Enter the wild west of Guatemala

Enter the wild west of Guatemala

You’ll find the dry thorn scrub of the Motagua Valley is unlike any other habitat in Guatemala. Looking like a scene from a Wild West movie, you half expect a cowboy to come riding round the corner… and that is often exactly what you experience!

Amazing wildlife awaits you in this unique habitat, stacked full of wildlife. You’ll be impressed with it’s spectacular reptile community.

You’ll find it similar to the wild west with rattlesnakes, and the endemic Guatemalan beaded lizard, a relative of the more well known pink and black coloured gila monster. You’ll be surprised to know these species are more commonly associated with Mexico and Arizona than tropical Guatemala.

The combination of habitat and species in the Motagua Valley has led to some unusual relationships. The endemic tree cacti Stenocereus pruinosus has developed an unlikely partnership with and iguana. Studies have shown that the Guatemala black-tailed iguana is one of the main seed dispersers of the cacti, the fruits of which are an important component of the diet.

What’ll surprise you most about this wild west land is when you encounter species more commonly associated with rainforest – like boa constrictors, or green iguanas. You’ll be inspired by this unusual combination of species that makes the Motagua Valley such an incredible and unique place to visit. It’ll defy your expectations!

Guatemalan beaded lizard, Heloderma charlesbogerti

Guatemalan Black-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura palearis

Central American rattlesnake, Crotalus simus

Black banded cat eyed snake, Leptodeira nigrofasciata


Published : 11th March 2019

Field Notes Archive

You may also like to read…

When Identifying Coral Snakes

When Identifying Coral Snakes

When Identifying Coral Snakes When identifying coral snakes we often think of  ‘red to black venom lack, red to yellow...

Indigo News