Mayan Area & Western Honduras Birdwatching Tour
Honduras is a part of Mesoamerica where you will find a portion of the Mayan World. The Mayas were a grand civilization consisting of Astronomers which constructed three sophisticated calendars, the Civil, Sacred and Long Count. They also developed a writing system and a numerical system based on the concept of “0”. Mayas were also engineers who built beautiful temples in ancient cities like Copán, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful artistic cities in the Mayan world.
In Honduras, you can also find remnants of European culture. Honduras was the first continental country that Christopher Columbus arrived in. Because of Spanish influence, many colonial settlements can be found in Honduras, like the city of Gracias. 85% of the country is mountainous, with its highest point being 9,000 feet above sea level.
There are approximately 107 protected areas within this territory, because of this Honduras is considered to have the highest percentage of forested land in Central America. Surprisingly, Honduras does not have a large number of tourists; therefore, it is common to find yourself alone amongst the beautiful natural settings. The flora and fauna are quite diverse, there are many important ecosystems. Mangrove forests can be found as well as wetlands, rainforests, cloud forests, and conifer forests. Each of these systems provides niches and habitats for local fauna.
Alternative Tour Name: Birding Western Honduras and the Mayan Area
This beautiful town in Honduras is located next to an ancient Mayan city; Copán Ruinas is considered the most artistic in the Mayan world. Around our hotel there are various natural areas providing habitat to many birds like: Lesson´s Motmot, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Rose-throated Becard, Elegant Trogon, and at least five different Orioles.
We will be birdwatching near the Copán River, and the San Francisco Lagoon, an area populated with many species of birds due to the variety of forest; conifer trees and broad-leaf. This location is considered the largest gathering place of the beautiful Elegant Euphonia in Central America. We hope to observe a minimum of 60 species of birds including: White-breasted Hawk, Brown-Backed Solitaire, Bushy-crested Jay, Olive Warbler, and Rusty Sparrow.
Visit the political & religious center of Mayan Society, a UNESCO World Heritage site, well known for its stelae, ball court & hieroglyphic staircase. Abundant Scarlet Macaws will welcome us. These birds were sacred in Mayan Mythology, and reintroduced in Copán 40 years ago. Before the visit to the ruins we will watch birds in the adjacent forest.
This morning we will have an opportunity of birding in the first Mayan residential area studied by archeologists. We will walk among palaces that were inhabited by Mayan nobility; scribes, astronomers, congressmen, etc. Then head out to Gracias, Lempira.
We will head out early to Celaque to look for the following species: Stripe-tail Hummingbird, collared Trogon, Acorn Woodpecker, Yellowish Flycatcher, Bushy-crested Jay, Band Backed Wren, Olive Warbler, Blue-gray Tanager, and most other species…If we are lucky we can have a meeting with one of the most famous birds searched, the Ocellated Quail.
Birdwatching in the morning around the hotel, and breakfast before heading to Lake Yojoa. On our way we will stop for a couple of hours to walk around Rio Grande looking for the only country endemic, the Honduran Emerald
After an early breakfast we will start birding, looking for: Little Tinamou, Gray-Chested Dove, Long-billed Hermit, Black Crested Coquette, Collared Trogon, Black-faced Antthrush, White-throated- Trush, Short Billed Pigeon, Keel-billed Motmot, and more.
This will be a long day birding, with many wonderful experiences and encounters with rare and sought-after species like: White Hawk, Olivaceous Piculet, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Green Sparrow, White-collar Manakin, Rufous-brown Peppershrike, Spot-breasted Wren, Crimson-collared Tanager, Prevost's Ground-Sparrow and many more. Near the Archeological Park possible species to observe are Purple Gallinule, Northern Jacana, Black- bellied Whistling Duck, Snail Kite, Roadside Hawk, Common Gallinule, Limpkin, Rudy Crake, Barred Antshrike, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, White-throated Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, White-winged Becard and there is a great possibility that we might find the Spotted Rail.
Early in the morning we will head to the National Park. This is the place where we can encounter one of the most mythological birds of the Mayan People, the Resplendent Quetzal. The following species can be seen here as well: Slate-colored Solitaire, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, and Wine-throated Hummingbird.
This area, is one of the places in Honduras, where you can see the Honduran Emerald. The only endemic bird in our country. The following birds may also be seen: White-Necked Puffbird, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and many more.
Transfer to Airport in San Pedro Sula
During this tour we will visit Mayan sites, such as El Puente and Copán Mayan Ruins. The ancient city is inside of small patches of forest where close to 400 species of birds can be seen. We’ll visit Mayan and Lenca communities, where ancient practices can still be seen. We will visit the city of Gracias that was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century. At one point Gracias was the capital city of Central America. Original buildings still remain within the city. Gracias was built in the foothills of Celaque National Park.
After Gracias we will continue driving through picturesque countryside before arriving at Lake Yojoa, which is located between two national parks; Azul Meambar and Santa Barbara. Here we will visit wetlands and an eco-archeological park. This is one of the richest areas of avifauna in Honduras.
What is included?
- 10 nights of accommodations based on double occupancy
- All meals, professional guide
- All ground transportation to places visited
- And entrance fees to Archeological Parks and Nature Areas
What is not included?
- International air tickets
- Travel Insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Airport departure tax
- And other incidentals