are just a few examples.
Day 9 | Birding at Rio Santiago Nature resort
Birding at Rio Santiago Nature Resort to enjoy of the stunning beauty of the Hummingbirds at the garden with 22 species of hummingbirds White-necked Jacobin, Brown Violet-Ear, Crowned Woodnymph, Blue-throated Goldentail, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Stripe-throated Hermit, Long-billed Hermit, Black-crested Coquette etcetera. Rio Santiago also offers pleasant trails that give you a chance of spotting more stunning birds such as the White Hawk, Olive-backed Euphonia, Golden-hooded Tanager, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet, Black-crested Coquette, Spectacled Owl, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Royal Flycatcher and many more. In the evening, we enjoy our last supper together, sharing stories, thoughts and experiences with friends both old and new.
Day 10 | Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport
Your trip unfortunately has come to an end and we will drive you to San Pedro Sula international airport in time for your flight. We hope you enjoyed the tour and wish you a safe journey home. And who knows… hasta la próxima?!