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Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest - 13 Days

Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest
3800

The Hummingbird Photo Quest is perfect for photographers with a special interest in hummers. Because we focus exclusively on these tiny creatures, you have plenty of time to find the best angle and the perfect light. And who knows: take that stunning shot that brings you fame?

The Hummingbird Photo Quest takes you from dry pine-oak to cloud forest and from rainforest to mangrove and beach. Thanks to that variety, you can see and photograph about three quarters of Honduras' 43 hummingbird species.

We limit the spaces on this tour to six people to give you all the time and space you need to focus on creating awesome photos.

Day 1
Day 1 - Pick up at Tegucigalpa airport & photographing near the hotel

We meet you upon your arrival in Toncontín International Airport in Tegucigalpa. After a short drive towards La Tigra National Park, we reach our hotel for the next few nights. Depending on your time of arrival, we may still have time for some afternoon birding close to the hotel.

Day 2
Day 2 - Full day photographing in La Tigra National Park

Today, we spend the whole day in La Tigra National Park. We look for one of the prettiest hummingbirds of the trip: the spectacular Wine-throated Hummingbird. The extravagant magenta gorget of the male will make your heart race when you hit that button.

The Park is not only a hotspot for Wine-throated Hummingbirds. It is also home to beauties such as Green-breasted Mountain-Gem, Mexican Violetear, White-eared Hummingbird, and the uncommon Amethyst- and Garnet-throated Hummingbirds.

With those, we will have made a great start to our Hummingbird Photo Quest.

Day 3
Day 3 - Full day photographing in Las Moras & Cerro de Hula

Early this morning, we drive to Cerro de Hula. This area of dry shrub is the preferred habitat of Slender Sheartail and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird. These rare long-tailed hummingbirds are attracted by the wild salvia and pito blossoms that abound here. Make sure to inspect those flowers closely for our tiny bee-like hummingbirds! Other species that we will photograph here are Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Green Violetear, White-eared Hummingbird and Cinnamon Hummingbird.

Day 4
Day 4 - Transfer to La Esperanza & photographing at El Consejero Hummingbird Garden

After breakfast, we drive to La Esperanza. We are still in the pine-covered highlands of Honduras, and in one of the coolest (or coldest) places in the country. Upon arrival, we visit Private Reserve El Consejero in nearby Yamaranguila. The Reserve is run by Julio Bu and his family. Julio is a conservationist and has decided to convert almost the entirety of his land into a nature reserve. Beaks and Peaks has worked with him and his daughter and grandchildren to create a Hummingbird Garden. The garden was a success, and after merely a few months, 7 different types of highland hummers had found their way to the feeders and flowers: Magnificent Hummingbird, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (during migration), Azure-crowned Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, and Green-throated Mountain-gem. The Hummingbird Garden is a wonderful spot to photograph these hummingbirds and at the same time help this very humble family make a sustainable living in harmony with nature.

Day 5
Day 5 - Morning photographing at El Consejero Hummingbird Garden, transfer to Gracias & photographing at Celaque Hummingbird Garden

We have some more time this morning to photograph at El Consejero before we drive to Gracias, in the western department of Lempira. situated at the foot of Parque Nacional Celaque, which boasts the highest peak of Honduras. Our hotel is located amidst pine forest, woodland and coffee plantations. In Beaks and Peaks’ nearby Hummingbird Garden, we have another chance at photographing Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Azure-crowned Hummingbird and perhaps Stripe-tailed Hummingbird.

Day 6
Day 6 - Morning photographing in Opalaca National Park & afternoon Photographing at Rio Grande

In the morning, we make our way high up into the mountains of Opalaca. This reserve is one of many hidden gems littering the Honduran countryside. It has only recently been discovered by the Honduran birdwatching community but has enormous potential, both for its biodiversity and access. The reserve is now on the list to be recognized as a National Park. Depending on the altitude you will find pine forest, dry shrub and cloud forest in Opalaca. We will be look out for Wine-throated Hummingbird, but other hummers such as Rivoli’s, White-eared, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountain-gem, or Mexican Violetear are also to be seen.

After lunch in Gracias, we head to the Rio Grande. The river is bordered by dry forest and is home to Honduras’ only endemic: the Honduran Emerald. This beautiful hummer species feeds mainly on Inga, a native tree that produces white blossoms. The afternoon light over the river should make for some great photo opportunities.

Day 7
Day 7 - Transfer to Panacam Lodge

This morning, we drive to Lake Yojoa, Honduras’ only natural freshwater lake. As soon as we are settled in our hotel, we head out to find some more hummingbirds. The deck of the hotel restaurant has several hummingbird feeders and thus offers a great starting point. Among the species we will try to capture on film here are White-bellied Emerald, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Violet Sabrewing etc.!

Day 8
Day 8 - Full day photographing at Panacam Lodge

No long drives today, since Panacam Lodge itself offers wondrous opportunities for hummingbird photography. The hummingbird feeders on the deck and the various flowering trees near the cabins and that attract several hummingbird species to well-lit and open areas, given you the chance to easily work on angles, light and composition. We’ll be taking our time today with species such as Violet Sabrewing, White-bellied Emerald, Green-throated Mountain-gem, and if we’re lucky even the tiny but spectacular Black-crested Coquette!

