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Classic Honduras Bird Watching Tour - 14 Days

Classic Honduras Bird Watching Tour
3850

Birding in Honduras

A 14-days Honduras Bird Watching Tour which is leisurely paced available as set-departure (or on request) With nearly 100 protected areas, during this tour you will see over 350 birds, our one endemic hummingbird the Honduran Emerald and more neotropical species, also 7 to 8 different mammals.

On this Honduras Bird Watching Tour, you will explore the country located is right in the middle of Central America. It borders the Caribbean Sea on the north coast, Nicaragua in the east, the Pacific Ocean on the south coast (the Gulf of Fonseca), El Salvador in the south-east, and Guatemala in the west. Sitting about 60 km off the Honduran mainland, in the Caribbean Sea, are the famous Bay Islands of Utila, Roatán, and Guanaja

Impressive Mayan ruins of Copán. Maybe not the biggest or best-known of the Mayan cities, but by far the most culturally, artistically, and scientifically advanced of its time. Birding in western Honduras is an exhilarating experience for everyone who is keen to immerse into both Honduras’ nature and culture in this birding adventure of Honduras.

What an amazing feeling to spot the Red-throated Parakeets hiding in the trees that grow over the pyramids, or see the Scarlet Macaws (released there, but still!) flying over the main plaza. 

The ‘heart of Honduras’ or Lake Yojoa in the centre of the country is yet another interesting destination. It offers an interesting combination of lowland forests, freshwater wetlands, and two impressive mountain ranges, Montaña Santa Bárbara and Cerro Azul Meambar.

Thanks to the great diversity of landscapes and habitats, this is one of the species-richest areas in the whole country. So far more than 500 bird species have been recorded, and with plenty of unexplored areas, there are many more waiting for you to be discovered.

Rising steeply behind the coastal plains are the impressive Nombre de Dios mountains and Pico Bonito National Park. The extensive rainforest here harbours a wealth of plant and animal species and although much of these forests are hard to access, there are some fairly accessible prime locations for those in search of speciality birds, animals, or plants. This is a great location to see big mammals, eccentric birds such as the Lovely Cotinga.

This Honduras’ Birding 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, 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 El Cedral during our cloud forest day. The trails are not difficult and no special experience is necessary, but you should be able to walk while birding – of course at a slow pace and with many stops as we will be birding all along the way.

About Jenny Grewal:

Jenny GrewalI am Jenny Grewal. I am a wildlife and nature photographer based in Chippenham, Wiltshire (I am also a vet in my spare time!). I have loved wildlife photography since getting my first camera age 6, and I have always enjoyed teaching, so I’m very happy (and lucky!) to be able to combine the two by leading wildlife photography tours. As a veterinary surgeon, and a keen naturalist, I have a fairly in-depth understanding of the natural world and its conservation, and I am a passionate supporter of eco-tourism. I have spent time in Honduras with William, so I am familiar with the amazing wildlife and photo opportunities it provides, and I’m really looking forward to working with William on this photography tour to show people this amazing country.

I also lead a photography tour in Herzegovina, focused on birds, butterflies and flowers, and have loved helping guests here get the most out of their cameras. I am equally happy teaching a complete beginner how to best use manual focus and move away from ‘auto’ mode, or helping an experienced photographer with composition or post-processing issues – and anything in between!

Photography on this tour:

Some of the best photography opportunities in Honduras are the hummingbirds (or emeralds, violet ears, sabrewings, brilliants and so on!). Hummingbird feeders at all the lodges provide excellent opportunities to sit and photograph hummingbirds, allowing you to observe the behaviour of each hummingbird, and plan your shots accordingly.

There are also plenty of opportunities to walk the trails around the lodges, and take a more opportunistic approach, photographing whatever turns up! Charismatic ant pittas, beautifully coloured toucans and industrious woodpeckers are just a few of the other birds that might present themselves to be photographed.

The huge variety of brightly coloured insects and plants throughout Honduras provides ample opportunity to indulge in macro photography – although this is very different from bird photography, I find it equally rewarding.

