Spectacular volcanoes, highland lakes and remarkable Mayan temple complexes form the brilliant backdrop to our new Relaxed tour of Guatemala. The northern Petén region of Guatemala is covered in extensive lowland rainforest and ancient Mayan cities and temples. We’ll spend time in and around Tikal National Park, one of the most biodiverse biological stations in Central America. There are many highlights, but Ocellated Turkey is surely one of the most sought after, and here they can often be found mooching about the historical ruins. Various species of trogon, toucan, hawk-eagle, warbler and parrot are in order, whilst we shall also search for Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, Scarlet Macaw, Spot-tailed and Yucatan Nightjars, Orange-breasted Falcon, Agami Heron and the impressive Great Curassow! Superb birding and mammal watching combined with fascinating historical insights and architecture.
The central Guatemalan highlands are best known for shade coffee production, and more recently - tourism coupled with a strong environmental bond. Whether its cloud forests or coffee fincas – we’ll be well occupied with a number of stunning species such as the gorgeous Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Slender Sheartail, Bushy-crested Jay, Black-capped Swallow, Belted Flycatcher, Prevost’s & White-eared Ground Sparrows, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountaingem, and Cabanis’s (Azure-rumped) Tanager. This tour showcases some of the best birding sites in Guatemala, augmented with comfortable lodgings, delicious fare and fabulous scenery throughout.
Ocellated Turkey; Scarlet Macaw; Grey-throated Chat; Agami & Boat-billed Herons; Keel-billed Toucan; Tody Motmot; Lovely Cotinga; Great Curassow; Crested Guan; Montezuma Oropendola; NRed-capped & White-collared Manakins; Black-headed, Gartered & Slaty-tailed Trogons; White-necked Puffbird; Yucatan Woodpecker; Yucatan Flycatcher; Yucatan Jay; Black, Black-and-white & Ornate Hawk-Eagles; Yucatan Poorwill; Northern Potoo; Middle American Screech, Black-and-white & Mottled Owls. Pink-headed Warbler; Cabanis's (Azure-rumped) Tanager; Emerald-chinned Hummingbird; Resplendent Quetzal; Bushy-crested & Steller’s Jays; Blue-and-White Mockingbird; Belted Flycatcher; Slender Sheartail; Painted Redstart; Red-faced & Olive Warblers; Wine-throated, Azure-crowned; White-eared, Berylline, Rufous-tailed, Blue-tailed & Rivoli's Hummingbirds; Rufous & Violet Sabrewings, Green-throated Mountaingem; Green Violetear; Amethyst-throated Mountaingem; Black-capped Swallow; Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo; Acorn, Velasquez's, Golden-olive & Hairy Woodpeckers; Northern Flicker (unique Guatemalan sub-species); Tody, Blue-throated, Blue-diademed & Turquoise-browed Motmots; White-throated Magpie-Jay; Long-tailed Manakin; Prevost’s & White-eared Ground Sparrows; Gartered Trogon; Blue-throated Sapphire; White-bellied Chachalaca; Orange-fronted, Orange-chinned & Pacific Parakeets; Rufous-collared Thrush.
Yucatan Black Howler; Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey; White-nosed Coati; Central American Agouti; Red Brocket Deer; Grey Fox; Jaguar (very rare); Ocelot (rare); Margay (rare); Puma (rare), White-lipped Peccary (rare)
rainforest, cloud forest, mixed temperate forest, coffee fincas, lakes, shoreline, temperate pine savanna
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid, can get cool to cold in the highlands
10 with 1 Rockjumper leader & 1 local birding leader
Our Relaxed series of tours are designed to focus on having an enjoyable holiday with a bird and wildlife focus. Where possible; we have reduced or removed long drives, single night stays and poor/rustic accommodation. We have also sought to reduce or remove difficult hikes, narrow/muddy trails and otherwise oppressive environmental conditions. Early starts and night birding are mostly optional, and we will not spend much time searching for difficult and/or skulking species. These tours are not suitable for hardcore birders and listers, or dedicated photographers.
comfortable to basic lodges & hotels
easy to moderate with some tricky species
ancient Mayan ruins, fantastic virgin forest
good to very good
Dušan is an exceptional guide in all respects. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, is courteous and diplomatic with the clients, and excellent with the local people. I could not ask for anything more. Thank you very much for providing this tour. For me, it was a success in every way. I will definitely recommend Rockjumper to anyone interested in birding in the future. You guys do a great job.
All around great fun trip, with logistics and plans for upcoming activities presented clearly and in time for proper preparation. Clayton was very prepared and we enjoyed traveling with him very much.
"Lev and our local guide did a great job with the tour. They were professional while keeping the experience fun and entertaining. They worked very well together, and with the other local guides, and the quality of their guiding was top notch. They worked hard to give everyone on the tour a great experience, and they pulled out a number of tough species with their patience and diligence that gave the group some truly lasting memories. Our driver was excellent, safely working our rather large bus through the city mazes and narrow country roads with skilful expertise. And the accommodations were overall very nice, even with the occasional hot water issue. I was glad that I did bring layers, though, since we spent more time at greater altitude than I had imagined, and it was quite cool at times. I definitely enjoyed the tour, and look forward to more Rockjumper trips."
"This was a good tour. We had a congenial group, and Lev Frid is an excellent guide, up to the high Rockjumper standard. He was a pleasure to travel with, and I would be happy to go on a tour with him again. Our local guide was also excellent. His knowledge of local sites and conditions really added to the tour, and he also was lots of fun to travel with. Accommodations on this tour were very nice. It was lovely to stay at the extremely charming Posada de Don Rodrigo in the old part of La Antigua Guatemala, where we could enjoy the ambience."
Very nice tour. We had a good group, and the local guides were excellent. Food, venues, and the birds were all top notch, and we were quite surprised how well-developed the infrastructure is in Guatemala. The birds were great, of course. We were asked what our target bird for the tour was, and I answered the Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge, knowing that it is an extremely difficult bird to find (i.e., I was being a wise guy). What was one of the first birds we saw?: the wood-partridge. A fantastic display, with the birds in the open and within 10 meters of us.
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