Day 9
Day 9 - Full day photographing at Montaña de Vida

Very early in the morning we drive up into the mountains of Santa Bárbara, where we will follow the Quetzal Trail. This is part of a conservation project Beaks and Peaks supports, called “La Fuente de Vida”. The name of the project means “The Source of Life” and reflects the importance of the mountain and the forest and its natural resources for the communities of El Dorado, San Luis Planes and el Sauce. The three communities sit on the edge of the national park and are offering basic ecotourism services to diversify their income–which is now exclusively based on coffee growing – and protect their natural environment.

Up in these beautiful mountains, we will look for the Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, a spectacular creature living in the cloud forest and feeding on small insects and the nectar of fresh flowers. There are also good chances to photograph the Long-billed Hermit, Stripe-throated Hermit, Mexican Violetear, Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountain-gem and Violet Sabrewing. After a full day up in the mountains, with breakfast and lunch provided by the community, we return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 10
Day 10 - Transfer to 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 and spa. In this luxurious setting, we enjoy yet another splendid birding day, as the area offers an array of interesting hummingbird species such as the Violet-headed Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Brown Violetear, Long-billed Hermit etc. The gardens and trails of the Lodge are well tended and create a beautiful setting for your photography.

Day 11
Day 11 - Full day photographing at Pico Bonito Lodge

Given the big variety of hummingbirds this area hosts, we will spend all of today at the Lodge too. There are several feeders near the restaurant and reception area, even though many of the hummingbird species here readily feed on the many flowering bushes and trees. Great shots guaranteed!

Day 12
Day 12 - Transfer to Guanaja & photographing on Guanaja

This morning, a small plane will bring us in about 20 minutes from La Ceiba to the island of Guanaja. This beautifully authentic island in the Caribbean Sea is one of the only places—and by far the prettiest and easiest one—to observe and photograph the Canivet’s Emerald, a subspecies of Salvin’s Emerald that cannot be found on the Honduran mainland. Both from Manatí restaurant or the deck at Roland’s Garden Guesthouse, we will have great views of these little guys, coming to the wealth of flowering plants and trees and some strategically placed feeders. And for sure you will appreciate the relaxed Caribbean vibe of this location while taking heaps of gorgeous pictures. Add to that the delicious lunch served at Manatí, and we are convinced you will not want to take the plane back this afternoon. However, it is time to get back to the mainland, and enjoy a final dinner together.

Day 13
Day 13 - Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport

We will bring you to the international airport of San Pedro Sula in time for your flight. We hope you have had a great trip and return home with lots of stunning pictures and wonderful memories.

What is included?

