This beautiful Central American country that is full of history and fantastic culture has now become one of the most desirable bird watching locations in the World.

Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. It is mountainous with small patches of desert and sand dunes, all hilly valleys, except for the south coast and the vast northern lowlands. Two mountain chains enter Guatemala from west to east, dividing Guatemala into three major regions: the highlands, where the mountains are located; the Pacific coast, south of the mountains and the Petén region, north of the mountains. Guatemala has 252 listed wetlands, including five lakes, 61 lagoons, 100 rivers, and four swamps. Tikal National Park was the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guatemala is a country of distinct fauna. It has some 1246 known species. Of these, 6.7% are endemic and 8.1% are threatened, making Guatemala a top destination for wildlife lovers.

Hotspots & Wildlife: 

Los Tarrales Reserve: Is located on the southern slope of Atitlan Volcano, Los Tarrales reserve covers an area between 760m and 2,500m, changing gradually from Rainforests in the lowlands to cloud forests in the higher altitudes. Los Tarrales is a birding paradise, more than 350 species of birds have been recorded in this private area, which preserves primary and cloud forest. The reserve has also been given IBA (Important Bird Area) status by Birdlife International. The forest is accessible through a network of trails. Los Tarrales is a great place to see Birds restricted in Guatemala to the Pacific slope, such as Long-tailed Manakin, Pacific Parakeet, White-bellied Chachalaca, Blue-tailed Hummingbird and the rare Azure-rumped Tanager. Together with neighbouring private reserves, Los Tarrales protects the forest on the southern slope of Lake Atitlan, the area is great for seeing large raptors like Black Hawk-eagle, Ornate Hawk-eagle and King Vulture. Los Tarrales offers a great 10 room Lodge, all with private bathrooms and fantastic homemade meals if you’re staying the night.

Tikal National Park: Is the ruin of an ancient city, which was likely to have been called Yax Mutal, found in a rainforest in Guatemala. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It’s located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tikal gets thousands upon thousands of visitors every year but is still one of the top wildlife hotspots in the country. Around 400 species of bird have been recorded in the park, one of the main attractions is the pair of breeding Orange-breasted Falcons that can be often seen perched on top of the temples. Other notable species are the Ocellated Turkey, Grey-throated Chat, Black Catbird and Rose-throated Tanager. Man Mammals have also been seen in the park including 3 species of cat, the Jaguar, Ocelot and Jaguarundi. For many visitors seeing the large troops of White-nosed Coati’s that roam around the trials of the park is a real highlight. There are many species of reptile in the park including the Fer-de-lance and the Morelet’s Crocodile but these are very rarely encountered. 

San Pedro Volcano: On the shores of Lake Atitlan, Central America’s deepest lake, lies San Pedro Volcano. Located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, It is ringed by small towns, many of which are favourites among backpackers and at 3,020m (9,908ft) it one of the largest Volcanos in Guatemala. San Pedro is famed amongst bird watchers for being the home of the Horned Guan, a gruelling hike up the Volcano is well worth it to see one of Central America’s rarest birds. Usually the hike to the top of the Volcano takes 3 hours, but there are many birds you can see on the way up to keep you entertained, like the Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Fulvous Owl and Singing Quail. At the foot of the volcano you can often see the Belted Flycatcher in the dry scrub habitat, another very rare bird in the country. The surrounding areas around the lake are good for a range of different species, the highlights being the Resplendent Quetzal, Azure-rumped Tanager, Slender Sheartail and Sparkling-tailed Woodstar. At the bottom of the Volcano lies the small town of San Pedro, here there are a range of different hotels and small local markets.

