BEST BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS IN GUATEMALA

PACIFIC COAST

 

MONTERRICO

Monterrico is the ideal place to relax, sunbathe, and becoming aware of the importance of conserving our environment. This area protects a beautiful mangrove forest, which can be visited in the company of local eco-guides. They are skilful enough for birds and other emblematic fauna identification. This is also the ideal place to learn about the ecology and conservation efforts of the different sea turtles’ species, including the leatherback and green sea turtle. In November, the sea turtle festival takes place, in which massive releases of baby turtle are done by visitors in the protected area.


Some interesting species:

Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)

White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa)

Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans)

Tropical Gar (Atractosteus tropicus)

Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus)

Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

PACAYA VOLCANO

Pacaya is probably the most visited volcano of the country. It is an active volcano, not very difficult to climb and located near Antigua Guatemala. If visitors get lucky they might even watch some lava coming down from the crater to the skirts of the volcano. The typical hike, will take about an hour to reach the typical and most popular viewpoint; where visitors can have amazing sights of the volcanos' summit. However, by demand, it is possible to ascend the volcano through other trails and get access closer to the summit. Of course, this will be a more physically demanding activity that will take about 3 to 4 hours of hiking, before reaching the highest point allowed for tourists.

TARRALES

Beautiful private nature reserve located in Atitlán Volcano. It has a great diversity of microclimates and ecosystems due to its altitudinal variation. Here the visitor can enjoy the agricultural areas of ornamental plants, coffee forests, rainforest and cloud forest. It is a must destination for birders, because there have been more than 300 species reported, amongst which are the Horned Guan and Cabanis Tanager. The site is also ideal to access route for ascending to the top of the Atitlán Volcano and hiking through the forest; thanks to the orography of the place it has also become a popular destination for mountain biking. It has a comfortable lodging and great food service for the guests.


Some interesting species:

Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus),

Azure rumped tanager (Tangara cabanisi)

Yellow naped amazon (Amazona auropalliata)

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