South America Natural Adventures

Nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Peru, Colombia, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Belize, and Antarctica

 

HONDURAS

 

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Day 3- Wednesday, March 11: La Laguna Road
An earlier start today, with just coffee, tea or other drink to start us off, as we head out to La Laguna Road for some of the best birding of the trip. It’s drier, more open country, and so we want to have as much time as possible before the day heats up. The road traverses a variety of habitats from open fields and dry scrub to higlesser ground cuckoo. photo by Alexander Alvarado  of Honduran Birdsher elevation pine-oak and humid pine-oak forest, with smaller areas of broad-leaved forest. At the lower elevations we’ll be looking for Elegant Trogon, Lesser Roadrunner, Salvin’s Emerald, Lesser Ground-cuckoo, Striped Cuckoo, White-throated MagpiCopan Ruinas town squaree-jay, Prevost's Ground Sparrow and Barred Antshrike, among many others. Around 400 species have been seen in the general Copán area. We may also see iguanas here. Higher along the road we’ll be looking for the beautiful Elegant Euphonia, Emerald Toucanet, Golden-olive Woodpecker and Yellow-throated Brush-finch, again just a few of the many possibilities. We’ll make both breakfast and lunch picnics today, to allow more time to enjoy the forests and wildlife of this areas. Late this afternoon, after cleaning up at the hotel, we’ll visit the town itself, one of the best preserved in Honduras. At the same time it is very lived in, so we’ll see both the colonial architecture and today’s way of life in a small Honduran town. There’s a time to get some souvenirs and gifts, and then we’ll have a traditional meal at a local restaurant.         (B,L,D)

 

Day 4 – Thursday, March 12: Copán Ruinas/The Lodge at Pico Bonito
We say farewell to Copán Ruinas this morning, heading back to San Pedro Sulas and then east to The Lodge at Pico Bonito. Depending on how our group feels we may make a detour to a nice waterfall along the way to break the journey. Lunch will give us chance to stretch our legs if we don’t make the detour, as the journey takes about six and a half hours. As on the transfer in our guide will be with us, so we can make stops if his keen lodge restaurant veranda. photo by Roy Toft/the lodge at pico bonitoeyesight – or the group’s – sees a bird of interest along the way. As we heawhite-necked jacobin at the lodge at pico bonitod east from San Pedro Sulas we’ll notice both the countryside and the towns and villages get richer as we enter a wetter part of the country with good agricultural land and more light industry. Approaching our destination the mountains appear, virtually running down to the coast. Pico Bonito, located in Pico Bonito National Park, stands out, as it will for us for the next four days, as the Lodge is nestled at its foot, providing views to the peak from the restaurant and grounds. On arrival we check in and have time to freshen up and rest a bit, then meet for a pre-dinner drink and to discuss our plans while here. However, some may be tempted to forgo the rest to spend time getting photos of the hummingbirds at the feeders, including the beautiful White-necked Jacobin, large and spectacular Violet Sabre-wing and Long-billed Hermit.        (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Friday, March 13: The Loop Trail and Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge
Breakfast will be early this morning, a habit we’ll keep, so we can start the loop trail with some time at the Toucan Tower, a platform tower overlooking the Rio Coloradito about two hundred feet below. Though we’ll be too lovely cotinga at the Lodge at Pico Bonito. Photo by James Adamsearly for raptors (we'll be back for those later), the trees are popular with a variety of birds, including the large andgartered trogon pico bonito ubiquitous Montezuma Oropendula, Keel-billed Toucan, and our main goal, Lovely Cotinga. Euphonias, Spot-breasted Wren, three kinds of parrots, Gartered Trogon and Whooping Motmot are other birds commonly seen. After the tower we head up the trail, mostly steps and a little steep in parts, but at our leisurely pace should be fine for anyone of normal mobility and who can manage a couple of flights of steps before preferring to rest. The trail borders then enters the National Park, and we quickly move into the range of different birds, including the sought-after Keel-billed Motmot, a park specialty that is rare and hard to find elsewhere in the country – and not always easy here. However, our long stay gives us plenty of opportunity to look for the bird if our first try is unsuccessful. Other birds seen along the trail include Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, even with its subdued colors one of the most striking, Red-throated Ant-tanager, Stub-tailed chestnut-colored woodpecker pico bonito
Spadebill and Slaty-tailed Trogonmantled howler monkeys. There are leks of both Red-capped and White-collared Manakins adjacent to the trail, and their snapping is frequently heard as we walk; we can usually get good looks at them, even if somewhat fleeting though repeated. There are three species of tinamous here, but as in most places much more often heard then seen. We’ll also be looking for the non-avian wildlife of the lodge grounds and Park. Although many mammals move to higher elevation during the heat of summer, our cooler month tours give us great chances of White-faced Capuchin, Spider Monkey and Mantled Howler. Peccaries, Tayra, Kinkajou, and the aptly named Variegated Squirrel are other local mammals. Jaguar and Ocelot are rarely seen, even though regularly photographed by the game cameras we pass on the Loop Trail.

After our morning exertions there’s time for some rest, a lazy swim in the pool before lunch at the lodge. However, as the open-air restaurant overlooks the grounds, bring binoculars and camera for the hummingbirds, Social and Great Kiskadee flycatchers, Yellow-winged Tanagers and Collared Aracaris that frequent the grounds.

 

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