Map of Destinations for Central America

Birding Central America

Seven nations; over 1,500 bird species; 155 Important Bird Areas; 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; 7 endemic bird areas; the southern ends of the Mayan and Aztec Empires and most of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot; and over 200,000 square miles of phenomenal birding. This is Central America. Mexican specialty birds invade from the north and South American species enter from the south, making Central America a land bridge of birding magic. The motmots like it here, with 9 of the family’s 10 species occurring in the region. Four of the 5 toucan genera can be found in Central America, along with nearly one-third of the world’s hummingbirds and one-fifth of the world’s woodpeckers. Mammals also abound in Central America, which hosts all 5 genera of sloths and anteaters and the world’s greatest diversity of Procyonidae (raccoons and their relatives). Invite yourself to some of the best known birding spots in the world, as Central America has catered to birders for decades. Panama’s Canopy Tower, Costa Rica’s Rancho Naturalista, and the Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras are three places all birders should visit in their lifetimes. And these three are just the tip of the iceberg. With a little homework, you could explore mangroves, deserts, grasslands, and cloud forests in the same day. Do you like sunsets? Panama’s Isthmus of Darien is the only single place in the Western Hemisphere from which one can watch the sun rise in the Atlantic and set in the Pacific. If it all sounds a bit overwhelming, many of the planet’s birding tour companies offer guided trips to help you find the best of Central America. Whether you choose a group tour or travel independently, this amazing Neotropical land should be top of your bucket list.

Birding Destinations in Central America

Belize

Belize

Belize should sit near the top of any birder’s wish-list for Central America destinations. Not only does this small country boast a whopping 588 bird species, offshore you can find world class scuba diving in the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Guatemala

Guatemala

Guatemala, with a total of 732 bird species and 33 regional endemics, is full of cultural and natural wonders. The country is divided into three primary regions: the Caribbean Slope, the Pacific Slope, and the Highlands. Quests for the fabled and hard to reach Horned Guan are legendary.
Honduras

Honduras

Honduras is a paradise of tropical rain forests, very dry forests, sparkling waterfalls, crystalline rivers, white sand beaches, and the most pristine coral reefs in the Americas. All of this and nearly 740 spectacular bird species make the country among the most scenic and sought after birding destinations in Central America.
Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a Central American gem, smaller than West Virginia but containing nearly 800 regularly-occurring bird species. The exceptional diversity is maintained by a network of protected lands, which you can explore while staying at the most famous birding lodges in the world.
Panama

Panama

Panama forms a narrow land bridge that links Central and South America. The country is blessed with incredible beauty and biodiversity, largely due to its extreme altitudinal gradients, which range from its extensive coastlines to its highest volcanic peaks, and to the convergence of North and South American avifaunas.