Guatemala’s Las Guacamayas Biological Station (Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas), named for the country’s endemic scarlet macaw, is an ecotourism-focused environmental research and conservation center. Its mission is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Laguna del Tigre National Park in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of Petén.
Las Guacamayas is best visited on a multi-day tour that allows ample time for wildlife watching, including early-morning bird-watching and nighttime crocodile viewings; hiking in Laguna del Tigre National Park; and visiting Maya ruins. You can even tag along with scientists as they perform their field research of the area. Tours typically include meals, accommodation, and round-trip transport from Flores. The station also accepts volunteers to help with wildlife monitoring, trail maintenance, and environmental education programs.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A visit to Las Guacamayas Biological Station is a must-do for nature and wildlife lovers.
- You must arrange your visit with the station in advance, so a tour is the way to go.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes, and bring mosquito repellent and other clothing and gear appropriate for the tropical climate.
How to Get There
The center sits on the shores of the San Pedro River, a 20-minute motorboat ride from the village of Paso Caballos. Most visitors coordinate their visit and transport from Lake Petén Itzá or the town of Flores; the drive takes about two hours via an unpaved road.
When to Get There
Las Guacamayas Biological Station welcomes visitors year-round. You can usually see the macaws during the dry season (November to April); many visitors arrive in February and March, eager to catch a glimpse of the beautiful birds nesting.
Petén’s Maya Biosphere Reserve
The Maya Biosphere Reserve, a protected nature reserve that stretches across the Petén region of northern Guatemala, includes several national parks. It’s an ideal destination for adventure and ecotourism, especially wildlife watching, rain forest trekking, and exploring ancient Maya ruins. Highlights include Tikal National Park; Lake Petén Itzá; the ruins of Yaxhá, site of Survivor Guatemala; and the remote site of El Mirador.