Honduras Birdwatching Tour for Avid Birders
This 14-day Birding Honduras Highlights Tour was elaborated for the more avid birders.
This tour is the perfect introduction to birding in Honduras. It takes you to a wide variety of areas, altitudes and habitats, from pine-oak to cloud forest, from rainforest to mangrove and beach. 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, 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 Celaque. The trails are not especially difficult, and no special experience is necessary, but you should be able to walk for a couple of hours, partly uphill, on nature/forest trails – 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 birding around the hotel
- Day 2 - La Tigra NP
- Day 3 - Cerro de Hula and transfer to Marcala
- Day 4 - El Jilguero Reserve (Opatoro-Guajiquiro)
- Day 5 - Transfer to Gracias with a stop at El Consejero Private Reserve
- Day 6 - Honduran Emerald and Ocellated Quail hotspots
- Day 7 - Celaque NP and transfer to Lake Yojoa
- Day 8 - Lake Yojoa wetlands and Panacam
- Day 9 - Santa Barbara NP
- Day 10 - Luna del Puente Reserve and transfer to Pico Bonito NP
- Day 11 - Rio Santiago Nature Resort
- Day 12 - Cuero y Salado mangroves
- Day 13 - Pico Bonito Lodge
- Day 14 - Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport
Refer to the itinerary tab for more details per day.
If you’d prefer taking a slightly shorter birding tour, why not the 8-day Honduras Birds Easy-Going Tour?
Alternative Tour Name: Honduras’ Birding Highlights
The tour begins with afternoon birding close to our hotel. We will look for Rufous-naped Wren, Orange-fronted Parakeet, and several types of Motmots, Orioles, Hummingbirds etc. After nightfall, we enjoy chatting and getting to know each other during a hearty welcome dinner.
La Tigra National Park offers great birding and a wide array of hummingbirds such as the Green-breasted Mountain-gem, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Mexican Violetear and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird. But we won’t only look out for hummers, there are obviously other interesting species we might encounter too, including the Northern Emerald Toucanet, Singing Quail, Resplendent Quetzal, Mountain Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, Barred Forest-Falcon, Mountain Elaenia, Rufous-browed Wren, Slate-colored Solitaire and many more.
This morning we go birding around Cerro de Hula, an area south of Tegucigalpa which is mostly known because of the windfarms. However, there are also some excellent birding spots around. The pine forests interspersed with fields of flowering “pie de niño” and “red salvia” here attract lots of hummingbirds, and if we are lucky, we may even see the elusive Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird or Slender Sheartail! There will also be Olive Warblers, Rufous-browed Peppershrikes, Bushy-crested Jays, Buff-breasted Flycatchers, Ocellated Quail, Crested Bobwhite and many other species to observe.
Afterwards, we drive to Marcala, in the central highlands of the La Paz department. If we arrive before nightfall, we will go birding around our hotel, which offers great habitat for high altitude pine species such as the Black-vented and Yellow-backed Oriole, Red Crossbill, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Common Black Hawk, Blue-crowned Motmot, Eastern Meadowlark, and there is a pond where we could see a few shorebird species, and Ruddy Crakes. If you not too tired after all of that, we can go owling after dinner, looking for Great Horned Owl, Whiskered Screech-Owl and Fulvous Owl.
All of today we spend 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, Mountain Trogon etcetera.
After morning birding around our highland hotel, we drive to Gracias, in the western department of Lempira. But along the way, we make another birding stop in La Esperanza, at the Bu family’s private reserve and hummingbird garden El Consejero. Beaks and Peaks has helped the owners of this beautiful reserve to create a hummingbird garden that attracts many highland hummers such as Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, Rivoli’s Hummingbird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (during migration), White-eared Hummingbird, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird etc. The hummingbird garden helps the family gain some extra income and encourages them to keep protecting the property that has in the meantime been recognized by the government as a private reserve! The pine forest trails through the Reserve also offer good opportunities to see several other higher altitude species.
Today we search for the only endemic bird of Honduras so far: the Honduran Emerald! The region is also home to many other drier-country birds, amongst others the Elegant Trogon, Striped Cuckoo, Turquoise-browed Motmot and many more. Along the Río Grande, we will also see some water birds such as Green Herons, Black Phoebes, different Kingfisher species etc. In the afternoon, we drive up into Celaque National Park to get one of our target birds: the elusive Ocellated Quail. A hard bird to get, but Celaque NP offers some excellent opportunities, so keep your fingers crossed that you are one of the lucky few to get a glimpse of this shy quail. Other species we may see up here are King Vulture, Crested Bobwhite, Azure-crowned Hummingbird and many more.
