Honduras: Pico Bonito Lodge and Spa

 

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Violet Sabrewing

Violet Sabrewing

Pico Bonito Lodge and Spa offers world class tropical birding right outside your cabin door and is only a short flight from the US!  Located on 400 acres of tropical rainforest and adjacent to Pico Bonito National Park and Cuero y Salado Manatee Refuge, this area offers numerous habitats, each with its own special bird community in a very small area.  Common species include Little Tinamou, Red-billed Pigeon, Squirrel Cuckoo, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, White-collared Swift, White-necked Jacobin, Long-billed and Stripe-throated hermits, Crowned Woodnymph, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Black-headed and Gartered trogons, Lesson’s Motmot, Collared Aracari, Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, White-crowned Parrot, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Lovely Cotinga, Red-capped and White-collared manakins, Brown Jay, Spot-breasted Wren, Yellow-winged Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Montezuma Oropendola, and Olive-backed Euphonia to name just a few.

The Republic of Honduras is a spectacular, relatively unknown gem set in the middle of Central America, bordered by Guatemala and El Salvador to the west, Nicaragua and the Caribbean Sea to the East. Like many Central American countries, a low range of mountains runs down the middle of the country, bordered by rainforest on both sides. Because of the mountains, the Caribbean slope is wetter and more humid than the pacific slope. This creates a perfect environment for many tropical rainforest species to thrive. We’ll be exploring the nearly pristine tropical rainforest around Pico Bonito National Park on the Caribbean Slope which has gained a reputation for being a prime place to see and photograph Lovely Cotinga. A primary target of this trip, this stunning bird is relatively easy to see on a nearly daily basis around the lodge. Pico Bonito is also an excellent place to see the rare Tody and Keel-billed motmots.

Tody Motmot

Tody Motmot

The Lodge offers luxurious comfort, wonderful dining and a full service spa (with a nine page menu!).  It’s a wonderful destination for your non-birding spouse also!  The lodge has many miles of trails, some along two different rivers.  There are also three canopy towers that give us access to canopy species, like the incomparable Lovely Cotinga and Green Shrike-Vireo, at eye level!  The nearby Cuero y Salado Manatee Refuge offers us access to mangroves for a very different set of birds.

A special day trip to tropical dry-forest offers us a chance to see the only Honduran endemic bird species – the Honduran Emerald.  We will drive through a number of different habitats on the way to the Emerald Sanctuary and could see Hook-billed Kite, Thicket Tinamou, Double-striped Thick-Knee, White-fronted Amazon, Lesser Roadrunner, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Ash-throated and Nutting’s flycatchers, Long-tailed Manakin, White-lored Gnatcatcher, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Banded and White-bellied wrens, Stripe-headed Sparrow, and Altamira Oriole.

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