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Ultimate Jungle Birding - 12 Days

Ultimate Jungle Birding
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This 12-day wildlife adventure takes you deep into the jungle of La Moskítia, a pristine wilderness area also known as ‘the Amazon of Central America”.

The combination of hiking, rafting and tent camping makes this a hard and demanding but also an extremely rewarding trip into the Honduras Rainforest.

Get ready for a once in-a-lifetime rafting adventure, offering a wealth of opportunities to see birds you are unlikely to see anywhere else: wild Great Green and Scarlet Macaws, Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Slaty Spinetails, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteers, Long-tailed Tyrants and many more. Add to that sloths, monkeys and tapirs and you know this is an adventure you will never forget.

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Day 1
Day 1 - Pick up at San Pedro Sula airport and transfer to La Ceiba

No time to waste in San Pedro Sula, the birds are waiting! We will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the coastal town of La Ceiba where we will settle into a comfortable hotel for dinner and briefings before we set off on this epic adventure.

Day 2
Day 2 - Drive to Catacamas, Olancho

This morning we are joined by the rafting team to take us into the cowboy country of Olancho. It’s a long day’s drive, but we are heading for one of the most remote parts of Honduras after all! Fortunately our camp and dinner will be waiting for us when we arrive at our destination for the night.

Day 3
Day 3 - Hike to the Río Plátano’s headwaters

After we break camp and the mules are packed, we set off on foot, firstly through farming country before suddenly being engulfed by the mighty forest of Reserva Biológica Tawahka.

This hike is a challenge and is usually muddy but many good birds along the way make it worth the effort.

Our camp this night is at the headwaters of the Rio Plátano – the river that will take us to the Caribbean coast over the next 7 days.

Key birds to keep an eye out for during this hike are the Rufous Motmot, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Spotted Antbird, Rufous Piha, White-ruffed Manakin, Snowcap and more.

Day 4
Day 4 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

The itinerary for days 4 to 9 inclusive are the rafting section of this trip - this description covers all those days.

After rafting lessons and safety briefings we immediately take on the challenge of the rapids of the Rio Plátano. Expect your heart to be pumping as you respond to calls of “right back” and “forward” from your expert rafting guides. There are no passengers on this trip – everyone has to pull their weight!  Expect to be wet from the outset! Fortunately there are interludes between the rapids to give you time to catch your breath, rest your arms and take in the scenery.

At the end of an exhausting but exciting day we establish a river-side camp where our guides will prepare a well-earned dinner. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the process of setting up and breaking camp as this will be the routine for the next few days, and the more you can help the more efficient our trip will be. You are definitely one of a team on this trip, both on and off the water!

At dawn we plunge into the rapids once again for several more days of adventure, pausing along the way to catch our breath as well as observe birds and other wildlife. A stop for a short hike will take us into the forest to examine an archeological site and cave, evidence that what appears to us to be a remote part of the world has been home to local people for thousands of years.

As we reach the impressive gorges of “El Subterráneo”, we negotiate class III and IV rapids and several portages. As we progress downstream at the other end of the canyon, exciting rapids alternate with patches of quieter water. Our chances of seeing wildlife rise as the distances between rapids increase, allowing more time to take in the views and bring cameras out of their waterproof bags so that you can capture the macaws and toucans that commonly pass overhead. Here we will also find ancient, mysterious petroglyphs carved on the rocks by unknown jungle settlers. We will also start to encounter the local Mískito people as we pass through their riverside villages. We will spend one night in the Pech and Mískito village of Las Marías de Río Plátano, where a local family will accommodate and feed us at their hostel.

During this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 5
Day 5 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

Continuing as the previous day,  during this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 6
Day 6 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

Continuing as the previous day, during this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 7
Day 7 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

Continuing as the previous day, during this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 8
Day 8 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

Continuing as the previous day, during this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 9
Day 9 - Rafting the Río Plátano to Las Marías

Continuing as the previous day, during this rafting and tent camping trip, we will be on the lookout for some top species such as: Rufous Piha, Snowy Cotinga, White-ruffed Manakin, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green Kingfisher, King Vulture, Great Green Macaw, Slaty Spinetail, Rufescent Tiger-Heron , Scarlet Macaw, White-fronted Nunbird, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Shining Honeycreeper, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black Hawk-Eagle, Scaled Pigeon, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Spotted Antbird, Streak-chested Antpitta, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Violet-headed Hummingbird.