William, our bird guide, is also an excellent photographer, so understands what conditions are needed to get great photos! Between us, we can get you where you need to be to get the shots you want and help you perfect your technique and composition to make them as great as they can be. The tropical light in Honduras makes for some stunning images, whether it’s direct sunlight on pristine feathers or soft green light filtered through the rainforest canopy, and we can help you use the light to your best advantage.

Please note: this set-departure tour is also available as a private or custom tour on request. Please submit an enquiry with your preferred dates and group size.

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Hummingbird Photography Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Birding Honduras 2023
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival at San Pedro Sula Airport

Today we meet in the airport, I will take you too the hotel so you can rest and be prepare for the drive to Copan. We are going to have a welcome dinner this night.

Day 2
Day 2 - Transfer to Copan\ Hacienda San Lucas

4-hour drive to Copan, Honduras, with a few stops for gas, toilet service and to stretch our legs along the way. The border cross-ing into Honduras in the afternoon is usually quick and easy. Copán lies in a fertile valley traversed by the Copán river, boarded by hills covered in dry pine and mixed forests.

Nestled in the hills above the tranquil Copan Valley, Hotel Hacienda San Lucas is a 100-year old family-owned retreat uniquely situated directly above the world-renowned Maya ruins of Copan. Hacienda San Lucas is a 100-year old property that was converted into an ecolodge in 2000. Owned for many years by the Cueva family, the hacienda is situated on 300 acres of pristine tropical forest in Western Honduras, and overlooks the renowned Maya Ruins of Copan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hacienda was lovinglyrestored by hand to its original design using only local materials, techniques and labor.

Day 3
Day 3 - Birding at the Archaeological World Heritage Site of Copan.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Copán Ruínas offers a grand combination of Mayan history and a beautiful natural setting

including easily viewed Scarlet Macaws. Although not the largest Mayan city, Copán was the principal Mayan cultural center during the 400 years when the city was at the peak of its development. It was far ahead of other larger Mayan cities in its development of

sculpture, astronomy, and hieroglyphic writing. The Mayan city of Copán as it exists today is composed of a main

the complex of ruins with several secondary complexes encircling it.

The main complex consists of the Acropolis and five important plazas. From what is known today, the sculpture of Copán appears to have attained a high degree of perfection. The Acropolis, a magnificent architectural complex, appears today as a large mass of rubble that came about through successive additions of pyramids, terraces, and temples.

The world’s largest archaeological cut runs through the Acropolis. In the walls of the cut, it is possible to distinguish floor levels of previous plazas and covered water outlets. The construction of the Great Plaza and the Acropolis reflects a prodigious amount of effort because of the size of its leveled and originally paved expanse of three hectares.

We will have a guided tour through the ruins by a knowledgeable local specialist. After a full morning of archaeology, we will have some birdwatching opportunities around the grounds. The biological diversity found in the area surrounding Copan allows for excellent birding: White-throated Magpie-Jays, White-fronted Parrots, Elegant Trogon, Rufous-naped Wren, etc. are some of the species of interest here. We’ll then enjoy a delicious dinner at Hacienda San Lucas.

Day 4
Day 4 - Transfer to Lake Yojoa\Panacam Lodge.

After breakfast, we drive to our hotel PANACAM Lodge. Once we are settled, we have time for af-ternoon birding around the Lodge in search for the Black-crested Coquette, Barred Forest- Fal-con, Collared Araçari, Keel-billed Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Crimson- col-lared Tanager, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, White-throated Thrush, Long-billed Hermit, Vio-let abrewing and more.

Day 5
Day 5 - Birding Panacam Lodge

Starting early with coffee or tea, the morning will start with some birdwatching around the gar-dens and birding tower. Species such as Keel-billed Motmot, Northern-barred Woodcreeper, Black-crested Coquette, White-collared Swift, Lesson’s Motmot, and more. We’ll have breakfast at the hummingbird deck with a lovely view of the lake.

