Tarrales Natural Reserve

Tarrales Natural Reserve, San Lucas Toliman: Address, Phone Number, Tarrales Natural Reserve Reviews: 5/5

Tarrales Natural Reserve
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Km 164.2 of National Route 11 or CA 2, San Lucas Toliman 07013 Guatemala

4 reviews
Very good

Alfred M
Los Barrios, Spain18 contributions
A Fine Example of Ecotourism
Dec 2019
We stayed at Los Tarrales (five nights) for the second time in two years and as is the case in the tropics, saw many different birds from the last time. It’s a rich environment that yields its secrets slowly to the patient.

That said, our guide (Fredi Tol) was expert in coaxing the shyest birds out to see us, so we saw much more than if we were just wandering the trails by ourselves.

There is a variety of accommodations at Tarrales. I would suggest picking “Las Chachas”, a newer motel styles series of rooms, set back from thick of things. We stayed at the Los Gordon room, which had a king-sized bed but no storage space and a cramped bathroom, a legacy of another era.

The food was varied and quite good; for early morning bird hikes (6 AM) we often just had banana bread and some delicious coffee, which hit the spot.

It’s worth taking the Coffee Tour to learn all there is to know about how and where that cup of Joe came from, and where instant coffee usually comes from. The benefits of shade-grown coffee were evident in the number of birds we saw, as well as in the taste of the coffee.
Written December 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Serra da Mantiqueira139 contributions
Fantastic stay!
Dec 2018 • Friends
Tarrales is a working coffee farm (shade coffee, meaning the coffee bushes are interspersed with trees like inga, attracting all sorts of birds) and, as such, normal activity - picking, transporting, drying, processing - will be all around the guests. It doesn't interfere at all and is actually quite interesting. But we were there for the birds.

Its owners are dedicated to conservation, and this can be seen by the work that has been done for decades. It includes the choice of trees to shade the coffee plants, the flowering bushes planted all over the place to attract hummingbirds, tracking of rare species (their trail cameras recently recorded puma and coyote, and one of their guides is personally following several species of birds), bird feeders, zealous preservation of the Horned Guan's habitat high on Atitlán volcano's flanks and the way they run the reserve.

Staying in a place like this was a pleasure. Although physical limitations didn't allow me to climb the volcano to see the guan (but one of my travel companions did that, successfully), I did all the low-lying trails in the property and enjoyed myself immensely. The resident guide also took us, with a 4x4, to higher points in the property to go birding and to look for owls. He is a precious source of information and knowledge, and a good guy to boot.

En-suite accomodations are very comfortable (it was December, theoretically winter, but the room fan was on at night because of the humid heat), there is a lot of hot water in the shower and it was very silent in the evenings - no vehicles, no voices. There is also the option of a lodge (I presume with shared facilities) and tree houses.

The food was okay. The best were the home-baked bread, fresh butter from the neighbor and pizza night. Staff was friendly and helpful. I could definitely spend more time in Tarrales Natural Reserve.
Written January 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania5 contributions
Great Birding
Apr 2016 • Friends
I sent a day there with a local bird guide named Josue. He is one of the most knowledgeable guides I have met. They also have some amazing water-powered machinery.
Written May 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Francisco, CA11 contributions
One of the best places in Guatemala to birdwatch!
Mar 2016 • Couples
My partner and I were staying at Hotel Tolimán (fantastic, by the way) and the manager introduced us to an ex-pat living in San Lucas Tolimán and expert birdwatcher. We're not birdwatchers, but the hotel manager highly recommended the tour to Tarrales and arranged it for the three of us. It was fantastic! The nature reserve was teeming with tropical wildlife. With the help of the very professional local birdwatching guides, we saw plenty of beautiful birds, including several local species and a toucan! Tarrales boasts more than 340 bird species, and over 270 butterfly species, and according to our birdwatcher friend who's lived in Guatemala for many years, it is one of the best places to birdwatch in Guatemala! They also have a pleasant lodge and offer breakfast, but I would recommend staying in Hotel Tolimán... It's right in front of the lake, with an amazing view, great gardens, and delicious food harvested from their organic garden right on site.
Written April 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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