Gail Garber Designs

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Guatemala: Birding the Highlands and Lake Atitlán with Gail Garber and Hawks Aloft
January 26 – February 5, 2019


Scarlet Macaw, Image by Kristin Brown

Keel-billed Toucan, Image by Kristin Brown

Antigua, Image by Steffi Lopez

Tucked into the beautiful highlands of the Sierra Madre range in Guatemala is beautiful Lake Atitlán, whose name is derived from the Nahuatl language, meaning “at the water.” Here, at high elevations in the heart of Central America, Gail and Hawks Aloft are partnering with Holbrook Travel and Flyway Expeditions to bring our friends an experience like no other. During this 10-day journey, we’ll seek out rare and native species in this region of Guatemala, which is nestled in the middle of one of the world’s prime migratory corridors. We also will have the opportunity to connect with locals who care about conservation through Audubon’s bird-tourism initiative, Santiago Atitlán. A portion of the proceeds of this excursion will be donated to conservation efforts in Guatemala as well as the conservation efforts of Hawks Aloft..

Guatemalan Hand Weavers, Image by Etel Castillo


  • Explore San Juan Laguna, a village known for its many women’s cooperatives, and meet some of the entrepreneurs who weave traditional textiles there.
  • Bird the lower and upper trails at Los Tarrales, with the goal of seeing the Long-tailed Manakin’s impressive courtship display.
  • Visit Corazón del Bosque Reserve for the chance to see Mountain Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, White-naped Brush-Finch, and with luck, the uncommon Pink-headed Warbler.
  • Visit Asociación Vivamos Mejor (AVM), a private nonprofit development organization committed to improving the quality of life of rural communities surrounding Lake Atitlán.

Meet your leader:  Gail Garber

Gail Garber, Executive Director, discovered her passion for birds nearly 30 years ago. Since then, she has dedicated her life to avian studies, education, and other aspects of Hawks Aloft. She has traveled extensively for birding, including much of the U.S. as well as Canada, Venezuela, Honduras, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, and Tanzania. She has lead birding tours to New Zealand, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and closer afield within the U.S. Garber is a popular speaker for adult programs throughout the Albuquerque area and at birding festivals in New Mexico and Colorado where she regularly leads raptor tours at various events, sharing her love of birding and conservation.

Land Cost  $2,565  Per person