Honduras: Highlands to Copán Ruins

From Saturday, February 16, 2019
To Saturday, February 23, 2019
Ornate Hawk-Eagle.  Photo by John Yerger.  All rights reserved.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle.  Photo by John Yerger (all rights reserved).

HONDURAS is, simply put, one of our favorite birding countries. The Lodge at Pico Bonito really put Honduras on the birding map, and John has had the distinct pleasure of leading tours there a number of times over the last few years. While the Lodge itself is unfortunately on hiatus at the moment, the birds still await.

We originally ran an abridged version of this itinerary as an extension to a Pico Bonito tour for another company, with great success. The expanded version here takes in the Mayan ruins at Copán, excellent for both cultural history and for birding.

Length: 8 days

Why this timing: Best time for birding in Honduras; dry season

What we like most here: Warm and friendly people, and just generally great tropical birding

Top birds: Singing Quail, Short-billed Pigeon, Long-billed Hermit, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Green-throated and Green-breasted Mountain-gems, Honduran Emerald, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Lesson’s Motmot, Keel-billed Motmot, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Olive-throated Parakeet, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-collared Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Bushy-crested Jay, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Spot-breasted Wren, Slate-colored Solitaire, Crimson-collared Tanager, Passerini’s (Scarlet-rumped) Tanager, Shining Honeycreeper, Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow, Yellow-billed Cacique, Chestnut-headed Oropendola

Other wildlife: All manner of tropical mammals (like kinkajou and tamandua) are possible, but secretive

Other attractions: The Mayan ruins at Copán, capital city of a major Classic period kingdom for 2,000 yrs

Climate: 55-85°F, coolest in the mornings in the highlands, warmest in the lowlands in the afternoon. Can be humid but not oppressive. Although this is the dry season, some rain can be expected at times in the cloud forest and rainforest (as one might imagine).

Environment: Pine forest to cloud forest to lowland rainforest with abundant ecotones and the nation’s largest lake

Pace/style of the tour: Moderate. This is closer to what some would deem “hardcore” birding, but we don’t want to sacrifice sleep to do it. However, we may take a breakfast and lunch or two in the field to maximize morning birding hours in a few places. Utilizing lodging close to or in the prime birding areas with minimum 2-night stays affords a chance for downtime during mid-afternoon lulls. One or two moderately steep but short hikes – for incredible birds.

Group size: Maximum 8 participants total; 2 tour leaders

Lodging/meals: Very basic but clean guest house to cozy eco-lodge to modern hotel at Copán ruins

Mode of transportation: Van or minibus

Health/safety topics: Honduras has an unfortunate reputation for violent crime, but this is almost exclusively drug and gang-focused. So, don’t deal drugs or join a gang on our tour and you should be just fine… But seriously: common sense applies. We don’t go to inner cities of Honduras. Every place we visit is as relatively safe as anywhere in the U.S. The locals are among the friendliest people you could possibly imagine meeting. With regard to insects/diseases: Honduras at this time of year is surprisingly lacking in mosquitos, in our experience. Still, it’s best to err on the side of caution and stay covered up, using a repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. We only eat at reputable places and drink bottled water, but the CDC recommends vaccines for Hepatitis A & B as well as typhoid. We’ve never personally had ANY issues with the above health/safety topics, and we don’t know anyone who has.

Leader: John Yerger and local guide
Cost:  $2795 – includes all meals and accommodations, all entrance fees, and all transportation beginning in Tegucigalpa and ending in San Pedro Sula.
TO REGISTER: call 1-877-BIRDERS [247-3377] or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Honduras Photo Gallery