Guatemala is home to a fantastic number of diverse species, which dwell in habitats ranging from rain and cloud forest to arid valleys to swamps and ocean shores. The government is actively pursuing a strategy that involves sustainable tourism as a proactive way to protect its nature and cultural heritage. The base that carry this strategy are Guatemala’s more than 30 protected areas, including National Parks and Biological Reserves. Tikal National Park is one of Guatemala’s principal tourist attractions, this park within the larger Maya Bioshere Reserve contains the magnificent Tikal archaeological site as well as 57,600 hectares of pristine jungle. It is also one of the easiest places to observe wildlife in Guatemala.
With its 19 different ecosystems Guatemala also has an abundance of animals. They include 250 species of mammals, 600 species of birds and 200 species of reptiles and amphibians along with many species of butterflies and other insects. The national bird, the resplendent Quetzal can be seen in several parts of the country. It’s a small but exceptionally beautiful bird. Other interesting birds in Guatemala include Starlet Macaws together with other species of parrots, toucans, motmots, hummingbirds, warblers and oriols, to name only a few.
Guatemala’s flora includes more than 8,000 species of plants in 19 different ecosystems ranging from the mangrove forests on both coasts to the pine forests of the mountainous interior and the cloud forests at higher altitudes. Referred to as “the land of eternal spring”, Guatemala provides the perfect climatic conditions for many species. The national flower, the monja blanca or white nun orchid is among 600 species of orchid’s that can be admired in Guatemala.