This morning we walk the lower elevation trails of Celaque National Park. We will look out for the Mesoamerican endemic Bushy-Crested Jay, Laughing Falcon, Turquoise-browed Motmot, some resident warblers such as the Common Yellowthroat and Rufous-capped Warbler, and other birds like the Altamira Oriole, Black-headed Saltator, Mountain Trogon, Flame-colored Tanager and Yellow-backed Oriole.
After our morning birding, we drive to Lake Yojoa, home to the biggest variety of bird species in Honduras. We will make a stop along the way to look for herons, ducks and other waterfowl, but also a variety of tanagers, warblers, honeycreepers, flycatchers and more.
Upon arrival at our hotel, it will be time for dinner and rest, so we are fit for another well-filled day tomorrow.
Today we do our early morning birding around the Lake. Local fishermen will take us out in their rowboats on the canal and the lake, where we will search for species such as the Pinnated Bittern, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Limpkin, and the tiny Yellow-breasted Crake.
In the afternoon, there will be time for birding around Panacam Lodge, a great place to look for Keel-billed Motmot, Black-crested Coquette, Collared Araçari, Lesson’s Motmot, Masked Tityra, Long-billed Hermit, Violet Sabrewing, Tody Motmot, Keel-billed Toucan and so much more.
This morning, we visit a private reserve in the Santa Barbara mountains, in El Cedral, home of the Quetzals. We drive up to the community very early morning, and have a local típico breakfast with our local guide and owner of the reserve, Leonel. After that, we start our hike up into the cloud forest, looking for birds such as the Pheasant Cuckoo, Resplendent Quetzal, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, White-breasted Hawk, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge, Slate-colored Solitaire, Rusty Sparrow, Collared Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, Scaly-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Chestnut-capped and White-naped Brushfinch, Spot-breasted Wren etcetera.
On our way to the north coast, we stop at one of the most diverse locations for birding. Eco-Finca Luna del Puente is a coffee and cocoa farm and a private nature reserve. Its main objective is protecting the environment by raising awareness of biodiversity and applying sustainable agroforestry practices. The finca has also created some excellent birdwatching trails, which we are more than happy to explore. We will be on the lookout for Northern Potoos, Green Jays, Blue-throated Goldentails, Tody Motmots, White-collared Manakins, White-faced Ground-Sparrows, Yellow-billed Caciques and more.
As the owner of the Finca, Cecilia, also serves an excellent breakfast, we enjoy a traditional Honduran típico before taking back to the road and continuing our way to Pico Bonito National Park.
We get up early in the morning to hike the beautiful trails of Rio Santiago Nature Resort. Here, we will have the chance of seeing some stunners such as White Hawk, Olive-backed Euphonia, Golden-hooded Tanager, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet, Black-crested Coquette, Spectacled Owl, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Royal Flycatcher, Sunbittern and many more.
After our hike, we spend the rest of the day ‘lazy birding’ around the dining area. That doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t see plenty of birds. Rio Santiago is also known as Honduras’ ‘Hummingbird Paradise’. Up to 22 different species of hummingbirds have been recorded here, and many of them come to the feeders at the restaurant: White-necked Jacobin, Brown Violet-Ear, Crowned Woodnymph, Blue-throated Goldentail, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Stripe-throated Hermit, Long-billed Hermit…
On the schedule today is a visit to Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge. We board the only train that is still functioning in Honduras – it dates to the times of the ‘Banana republic’ and was indeed used to transport bananas. What remains now is are two rickety little wagons racing over crooked rails. Lots of fun. And excellent birding opportunities along the way: Glossy Ibis, Bat Falcon, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Black-cowled Oriole, Crested Caracara. At the visitors’ center, we board a motorboat that will take us onto the rivers and canals of the Cuero y Salado Mangroves. Top species that we will try to get good looks at here include Agami Heron, White-necked Puffbird, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Black-crowned Antshrike and more. Lunch will be prepared by a local family upon our return from the boat ride.
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, Middle-American Screech-Owls, Great Potoos, Violet-headed Hummingbirds, Purple-crowned Fairies, Slaty-tailed, Gartered and Collared Trogons, Red-capped Manakins, White-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.
Your trip 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.
Some top bird species we are likely to see on this tour: Honduran Emerald, Ocellated Quail, Singing Quail, Fulvous Owl, Resplendent Quetzal, Slender Sheartail, Blue-throated Motmot, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Green-breasted and Green-throated Mountaingem, Bushy-crested Jay, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Yellow-breasted Crake, Keel-billed Toucan, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Agami Heron, Black-headed Trogon, White-crowned Parrot, Great Potoo and many more.
