Birding Tikal National Park

Tikal
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
Black-throated Shrike-Tanager in Tikal.

Tikal was Guatemala's first Guatemalan 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
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
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
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 animals 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.

For independent travelers: We are happy to organize your trip to Tikal. Please fill this reservation form and we will send you information on rates and space availability as soon as possible.

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).


Sign up for a birding day tour in Tikal


Orange-breasted Falcon
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
Ridgway's (Northern) Rough-winged Swallow is an endemic to the Yucatán peninsula.
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing
Wedge-tailed Sabrewing

More photos ...

News from Tikal


Slaty-tailed Trogon
Slaty-tailed Trogon

Reserve your visit to Tikal



Back to Top