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Guatemala Wildlife – Top 15 Animals to See

Guatemala Wildlife: Turtles

Guatemala Native Animals

Guatemala is a place with many beautiful destinations which are also filled with an amazing amount of exotic species of animals in Guatemala. Its huge forests and mostly untouched mountains hide all sorts of beautiful animals. Guatemala Wildlife is one of the richest in Central America and definitely worth seeing.

Top 15 Native Animals in Guatemala Wildlife To Look Out For

1. Quetzal

Wildlife in Guatemala - Respendent Quetzal

Quetzals are beautiful exotic birds and one of many Guatemala’s treasures. In fact The Quetzal is Guatemala national bird. But ironically, because of all the illegal hunting and the destruction of their habitat, they are on the list to be one of the extinct animals of Guatemala unless things change. In Guatemala, it can be found in El Biotopo del Quetzal, Baja Verapaz.

2. Spider Monkey

Animals of Guatemala - Spider monkey

Spider Monkeys are curious Guatemalan animals that live mainly in the tropical forests of Guatemala, but again the destruction of their habitat is reducing their population rapidly and in some places, they are almost extinct. In Guatemala, they are commonly seen in the northern region of Peten and in Alta Verapaz.

3. Toucan

Animals in Guatemala - Toucan

The Toucans are these colorful and abundant tropical birds that can be found in Guatemala’s forests, especially in the areas of Peten and Alta Verapaz. People love them so much that they used to have them as pets. This practice has now been forbidden in the country.

Check out flight prices to Guatemala so that you can see these incredible creatures in person.

4. Montezuma Oropendola

Animals in Guatemala: montesuma oropendola

If you are coming to Central America this magnificent bird called Montezuma Oropendola is something you can’t miss, in Guatemala, it can only be seen in the northern region of Peten. So keep your eyes open while exploring the Mayan ruins of the area like Tikal and Yaxhá.

5. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Guatemala native animals: olive ridnely sea turtle

Ok, so we have all heard that Sea turtles are on their way to be extinct, even the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles are known for having the largest population around the globe. They love open ocean inhabitants so you will never see them near reefs. In Guatemala, they can be seen nesting in Monterrico. You can also visit organizations like ARCAS to help these babies get to the sea.

6. Armadillo

Guatemalan Animals: 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 common place to find them is in La Sierra de las Minas, which is in the department of El Progreso. But hurry if you want to see one. They are also endangered, poor people still hunt them for food.

7. Vampire Bats

Guatemala animal: vampire bat

When we think of bats the first thing that comes to our mind is an image from Hollywood’s monsters. But the real vampires are a lot different and have nothing to do with Dracula. Vampire Bats live in a range that covers Mexico, Central America, and part of South America. In Guatemala, its preferred habitat is the tropics. They are commonly found slowly bleeding small farm animals like chickens.

8. Ocelot

Animal of Guatemala - ocelot

Many people confuse these cute felines with domestic cats because of their tiny bodies. These small carnivores love eating animals like rabbits, lizards, fish, and armadillos. In Guatemala, Ocelots can be found in the Tikal National Park, they love living in forests and mangroves.

9. Rat

Native Gustemalan Animal - rat

Brown rats are one of the best-known and most common animals in the world. They are the second most successful mammal in the world. In Guatemala, just as the rest of the Countries of the world, they are mostly found in populated areas.

10. Capuchin Monkey

Guatemala wildlife - Capuchin monkey

These small and inquisitive monkeys are the easiest to observe in the wild. They are always around, jumping from tree to tree. They can be found in forest and mangrove habitats up to 2,100m elevation. These monkeys can be seen in the northern region of Guatemala.

11. White Lipped Peccary

Animal of Guatemala - 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

Animals in Guatemala - Brown Basilisk

Brown Basilisks have the nickname Jesus Lizard because when fleeing from a predator, they are so fast that 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

Guatemalan animal - Caiman

Although they are one of the smallest crocodile species, these guys are fierce predators. It can be found in much of Central and South America. It lives in a range of lowland wetland and riverside habitats and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh. In Guatemala, you can find them in Monterrico, Santa Rosa Department.

14. Black Hawk

Guatemalan Animal- Black hawk

These are successful predatory birds with a mysterious touch. They inhabit from the Southwestern United States through Central America to Venezuela, Peru. Generally, these birds are found lowland habitats, with a source of water nearby. In Guatemala, it can be found around the Caribbean coasts.

15. Black-Necked Stilt

Black necked stilt

The Black-necked Stilt is an abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found in Central America and the Caribbean. In Guatemala, they are commonly seen in the southern coasts. It is found in estuaries, salt ponds, and emergent wetland habitats.

Are there any other Guatemalan animals that belong to the Wildlife that you have been able to see or hear from? I would love to hear about your experiences.

There are many ways to come to Guatemala, you can find info on Travelfoot.

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Top 15 Native Animals in Guatemala Wildlife To Look Out For


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After your exploring adventure in Guatemala is over why not look to the north for something a little bit different. Take a look at these things to do in Atlanta for inspiration.

What animals eat hostas.

8 thoughts on “Guatemala Wildlife – Top 15 Animals to See

  1. My family is planning a trip to Guatemala for sometime next year. I’m very interested in the wildlife there. Any way you could give me more information?!

  2. this is great website. I’m from guatemala , i was adopted. I love hearing about the animals that live in my home country .

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