What is included?
- 13 hotel nights in double occupancy (for a single room, a 500USD single supplement applies)
- 3 meals per day starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 14, including non-alcoholic beverages
- In-country transportation throughout the tour in private van/bus
- All guiding fees: 1 bilingual Beaks and Peaks specialist guide throughout the tour, local guides
- All entrance fees to the parks and reserves mentioned
- All activities as described
What is not included?
- Airfare to/from Honduras
- Travel Insurance
- Exit/departure tax (usually included in your airfare)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Additional snacks, souvenirs, laundry, and other personal purchases
Beaks and Peaks offers high-quality, personalized tours for small group to some of the top birding and wildlife destinations in the world. Everything you would expect from the big names in birdwatching tourism, but on a smaller scale, and therefore closer to the birds, the people, and to you! We are also aware of the importance of transparency, so before you book a tour, we will make sure you have all the information you need or want. Detailed tour itineraries, prices (with clear mention of what is included or excluded), practical information etc. And should you still have questions, then we will be more than happy to help you out. Our goal is to give you the best possible experience. Responsible travel is key at Beaks and Peaks, so we work to reduce our footprint on both the environment and the communities we visit, for example by preferring reusable materials, respecting distances to wildlife, limit use of recordings, flashlights and pointers, and educating both locals and visitors about the importance of conservation and sustainable development.
Throughout the tour, we stay in the best hotels and lodges available in the area. We would, however, want to ask you to bear in mind that you are traveling in a developing country and to sometimes remote natural areas, which comes with both its own charm but also its own challenges: Comfort may not be what you are used to at home, there will be sounds and creatures of the jungle, wifi and electricity may not be as readily available as in your home country. During the Hummingbird Photo Tour in Honduras, accommodation in La Tigra will be basic, around Yojoa comfortable and in Gracias and on the north coast comfortable to luxurious.
The vehicles we will travel in ultimately depend on the size of the group, be it a private car or a private van with an experienced driver, with ample space for each passenger, his or her birding/photography gear and luggage.
On mainland Honduras, we will travel by private car or van. On Lake Yojoa, we go out in the local fishermen's rowboats. In the mangroves of Cuero y Salado, we will bird from a motorboat.
Our tours and prices are based on a minimum of 4 participants. To give everyone good opportunities to see all the birds - and at the same time limit our tour's impact on the environment and the communities - we limit our groups to a maximum of 8 participants.
Yes, we pick you up at Tegucigalpa international airport upon arrival of your flight and will drop you off again at San Pedro Sula international airport in time for your departure.
All in-country transportation is included in the tour price. There are no internal flights/ferries during the Birding Honduras Highlights Tour.
We do not usually change the tour leader, but if it is absolutely necessary, for example because of illness, force majeure or the like, we will inform you as soon as possible. The same goes for changes to the itinerary. We intend to always stick to the itinerary we have agreed upon, but if we receive information on issues such as road closures, natural disasters, safety concerns etc. we will opt for an alternative route to ensure a safe, orderly and pleasant continuation of your trip. Again, we will inform you of any changes as soon as such a situation should arise.
Yes, for the Birding Honduras Highlights Tour, a single supplement of 310USD applies in case you want a single room. We can usually accommodate three-person or family rooms, but please do contact us to check options, availability and prices.
Yes, all meals starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 14 are included, along with water, soft drinks and natural juices. Alcoholic beverages are not included.
The best time to travel to Honduras - for birding - is October to mid-May. Within that time frame, the driest months are February to mid-May. In the wet season, it will likely rain late afternoon. That does not, however, mean that birding is bad. On the contrary, since everything is green, fruiting and flowering, the birds are usually active. But you may need a rain jacket.
Birding in Honduras generally requires more walking than in other places. We do not have much birding from the bus opportunities. You do not need to be an atlete, and most locations are easily accessible, but some trails, in La Tigra and Santa Bárbara require more effort: You should be able to walk for a few hours up- and downhill on rather steep and sometimes muddy mountain and forest trails, of course at a slow pace. Should you have any questions or doubts about the feasibility of this trip for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we will be happy to give you all the information you could possibly need to help you decide and give you a wonderful experience.
No. Mostly, in areas such as La Tigra and Santa Bárbara we will hike up steep, rocky and sometimes slippery forest trails: You should be able to walk for a few hours up- and downhill on those, of course at a slow pace. Most other locations - even the ones that are not 'hard', still require walking. Honduras is not a “disabled friendly” country, in the sense that you cannot expect ramps or elevators or special wheelchair-accessible features. Should you have any questions or doubts about the feasibility of this trip for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we will be happy to give you all the information you could possibly need to help you decide and give you a wonderful experience.
