TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – In the heart of Central America there is a birdwatching paradise that remains hidden in the eyes of tourists and birders. A country with 770 different bird species spread throughout 8,500 square miles of protected areas and national parks, twice as much as Costa Rica, 30 private natural reserves, 91 protected areas, and more than 200 recommended birdwatching points.
This country is Honduras. It has been selected to host the “Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour 2016,” November 4 to 13, that will gather birdwatching enthusiasts and experts from around the world for a unique tropical birding experience.
A can’t miss tour for avid birdwatchers:
1. Experience a three-part itinerary that will guarantee a rich birding experience in a country with the most diverse tourism offering in Central America, with a variety of ecosystems and species that make it a destination every birdwatcher must visit.
2. Tour one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in the Americas, Copán Ruins, where the iconic scarlet macaws roam freely over the UNESCO World Heritage site, a distinctive mix of birding and culture.
3. Hike the spectacular trails at Cerro Azul Meámbar National Park, a lush and expansive rainforest, as well as Santa Bárbara National Park, overlooking the largest lake in Honduras, scenic Lake Yojoa.
4. Spend the night at luxurious eco lodges nestled within the Cerro Azul Meámbar and Pico Bonito national parks, exotic locales featuring hundreds of bird species and wildlife including jaguars.
5. Learn from and interact with five world experts of the birdwatching industry who will lead tours, including:
• Jeffrey Gordon, President of the American Birding Association
• Bill Thompson III, President and founding member of The Ohio Ornithological Society
• Richard Crossley, an acclaimed English birdwatcher, photographer, and writer of “The Crossley ID Guide” series
• Adam Riley, a South African eco-tourism entrepreneur who promotes trips to observe birds across the world
• Tim Appleton, organizer of birdwatching events and eco-tourism lecturer.
6. Directly impact international bird life conservation efforts. The team that spots the most bird species will be awarded $10,000 to support one of five critical conservation projects in Honduras, as well as $10,000 for an international conservation project of the winning team leader’s choice.
7. Promote and celebrate Honduras’ wonderfully rich bird diversity and avi-tourism potential, contributing to the country’s development and sustainability efforts. In the United States, birdwatching is an attractive market generating $41 billion annually, showing the opportunity to bolster Honduras’ tourism industry by supporting one of the fastest growing types of eco-tourism.
8. See more than 700 bird species including Honduras’ national bird, the scarlet macaw, the Honduran emerald hummingbird, and the resplendent quetzal.
To date, more than 50 international birders have confirmed their participation in the “Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour 2016,” a joint initiative of the public and private sectors in Honduras, along with the United States Forest Service through the Agency for International Development (USAID).
If you are a devoted birder, you will not be let down in Honduras. The country offers the most complete tourism destination in Central America, and its majestic birdwatching landscapes are just one more item to add to the list.