Specialized birding tours in Guatemala since 2003

Horned Guan in Guatemala. Photograph © Knut Eisermann.

Whiskered Screech-Owl
Photo of the Month
November 2019
Guatemala is an attractive birding destination in Central America with more than 750 bird species and a high diversity of ecosystems. CAYAYA BIRDING tours and day trips are designed for birders, led by Knut Eisermann, Claudia Avendaño, and knowledgeable local guides. Knut and Claudia are passionate birders and guides, live and study birds in Guatemala and have published numerous contributions to Guatemalan ornithology, including an Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Guatemala (Lynx, 2007). Since more than 15 years, they enjoy showing Guatemalan birdlife to world birders (what birders say about CAYAYA BIRDING).

CAYAYA BIRDING tours Guatemala

CAYAYA BIRDING tour groups watching birds in Guatemala
CAYAYA BIRDING specialized birdwatching tours in Guatemala

Birdwatching Guatemala with CAYAYA BIRDING

Logo Cayaya Birding


  • we operate small group birdwatching tours to guarantee the best possible birding conditions, to keep our impact on the natural environment as low as possible, and to ensure personalized service. We lead tours in English, German or Spanish.
  • we organize all ground travel using minibuses or coasters and, where necessary, 4-wheel-drive-vehicles. We stay in beautiful and peaceful eco-lodges and hotels, where you see birds even during your rest. Vegetarian meals and other special diets are always made available upon request.
  • we have been successfully organizing and leading expert birding tours in Guatemala since 2003. Our knowledge on birds, people, and country is based on 20 years of ornithological field research, travelling, and conservation work. We reside in Guatemala, and when not leading birding tours, we are in the field finding out new things about special birds, training local guides, supporting the development of birding lodges and areas, finding new and exciting birding hotspots, and supporting conservation initiatives.

Start here planning your birding trip to Guatemala, using our online form or by telephone: (502) 5308 5160:


Recent photograph by CAYAYA BIRDING tour participant:
Pink-headed Warbler
Pink-headed Warbler Cardellina versicolor, photographed during a recent CAYAYA BIRDING tour in the Guatemalan highlands.
Ocellated Quail
A pair of Ocellated Quail Cyrtonyx ocellatus, photographed during a recent CAYAYA BIRDING tour in the Guatemalan highlands.
Video of singing Thicket Tinamou
Seeing a tinamou is always a treat, seeing one singing, is special. See here a video of a Thicket Tinamou singing devotedly its song in the dark forest understory.
book review in BIRDING magazine, June 2019
Comparative book review by Knut Eisermann of CAYAYA BIRDING in BIRDING magazine: Eisermann, K. (2019) New field guides for birding Central America: a review of Birds of Central America, by Andrew C. Vallely and Dale Dyer, and of Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America, by Jesse Fagan and Oliver Komar. Birding 51(3): 66-68.
A more extensive version of this book review is online at the American Birding Association's Blog
Owls of Guatemala 2017
A monograph chapter on the owls of Guatemala by the CAYAYA BIRDING staff: Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño (2017) The owls of Guatemala. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. More results of our research ...
Reports of Christmas Bird Counts in Guatemala

Fully referenced checklist of the birds of Guatemala

Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING published the first annotated and fully referenced checklist of the birds of Guatemala in 2007. The checklist is bilingual (English/Spanish) and was published by Lynx Edicions, Barcelona (ISBN 84-96553-40-X). More of our contributions to the ornithology of Guatemala.

Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Guatemala

Update on the inventory, distribution, and residency status of birds in Guatemala

Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING published in 2018 a major update on the inventory, distribution, and residency status of birds in Guatemala:
Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.

Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.
Rough Guide Guatemala

"CAYAYA BIRDING ... resident specialists with unmatched knowledge of birding hot-spots."
Rough Guide to Guatemala, 5th edition (2012), p.26, by Iain Stewart.

Moon Guide Guatemala

"You could easily center your entire Guatemala vacation around birding, Guatemala's best birding outfitter is CAYAYA BIRDING."
Moon Handbooks Guatemala, 2nd edition (2007), p.23, by Al Argueta.

Recent publications by

owls of Guatemala

Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.

Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño (2017) The owls of Guatemala. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland.

Knut Eisermann, Claudia Avendaño & Esteban Matías (2017) Nesting evidence, density and vocalisations in a resident population of Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis wetmorei in Guatemala. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 137: 37-45.

Knut Eisermann, Esteban Matías & Claudia Avendaño (2017) Primer registro de anidación de Psiloscops flammeolus en Guatemala. Cotinga 39: 53-59.

Knut Eisermann (2013) Vocal field marks of Unspotted Saw-whet Owl and Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl. Neotropical Birding 13: 8-13.

Recent publications of CAYAYA BIRDING staff

More results of our research ...

What birders say about

"The whole arrangement was excellent with a good mix of habitats, ensuring that we ended up with a very nice trip list (386 species, of which 13 were heard only). Knut Eisermann was a splendid guide, very keen to find our targets and with excellent knowledge of all the birds occurring in Guatemala. A slightly unexpected bonus was his special interest in owls, which meant that owling was an almost nightly exercise. Our final trip list included nine species of owls and they were all seen!" Tomas Hedmark, Sweden, 2019.

"Four of us went to Guatemala in the hope of photographing the regional endemics. Thanks to Knut's expertise, we saw and photographed almost all on our wish list. I would recommend CAYAYA BIRDING company for anyone birding or pursuing serious photography in Guatemala. Knut Eisermann not only knows the birds and how to find them, but is an accomplished photographer himself, so he knows just what a photographer needs when in the field. We can't wait to come back."
Richard Greenspun, Florida, USA, 2019

"Five days in the company of Knut Eisermann birding the hills and valleys of the countryside surrounding Antigua, Guatemala was an absolute delight. Knut is as much an ornithologist, with a special interest in owls, as he is a birder and this made the trip extra special. I am a serial guide user in the Americas and Knut is up there with the best of them." Kevin Buckley, New Jersey, USA, 2018.