After that, we will keep birding for another hour or so and then head down to the lake, to El Cortijo del Lago, a great place for waterbirds, warblers, tanagers, hummingbirds, etc. And they serve excellent fish for lunch!After lunch, we will visit el Sendero la Naturaleza. This trail has many wonderful bird species such as Golden-hooded Tanagers, Olivaceous Piculet, Green Honeycreepers, and more.

Day 6
Day 6 - Transfer to Lake Yojoa\Panacam Lodge

Today we do a wonderful boat trip to the Lake, local fisherman take us in this great birding adventure searching for more great species such as the Masked Duck, Least Bittern, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Blackcrowned Tityra, Green-backed Sparrow, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Grey-breasted Crake and others. We will have breakfast at the D&D Brewery. After breakfast we will visit different locations and after lunch we will visit Los Naranjos.

Visiting Los Naranjos Archaeological Park will give you an insight in the Lenca culture, all the while chasing a host of specialities such as the beautiful Rufous-naped Wren, Rufous- and-white Wren, and Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. As we walk along the trails, we will be surrounded by Montezuma and Chestnut-headed Oropendulas, we are going to have dinner at the Lodge.

Day 7
Day 7 - Resplendent Quetzal at El Cedral

El Cedral will be or next location, Leonel Chavez is protecting a big extension of cloud forest, next to Santa Barbara National Park. Several special hummingbirds such the Wine-throated Hummingbird, Rivoli's Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountain-gem and of course opportunities to see the Resplendent Quetzal and other cloud forest species. We will wake up early and drive for about an hour, we will have breakfast at Leonel's place.

Day 8
Day 8 - Birding at Eco-finca Luna Del Puente and Honduran Emerald spot

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, Prevost’s 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 going to El Cajon in the

Quest of the Honduran Emerald endemic bird of Honduras.

Day 9
Day 9 - Transfer to Pico Bonito Lodge

We have a long drive today. After breakfast we will drive to Pico Bonito Lodge. Will be a good chance to rest. We are going to stop in Tela for lunch in a Garifuna community, where we are going to enjoy a delicious fish or sea place at the beach.

Day 10
Day 10 - 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, Pal-try Tyrannulets.

Guatemalan Screech-Owls, Great Potoos, Violet-headed Hummingbirds, Purple-crowned Fairies, Slatytailed, Gartered, and Collared Trogons, Red-capped Manak-ins, White- and Grey-breasted Wood-Wrens, White-throated Thrushes, Olive-backed Euphonia, Kentucky Warblers, Keel-billed Motmot, Green Shrike-Vireos, and Black-faced Gros-beaks. And those are just a few examples. Lunch and Dinner at Pico Bonito Lodge. There were rumors that the lodge was close, but the place is open and ready to have your inn.

Day 11
Day 11 - Birding at Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge

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, Blackcowled 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.

Day 12
Day 12 - Snorkeling and Swimming at Cayos Cochinos

Early in the morning we will drive to Nueva Armenia where we are going to have a day at the beach. The Cayos Cochinos are a group of small islands called Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande and over a dozen small coral cays situated about twenty miles away from the northern coast of Honduras. Although Cayos Cochinos are geographically separate islands, they still belong to the Bay Islands and are part of the municipality of Roatan.

They are still largely uninhabited, with just over a hundred people living on the Cayos. There are lots of tiny islands included in Cayos Cochinos, but when people talk about the Cayos they usually refer to the Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande. Both of these Cayos are declared biological marine reserves, thanks to the unique eco-environment. Even today, getting to Cayo Menor is only permitted for scientists and people that work for the Honduras Coral Reef Fund. Cayo Grande is an island where tourists can go, but it can be reached only by boat.

There is also an entrance fee charged for those that wish to visit Cayo Grande, and there are patrol rangers that constantly inspect

the area to ensure that regulations are followed and to protect these unique islands from damage. There are a couple of inhabited villages located on Cayos Cochinos. One is called the East End and the other one is Chachahuate. East End is a village of the local Garifuna people, while Chachahuate is a bit more primitive, but a nice community whose inhabitants come from Nueva Armenia, Jutiapa.

