Honduras: Copan: Feb 14—19, 2014

Archaeology & Birds

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: San Pedro Sula
Tour Limit: 12
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (117.9 KB)

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Brian Gibbons

Brian Gibbons grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in local cr...


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Montezuma Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola— Photo: Kevin Zimmer

The archaeological site at Copán Ruinas in extreme western Honduras is one of the most renowned within the Mayan realm. It has been called the “Athens of the Mayan World” due to its intricately carved stelae, hieroglyphic stairway, and other sculptures that have preserved so well since the kingdom’s collapse more than 1,000 years ago. It remained unknown to the outside world until it was found in 1576 by a Spanish explorer.

The area surrounding Copán is biologically diverse because various ecotones come together in close proximity. Lowland, mid-elevation, and cloud forests are found here, along with pine/oak and semi-deciduous forests. Being close to the Continental Divide also lends to a mixing of Caribbean and Pacific slope biota. The bird list has passed 400 species (and counting) and makes Copán one of the more well-studied areas in the country. Its orchid and butterfly diversity are also being studied and are proving to be just as rich.

We will spend each night at the charming and beautiful Hacienda San Lucas on the outskirts of town. Each day we will venture out at a leisurely pace to enjoy the archaeological, cultural, and natural wonders that abound in the area. Some of the birds we may see include White-breasted Hawk; White-fronted Parrot; Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl; Azure-crowned, Cinnamon, and Sparkling-tailed hummingbirds; Elegant Trogon; Emerald Toucanet; Turquoise-browed and Blue-crowned motmots; Ivory-billed Woodcreeper; Rose-throated Becard; Bushy-crested Jay; White-throated Magpie-Jay; Rufous-naped Wren; Brown-backed Solitaire; Elegant Euphonia; Rusty Sparrow; Black-headed Siskin; and Streak-backed, Spot-breasted, Yellow-backed, and Altamira orioles. We should also be treated to a nice selection of wintering Neotropical migrant warblers (more than 20 species are possible), vireos, and buntings.