For accommodations and lodges throughout Guatemala – Click here>  


SPECIES of interest

Lodges in Guatemala

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Places To Stay

  • Species – 762

  • Endemics – 1

Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker


Horned Guan
Pink-headed Warbler
Blue-throated Motmot
Wine-throated Hummingbird
Unspotted Saw-whet Owl
White-bellied Chachalaca
Goldman’s Warbler (Endemic)
Agami Heron
Scarlet Macaw
Ocellated Turkey
Yucutan Woodpecker
Orange-breasted Falcon
Resplendent Quetzal
Guatemalan Flicker
Pacific Parakeet
Mottled Owl
Buffy-crowned Wood Partridge
Bushy-crested Jay

Guatemalan Pygmy Owl
Belted Flycatcher
Long-tailed Manakin
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer
Fulvous Owl
Yucutan Poorwill
Garnet-throated Hummingbird
Grey-throated Chat
Slender Sheartail
Blue and White Mockingbird
Rufous Sabrewing
Scaled Antpitta
Sparkling-tailed Woodstar
Highland Guan
Azure-rumped Tanager
Chestnut-sided Shrike Vireo
White-eared Hummingbird
Full List – Click here  
  • Species – 208

  • Endemics  – 13



Guatemalan Black Howler Monkey
Baird’s Tapir
White-nosed Coati
Central American Agouti
Gray Fox
Yucutan Squirrel
Mantled Howler Monkey
Collared Peccary
Central American Spider Monkey
Nine-banded Armadillo
Neotropical River Otter

Variegated Squirrel
Mexican Hairy-dwarf Porcupine
Greater Grison
Deppe’s Squirrel
Striped Hog-nosed Skunk
Northern Tamandua
Lowland Paca
Silky Anteater
Long-taield Weasel
Hooded Skunk
White-lipped Peccary
White-tailed Deer
Virginia Opossum
West Indian Manatee
Lesser Long-nosed Bat
Mexican Long-tongued Bat

Full List – Click here  
  • Reptile Species – 243
  • Endemics – 19
  • Amphibian Species – 145
  • Endemics – 59

Guatemalan Beaded Lizard


Morelet’s Crocodile
Guatemalan Beaded Lizard (Endemic)
Mexican Burrowing Toad
Sheep Frog
Bocourt’s Tree Frog (Endemic)
Guatemala Stream Frog (Endemic)
Spectacled Caiman
Central American Banded Gecko
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Morelet’s Tree Frog
Godman’s Pit Viper
Copan Stream Frog
Brown Basalisk
Green Iguana
Central American Tree Snake
Mexican Jumping Pit Viper
Elegant Coral Snake

Guatemalan Tree Viper
Ford’s Robber Frog (Endemic)
Perkin’s Tree Frog (Endemic)
Mexican Musk Turtle
American Crocodile
Painted Wood Turtle
Yucutan Banded Gecko
Giant Horned Lizard
Mexican Night Snake
Rainforest Cat-eyed Snake
Parrot Snake
Tungara Frog
Slender Hog-nosed Pit Viper
Yellow-bellied Sea Snake
Ornate Anole
Guatemalan Helmeted Basalisk
Corte’s Salamander
Blue-spotted Mexican Tree Frog

  • Species – 210

Red-faced Dragonlet


Amazon Darner
Guatemalan Knobtail
Apache Spiketail
Mexican Wedgetail
Tikal Spreadwing
Caribbean Darner
Striped Firetail
Flame-tailed Pondhawk
Ivory-striped Sylph
Sooty Saddlebags
Ornate Helicopter
Tiny Forktail
Mexican Scarlet-tail
Guatemalan Spinyneck
Slender Clubskimmer
Desert Shadowdamsel
Mayan Setwing
Neon Skimmer

Dwarf Glider
Bronze Rubyspot
Peten Dasher
Montane Relict Damselfly
Riffle Darner
Straight-tailed Ringtail
Claret Pondhawk
Hercules Skimmer
Fiery-eyed Dancer
Large Woodskimmer
Fragile Forktail
Slough Amberwing
Filigree Skimmer
Ringed Forceptail
Orange-striped Threadtail
Caribbean Yellowface
Yellow-faced Dryad
Golden Flatwing