Sibinal is a small town nestled in a 2500 m (8200 ft) high valley in the western highlands of Guatemala. The skyline around town is shaped by 3000 m (9840 ft) high ridges of the Sierra Madre, the 4100 m (13440 ft) tall Tacaná volcano, and at the distance Tajumulco volcano, with 4200 m (13760 ft) the tallest peak of Central America.
Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING have been supporting the development of Sibinal as birding site since 2011
We discovered Sibinal as a birding site for international birders. We know that off-the-beaten track site very well, because we have been researching the birds of Sibinal since 2011 and have operated numerous tours to the area since then. We have been teaching local guides about their special birds.
Noteworthy ornithological findings were published in:
More on our bird research in Guatemala ...
Mountain slopes around Sibinal are covered with patches of pine-fir forest, alder woodland, humid broadleaf forest (cloud forest), scrub, small scale corn and vegetables fields, and savannah-like pastureland for sheep. Several sites near Sibinal offer great birding and hiking in an impressive landscape.
The area is home to a set of bird species endemic to northern Central America and the Sierra Madre mountain range (Mexico and northern Central America), including Horned Guan, Ocellated Quail, Pink-headed Warbler, Crescent-chested Warbler, Black-headed and Black-capped Siskin, Black-throated Jay, Amethyst-throated, Garnet-throated, and Wine-throated Hummingbird, Blue-throated Motmot, Pine Flycatcher, Black-capped Swallow, Rufous-browed Wren, Rufous-collared Thrush, Brown-backed Solitaire, Blue-and white Mockingbird, (Guatemalan) Yellow-eyed Junco, Hooded Grosbeak, Yellow Grosbeak, Golden-browed Warbler, and Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl.
Access and accommodation: Sibinal is off the beaten track, but basic tourist services such as hotels and small restaurants have evolved recently. A paved road connects Sibinal to San Marcos, but the access to some of the nearby birding destinations requires a 4-WD vehicle. A camping-style shelter (simple rooms, shared, sometimes non-functional bathroom) is available in Vega del Volcán.
When is the best time for a visit to Sibinal? Birding in Sibinal is promising all year round.
How do you support conservation and development in Sibinal? Sibinal is part of the Important Bird Area Tacaná-Tajumulco (IBA GT013). With your visit to help to develop an alternative, non-destructive land use in the area.