Birdwatching in Western Honduras
This 10-Birding in Honduras Western Highlights Tour which is moderately paced available on request has picturesque Spanish colonial towns, like Gracias with their original cobblestone streets and adobe homes. Gracias is at the foot of Celaque National Park, with the highest peak in Honduras (Las Minas - 2,849 masl). In Spanish colonial times, the city was chosen as the headquarters of the Audiencia de Los Confines. We will visit the city of Copan, right next to the majestic archaeological site of Copan Ruinas, located far west in the Copan Valley, this Unesco World Heritage Site is the artistic capital of the Mayan World.
A lot of amenities can be found in this route, like pools of hot water springs; Exquisite local cuisine, such as the “cochinilla”, a variety of corn dishes like atol chuco, montucas, etc; We can find beautiful handmade Lenca and Maya-Chortí pottery and weavery; and for adrenaline rush lovers we include a Birds-eye-view on La Campa zipline, one of the highest in Central America.
There are a lot of interesting birds in this Western Highlights route like Honduran Emerald (country endemic), Blue-throated Motmot, Ocellated Quail, Black-capped Swallow, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Fulvous Owl, Tody Motmot, Scarlet Macaws, and many more target species.
If you have a little more time to spend on your holiday, maybe you’d consider a longer trip like this Honduras Birding Tour: Enchanted South & Central Highlands.
Alternative Tour Name: Western Highlights
You will arrive at Toncontin Airport in Tegucigalpa. Then we will drive towards the city of Marcala, very well known for producing excellent coffee.
Overnight: La Casona
All-day birding in Guajiquiro-Opatoro highlands. One of the few roads above 2,000 meters that crosses the cloud forests at the top of the reserve, and that gives us direct access to Regional Endemics bird species, such as, Blue-throated Motmot, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Black-capped Swallow, Ocellated Quail, Fulvous Owl, Black-throated Jay and many more. Late afternoon transfer to hotel.
Overnight: La Casona
Before our breakfast, we’ll go birding on the hotel premises. After breakfast, onwards to El Consejero Private Reserve located in Yamaranguila, department of Intibuca, where we will be able to photograph highland hummingbirds on several bird feeders. Then we travel to our final destination for the day, the colonial city of Gracias, where we will, later on, have a city tour.
Overnight: Real Camino Lenca Hotel
Birding in Celaque National Park trails in the morning. Here we can find six out of the seven species of pine trees that can be observed in Honduras; It very rich in terms of flora and water; It has 17 endemic species of plants of which 3 are unique to Celaque. In the afternoon, after lunch, we'll visit the colonial town of La Campa. During the evening, hot water springs to relax and have a pleasant night.
Overnight: Real Camino Lenca Hotel
During the morning we will look for target birds like Honduran Emerald (country endemic), Ocellated Quail, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, etc. After lunch, we continue towards the colonial city of Copan Ruinas located far west of Gracias.
Overnight: Buena Vista Hotel.
All-day in the archaeological park of Copan Ruinas. Birding in the morning while we go on a cultural tour with an experienced guide that will take us through different sections of this majestic archaeological site. After lunch at a local copaneco restaurant, we'll return to the park and visit the museums and underground tunnels. Later on during the evening, a nightlife city tour.
Overnight: Buena Vista Hotel.
Birding in the environs of the colonial city of Copan Ruinas like the Rastrojón Archaeological Site and the Copan River banks. Later during the morning, we will visit Macaw Mountain and after lunch, we’ll transfer to Lake Yojoa Basin, previously know as the Laguna de Los Lagartos. Late afternoon lakeside wildlife observation.
Lake Yojoa is Honduras biggest volcanic freshwater lake, with a unique combination of habitats surrounded by two mountain ranges (Montaña de Santa Barbara & Azul Meambar national parks). Ramsar site - a wetland of Global Importance since 2005.
All-day birding and sightseeing in Panacam trails located in Azul Meambar National Park. This park has two birdwatching towers specially designed to provide the perfect environment while canopy birding. After that, we hike the Deer Trail in search for more wildlife. While waiting for our meals you can photograph a variety of hummingbirds at the feeders. After lunch at the Lodge, we'll hike on another trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall nearby. Later on, head down and visit Yure’s Dam before dusk. Transfer to the hotel.
Very early we'll have a boat ride through the north-side trail of the lake after this we drive to Los Naranjos, we walk through an elevated boardwalk path across the marshes giving us access to aquatic birds. We’ll also walk on a gravel trail at the end that goes along a mixed forest, parallel to the aquatic canal trail that we will have to cross later on towards the observation tower. After lunch, we will visit a private natural reserve for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant that offers home-brewed beer and a variety of delicious food. Transfer to the hotel.
After breakfast, we take you to Ramón Villeda Morales Airport for your flight back home.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Honduran Emerald, Blue-throated Motmot, Northern Emerald Toucanet, Fulvous Owl, Ocellated Quail, Scarlet Macaw, Red-throated Parakeet, Great Swallow-tailed Swift, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Keel-billed Motmot, Tody Motmot, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Green-backed Sparrow, Gray-breasted Crake, Yellow-breasted Crake, Black-capped Swallow, Snail Kite, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Striped Owl, Mottled Owl, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Highland Guan, Crested Guan, Mountain Trogon, etc.
What is included?
- Double occupancy rates
- All meals included beginning with lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 10
- Accommodations as stated in the itinerary (or equivalent)
- Land and boat transportation during the tour
- Entrances to parks and reserves
- Guide services provided by the local tour leaders
What is not included?
- Optional tips
- Personal items
- Travel insurance
- Airport exit tax in the case that the tax is not already incorporated into the ticket price
- Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"
Feathers Eco-Birding Tours is a tour operator based in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. We offer secure custom worry-free tours led by certified experienced guides. We cater to all your needs from the moment you arrive in Honduras, so you can have a great journey on your visit to our beautiful country.
Umm, not really. Parts of Honduras do have a high violent crime rate, it is true, at least for a country at peace: precisely the parts we will be staying away from, except when flying in and out. The rest of the country, and particularly the small towns and rural places we will be visiting and staying in, are characterized by a lack of crime targeting tourists, precisely the opposite of too many countries out there.
No, but it can never hurt! Our guides are fully bilingual.
Tropical weather, you will need to come prepared for the country’s range of microclimates—cool, wet cloud forests, steamy hot tropical rain forests, humid pacific coast, hot lowland valleys. Daytime highs can reach 90f/32c in the shade but remember that the tropical sun is very hot, so it will seem warmer. Cooler nights the temperature may go as low as the 60f/14c.
Light-weight, neutral-colored clothing that can easily be rinsed out and dried quickly is recommended for the field. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help protect you from insects, thorny plants and sunburn. A travel umbrella, light sweater, rain jacket, walking or hiking boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and a bottle of water are also essential.
We have most species on our smartphones, and recording equipment for those calls no one can identify. Playback is permitted in most cases, but please bear in mind that the Ethics Code of the Honduran Ornithology Association governs our actions, particularly in the case of breeding species.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with eBird, if you are not already, and visiting hotspots and regions that are on our itinerary to get a better idea of what to expect. Beyond that, the most valuable resource could be xeno-canto, where you can download vocalizations for free.