Guatemala covers 108,900 sq km ranging in altitude from sea level to 4,200 m (13,800 ft). The country’s topography includes steep mountain ranges and volcano chains, weather-protected interior valleys and lowland areas exposed to water-loaded warm air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as coast along the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The rough topography causes a high diversity of habitats, including lowland rainforests, mountain cloud forests, pine-oak forests, high-altitude fir forests, alpine scrub and savannahs, arid thorn scrub, mangroves, extensive interior and coastal wetlands.

Waterfall © Birding Ecotours

A total of 21 Important Bird Areas have been designated by BirdLife International and approximately a third of the Guatemala’s land area is legally protected.

Lovely Cotinga Cotinga amabilis © Birding Ecotours 

The Guatemalan mountains are part of the highlands ranging from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico to the Lake of Nicaragua. These highlands harbour a number of endemic bird species and have been designated as Endemic Bird Area EBA 018.

Black-headed Trogon Trogon melanocephalus © Birding Ecotours

Guatemala is the core area of distribution for many of these endemics, and some of them, such as Horned Guan, Bearded Screech-Owl, Black-capped Siskin, Pink-headed Warbler, Goldman’s Warbler, and Azure-rumped Tanager occur only in the highlands of Guatemala and the neighbouring Mexican state of Chiapas.

Pink-headed Warbler Cardellina versicolor © Birding Ecotours

Guatemala is an attractive birding destination with more than 740 bird species formally recorded, a well-maintained road system, a network of comfortable lodges and hotels, private and state nature reserves.

Tikal Temple © Raymond Ostertag Birding Ecotours

In addition, unlike any other Central American countries, Guatemala has a vibrant living Mayan culture combined with an impressive pre-Columbian Mayan history, witnessed by top-notch birding sites such as Tikal with its towering temple pyramids amidst the vast rainforest.

Major Source: Fatbirder

Map Source: Googlemaps™

Photo Source: © Birding Ecotours

Skip to content