Birding Tikal National Park with CAYAYA BIRDING

Tikal, CAYAYA BIRDING specialized birding tours since 2003
View over the forest canopy and Mayan temples of Tikal.

Birding Tikal is great, with its scenery dominated by impressive Mayan pyramid temples. A dense network of trails provides access to rainforest, scrub, and open areas. More than 400 bird species have been reported in Tikal National Park and its surroundings.

Black-throated Shrike-Tanager in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Black-throated Shrike-Tanager in Tikal.

Tikal was Guatemala's first National Park –­ declared in 1955 – to preserve the Mayan ruins and the extensive broadleaf forest with its diverse wildlife. UNESCO then declared it a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site in 1979. Tikal National Park is part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the largest Neotropical rainforest north of the Amazon basin.

Keel-billed Toucan in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Keel-billed Toucan in the forest of Tikal National Park.

Wooden stairways provide access to the upper parts of some of the temples, which are excellent viewpoints to see canopy birds such as Keel-billed Toucan, parrots (Mealy, Red-lored, White-fronted, White-crowned, and Brown-hooded), and Neotropical raptors. Tikal is one of the best sites to see the rare Orange-breasted Falcon.

Ocellated Turkey in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Ocellated Turkey in Tikal National Park.

Ocellated Turkeys – endemic to the Yucatán peninsula – are quite tame at Tikal and easy to see. Army ant swarms are often accompanied by mixed foraging flock, with several species of woodcreepers (Northern Barred, Olivaceous, Ruddy, Tawny-winged, and Ivory-billed), Red-crowned and Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Gray-headed Tanager, and Tawny-crowned Greenlet.

Guatemalan Black Howler Monkey in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Baby Guatemalan Black Howler Monkey in the canopy of the Tikal forest.

Because hunting is prohibited in Tikal National Park, mammals wander freely between the primary forest and ruins. The most commonly observed mammals are Coaties, Agouties, and Gray Fox walking around the park grounds, and Spider monkeys and Mexican Black Howler Monkeys in the forest canopy.

Access and accommodation: Tikal is easily accessible on paved roads from Flores. Several comfortable hotels are available in Tikal.

When is the best time for birding Tikal? Any time of the year.

How do you support conservation and development in Tikal? With your entrance fee to the National Park you support the conservation of Tikal, which is part of the Maya-Lacandon Important Bird Area (IBA GT001).

Book your birding day tour in Tikal

Orange-breasted Falcon in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Tikal is a reliable place to see the rare Orange-breasted Falcon, here a female perched on the scaffold at Temple IV.
Ridgway's Rough-winged Swallow in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Ridgway's (Northern) Rough-winged Swallow is an endemic to the Yucatán peninsula.
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing in Tikal, seen on a CAYAYA BIRDING tour
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing

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News from Tikal

Slaty-tailed Trogon
Slaty-tailed Trogon

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