Birds of Nicaragua
Wetlands, Tropical Dry & Cloud Forest Nature Reserves
14 days – 13 nights
Bird watching has become a big industry in many countries. The benefit of this industry is conservation of course, and also talented specialized guides. Nicaragua is home to more than 700 species of birds, but a tourism birding industry is just learning to crawl. This creates a much different travel experience for the bird enthusiast. One might call it old school birding. The bird watcher in Nicaragua is not living a recycled experience, but out in the field, breaking new ground. This makes birding in Nicaragua one of the last frontiers in the Americas, a place to see spectacular species in a very low key atmosphere. Nicaragua is the southern-most range for many species of birds, and the northern-most range for others. It is part of being in the very heart of the isthmus that connects the two great American continents. In addition Nicaragua has some of the greatest wetland areas in Central America, precious cloud forest and one of the largest expanses of the nearly extinct tropical dry forest. We invite you to experience a private birding watching tour in Nicaragua. This trip features the private nature reserves: Selva Negra, El Jaguar and Montibelli, the latter two owned by bird enthusiasts who have decided their reserves to bird protection and research. Public nature reserves of Datanlí, Cerro Arenal and El Chocoyero are also featured, as are visits to Lake Arenal and Juan Venado Island in boat. Please see our bird lists at links below.
Two Week Nicaragua Birding Itinerary
DAY 01: MANAGUA – MONTIBELLI PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
Greeting at the airport by an English speaking guide and private transfer to the Sierra Managua mountain range and the low mountain private nature reserve of Montibelli. Lodging in private cabin.
DAY 02: MONTIBELLI PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
All meals and lodging at Montibelli. Birding with local guide.
DAY 03: MONTIBELLI – CHOCOYERO NATURE RESERVE
Country breakfast and birding with local expert guide. Lunch at the reserve and private transfer with birding guide to the tiny and nature rich canyon nature reserve of El Chocoyero, home to more than a thousand cliff dwelling parakeets. Return to Montibelli for dinner and lodging in cabin.
DAY 04: MONTIBELLI – SELVA NEGRA PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
Country breakfast and private transfer to Selva Negra private cloud forest reserve in Matagalpa. Guided nature walking in the cloud forest reserve with local guide. Lodging in cabin at Selva Negra.
DAY 05: SELVA NEGRA – CERRO ARENAL NATURE RESERVE
Breakfast and private transfer to the misty peaks of the Cerro Arenal Nature Reserve, home to the Resplendent Quetzal, Three Wattled-bell Bird and other unique birds for hiking through the reserve and down into the Selva Negra private nature reserve. Afternoon birding at Selva Negra.
DAY 06: SELVA NEGRA – LA ESMERALDA & LA BASTILLA, DATANLÍ
Breakfast and private transfer to the magnificent cloud forest waterfall of La Bujona in La Esmeralda in the Datanlí Nature Reserve for bird watching with our naturalist guide on the southern frontier of Datanlí. Continue to the northwest side of Datanlí for afternoon bird watching and lodging in cabin at the La Bastilla Ecolodge.
DAY 07: LA BASTILLA, DATANLÍ NATURE RESERVE
Breakfast and lodging at La Bastilla. Bird watching with our naturalist guide.
DAY 08: LA BASTILLA – BIOLOGICAL STATION, DATANLÍ – LA BASTILLA
Breakfast and private transfer to the biological station in the northern part of Datanlí for bird watching in this world-class cloud forest reserve, at a place of important research of highland species of flora and fauna. Lunch at the biological station and private transfer return to La Bastilla for lodging in cabin.
DAY 09: LA BASTILLA – EL JAGUAR PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
Breakfast and transfer northwest to the private cloud forest reserve of El Jaguar. Afternoon bird watching with local reserve guide. Lunch, dinner and lodging at the reserve in cabin.
DAY 10: EL JAGUAR
All meals and lodging. Birding with local guide.
DAY 11: EL JAGUAR – LAKE APANAS
Breakfast and transfer to beautiful Lago de Apanás for birding in private motorboat. Return to El Jaguar for lunch, dinner and lodging.
DAY 12: EL JAGUAR – LEON
Breakfast and private transfer with naturalist guide to León with birding in route. Lodging in León at the Hotel El Convento.
DAY 13: LEON – JUAN VENADO WILDLIFE REFUGE, PACIFIC OCEAN
Breakfast and private transfer to the Pacific Coast estuary reserve of Juan Venado Island for guided bird watching in private motorboat or kayaks. Lodging in León at Hotel El Convento.
DAY 14: LEON – MANAGUA
Breakfast at hotel and private transfer to airport for flight home.
Birding in Nicaragua Tour includes:
- 3 nights lodging at the Montibelli Private Nature Reserve
- 2 nights lodging at Selva Negra Cloud Forest Reserve
- 3 nights lodging at La Bastilla Ecolodge in Datanlí Nature Reserve
- 3 nights lodging at El Jaguar Private Nature Reserve
- 2 nights lodging at Hotel El Convento in León
- All meals at Montibelli and El Jaguar
- All breakfasts in the rest of the trip
- Private transfers in 4×4 with a/c and professional driver
- All driver expenses during the tour
- Private boat usage for birding in Lake Apanás
- Private boat or kayak usage birding in Isla Juan Venado Wildlife Refuge
- Assistance of an English speaking naturalist in Datanlí Nature Reserve and Juan Venado Wildlife Refuge
- Assistance of local expert birding guides at Montibelli, Selva Negra, El Arenal and El Jaguar
- All guide expenses during the trip
- 17% hotel taxes
- Admissions fees to parks and nature reserves
All birding tours are private.
Bird Watching tours can begin any day of the year providing hotel space is available.
Nicaragua birding tour costs depend on the number of travelers in your party and visit dates.
Please specify number of people and target dates when requesting a quote.
Custom Nicaragua bird watching tour itineraries are available upon request.
Birds of Nicaragua does not include: Lunch and dinner when not at Montibelli and El Jaguar. International flights or airport taxes. Drinks. Travel insurance, tips or medical treatment.