Guatemala is a place with many beautiful destinations which are also filled with and amazing amount of exotic species of animals. Here is a list with some of the most popular animals of this beautiful country:
1. Quetzal: Quetzals are beautiful exotic birds and one of many Guatemala’s treasures, but because of all the illegal hunting and the destruction of their habitat they are in the list of the to be extinct animals unless things change. In Guatemala it can be found in El Biotopo del Quetzal, Baja Verapaz.
2. Spider Monkey: In Guatemala they are commonly seen in the northern region of Petn and in Alta Verapaz. Spider Monkeys are curious animals that live mainly in the tropical forests. But again the destruction of their habitat is reducing its population rapidly and in some places they are almost extinct.
3. Toucan: The Toucans are these colorful and abundant tropical birds that can be found in Guatemala’s forests specially in the areas of Petn and Alta Verapaz.
4. Montezuma Oropendola: In Guatemala it can only be seen in the northern region of Peten. If you are coming to Central America this magnificent bird called Montezuma Oropendola is something you can’t miss.
5. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle: They love open ocean inhabitant so you will never see them near reefs. Ok, so we have all heard that Sea turtles are on their way to be extinct. Even the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles known for having the largest population around the globe. In Guatemala they can be seen nesting in Monterrico.
6. Armadillo: These armored little guys can be found from northern Argentina to the southern United States . Armadillo’s habitat is moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos near which it generally lives and feeds. In Guatemala the most comon place to find them is in La Sierra de las Minas, that is in the department of El Progreso.
7. Vampire Bats: When we think of bats the first thing that comes to our mind is an image from Hollywood’s monsters. In Guatemala its preferred habitat is the tropics. Vampire Bats live in a range that covers Mexico, Central America and part of South America. And keep in mind that real vampires are a lot different and have nothing to do with Dracula.
8. Ocelot: Many people confuses these cute felines with domestic cats because of their tiny bodies. In Guatemala these guys can be found in the Tikal National Park.
9. Rat: They are the second most successful mammal in the world. Brown rats are one of the best known and most common animals in the world. In Guatemala just as the rest of Countries of the world they are mostly found in populated areas.
10. Capuchin Monkey: They are always around jumping from tree to tree. These small and inquisitive monkeys are the easiest to observe in the wild. They can be found in forest and mangrove habitats up to 2,100m elevation. These monkeys can be found in the northern region of Guatemala.
11. White Lipped Peccary: White lipped Peccaries are the big and aggressive brothers of the collared peccary and is widely considered the most dangerous peccary. They have even killed jaguars when trying to defend themselves. It is commonly found in Sierra de las Minas, El Progreso in Guatemala.
12. Brown Basilisk: Brown Basilisk have the nickname “Jesus Lizard” because when fleeing from a predator, they are very fast and can even run on top of the water. They are native to Panama, Belize, northwestern Colombia and Costa Rica. In Guatemala, this species is widespread, found practically anywhere where there is a water source. This species can be found in tropical and subtropical wet, moist, and dry forest habitats.
13. Spectacled Caimans: It can be found in much of Central and South America. It lives in a range of lowland wetland and riverside habitat and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh. In Guatemala you can find them in Monterrico, Santa Rosa Department. Al though they are one of the smallest crocodilian species these guys are fierce predators.
14. Black Hawk: These are successful predatory birds with a mysterious touch. Generally these birds are found lowland habitats, with a source of water nearby. They inhabit from the Southwestern United States through Central America to Venezuela, Peru. In Guatemala it can be found around the caribbean coasts.
15. Black Necked Stilt: The Black-necked Stilt is an abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found through Central America and the Caribbean. In Guatemala they are commonly seen in the southern coasts. It is found in estuarines, salt ponds and emergent wetland habitats.
Marina K. Villatoro, the Travel Experta, has been living in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. Traveling with her family to all parts of Costa Rica and Guatemala, she now loves organizing vacations for people and offers first hand experience. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!