"The trip was absolutely the best. I have been on many guided trips to a number of countries, but none were more well organized and thought out than yours." Dennis Shirley, Utah, USA , 2017.

"CAYAYA BIRDING are the Guatemala experts. For expert guiding, logistics planning and knowing where the birds are, you can't beat the team of Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño! Thanks for a great trip, guys!!" Mark Conrad, Arizona, USA, 2017.

"We had an extremely good trip. Everything was organized with an incredible attention to detail; we saw a huge amount without feeling rushed; and the food and accommodation were far better than we had expected. Knut Eisermann is an excellent guide with an incredible knowledge of the birds, wildlife and culture of his adopted home. He is also very pleasant company in the field. Very highly recommended." Graham Tebb, Vienna, Austria, 2018.

"I was able to organize a 10 day trip with Claudia Avendaño for an 11 person group I was leading for Atlanta Audubon. We had a spectacular time! We were able to visit the western highlands as well as the lowland forests at Tikal National Park. In addition to finding life birds and seeing amazing places, this trip had a special focus on shade grown coffee and the Wood Thrush. CAYAYA BIRDING did a great job helping us create a customized itinerary that balanced birding, culture, conservation, and educational opportunities. Claudia was skillful at noticing the needs and desires of each particular group member and adjusting accordingly. She was well prepared and researched and understood what our group desired. The lodging, transportation, and local guides all met or exceeded expectations. I cannot recommend CAYAYA BIRDING and Claudia Avendaño enough and absolutely plan on birding with them again in the future. We were able to see 275 species in 10 days and everyone left happy and healthy." Adam Betuel, Atlanta Audubon Society, 2018.

"Knut Eisermann provided my son and I with a wonderful week of birdwatching in Guatemala. He is warm, friendly and fun! His birding skills are second to none. We had a wonderful time and I can't say enough good things about our time with him." Michael Robinson, Washington, USA, 2018.

"CAYAYA BIRDING is outstanding: they not only offer world-class guides, but remarkably comfortable accommodation. They have taken care to ensure good relations with the communities they visit, which means you will not only see a long list of endemics and rarities, but also learn a lot about Guatemala's cultural diversity."
Matthew Koch, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

"Our guide, Knut Eisermann was excellent! I was impressed by his bird knowledge, phenomenal eyes and ears, and on how well he took care of us. He was charming at all times, attuned to all of our needs both birdwise and otherwise, and extremely patient and considerate. He is lightning-fast on getting a bird in the scope! He is also a very safe driver. We had a delightful time. Claudia Avendaño was very prompt on her responses to all of our queries. Her pre-trip information was comprehensive and very clear. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in birding Guatemala contact them first."
Lorna L. Engleman, MD, and Dodge Engleman, MD, San Antonio, TX. Co-authors of: A bird-finding guide to Panama.

"A fantastic tour! Very well-organized, with friendly, enthusiastic, and expert guides that knew where to find the birds we wanted to see. They made sure we were well taken care of, and they worked hard to ensure that everyone in our group saw the birds we were targeting. All lodging was highly satisfactory and we never missed a meal. Extremely pleasant and highly recommended!" , Austin, TX, USA.

"My experience in Guatemala could not have been better. Knut Eisermann is a very accomplished guide who knows the birds beyond field guide information." Mark Lockwood, Alpine, TX, USA. Senior author of The TOS Handbook of Texas Birds.

"I highly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING! My trip to Guatemala was the birding trip of a lifetime for me. It was relaxing and fun and I was astonished by the number of birds I was able to observe in 6 days. Our guide, Knut, was fabulous! He had keen senses and in-depth knowledge of the local birds. He was able to get a scope focused on hard to see birds in a flash! Knut is not only an outstanding bird guide, but also has an easy going personality with a great sense of humor. The trip was very well organized and went smoothly." Melannie Hartman, USA.

"We found Knut Eisermann an extremely knowledgable, enthusiastic, patient and attentive leader. He knows the birds, the locations, the people. He involves local guides that he trained himself wherever possible - we were impressed by this. His sense of humour is also an asset." Ian D. Harrison, Aberaeron, UK.

"It was a delightful trip from beginning to end. Communication was clear in the planning stages and throughout the entire trip. And, most especially, Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño were 'over-the-top' birders! We loved their total friendliness and cheerfulness and their skills at hearing, seeing and identifying Guatemalan birds was amazing." Ann and John Reichhardt, Colorado, USA.

"Birding with Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño is a double benefit. Not only do you get the best birding experience and expertise, but you are also supporting conservation and habitat/ecological awareness efforts through their programs with locals. Teach the local people about birds, employ them as paid citizen scientists, increase awareness about caring for the earth and support the local economy." Ruth Stewart, Vermont, USA.

"Claudia Avendaño organised our trip perfectly. We had some terrific birding in the highlands and at Tikal, with a good insight into the highland region and the chance to explore the great ruins at Tikal. We should have stayed longer!" Marcus I'Anson, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.

"Claudia Avendaño and Knut Eisermann organized a one week custom tour for Pacific slope bird specialties and the cultural attractions of colonial Antigua and Lake Atitlán. Knut was an outstanding guide and personable companion. His knowledge of the birds is encyclopedic, and his sharp eyes and perseverance were greatly appreciated." Robert Orenstein, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

More testimonials ...

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