Guatemala Nature Tour

reptile and amphibian trip of a lifetime - herpers paradise!

 

4 Sept – 16 Sept 2020. £2,990 exc.flights £2,800 Early Bird

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Travelling through cloud forests, arid thorn scrub and volcanos to find the most rare and endangered species in the country.

Join us on this 13 day experience of Guatemalan amphibians and reptiles. We will travel through cloud forests, arid thorn scrub and volcanos to find the most rare and endangered species in the country.

Our nature tours are designed for wildlife enthusiasts who wish to explore the less travelled road. They offer you the opportunity to visit projects at the leading edge of conservation.

Each location has been carefully selected based on the unique community of wildlife found there, and you will experience some of the most diverse habitats in the world.

With an expert field team to guide you on your tour, and with unique access to remote locations, you will experience a different side to wildlife watching.

At Indigo Expeditions we are committed to providing experiences that are both inspirational and respectful to nature.

Rainforest hog nosed pitviper – Porthidium nasutum

Guatemala wildlife tour

Guatemalan Black tailed Iguana – Ctenosaura palearis

Yellow spotted night lizard – Lepidophyma flavimaculatum

Itinerary

Explore with Indigo and discover the diversity of Guatemala

Day 1: Guatemala City

Arrival in Guatemala’s sprawling capital. Full of Latin spirit and vibrancy, it is set in the midst of volcanos. Guatemala City will be the starting point for your adventure.

Day 2 – 3: Baja Verapaz

After a group breakfast at the hotel we will leave the city and head east. Our journey will take us over mountains and through deserts, before finally climbing up in the mysterious cloud forests of Baja Verapaz in the Central Highlands.

The cloud covered forests here are dripping with mosses and lichens, and are a haven for many endemic species of amphibians and reptiles. We will spend our time searching the cloud forest for endangered spikethumb frogs, yellow-blotched palm-pitvipers, and elegant coral snakes.

Here in the heart of the Central Highlands we may also be privileged enough to spot Guatemala’s national bird, the resplendent quetzal, as well as many other bird species such as the highland guan, trogon, and white-tailed hummingbird.

Day 4 – 5: Motagua Valley

Today we drive out of the cloud forests and down into the Motagua Valley. The dry thorn scrub here looks like the Wild West. Filled with cacti and terrestrial bromeliads it is the perfect place to find rattlesnakes and of course the elusive and endangered Guatemalan beaded lizard.

As we explore this incredible habitat we may also encounter other amazing species including indigo snake, Guatemalan black-tailed iguana, and western hog-nose pitviper.

Day 6-7: Merendon Mountains

Travelling further east down the Motagua Valley brings us close to the Honduran border and up into the Merendon Mountains, where we will stay in a remote cloud forest reserve. The pristine forest of the Merendon’s protect an important watershed and many endangered amphibian species found nowhere else on Earth.

For the few people who venture here the wildlife is truly spectacular, from the huge Doflein’s climbing salamander to the amazing red-eyed mossy frog, there are a myriad of incredible amphibians to be found here.

In these mountains, reptiles are abundant too, with at least four species of pitviper to be found here including the endemic Merendon palm pitviper that is only found in this mountain range.

Day 8: Las Escobas

Las Escobas natural reserve lies on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. The forests of this region are the only true rainforest in the country and the habitat is very different to any other we will experience on this tour.

We will be able to relax amongst the many amazing waterfalls and clear water pools – bring your swimming gear for this one! You won’t regret it!

Being a rainforest, reptiles and amphibians are prolific here and with luck we will encounter casque-headed iguanas, red-eyed treefrogs, and fer-de-lance amongst many others.

Day 9 Guatemala City

We will spend the morning exploring Las Escobas some more, before travelling back to Guatemala City by plane in the early evening. You will have time to relax in your hotel before continuing your journey the next morning.

Day 10 – 11: Lake Atitlán

Today we go west up into the volcanic corridor. Our final stop is the stunningly beautiful Lake Atitlán, known as one of the wonders of the natural world. The combination of volcanic peaks, mirror-like waters, and fresh mountain air makes this place truly magical.

We will spend the next few days discovering the varied habitats surrounding the lake. Based on the southern shores we will be on the look out for black-eyed treefrogs, Guatemalan spikethumb frogs, and Guatemalan palm pitvipers.

We will also take the time to visit the nearby town of Panajachel on the northern shore of the lake. We will take a boat across the crystal waters to visit a nature reserve and also to do some shopping in town – the perfect place to pick up some local artisanal gifts and souvenirs. The region around Lake Atitlán is renowned for its traditional Mayan weavings.

Day 12: Guatemala City

Today we return to Guatemala City for the final time. Arriving in the afternoon we have time to relax and prepare for our final meal together and the journey home.