  • 12 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 13 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 ES/EN 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
  • Tips
  • Exit/departure tax (usually included in your airfare)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Additional snacks, souvenirs, laundry, and other personal purchases
Wildlife Reviews
4.83 stars
- based on 4  reviews
  1. Time of my Life
    Carole Turek, MD09 Jul 2018
    5
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    If I had to list the best 100 days of my life, I would put all eleven days I spent with William Orellana on the 2018 Hummingbird Quest on that list. I will qualify that with the admission that I am an absolute hummingbird fanatic. My very well-planned tour of Honduras in search of birds to photograph was nothing less than phenomenal. I was able to capture many species, four of which are very difficult to find much less photograph. William knows the various Honduran territories so well that he was able to take me to areas where I was almost guaranteed to find a certain species. He has an impressive ability to spot perched hummingbirds, and he once even knew where a particular bird would land on a particular tree. This is an unbelievable advantage to a photographer and allowed me to obtain some of the finest photographs of the female Wine-throated Hummingbird in existence. The rare Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird is actually a regular visitor to the garden he planted at his own home! I met some incredible people in Honduras that love hummingbirds and are doing everything they can to preserve their habitat. These people are trying to teach both the children and adults of Honduras how important it is to conserve the beauty of their country for the birds and ultimately for themselves. The people are warm and friendly, and I always felt welcome everywhere I was taken. Both William Orellana and Katinka Domen love Honduras and will do anything and everything to send their clients home with the memories of a lifetime. Would I go back? Is tomorrow too soon?
  2. Private birding tour - April 2017
    Dawn Brooks13 Apr 2017
    5
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    We visited Honduras last year for a hummingbird photography tour and were left with the feeling that there was much more to see and do. So we soon signed up for another, longer tour with Beaks and Peaks this year. We wanted to visit some different places as well as visiting a couple of our favourites from last year. Our tour started in Tegucigalpa and we then worked our way west to Copan and then north to the Caribbean coast where we stayed on Guanaja. We visited various different birding habitats and saw some great birds. This year we managed to get much better views of the wine throated humming bird, and saw a whole range of mot mots and trogons, American migrants and local rarities. We enjoyed every place we stayed for different reasons. We enjoyed our breakfasts with local families, views of migrating swallows, swifts and hawks, walking round the town of Gracias with William, and visiting the ruins of Copan. At no point did we feel threatened or unsafe, and neither did we see any trouble or experience any issues. The security issues in Honduras seem to be vastly overstated. Honduras is a great birding destination, with friendly people who have a passion and enthusiasm for their country. We stayed in some truly excellent accommodation, particularly La Villa de Soledad as an example. Once again we enjoyed Guanaja both birding and snorkelling – the island really is like paradise and there are some great people who looked after us well. It was a great way to finish holiday. I would highly recommend Beaks and Peaks as a birding tour operator. Whilst we stuck to our overall itinerary William took account of local conditions and how we felt to ensure that we got the best out of every day. William was keen to show us his country of which he is immensely proud and share his absolute passion for the birds. He always tried his best to get us onto a bird .... but there is always one to go back for. We enjoyed each and every minute of our holiday and will always remember it
  3. Hummingbird Photography Tour July 2016
    Dawn and Craig Brooks16 Jul 2016
    4.33
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    We took part in a 10 day tour starting in Tegucigalpa and ending in Pico Bonito Lodge, nr La Ceiba. From start to finish the tour worked as planned. Accommodation was generally very good with just one night where the accommodation was basic - we were told about this - and some nights where the accommodation was very good - at Panacam Lodge and Pico Bonito. Throughout the tour our guides William and Katinka were attentive to detail and very easy to get along with - nothing was too much trouble. We particularly enjoyed early morning breakfasts in the field, often with local food which was a nice touch, it was very good. We even had one day when in the middle of nowhere we had take out pizza - I'm not sure how they did it, but it was lovely, a nice change. We had no upset tummies as there was always hand cleaning gel available. From a bird watching perspective this tour is exactly as per the title, and we went to some lengths to see different and more specialised birds in more challenging locations, as well as some easier feeder visits. Of the just over 40 hummingbird species available in Honduras the trip recorded 31 in 10 days! We really enjoyed visiting Guanaja - the whole experience of the flight, short boat ride and laid back feel on the island. The whole experience was so good we have already booked to go back to do some more general birding!! Cannot wait.
  4. Glorious Birding, Brilliant Guide
    Jenny Grewal - Mythic Hippo Photography11 Jul 2018
    5
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    I joined William from Beaks and Peaks for a Hummingbird Photography Quest. I arrived and departed from Honduras on slightly different days to the other guests for various reasons, and William could not have been more helpful in making sure I was immediately made to feel safe and welcome when I arrived. The hummingbirds we saw were incredibly beautiful, and there was ample time allowed to get used to the habitat and behaviour of each species, and to photograph them in different lights. I am a birder as well as a photographer, and William made sure that I saw (and photographed!) plenty of other species as well as the hummingbirds we were searching for. Both William and Katinka are wonderful, highly skilled and friendly guides who do their utmost to make you feel welcome in Honduras, and to ensure that each individual on the trip gets what they want out of the tour. I cannot recommend Beaks and Peaks highly enough, and Honduras is an unexpected delight to visit.

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Why book with Beaks and Peaks?

Beaks and Peaks is an ethically and ecologically responsible birding and adventure tour company based in Gracias Lempira, Honduras. Sustainability, authenticity and diversity are the core values our company is built on. In combining the extensive knowledge and experience of Honduras’ very best guides and naturalists with the hospitality and authenticity of the local communities we strive to create a successful, productive partnership that benefits all. Living here we have in-depth knowledge of local politics, economics and culture. We are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the country and the society we live in. In the first place we aim at showing you those strengths: the unspoilt natural beauty, the charming local people, the stunning flora and fauna. But we also need to protect that natural beauty and aim at bettering the lives of the people. We therefore try to involve local communities, businesses and guides into our tours where possible and we support several projects which we believe will contribute to raising the standard of living and protecting our natural resources. Beaks and Peaks does not just offer tours. We seek to offer experiences — unique, authentic, unforgettable experiences. We want to create memories you will want to share with your friends, colleagues and family back home. And in doing so we hope strive to change the world… your world, our world, our people’s world. Honduras is a beautiful, remarkably diverse country that has an extraordinary range of experiences to offer to the adventurous traveler, from discovering the amazing avifauna or visiting spectacular mountains and forests to exploring the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and having a taste of the true Hondureño culture. We at Beaks and Peaks make it our mission to reveal Honduras’ stunning, vibrant true colors to adventurous travelers. And what better way to experience this beauty than by spotting colorful exotic birds, hiking through virgin cloud forests or listening to the enthralling stories of the local people?

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

13 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD3,800 / per person
This tour is operated by: Beaks and Peaks

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Operator Review Summary

4.87 Based on 5 reviews
Tours
Wildlife
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Value

Tour Facts

  • Honduras
  • Birds
  • 4 to 6 pax
  • 13 days, 12 nights
  • January to December
  • none
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English, Spanish, Dutch, German, French
  • Tegucigalpa
  • San Pedro Sula