No. Apart from a certain level as fitness (see FAQ n° 12 and 13), we put no restrictions on who can join the Birding Honduras Highlights Tour. Everyone is absolutely welcome, independent of age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, political orientation, religion etc. We treat everyone respectfully and expect the same from anyone who travels with us.
During this Birding Honduras Highlights Tour, there will be basic WiFi in all hotels, though only in the public spaces such as restaurant or reception, not in your room. It should be sufficient to check social media, send e-mails and even make a voice call. Do not expect the same speed as in the US or Europe though. Uploading photos may take a while or not work at all, and streaming videos will likely not work. There will be no phone signal in our hotel at Lake Yojoa nor on the north coast. All hotels have electricity 24 hours. However, power outages are not uncommon in Honduras, so there is always a possibility that electricity is gone for a few hours. Outlets and plugs in Honduras are the same shape as in the United States.
We always make a point of buying locally, staying in locally run hotels, hiring local guides etc. No international hotel or restaurant chains, but Honduran based and Honduran run businesses. That way, everything you pay for this tour stays in the country and in the communities we visit. And it creates an opportunity to learn a little more about the country apart from its birds too.
Yes, of course, just send us an e-mail mentioning what you need and when, and we will make you a suggestion. We can book for you if you want us to.
No, we do not provide any insurance, and strongly recommend you obtain travel and/or medical and/or health insurance in your home country. It is also a good idea to provide us with a phone number and e-mail address of your insurer and your polis number to speed things up in case we need to contact them urgently for you while on the trip.
Apart from a certain level as fitness (see FAQ n° 12 and 13), we put no restrictions on who can join this Birding Honduras HIghlights Tour. Everyone is absolutely welcome, independent of age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, political orientation, religion etc. We treat everyone respectfully and expect the same from anyone who travels with us. Do bear in mind that you are traveling to sometimes remote natural areas, which comes with both its own charm but also its own challenges: Comfort may not be what you are used to at home, there will be sounds and creatures of the jungle, wifi and electricity may not be as readily available as in your home country.
You can book and pay for this Birding Honduras Highlights Tour through Bluesky Wildlife. It is also possible to book it directly through Beaks and Peaks, in which case your payment will be processed through the secure platform WeTravel. Please consult our Terms and Conditions (https://www.beaksandpeaks.com/terms-and-conditions) for detailed information about payment methods and terms.
Contact us as soon as possible about the changes you want or need to make so we can figure out if and how we can accommodate you. For detailed information about cancellations and refunds, please consult our Terms and Conditions (https://www.beaksandpeaks.com/terms-and-conditions).
Please consult our Terms and Conditions ((https://www.beaksandpeaks.com/terms-and-conditions) for detailed information about cancellations and refunds.
Please consult our Terms and Conditions ((https://www.beaksandpeaks.com/terms-and-conditions) for detailed information about cancellations and refunds.
In addition to your regular packing list of clothes and toiletries, don’t forget the following items: light shirts with long sleeves; light long trousers; sweater; raincoat; sun hat or cap; waterproof footwear with good grip; insect repellent; sunscreen; plenty of your personal medicine and products for personal hygiene for the entire tip; camera with all the necessary accessories; binoculars; day pack.
We provide potable water throughout the tour (remember that tap water is not for drinking use!) but it is a good idea to bring your own refillable bottle or camel bag (it helps us keep plastic waste down). We provide all meals throughout the tour, whether as box meals or in hotels/restaurants. It is a good idea to bring a small day pack to carry some of your personal items (your water bottle, maybe some snacks, medicine, guide book, rain jacket etc.) during the walks.
Yes, we can, if we know well in advance. Please inform us of any dietary needs upon booking.
Yes, always bring some cash in local currency (Honduran Lempira) or US dollars (which you can exchange upon arrival at the airport), and a credit card. In theory, the tour includes everything you need, but you might want to buy a souvenir or some extra snacks or a drink. Alcoholic beverages, personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry, phone calls etc. are not included in the tour. Neither are tips or gratuities for guides and other service providers.
For the Birding Honduras Highlights Tour in Honduras, we can recommend the following books and apps: Books: Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Northern Central America by J. Fagan & O. Komar (also available as eBook / pdf) Guide to the Birds of Honduras by R. Gallardo (English and Spanish versions available) Birds of Central America by A. C. Vallely and D. Dale Apps: Merlin by Cornell Lab of Ornithology (download Honduras package)