Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intensive with early starts each day.

Group Size:

Seven plus leaders

Black and White Owl Black-headed Trogon Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Green-breasted Mountain-Gem White-collared Manakin Honduran Emerlad Resplendent Quetzal Blue-throated Motmot Fulvous Owl Mayan Ruins

Honduras - Cotingas, Quetzals and Meso-American Endemics

Date: Returning in 2022
Leaders: Ashley Saunders and local guides



Lovely Cotinga
This exciting itinerary to the Central American country of Honduras is new to our repertoire following a succesful fact finding trip in 2015 and our first full tour in 2018. Nestled between Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua it boasts a great many species endemic to the Central American region including several specialities for which it is surely the best country in the world, plus one species endemic entirely to Honduras – the Honduran Emerald. A country of pristine tropical forests and mountains, we will also explore habitats as varied as coastal mangrove swamps and dry forest dominated by cacti – home of the endemic hummingbird. We begin our tour at the idyllic Pico Bonito lodge close to the Caribbean coast, where we will have many exciting trails to explore right on the doorstep, taking us into primary forest with a range of exciting rainforest inhabitants. This includes the coveted Lovely Cotinga, perhaps easier to see at Pico Bonito than anywhere else in the world, and our tour is timed when fruiting trees attract good numbers of the species down from higher elevations to feed right around the gardens. Pico Bonito is a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ and is a truly fantastic experience, with extremely comfortable accommodation and fantastic food – the perfect way to unwind after a session in the field! In addition to the Pico Bonito area, we'll be staying at Panacam Lodge which is also set in a fabulous forested national park with networks of trails and viewing platforms within easy walking distance. Nearby we'll go birding around the scenic Lake Yojoa in search of near-endemics such as Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Green-backed Sparrow and Prevost's Ground Sparrow. We'll also visit the famous archeological site at Copan featuring Mayan palaces and step-pyramids and incredibly detailed stone engravings, some dating back to the 5th century. It also just happens to be one of the best places in the world to see the fabulous but increasingly rare Scarlet Macaw; we'll look forward to enjoying the sight of flocks of these birds flying around us! Many species of North American migrants supplement the local residents at this time of year, while many tanagers, motmots [including the prized Keel-billed], toucans, parrots, tityras, woodpeckers, woodcreepers and more can be seen on the lodges trails, before we even delve further into what this fantastic destination has to offer! 
For those of you who have already been birding in Costa Rica or Panama then the second part of the tour will particularly appeal, since we concentrate on looking for all the Honduran near-endemic species which can't be found in either of those countries. This will include visits to La Tigra and Opatoro National Parks, probably the best places in the world to see birds such as Bushy-crested Jay, Blue-and-white Mockingbird Green-breasted Mountain-Gem, Singing Quail,  Mountain Trogon, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Blue-throated Motmot, Fulvous Owl, Green-throated Mountain-gem, Black-throated Jay, Brown-backed Solitaire, Slate-coloured Solitaire, Scaled Antpitta, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird and Spot-bellied Bobwhite. There is also an exceptionally good chance of seeing the much sought-after Resplendent Quetzal, which was in the garden of our hotel on the 2018 tour! Your tour leader will be Ashley Saunders and local guides and you can expect to see around 280 species.
*Expect some long drives between the bases of around 3-5 hours at a time. The roads in Honduras are generally poor, other than the main routes between the cities. Many are heavily pot-holed and you can expect bumpy rides and heavy traffic at times. You also need a good level of physical fitness to participate fully in this trip, as some of the trails, such as the Loop Trail at Pico Bonito, involves a 4 hour hike on a steep trail with no handrails and very uneven ground. We take all our walks at a relaxed pace, and there is always the choice to opt out of any particular walk at any time. Please note that we also visit the spectacular Mayan ruins at Copan on this trip, and take a 3hr tour around the site with a historical guide. This is an experience not to be missed, as Copan has some of the finest and best preserved Mayan artefacts in the World. There is also good birding around the site too! 


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