Birding Los Tarrales

Los Tarrales is a birder's paradise located on the southeastern slope of Atitlán volcano in southern Guatemala. More than 350 bird species have been recorded in this private protected area, which preserves primary rain and cloud forest, and runs coffee and exotic flower pantations.

Azure-rumped Tanager
Azure-rumped Tanager (Poecilostreptus cabanisi) in Los Tarrales. Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING were leading recent studies on the distribution and natural history of Azure-rumped Tanager.

The preserve is part of the Atitlan Important Bird Area (IBA GT015), designated by BirdLife International. Located on the southern slope of Atitlán volcano, Los Tarrales forest covers an area between 760 m and 2500 m (2,490-8,202 ft) above sea level, changing gradually from rainforest in the lowlands to cloud forest in higher altitudes.

Tody Motmot
Tody Motmot (Hylomanes momotula) in Los Tarrales.

The forest is accessible through a dense network of trails. Los Tarrales is a great spot to see birds restricted in Guatemala to the Pacific slope, such as Long-tailed Manakin, Pacific Parakeet, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Rufous Sabrewing, and Azure-rumped Tanager. The cloud forest of Atitlán volcano is still home to the odd Horned Guan.

Blue-crowned Chlorophonia
Blue-crowned Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia occipitalis) in Los Tarrales.

Together with neighboring private reserves, Los Tarrales protects the forest of the southern slope of Atitlán volcano, one of the largest forest fragments remaining on Guatemala's Pacific slope. The area is still home to large raptors such as Black Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, and King Vulture. Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING have been supporting Los Tarrales tourism program since 2003 and have been studying the reserve's bird life since that time. Take advantage of their knowledge and discover Los Tarrales on tours with CAYAYA BIRDING.

Black Hawk-Eagle
Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus).

How to get there and accommodation: Los Tarrales offers a total of 10 rooms, all with private bathrooms. Meals are provided for overnight visitors.

When is the best time for a visit to Los Tarrales? Any time of year.

How do you support conservation and development in Los Tarrales? The primary forest located on volcano Atitlán is a private protected area because of the initiative of the landowners. Conservation costs are covered from profits of the zone of multiple use and through providing ecotourism services. Atitlán volcano is one of the last large forest fragments in southern Guatemala. Los Tarrales Reserve is part of the Atitlan Important Bird Area (IBA GT015) and supports populations of four globally threatened bird species. With your visit you promote alternative jobs for local people and help to develop environmental awareness in the region.

Horned Guan
The forest on the upper slope of Atitlán volcano is a refuge for a population of Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus).

News from Los Tarrales

Volcano Atitlán
Los Tarrales Reserve reaches from tropical lowland forest to cloud forest on the upper slope of Atitlán volcano.
Pacific Parakeet
Pacific Parakeet (Psittacara strenuus) in Los Tarrales.

Birding tours in Los Tarrales with CAYAYA BIRDING

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