Day 13: Departure Day

Private transfers will ensure that you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to check-in and catch your flight home.

Yellow blotched palm pitviper – Bothriechis aurifer

Hartwegs Spikethumb Frog – Plectrohyla hartwegi 

Guatemalan beaded lizard – Heloderma charlesbogerti

Central American rattlesnake – Crotalus simus

Waterfall at Escobas

Rainforest habitat at Ranchitos

FAQs

Your questions answered

Conservation

Conservation is at the heart of everything we do. Your nature tour visits projects in Guatemala that are saving endangered reptile and amphibian species.

Accommodation

Comfortable accommodations await, including private glamping at any remote locations to give you the best possible experience right in the heart of nature!

Cost Includes

In-country transport, accommodation, food, water & guiding is included. Just grab your flight to Guatemala City, your travel insurance, and cover any extra sundries and tips.

Tour Cost

13 Days £2,990 exc.flights

Dates

4 Sept – 16 Sept 2020. BOOKING NOW!

Places

Small group travel places limited to 12. 

Eyelash pitviper – Bothriechis schlegelli

Western hog nosed pitviper – Porthidium orphryomegas

Fer de lance – Bothrops asper

Guatemalan jumping pitviper – Atropoides occiduus

Notes

BAJA VERAPAZ

In the heart of the Central Highlands lies the Biotopo del Quetzal, an area of pristine cloud forest dedicated to providing suitable habitat for Guatemala’s national bird, the resplendent quetzal. You’ll find out about ongoing efforts to increase numbers of quetzal in the region. Quetzals are fruit eaters, so by planting native food trees it is hoped that their numbers will return to former glories.

In addition to quetzals, other species of interest here include Hartweg’s spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla hartwegi), elegant coral snake (Micrurus elegans), and yellow-blotched palm-pitviper (Bothriechis aurifer).

MOTAGUA VALLEY

The Motagua Valley is home to two very special lizards. The Guatemalan black-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura pelearis) and the Guatemalan beaded lizard (Heloderma charlesbogerti) are only found in the thorn-scrub forest of this region.

You will visit the inspiring project that is working to save these two endangered species. Radio-telemetry has opened our eyes to their secretive world and is helping to develop national conservation plans.

The work here has brought attention to the high biodiversity and conservation importance of the region.

MERENDON MOUNTAINS

Close to the border with Honduras, the Merendon Mountains are a haven for several endangered species of amphibians and reptiles that are found in the cloud forests here.

You will be staying at a reserve that not only protects these species but also safeguards an important watershed that supplies local communities with water.

Species of particular interest here include red-eyed mossy frog (Duellmanohyla soralia), Dolfein’s climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa dofleini), and the Merendon palm-pitviper (Bothriechis thalissinus).

Discover Guatemala

Land of the Maya, Guatemala is a small and beautifully diverse country in Central America.  Over half of the inhabitants are of direct Mayan ancestry, the majority of which live in the highland regions of the country.

This rich culture is a reflection of Guatemala’s diverse landscapes and habitats, that range from volcanic mountain ranges to lowland rainforest, and coastal mangrove swamps to deserts. These diverse habitats are home to an amazing 1246 species of animals and 8682 species of plants.

One of Guatemala’s biggest exports is the famous coffee that is grown throughout the mountainous regions of the country. Another export, cacao often made into chocolate, was considered a sacred plant and was so important to the Mayans that at certain points in their history the beans were considered currency. References to hot chocolate date back to around 900AD from Mayan inscriptions.

Guatemala is not as well travelled as many of its Central American neighbours, such as Belize and Costa Rica. Being off the beaten track, it is ripe for exploration and discovery by the intrepid traveller.

Testimonials

You’re going to love our exclusive Guatemala Nature Tour. You will receive expert guiding and logistics from one of the most established wildlife tour operators in Guatemala! You’ll be taken to some of the most stunning and remote locations for wildlife, and benefit from my knowledge and experience of working and travelling throughout Guatemala over the last 7 years!

You’ll experience the uniqueness of Guatemala’s reptile and amphibian diversity, and discover many other highlights of Guatemalan wildlife! You’ll visit remote habitats and get to stay in comfortable accommodations too! You’ll remember this adventure for the rest of your life – that’s a promise you can count on!

Rowland Griffin

Director, Indigo Expeditions

I’ve just spent a wonderful week shooting and herping with Rowland from Indigo Expeditions.

If you want to come on an adventure that will help with science and conservation, and you’ll see some brilliant reptiles and amphibians at the same time, come on an expedition with Indigo Expeditions.

Nigel Marven

Wildlife presenter, Animal Planet

explore with indigo