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Hummingbird Quest Photography Tour - 10 Days

Hummingbird Quest Photography Tour
3000

This 10-day birding tour is designed for lovers of hummingbirds and photography. The tour focuses exclusively on these agile little creatures and on giving you the best chances of going home with stunning shots of Honduras’ wonderful feathery acrobats. During the 10-day Hummingbird Quest, you will have the best opportunities to observe and photograph about three-quarters of Honduras’ 43 hummingbird species.

Day 1
Day 1 - Pick-up at Tegucigalpa airport, transfer to hotel near La Tigra National Park

We meet you upon your arrival at Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa, and bring you to our hotel near La Tigra National Park, our base for the next 3 nights.

In the afternoon, we will be in the gardens of the hotel trying to see the Azurecrowned and White-eared Hummingbird and maybe even the Garnet-throated Hummingbird.

Day 2
Day 2 - Full day birding at La Tigra National Park

We spend the whole day in La Tigra National Park on our quest for one of the most beautiful hummingbirds of the trip: the amazing Wine-throated Hummingbird. The extravagant magenta gorget of the displaying male is likely to make your finger shake when you hit that button. They feed from the nectar of wild flowers like the Salvia cinnabarina and lavanduloides, Vaccinium poasanum, mountain fuchsia and others. We also look for the Green-breasted Mountaingem, Green Violetear, White-eared Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, and Garnet-throated Hummingbird and try to get some good shots from these beauties too.

Day 3
Day 3 - Morning birding around Cerro de Hula, transfer to La Esperanza

Our quest for some of the rarest Hummingbirds starts very early today. At 5:00 am, we drive to Cerro de Hula (we will have breakfast on the go), where we look for the magnificent Slender Sheartail and Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, both residents of the southwestern highlands. These two long-tailed hummingbirds are rare, but Cerro de Hula in Honduras is one of the best spots to look for them, as the area hosts many flowers and trees that attract hummingbirds. We will be paying particular attention to one tree in particular: the Pito-tree. It produces a long, red flower that is a favorite of not only the Slender Sheartail, but also of the Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Green Violetear, White-eared Hummingbird and Cinnamon Hummingbird. After a picnic lunch we assume the drive to the central highlands around La Esperanza.

Day 4
Day 4 - Morning birding in El Consejero Hummingbird Garden, transfer to Lake Yojoa, afternoon birding in Los Naranjos

This morning, we visit Julio Bu’s Hummingbird Garden and Private Reserve in Yamaranguila, near La Esperanza.

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 on creating a Hummingbird Garden, which after merely a couple of months started to attract 7 different types of highland hummers: Magnificent Hummingbird, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Ruby-throated Hummingbird (during migration), Azure-crowned Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird, and Green-throated Mountaingem

The hummingbird garden is helping this very humble family to attract visitors to their property, and make a living in a sustainable way, in harmony with nature.

After lunch in La Esperanza, we head to Lake Yojoa, Honduras’ only natural freshwater lake.

Once we are settled in our hotel, we visit Los Naranjos eco-archaeological park for our afternoon birding. Here, we especially keep an eye out for Berylline Hummingbird, but we will probably also see Green-breasted Mango, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Cinnamon Hummingbird, and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.

Day 5
Day 5 - Full day birding in Santa Bárbara La Fuente de Vida ecotourism project

Very early in the morning we drive up into the mountains of Santa Bárbara, where we will follow the Quetzal Trail.

The trail is part of a larger conservation project that 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 for the communities of El Dorado, San Luis Planes and el Sauce. As they realized the impact they exerced on their natural resources, the three communities that sit on the edge of the national park decided to start offering basic ecotourism services to diversify their income–which before was exclusively based on coffee growing–and protect their natural environment.

We will look in particular for the Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, a gorgeous little creature living in the cloud forest up here 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 Mountaingem 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 6
Day 6 - Morning birding in Santa Bárbara Honduran Emerald Reserve, transfer to Rio Santiago

We are up very early again today, and drive to an area of dry forest and shrub southwest of the lake, in the Santa Bárbara mountains. Our next target bird is the Honduran Emerald. This iridescent beauty is Honduras’ only endemic bird (to date). Until about five years ago, people assumed the Emerald occured solely in Olancho or Yoro, but several new populations have been discovered in recent years, including the one we are visiting today in the Santa Bárbara mountains. Luckily, the owner of the property where this gorgeous creature lives, is into conservation and happy to welcome birders to his place! We will spend all morning searching and photographing our national birders’ pride—and potentially a few other hummers such as Salvin’s Emerald or Cinnamon Hummingbird.

After a delicious lunch served by the family that owns the property, we take off to Rio Santiago on Honduras’ north coast, where we should arrive shortly before dark.

Day 7
Day 7 - Full day birding in Rio Santiago Nature Resort

Today we spend the whole day birding at Rio Santiago, enjoying the stunning beauty of the hummingbirds that come down to the garden. With 22 species of hummingbirds recorded here, this is Honduras’ absolute hummer paradise: Band-tailed Barbthroat, Long-billed Hermit, Stripethroated Hermit, Brown Violetear, Mexican Violetear, Purple-crowned Fairy, Greenbreasted Mango, Black-crested Coquette, Magnificent Hummingbird, Long-billed Starthroat, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Scalybreasted Hummingbird, Violet Sabrewing, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Crowned Woodnymph, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, White-bellied Emerald, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Cinnamon Hummingbird and Blue-throated Goldentail have all been reported here.

Day 8
Day 8 - Full day 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 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, Purplecrowned Fairy, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Brown Violetear and Long-billed Hermit. The gardens and trails of the Lodge are well tended, and make for a beautiful setting for your photography. In between a great photoshoot, we will also enjoy a copious lunch, and return to our hotel at nightfall, shortly before dinner.

Day 9
Day 9 - Full day birding 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 Manati 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. We hope you will appreciate the relaxed Caribbean vibe of this location while taking heaps of gorgeous pictures. Add to that the delicious lunch served at Manati, 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 10
Day 10 - 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.

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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10 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD3,000/person
This tour is operated by: Beaks and Peaks

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Operator Review Summary

4.91 Based on 13 reviews
Tours
Wildlife
Guides
Conservation
Location
Value

Tour Facts

  • Multi-Day-Tour
  • 10 days
  • Tegucigalpa airport
  • San Pedro Sula airport