Day 10
Day 10 - Canoe ride to Raistá

Today, in order to make more rapid progress through the lower reaches of the Plátano, we exchange our rafts for a motorized dug-out canoe made from a single mahogany trunk.

We continue through Mískito territory as we approach the mouth of the river in the company of our Pech and Mískito guides. We traverse marshes and mangroves following an old canal made by early settlers to connect the river with the Ibans Lagoon.

In the afternoon we will have plenty of time to visit Mískito villages and explore the beach where we can add a host of sea and shore birds to our already impressive list of sightings.

Finally we arrive at Tampatín where we will spend the night.  

Day 11
Day 11 - Crossing the lagoon in a water taxi to Palacios, then transfer by pickup to La Ceiba

We take a very early start in a water-taxi across the vast coastal lagoons as the sun rises over our shoulders.

At Pueblo Nuevo we will take a 4x4 collective truck that will drive along the coast (literally along the beach!) to Tocoa.

From Tocoa we continue to La Ceiba by Bus.

Here we will enjoy our last meal together, reflect on an amazing adventure and fall into a comfortable bed.

Day 12
Day 12 - Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport

Unfortunately your trip is coming to an end as we make our way back to San Pedro Sula. We hope you had an excellent trip and an impressive bird list.

Wildlife Reviews
4.89 stars
- based on 3  reviews
  1. Quetzal Expedition and Conservation Efforts at Lake Yajoa
    Paulina Heule19 May 2017
    5
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    My fiance and I loved every moment of our time with Beaks and Peaks! While on our tour, we had the amazing opportunity to see a whole GROUP of Resplendent Quetzals. We also saw beautiful Motmots and stunning Toucans, among other great species. The landscape is gorgeous and we loved that we were out for hours and didn't run into any other groups. Honduras is truly a hidden gem and perfect for people who want something more unique and exclusive. We really felt like we were a part of the beautiful nature. Our guide William Orellana was extremely professional, knowledgeable, kind, and overall fun and easy to be around! We are new to birding, but William taught us the basics with patience and humility-- plus helped our untrained eyes spot all the amazing birds! William goes beyond giving a simple tour. His passion for the birds and for conserving his country is palpable and contagious. Moreover, our tour was unique because not only were we able to see magnificent and breathtaking species, but William also taught us so much about the area and about the conservation efforts they are working on. For instance, Beaks and Peaks supports local people who are trying to prevent deforestation. One of our expeditions was not only led by William, but also by one of William's local Lake Yajoa partners, Leonel. We were able to see Leonel's house and have a traditional breakfast in his home, made by his wife. This cultural experience really complemented our visit and helped us feel even more connected to the country. It was truly special to be a part of the conservation efforts going on in Honduras. Don't miss out on seeing this beautiful country with Beaks and Peaks--You will not regret it!
  2. Lake Yojoa BIrding Blitz was amazing!
    Jody Enck29 Nov 2016
    4.67
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    I went on six field trips over the course of three days, and saw more than 200 species of birds. The range of habitats visited was great, including open lake and associated wetlands, lowland forest, and cloud forest. I got to go birding with members of most of the bird clubs in Honduras, and found out about all of the birding opportunities and conservation efforts going on in other parts of the country. I highly recommend this experience for anyone who has never been to Honduras, but wants to get a great introduction to the birds, habitats, and people in this safe, friendly country.
  3. Amazing Experience
    Sara Young24 May 2016
    5
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    My experience was magical. From hiking through gorgeous forests, to meeting local guides, to being surrounded by dazzling hummingbirds while I ate my meals, this entire experience changed my life. This company is so impressive in how it seeks to improve the lives of Hondurans and the country itself by exposing visitors not only to its birds and forests, but to the culture and the people of Honduras. The guides are knowledgeable and warm, they take care of everything, including occasionally picking fruits right off the trees and feeding the guests!!! It was also significant because they keep their tours small, so everyone gets a chance to see the amazing birds through the scopes. I am definitely going back, and would recommend this company and their tours to anyone.

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12 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD3,225/person
This tour is operated by: Beaks and Peaks

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Operator Review Summary

4.91 Based on 13 reviews
Tours
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Conservation
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Value

Tour Facts

  • 12 Days
  • San Pedro Sula airport
  • San Pedro Sula airport