Cayos Cochinos are all managed by the Honduras Coral Reef Fund and are recognized as marine protected areas. The coral reef found here is part of the second biggest coral reef in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. On Cayo Menor, there is also a small scientific research center.

The archipelago of Cayos Cochinos is a unique destination for those travelers that want to escape from crowded and noisy resorts. There are no roads on Cayos Cochinos, which means there are no cars or bikes. Only boats serve as a way for transport. However, there is one nice hiking trail that connects the beaches and residences located on Cayo Grande.

At the highest peak of Cayo Grande, there is a lighthouse that can be accessed by walking through a scenic forest. Besides two fishing villages of Chachahuate and East End, at Cayos Cochinos there are about ten private residences and half a dozen homes spread on the thirteen smaller keys. The islands can be accessed by boats coming from La Ceiba, or by charter boats that go from Roatan or Utila. Cayos Cochinos are one of the most important parts of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, and its environment and waters have been protected as an ecological marine reserve since 1994.

There is a very rich flora and marine life that cover an area of almost five hundred square kilometers. Commercial fishing, as well as fish trapping, is forbidden within the marine park. However, local Garifuna inhabitants have permission to fish only with hand lines. In some specially designated areas qualified local Garifuna fishermen can also catch lobsters.

Day 13
Day 13 - Lancetilla Botanical Garden

After breakfast, we are going to Tela where we are going to spend half a day birding at the Botanical Garden. Established in 1926 by the Fruit Company as an experimental garden to identify different species of fruit and hardwood trees that could be of economic interest to the company. Lancetilla quickly grew to become one of the biggest botanical gardens in the world.

It spans 1,681 hectares and includes an arboretum, experimental plantations, and abiotic reserve that is meant to preserve the natural vegetation of this part of Honduras. The botanical garden is also a great place to see birds such as Black-headed Trogon, Bright-rumped Atilla, Thick-billed Seedfinch, or the beautiful Scarlet-rumped Tanager are often spotted around the visitors’ center, and there is a huge colony of Montezuma and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas nesting in a tree nearby. Afterward, we have a wonderful lunch with the Garifuna people on the beach. In the afternoon, we go back to the hotel and go for a swim on the beach.

Overnight in Metro Hotel near La Lima in the airport area.

Day 14
Day 14 - Transfer to the airport

Time to go Home

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Central American agouti, Variegated squirrel, Snakes, Black-crested Coquette, Barred Forest- Fal-con, Collared Araçari, Keel-billed Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Crimson- collared Tanager, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, White-throated Thrush, Long-billed Hermit, Vio-let brewing, Keel-billed Motmot, Northern-barred Woodcreeper, Black-crested Coquette, White-collared Swift, Lesson’s Motmot, Masked Duck, Least Bittern, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Black-crowned Tityra, Green-backed Sparrow, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Grey-breasted Crake, Glossy Ibis, Bat Falcon, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Blackcowled Oriole, Crested Caracara, Black-headed Trogon, Bright-rumped Atilla, Thick-billed Seedfinch, Scarlet-rumped Tanager

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 8 including non-alcoholic beverages
  • In-country transportation throughout the tour in private van/bus and return flight La Ceiba <> Guanaja
  • 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
  • Taxes

What is not included?

  • Airfare to/from Honduras
  • Travel Insurence
  • Tips
  • Exit/departure tax (usually included in your airfare)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Additional snacks, souvenirs, laundry, and other personal purchases
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why book with Beaks & Peaks?

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.

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01/02/2023 - 14/02/2023 available USD 3,850
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14 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD3,850 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 500
Group Discount Available
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This tour is operated by: Beaks and Peaks
4.85 based on 9 reviews

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4.85 Based on 9 reviews
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Tour Facts

  • Archaeological World Heritage Site of Copan, Honduras
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 1 to 8px
  • 14 Days
  • January to April
  • +15 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English, Spanish
  • San Pedro Sula: Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport
  • San Pedro Sula: Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport