"CAYAYA BIRDING ... resident specialists with unmatched knowledge of birding hot-spots."
Rough Guide to Guatemala, 5th edition (2012), p.26, by Iain Stewart.
"You could easily center your entire Guatemala vacation around birding, Guatemala's best birding outfitter is CAYAYA BIRDING." Moon Handbooks Guatemala, 2nd edition (2007), p.23, by Al Argueta.
November 2017, modified Guatemala Birding Loop
"We spent two weeks in Guatemala to see the specialty birds of the region. It was the right decision to ask CAYAYA BIRDING to organize our tour. Knut Eisermann was a perfect guide knowing all the birds, the secret places and the culture of the people. He involves local guides which helps finding the birds and supporting the communities. We did see all the special birds of the region we were hoping for plus several real rarities like Unspotted Saw-whet Owl. Being impressed by the incredible landscape, the friendliness of the people, the Mayan historical sites and the many birds, we will come back to Guatemala and we will definitely contact CAYAYA BIRDING again to organize our next trip."
Jochen Baurmeister Frauke Jordt, Pennsylvania, USA, and Frankfurt, Germany.
October 2017, 7-day target trip
"Knut took a friend and I in search of rare species. Even though we weren't able to reach one area due to road closures, Knut was able to quickly come up with alternate locations and great birds. He is a very personable and skilled guide that i would recommend to anyone wanting to bird Guatemala. Also he is a very safe driver."
Ken Havard, Canada.
July 2017, birding day trip from Antigua
"Great birding and great company by a knowledgeable guide, my day trip to Tecpan and Antigua was problems-free and full of regional endemics. Knut (and Claudia) took care of everything before my arrival to Guatemala, and in the field he was very professional (but treat me like a friend, what I appreciate a lot). I got most of my targets and many other goodies! Thanks guys!"
Jan Axel Cubilla, Panama.
June 2017, day trip from Antigua Guatemala
"Claudia was very professional and knowledgeable. Her English was impeccable, and I felt very comfortable spending the day with her. She was lightening quick with her spotting scope, and as a result I was able to see many birds I never would have seen without her assistance. She was a good listener and answered all my questions. I was impressed with her keen ear for the birds. I would highly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING tours to any bird lover. It is worth every penny!"
Tina Collins, USA.
May 2017, 7-day bird photography trip (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"I recommend CAYAYA BIRDING highly for either birders or photographers."
Allan Obertreiber, Texas, USA.
May 2017, day trip from Guatemala City (Tour leader: Claudia Avendaño)
"We were very pleased with our trip. Very much appreciated the expertise of Claudia, who demonstrated extensive knowledge of birds, habitats, and ecology. Everything from our timely pickup, birding, meals together, and transportation was pleasant and professional. Claudia was very patient with our desires to take photos, and linger at various spots. She was an expert in quickly locating and drawing a bead on numerous species."
Bryan & Judy Hollinger, USA.
April-May 2017, 18-day birding trip (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"The trip was absolutely the best. I have been on many guided trips to a number of countries, but none were more well organized and thought out than yours."
Dennis Shirley, Utah, USA.
"Had an amazing experience with CAYAYA BIRDING. I can't think of any way the trip could have got any better. Truly remarkable. Knut was spot on in every way and made the trip a success. We saw nearly every target species we had and enjoyed learning about the country. I would very highly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING for anyone wanting to enjoy the beauty of Guatemala and of course the birds!"
Steve Clark, Utah, USA.
"CAYAYA BIRDING are the Guatemala experts. For expert guiding, logistics planning and knowing where the birds are, you can't beat the team of Knut and Claudia! Thanks for a great trip, guys!!"
Mark Conrad, Arizona, USA.
"Knut & Claudia are the best! They go out of their way to ensure a great trip!"
Lori Conrad, Arizona, USA.
March-April 2017, 14-day birding trip through Guatemala
"Knut and Claudia set up a well-planned trip for us, with comfortable accommodations and good restaurants. The birding locations were really well chosen and researched and Knut's (our guide) ability to hear and spot birds and get a scope on them was extraordinary. We saw more than 340 species on our 2-week trip. Knut had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun to be with. He has found drivers and guides who were also really fun and very helpful. Every detail was taken care of for us, and we never felt uneasy or unsafe at any time in Guatemala. The birding there is extraordinary and some of the sites were real standouts. A good deal of that is actually due to the personal efforts of Knut and Claudia to work with landowners and lodge owners to gain access and to set up their accommodations and bird feeding stations. They have also trained local guides and thoroughly researched the various habitats to be able to locate the target birds. If you want to see the birds of Guatemala, I doubt that you could do better than to go with CAYAYA BIRDING Tours."
Steve Broste - Minnesota, USA.
"On March 23, 2017, four of us Minnesotans joined Knut Eisermann on a 14-day birding trip in Guatemala. We sampled a number of different habitats and areas and saw an amazing 341 birds, including many of the regional endemics. The trip was everything we could have asked for: clean and hospitable accommodations, confident and pleasant drivers who knew their way around Guatemala and Guatemalan traffic, knowledgeable local guides, and - in particular - an outstanding guide and trip leader in Knut Eisermann, who has an encyclopedic wealth of knowledge about Guatemalan birds. Knut knows bird calls so well that he is able to get participants on birds rapidly. He is very proficient with the scope and always concerned that everyone has "seen the bird." He was solicitious of all our needs and target bird lists, and provided us with a wealth of extra information about Guatemala and about birds. He made sure that Steve -a photographer- could get the best shots possible in many difficult situations. Knut also had a great sense of humor which made our down time fun and entertaining. His partner, Claudia, efficiently arranged our tour so there were no glitches or hang-ups, and we all felt that the entire trip was seamlessly organized in a very professional manner. Anyone who is reluctant to try Guatemala as a birding hotspot is definitely missing out if you let outdated information prevent you from going. CAYAYA BIRDING is a company we would not hesitate to use again and recommend wholeheartedly. We have birded in many different Central and South American countries and were pleasantly amazed at the professionalism and expertise CAYAYA BIRDING provided."
Kathy and Donn Mattsson, Cindy and Steve Broste - Minnesota, USA.
March 2017, 9-day birding tour through Guatemala, in collaboration with Quetzal Tours, Fort Collins, Colorado
"Knut Eisermann is a great guide, with an amazing ability to spot birds in many conditions. His knowledge comes from many years of study and birding in Guatemala. He is easy-going, treating all level of birders equally. His English/Spanish language fluency and years of experience in the country makes the travelling experience very comfortable. CAYAYA BIRDING went out of their way to help us with accommodations for our extended stay. Our driver and vehicle were top-notch; the hotels/cabins exceeded our expectations. This is a highly recommended, top value organization."
Bill Killam, USA.
March 2017, 9-day birding trip through Guatemala
"Excellent organized birding tour with Knut as a world-class birding guide."
Fritz Furrer, Switzerland.
"Knut was outstanding, friendly, kind, had unbelievable patience in finding the bird. He knew every call and song (as much as I could tell). The trip was exceptionally well organized and documented."
Alfred Raab, Canada and Panama.
Februar 2017, 3-Tages-Tour im pazifischen Hochland Guatemalas.
"Knut is a very experienced guide, probably premier birding authority in Guatemala. Claudia helped us decide and plan our trip making it an easy process.. I would definitely go again. They are first rate group!"
Wayne Rapp, USA.
Januar 2017, 8-Tages-Tour Vogelfotografie in Guatemala
"Absolutely every detail was beautifully planned and managed by Claudia and Knut...nothing left to chance. Knut was our guide to three different locations and all were terrific. We are photographers rather than twitchers and we left Guatemala with great images of some key birds: Pink-headed Warbler, Orange-breasted Falcon, Ocellated Turkey, plus dozens of other great birds, including three species of motmot and four trogons. Knut is not only immensely knowledgeable, flexible and patient; he is also great company: plenty of laughs along with the birds. For anyone planning a birding trip, or more general nature-oriented trip to Guatemala, there really is no need to look further than CAYAYA BIRDING. Decades of hard work and commitment have made them the absolute leaders for this country."
Kevin Bartlett, Buenos Aires, Argentina. www.kevinbartlettwildlife.com
November 2016, individuelle Rundreise durch Guatemala
"We generally travel independently but had little time to organise a birding trip to Guatemala. Claudia & Knut organised a fantastic birding trip that met all of our expectations. We birded alone in some places and with guides in others and saw all of our target species and more. Great logistical organisation and Claudia & Knut helped ensure that we did not waste valuable birding time when our flight to Tikal was delayed. Guatemala is a fantastic country and we would thoroughly recommend using CAYAYA BIRDING. Thanks very much Claudia & Knut."
Debbie Pain, UK.
August 2016, Quetzal-Tour
"Knut has been my guide for two separate tours in the last 3 weeks. One day trip around Antigua, and the other was a 3-day, 2-night tour of Motagua Valley and Biotopo del Quetzal. The goal of the latter trip was to find the Resplendent Quetzal. We found it, and it was amazing! Knut is incredibly knowledgable about the birds of Central America (and beyond). I didn't get the opportunity to bird with Claudia, but she always responded to my emails, questions and concerns quickly, and always with a "we can make this work", attitude! I am very grateful to these two for an incredible birding experience in Guatemala! Until next time!"
David Schas, Oregon, USA.
August 2016, Tagestour von Antigua Guatemala
"Since the first response to my email, I realized that CAYAYA BIRDING was a great find. The information provided and the proposed plan were just what I needed and it all went as expected. The professionalism of Claudia was amazing and finding the target species seemed like a routine for her. Besides the great birding, I had a very pleasent time talking about plants, geography and culture."
Esteban Biamonte, Costa Rica.
Juli 2016, Tagestour von Guatemala Stadt
"Birded with Knut one day in Finca Pilar close to Antigua. Would have to say he is one of the best birding guides I have ever hired. The Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl and the Ocellated Quail were just two of the great birds we saw that day. Without him as a guide I would have found very few birds. I have also birded with Claudia, and they are both great birding guides."
Mike Parker, USA.
Juli 2016, Tagestour von Antigua Guatemala
"At first, I didn't know what to expect, but I was taken completely off guard at how great this trip ended up being! Knut was my guide, and he is incredibly knowledgable about the birds of Guatemala (it appears his partner, Claudia is as well). It was fun to see a veteran birder get as excited as a kid when finding a bird that he sees almost everyday. I highly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING for any birding experience. I will be going with them again before I go home! They plan everything for you, leaving you with nothing to worry about!"
David Schas, Oregon, USA.
April-May 2016, customized 2-weeks birding loop for 6 birders
"In May 2016 five friends and I were guided by CAYAYA BIRDING in western Guatemala and Tikal NP. This was my second birdwatching tour with Knut and Claudia (principals of CAYAYA BIRDING) and both trips were truly excellent. Knut and Claudia work together as a smooth team to ensure that everyone's needs are met -- every day of the tour.
An unexpected highlight of the recent trip was spotting a Baird's Tapir in Tikal -- a thrill for everyone!"
Mike Mulligan, Canada.
"I cannot believe the patience you two had for us all!! The different personalities, and abilities in a group can only present some amazing challenges for you...but you both handled them well! This was the most organized group birding trip I have been on! Thank you so much for such a wonderful time visiting and sharing in the life and birds of Guatemala!"
Diane Kook, USA.
May 2016, 9-day target trip
"As semi-independent birders who also like to intersperse non birding days, this second trip designed with CAYAYA BIRDING recommendations and complete arrangements, meets and exceeds our requirements (birding with a group has too many challenges; life's too short ;-)"
Byron and Elizabeth Ryono, USA.
April 2016, 6-day target trip
"Guatemala + CAYAYA BIRDING = World class birding, a match made in ornithological heaven."
Stuart Millar, Trinidad.
February 2016, multiple day trips
"CAYAYA BIRDING provided expert birding, intimate knowledge of the country, and meticulous trip planning."
Gregory Palermo, USA.
November 2015, 6-day customized target birding trip, (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"I highly recommend Knut as a guide. His ability to spot birds I couldn't see was uncanny. They went above and beyond to get my luggage to me when it missed my flight and arrived later."
David McDonald, Houston, Texas, USA.
November 2015, 4-day birding trip in the Pacific slope highlands of Guatemala, (Tour leader: Claudia Avendaño)
"Just finished a 5 day tour of the highlands and lake atitlan with Claudia - It was an amazing experience!! She is so knowledgeable the birding, but also the culture and history of the region. We can't wait to go again!"
Ashley Meagher, USA.
June 2015, 17-day customized target birding trip, (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"CAYAYA BIRDING is outstanding: they not only offer world-class guides, but remarkably comfortable accommodation. They have taken care to ensure good relations with the communities they visit, which means you will not only see a long list of endemics and rarities, but also learn a lot about Guatemala's cultural diversity."
Matthew Koch, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
April 2015, 9-day birding in the Atlantic slope highlands and lowlands (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"We had a wonderful birding vacation that included fabulous views of birds as well as seeing different parts of Guatemala's country and culture. One of our most fun birding trips!"
Peggy and Gordon Tans, USA and Nicaragua.
March 2015, 9-days tailor-made tour for Quetzal Tours, Colorado (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
"Had a fantastic time here in Guatemala for my first visit. Would recommend this trip to any good birder wanting to expand there birding into a new location. Looking forward to another trip in the future to this beautiful place being guided by Knut and Company. "
Mark Amershek, Denver, Colorado, USA.
February 2015, costumized 14-day target tour (Tour leaders: Knut Eisermann and Kevin Easley)
"Things ran very well. "
Larry Peavler, USA.
"It was a great trip with several challenging trails. The birds were sometimes hard to find, but the guides were excellent in all ways."
Eugene Keferl, USA.
February 2015, 9-day birding in Pacific slope highlands and Tikal (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"Knut is The Man when it comes to birding in Guatemala. He works like the Energizer Bunny - all day and into the night."
Larry Sirvio, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA.
"We had 8 great days birding in Guatemala. CAYAYA BIRDING did a wonderful job providing a wonderful and friendly guide, good accommodations and the transportation was really reliable. Thanks Claudia and Knut for organizing the tour for us."
Yolanda Sirvio, Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA.
Dezember 2014 - Januar 2015, 16-tägige Vogelbeobachtungsreise für Bartmeise-Reisen (Reiseleiter: Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño, Reisebericht):
"Die Reise besticht durch eine perfekte Organisation und eine fachlich hoch kompetente Reiseleitung, die den Reisenden darüber hinaus ein familiäres Flair als wesentlichen Wohlfühlfaktor zu geben vermag. Neben der eigentlichen fachlichen Zielstellung kommen auch historische und ethologische Informationen nicht zu kurz. Eine Birding-Tour, die jedem "Birdwatcher" wärmstens empfohlen werden kann. 300 Vogelarten sind garantiert! Auch ist genügend Zeit zur Vogelfotografie."
Klaus und Karin Eulenberger, Leipzig, Germany.
"Ich habe es nicht bereut, Guatemala und seine Vogelwelt mit CAYAYA BIRDING in Kooperation mit BARTMEISE-Reisen kennenzulernen. Ein Geheimtipp, der wohl bald keiner mehr ist, da man beide ruhigen Gewissens weiterempfehlen kann."
Beate Weber, Chemnitz, Germany.
"Nach 2008 wiederholte ich zum Jahreswechsel 2014/15 eine vogelkundliche Reise durch Guatemala - diesmal in anderer Jahreszeit und überwiegend in neue Regionen. Ein zweites mal wurden meine Erwartungen erfüllt. In bewährter Weise boten Claudia & Knut wieder ein gut vorbereitetes und funktionierendes Rund-um-Paket. Egal ob Unterkünfte & Verpflegung, Transport & Transfer, Insiderwissen zu Land & Leute, fachkundige Erläuterungen zu Vögeln oder medizinischer Beistand - nichts wurde dem Zufall überlassen. Während Knut für besonders hungrige Beobachter auch noch in der "Freizeit" optionale Exkursionen anbot, konnte ich Claudia immer wieder beobachten, wie sie zwischen den einzelnen Aufenthaltsorten unermüdlich die nächste Station abcheckte, damit bei unserer Ankunft alles klappte. Da beide kontinuierlich an der Erschließung neuer Zielgebiete arbeiten, sind weitere interessante Entdeckungsreisen sowohl für Neulinge als auch für Kenner in Aussicht gestellt. Ich freue mich auf ein weiteres Wiedersehen - Herzlichen Dank Claudia & Knut für diese unvergessliche Zeit!"
Birgit von Lienen, Chemnitz, Germany.
December 20114, 11-day birding tour focused on target birds (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann)
"Our guide, Knut Eisermann was EXCELLENT!!! I was impressed by his bird knowledge, phenomenal eyes and ears, and on how well he took care of us. He was charming at all times, attuned to all of our needs both birdwise and otherwise, and extremely patient and considerate. He is lightning-fast on getting a bird in the scope! He is also a very safe driver. We had a delightful time. Claudia Avendaño was very prompt on her responses to all of our queries. Her pre-trip information was comprehensive and very clear. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in birding Guatemala contact them first. "
Lorna L. Engleman, MD, and Dodge Engleman, MD, San Antonio, TX.
Co-authors of: A bird-finding guide to Panama.
April-Mai 2014, 16-tägige Vogelbeobachtungsreise für Bartmeise-Reisen (Reiseleiter: Knut Eisermann, Reisebericht):
"Als ich von BARTMEISE-REISEN das Angebot für eine 16-tägige vogelkundliche Reise durch Guatemala erhielt, habe ich mit der Buchung nicht lange gezögert. Der Reiseablauf sowie die umfangreichen Informationen auf der Homepage des örtlichen Reiseunternehmens CAYAYA BIRDING haben mich davon überzeugt, dass es sich um eine außergewöhnlich attraktive Erkundungstour handelt. Gemeinsam mit weiteren drei Ornithologen habe ich mich vom 25. April bis 10. Mai 2014 in die Obhut unseres Reiseleiters Knut Eisermann begeben. Rückblickend kann ich feststellen: Diese vogelkundliche Reise hat meine Erwartungen in jeder Hinsicht übertroffen. Die Gesamtorganisation war hervorragend und die Auswahl der Hotels und Lodges entsprach den Vorstellungen. Der Reiseverlauf berücksichtigte unterschiedliche Lebensräume und schuf somit gute Voraussetzungen, um zahlreiche und zum Teil auch seltene Vogelarten beobachten zu können. Am Ende der Reise standen beachtliche 356 Arten auf der Gesamtliste. Diese Bilanz ist vor allem Knut Eisermann zu verdanken, der nicht nur hervorragende Kenntnisse über die Vogelwelt Guatemalas besitzt, sondern auch ein exzellenter Beobachter ist. Beeindruckend war dabei insbesondere seine Sicherheit, mit der er auch seltene Vogelarten im dichten Regenwald aufspürte. Knut Eisermann habe ich nicht nur als einen begeisterten Ornithologen kennen gelernt, sondern zugleich als einen engagierten Anwalt in Sachen Natur- und Artenschutz. Seine liebenswürdige und umsichtige Betreuung gehört neben den außergewöhnlichen Eindrücken über das Land - einschließlich der zahlreichen faszinierenden Naturerlebnisse - zu den unvergesslichen Erfahrungen dieser Reise. Guatemala war für mich ein Erlebnis der besonderen Art. Für Ornithologen und natürlich auch für Naturfreunde mit anderen Interessengebieten ist dieses Land ein beachtenswerter Geheimtipp!"
Peter Tischler, Halle (Saale).
"Ich kann die Reise jedem Orni empfehlen, der sich intensiv mit der Vogelwelt Guatemalas vertraut machen will. In zwei Wochen bekommt man die wichtigsten, meist sogar seltensten und zudem überwiegend farbenprächtigen Vögel des Landes gezeigt. Ich hatte nie das Gefühl bedroht zu sein, eine Gefährdung für mich konnte ich im ganzen Land nirgends erkennen."
Reinhard Möckel, Sonnewalde.
"Die Neotropis, als vogelreichste Region der Erde, sollte jeder Ornithologe einmal besucht haben. Einen besonderen Stellenwert nimmt dabei Mittelamerika ein, da hier alle weitreisenden Zugvögel Nordamerikas auf schmalem "Pfad" durchziehen. Ganz besonders empfehelnswert ist dabei Guatemala mit seinem exzellenten Guide-Paar Knut Eisermann und Claudia Avendaño."
Volker Löschner, Bornsdorf.
April 2014, 11-days tailor-made tour for seeing special birds of northern Central America (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
My experience in Guatemala could not have been better. Knut is a very accomplished guide who knows the birds beyond field guide information.
Mark Lockwood, Alpine, TX, USA.
Senior author of: The TOS Handbook of Texas Birds, Second Edition
A fantastic tour! Very well-organized, with friendly, enthusiastic, and expert guides that knew where to find the birds we wanted to see. They made sure we were well taken care of, and they worked hard to ensure that everyone in our group saw the birds we were targeting. All lodging was highly satisfactory and we never missed a meal. Extremely pleasant and highly recommended!
Paul Sunby, Austin, TX, USA.
March 2014, 9-days tailor-made tour for Quetzal Tours, Colorado (Tour leaders: Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño):
This trip is a must for any avid bird watcher that loves to experience beautiful birds and nature while hiking through beautiful countryside. This trip had a perfect blend of bird watching, flora and fauna and culture. The guides Knut and Claudia are superb!
Karen Hopf, USA.
I was pleased with every component of this tour.
Warren Bilkey, USA.
December 2013, 9-days tailor-made tour for Quetzal Tours, Colorado (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
I highly recommended CAYAYA BIRDING! My trip to Guatemala was the birding trip of a lifetime for me. It was relaxing and fun and I was astonished by the number of birds I was able to observe in 6 days. Our guide, Knut, was fabulous! He had keen senses and in-depth knowledge of the local birds. He was able to get a scope focused on hard to see birds in a flash! Knut is not only an outstanding bird guide, but also has an easy going personality with a great sense of humor. The trip was very well organized and went smoothly, despite weather-related flight cancelations that got us to Guatemala City a day later than originally planned.
Melannie Hartman, USA.
April 2013, 12-days tailor-made tour for seeing special birds of northern Central America (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
A great trip with an excellent guide. Our trip went smoothly and we saw more speciality species than we expected.
Dave Sargeant, Thailand (Trip report).
We found Knut Eisermann an extremely knowledgable, enthusiastic, patient and attentive leader. He knows the birds, the locations, the people. He involves local guides that he trained himself wherever possible - we were impressed by this. His sense of humour is also an asset.
Ian D. Harrison, Aberaeron, UK.
February 2013, 9-days tailor-made tour for Quetzal Tours, Colorado (Tour leaders: Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño):
It was a delightful trip from beginning to end. Communication was clear in the planning stages and throughout the entire trip; we were met directly outside the Guatemala City airport upon arrival; we had good accommodations and transportation and great food. And, most especially, Knut and Claudia were 'over-the-top' birders! We loved their total friendliness and cheerfulness and their skills at hearing, seeing and identifying Guatemalan birds was amazing. The whole experience was so enriching and enjoyable that it makes us want to return for more!
Ann and John Reichhardt, Colorado, USA.
My expectations for the trip were filled far beyond my expectations. There was never a moment when I was not emersed in the culture of Guatemala or its environment. From sun-up to sun-down. I never expected to be as totally engaged as I was and still am.
Rita R. Kelley, Colorado, USA.
March 2012, 9-days tailor-made tour for Quetzal Tours, Colorado (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
Birding with Knut and Claudia is a double benefit. Not only do you get the best birding experience and expertise, but you are also supporting conservation and habitat/ecological awareness efforts through their programs with locals. Teach the local people about birds, employ them as paid citizen scientists, increase awareness about caring for the earth and support the local economy.
Ruth Stewart, Vermont, USA.
Knut and Claudia make an ideal team: she covers office duties, is gracious and thorough as a client liaison, and is a good-humored and skillful guide when she gets out to bird. Most importantly, she is an excellent listener, a highly valued skill when dealing with tourists from many places, all with their special "needs." Knut is CAYAYA BIRDING´s expert in the field: driver, translator, cultural explainer, and feather-smoother when there is friction. Of course, he is an ace at wildlife hunting and identification (in several languages). It does not hurt that he also has a wonderful sense of humor, a broad European education, and a refreshingly modest sense of self. (What a welcome break from being guided by some bird experts with their enormous egos!) He is sensitive to client needs at every turn, and his quick-draw scope set-up was a marvel.
Furthermore, when we asked about Culture, Ethnicity and Politics (all potential landmines for a guide), Knut had just the right touch: he was able to create even more interest in us with his very subtle take on all these questions. We came home curious to learn more.
CAYAYA BIRDING is very careful with client safety; we were happy that they took advantage of Guatemala´s "park police escorts," who, while usually quite young, were punctual, reliable, and at least looked dauntless as they followed or accompanied us here and there off the beaten track. We felt that this was another way of showing Guatemalans that tourists value the natural world they have in abundance; and that most of us want to see old-growth forest surviving in their country.
We much admired CAYAYA BIRDING's effort to find and train locals to carry on and expand the mission of conservation throughout the country. Their Christmas Bird Count is a marvel of determination and organization: one that many Audubon chapters in the U.S. might envy (and not just because of the exotic birds).
Visit Guatemala - the endemics are sensational; and the experience as varied, colorful and rich as any you will find elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
Linda and Jean-Pierre Georges, Colorado, USA.
August 2011, Booking of services for independent travelers (hotels, transportation, local guides):
We have just returned home from Guatemala and I wanted to send you a note to express how thoroughly we enjoyed our travels in your country: our trip was everything and more than we had imagined and wished for!! We feel fulfilled by the beauty of the land and the kind spirit of the people. We are extremely grateful for your help in making our trip come together; every service which you arranged for us was wonderful, without exception.
By far, the absolute best part was your wonderful guides: Josué and Luis!! At our request, our tours with them were conducted in Spanish. They taught us so very much, generously sharing their knowledge and expertise, as well as their love for nature, community and their homeland. They listened to our interests and fine-tuned the touring for our needs. They were patient and professional and fun.
The drivers were all professional, punctual and conscientious about our safety and comfort.
Guatemala is now in our hearts! Thank you, Claudia.
Laura Werner and Joe Rivera, USA.
June 2011, Booking of services for independent travelers (hotels, transportation, local guides):
My Wife and I used CAYAYA BIRDING to arrange all of our ground transportation, lodging and guides for our trip to Tikal, Guatemala. Claudia was wonderful to work with and everything from the van driver to our birding guide Luis were absolutely top notch. The trip was an outstanding experience. I would give my highest recommendation to CAYAYA BIRDING for anyone traveling to Guatemala.
Russ Roundy, Spokane, Washington.
March 2011, 21-days tailor-made tour focused on bird photography (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann):
Für eine Reise nach Guatemala nur zu empfehlen!
Peter Wächtershäuser (Bad Homburg) www.naturlichter.de
September 2010, birding tour with local bird guides:
If birding in Guatemala CAYAYA BIRDING is your best bet!
Augusto Faustino (Portugal).
November 2010, birding tour incl. Pacific and Atlantic slope highlands, and Tikal (Tour leader: Knut Eisermann and local guides):
My wife, Becky, and I recently spent two weeks birding and travelling in Guatemala with another couple where we used CAYAYA BIRDING for logistical support and bird guiding. We were extremely pleased with both aspects including the local guides that they have identified and mentored. Knut and Claudia are developing the birding eco-tourism industry in Guatemala and we would highly recommend them to any groups or independent birders considering a trip.
Jim Carlson (Eugene, Oregon, USA).
1-9 May 2010, Tikal and Pacific slope highlands (Leaders: Claudia Avendaño and Luis Oliveros):
We were particularly impressed with the knowledge and proffessionalism of our guides Claudia and Luis. We particularly appreciated the time that they took to drive us around and to explain to us the history and the many cultures of Guatemala. We feel that we had a very personalized trip and picture of Guatamala. A very special adventure.
Anita and Marlin Jones (Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, and McCall, Idaho, USA).
15-25 April 2010, customized hummingbird tour (Leader: Claudia Avendaño and Knut Eisermann):
Claudia was great in helping us set up our tour. She asked us questions that helped us to have a better tour. Claudia greeted us at the airport upon arrival and was our tour guide the first afternoon. We had a leisurely afternoon as far as hard core birding goes, however, when the afternoon was over Claudia had already found over twenty birds that was on our target list. Not to mention, countless of other birds that was not on our list. Claudia was fun to be with, enthusiastic, patient, and a great birder.
The next morning we were met by Knut at our hotel. Knut too was a joy to be around, and a fantastic birder. Knut always had energy to spare of which we could have used a little of his at times. Knut knew where to look for targeted birds. He recognized them instantly by sound, and sight, and was good at directing us so we could see them. His skills with his spotting scope were commendable. Knut also has a wide set of natural history skills outside of birds that anyone should take advantage of. Knut´s people skills were as good as his birding skills. Whether you are looking for target species or just interested in a general birding tour. We strongly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING Tours.
Gretchen and Stanley Jones, Bryan, TX, USA.
24 December 2009 - 1 January 2010, Tikal and Pacific slope highlands (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
Great birds, great scenery, great food, great trip. My son and I had a wonderful and memorable time. Knut and Claudia did an excellent job for us, and we hope to visit Guatemala with them again soon.
Iain Ewing (Ewing Communications), Singapore.
27 December 2009 - 5 January 2010, Pacific slope highlands and Tikal (Leader: Claudia Avendaño):
Claudia organised our trip perfectly. We had some terrific birding in the highlands and at Tikal, with a good insight into the highland region and the chance to explore the great ruins at Tikal. We should have stayed longer!
Marcus I'Anson, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.
11-17 November 2009, Pacific and Highland Endemics Tour with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Claudia Avendaño):
In the short period of five days, Claudia and Josué showed me 135 bird species around Antigua, at Tecpán and at Los Tarrales, including Pink-headed Warbler, Tody Motmot and lots of hummingbirds, many species that are difficult to find anywhere but in Guatemala. If one includes a tour to the Atlantic slope, which I did not do, Guatemala is a good alternative to visiting Costa Rica. I liked particularly how CAYAYA BIRDING collaborates with Los Tarrales to bring sustainable agriculture, nature conservation, ecotourism and ornithological science together.
Hans-Ulrich Bernard, Irvine, CA, USA.
September 1-7, 2008, Pacific Slope and Highland Endemics Tour with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Claudia Avendaño):
"My husband Herman D´Entremont and I had a wonderful introduction to Guatemalan birds and culture which we describe in detail at http://theworld.com/~eva/guatemala.html. In short, Herman got thirty-some life-birds and I got nice avian photo-ops. We were safe and comfortable and well fed throughout the week, and we met great people. Herman has a few disabilities which CAYAYA BIRDING accommodated beautifully. Two thumbs way up!"
Eva Casey, Somerville, MA, USA.
26 April - 12 May 2008, IV Große VSO-Reise Siehe Reisebericht (Reiseleiter: Knut Eisermann und Claudia Avendaño):
"So stelle ich mir eine vogelkundliche Reise durch ein Land vor!"
Hartmut Meyer, Geschäftsführer, Verein Sächsischer Ornithologen, Hohenstein-Ernstthal.
"Die Reise war sehr gut geplant und dank der prima Vorbereitung klappte alles hervorragend. Das betrifft die Auswahl der Quartiere und Gaststätten und natürlich ganz besonders auch der unterschiedlichen Lebensräume. Beeindruckend war, mit welcher Sicherheit die gesuchten Vogelarten auch wirklich gefunden werden konnten. Auch der kulturelle Rahmen war gut abgesteckt, so wurden uns Einblicke in die Geschichte und Kultur des Landes ermöglicht. Ich kann und werde solcherart ornithologische Erkundungsreisen jederzeit weiterempfehlen. " Siehe Reisebericht
Klaus Fabian, Dresden.
"Diese Reise, die durch Knut Eisermann und Claudia Avendaño (CAYAYA BIRDING) speziell für die Vereinsmitglieder des VSO e.V. organisiert und durchgeführt wurde, habe ich mit der Erwartung angetreten, Einblicke in die Vogelwelt des mittelamerikanischen Staates zu erhalten, aber auch Land und Leute kennen zu lernen. Hinzu kommt mein ganz persönliches Interesse, die Aktivitäten, die unserer Freunde Knut und Claudia für den Naturschutz und für die Maya-Bevölkerung leisten, einmal direkt vor Ort, und nicht nur durch Vorträge in Deutschland zu erleben. Meine Erwartungen wurden durch das Erlebte übertroffen. Die Reise wird für mich ein unvergesslich schönes Erlebnis bleiben. Knut Eisermann - aus Chemnitz stammend - ist durch seinen mehr als 10-jährigen Aufenthalt in Guatemala zu einem absoluten Kenner sowohl der guatemaltekischen Avifauna als auch der durchziehenden Arten aus Nordamerika geworden. So erhielten wir zu allen gesehenen Vögeln eine fachkundige Erklärung über Unterscheidungsmerkmale und Verbreitung der jeweiligen Art. Die Erklärung erfolgte sowohl im Bestimmungsbuch wie auch am Vogel selbst. Gemeinsam mit Claudia Avendaño führt er unter Einbeziehung der einheimischen Bevölkerung langfristige Vogelmonitoringprogramme in ganz Guatemala durch. Das Vertrauensverhältnis, das Beide dabei zu den Mayas aufgebaut haben, durften wir durch Einblicke in das Leben der Q'eqchi' Maya auf unserer Reise erleben. Unvergesslich auch die Führung durch den Tikal Nationalpark, der mit seinen Maya-Pyramiden inmitten endlosen Regenwaldes seit 1979 zum UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe gehört. Zusammengefasst: Die Reise war von der Begrüßung bis zur Verabschiedung am Flughafen Guatemala-City perfekt und liebevoll organisiert und durchgeführt. Vielen Dank Claudia und Knut! " Siehe Reisebericht
Dieter Kronbach, Limbach-Oberfrohna.
28 December 2007 - 3 January 2008, Customized Birding Tour with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
"Claudia Avendaño and Knut Eisermann organized a one week custom tour for Pacific slope bird specialties and the cultural attractions of colonial Antigua and Lake Atitlán. Knut was an outstanding guide and personable companion. His knowledge of the birds is encyclopedic, and his sharp eyes and perseverance were greatly appreciated." See trip report
Robert Orenstein, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
May 2007, 5 days birding tour focused on regional endemics with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
"In 2005, my wife and I went to Guatemala on holiday for a week in November. During that trip, we arranged a 3 day birding trip with CAYAYA BIRDING to look for the Horned Guan. We had a very successful (albeit very strenuous) hike up the side of Volcano Atitlan, the highlight of which was prolonged looks at two Horned Guans looking back at us. I was very impressed with everything about Knut Eisermann, co-owner, chief cook and bottle washer for CAYAYA BIRDING. He is a brilliant field ornithologist, a great logistician and an all-around very pleasant fellow. Thus when business took me back to Guatemala in May 2007, I pre-arranged a 5 day trip with Knut once again. My goal this time was to look for Resplendent Quetzals and look for highland rainforest owls." See trip report
Alan van Norman, Bismarck, North Dakota, USA
May 2007, 5 days birding tour focused on regional endemics with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
"I thought the tour was very well organized. Knut is a very good bird guide and knows the birds very well. The places we stayed, especially Tarrales and Chelemha were wonderful."
Patty O'Neill, Milton, MA, USA
"I found Knut knowledgable and full of energy. We found birds effeciently. The accommodations were good and the food excellent."
Bob Walton, USA
April 2007, 8 days birding tour focused on regional endemics with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
"Until recently, I'd never thought too much about birding Guatemala. Our trip with Knut has convinced to return as soon as possible and see more of this fascinating country. Experiencing the Mayan culture and the fabulous birds in the mountains is something I'll never forget. Having traveled with other birding companies, I'd have to recommend CAYAYA BIRDING over the others for personal service and effort given to show us every possible species. A truly remarkable experience. "
Howard King, Riverside, CA, USA
"Knut and Claudia are amazing.....we told them what we wanted to see and they planned a perfect itinerary. We saw almost all of our target birds! Can't wait to do another trip with them! "
Lori Conrad, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA
March 2007, 10 days birding tour with CAYAYA BIRDING (Leader: Knut Eisermann):
"CAYAYA BIRDING did a great job for us and was outstanding both in terms of the birding and the logistics of the trip. Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño, who run CAYAYA BIRDING together, are deeply knowledgeable about the avifauna of Guatemala, are great birders and organized everything without a hitch. They are working hard surveying the birdlife in Guatemala, developing birding and eco-tourism through local lodges such as Los Tarrales and Chelemha (described below), and exposing Guatemala as a first rate birding destination with marquee species that may be found more easily in Guatemala than in any other area. We would heartily recommend them for anyone interested in birding in Guatemala." See trip report
Jeffrey F. Peters, Weston, MA, USA
March 2005, 3 days customized birding tour in Guatemalan highlands with CAYAYA BIRDING (Guide: Knut Eisermann):
"Guatemala was a pleasant surprise: perhaps two well-kept secrets should be dispelled now. 1. There is a good tourist infrastructure, better than expected, with comfortable accommodation and decent roads. 2. There is a knowledgeable local birder (Knut) who can show you all the birds, including Horned Guan (see photo), Azure-rumped (Cabanis') Tanager and Blue-throated Motmot. Anyone interested in wildlife or Mayan culture will not be disappointed. For the serious birder, there is the chance to see some rare species not easily seen elsewhere in Central America. There should be no reason to put off a trip to Guatemala: start your planning now."
Geoff Dobbs, County Bird Recorder, East Yorkshire, England.
February 2005, 17 days customized birding tour with CAYAYA BIRDING:
"We were 6 senior Danes, however still quite venturous and with great love for nature, some of us especially keen on birds. We found CAYAYA BIRDING on the internet which we never regretted. We got the most excellent service with regard to planning a trip quite according to our wishes and with their professional advice. More than 300 birds were seen during the 17 days we spent in Guatemala. Knut has a talent for spotting, hearing, and recognizing everything. And for our guidance he was carrying these very heavy field guides all the time, so that he could at once show us in the books the birds in question and point out their characteristics. We learnt a lot, and we loved all the sites on the trip. As an extra service, Claudia joined us during the trip to Monterrico, because of the small boats where we had to split up in two groups. They wanted us to have a guide on each boat - isn’t that service ! And it was nice for us to get this opportunity to meet Claudia, who had done so much work for us in planning our trip, not only in Guatemala, but also in El Salvador, where we were going afterwards. The tour with Knut and Claudia was quite exceptional, not only because of their professional competence and their ability to take care of our well-being, but also because of their great sense of humour which meant that we enjoyed their company so much." See trip report by Kirsten Geertz-Hansen
Kirsten Geertz-Hansen, Farum, Denmark.
February 2005, 6 days birding in Petén with CAYAYA BIRDING (Guide: Claudia Avendaño):
"Claudia’s expertise and hospitality is a joy and I can only recommend bird-watching with her. You will not only see the birds but also improve your identifying the different calls. I shall definitely tour with them again!"
Eva Kiefer, Zurich, Switzerland.
November 2004, 6 days birding in southern highlands and Guatemalan south coast with CAYAYA BIRDING (Guide: Knut Eisermann):
"I was looking for a birding tour to take in November 2004. I scanned the birding tour companies and I came across CAYAYA BIRDING. The website is maintained by Knut Eisermann, the co-owner and tour guide. Knut has put a tremendous amount of work into the site. In addition to the normal information, he has included area descriptions, bird species list for each area and much more useful information. The tour was a customized one: we visited pine and oak forests, dry forest, coastal areas, coffee palntations and some highlands. The birding was outstanding as was the guide. Knut is a wonderful guide as his knowledge of the birds and their songs is remarkable. The CAYAYA BIRDING staff had all the logistics worked out well and the entire trip was a great success. In short, I had a great time birding in Guatemala. Thanks Knut."
Jerry Miller, Simi Valley, California.
January 2004, 4 days birding in Los Tarrales with CAYAYA BIRDING (Guide: Claudia Avendaño):
"Claudia was very professional, and both her range and depth of ornithological knowledge were appreciated by our tour members. Claudia patiently explained to our two neophyte birders about "What to look for first," and simultaneously excited our experienced "birder" about the subtilties of both visual and audio identification. Further, your Guide’s commitment to training Guatemala’s indigenous peoples about long-run resource management was plainly evident in her interaction with our "local" guides. All your promised tour services were delivered promptly and with courtesy. We have recommended CAYAYA BIRDING to two Guatemalan families and our US friends at home." See trip report
Steve and Liz Welch, Wakefield, Road Island, USA.
November 2003, 3 days birding in Los Tarrales with CAYAYA BIRDING (Guide: Claudia Avendaño):
"We found CAYAYA BIRDING to be professional, flexible, and thorough. Claudia provided us with excellent birdwatching as well as information on flora and fauna. The accommodations at Los Tarrales were adequate and comfortable and the food was good. We were able to see a working coffee plantation as well as an exotic plant farm. We even met the schoolteacher on the finca and enjoyed watching the children."
David Cole and Betty Slade, Westport Point, Massachusetts, USA.
April 2003, Natur- und Foto-Tour mit CAYAYA BIRDING (Reiseleiter: Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño):
" 3 Wochen CAYAYA BIRDING heißt:
- Natur- und Kulturerlebnisse pur.
- 180 beobachtete Vogelarten unter fachlich kompotenter Führung.
- Ornithologisch Super- 1A Kenntnisse vor allem der Vogelstimmen.
- Familiäres Ambiente rund um die Uhr.
- Hautnahes Erleben verschiedener Naturschutz- Projekte der beiden Initiatoren.
- Kennenlernen einer intensiven Zusammenarbeit mit der indigenen Bevölkerung, die vor allem beim Vogel- Monitoring auf fachlich hohem Niveau erfolgt.
Wir danken CAYAYA BIRDING für 3 erlebnisreiche Wochen. Wir hoffen, dass Eure Arbeit im Bereich des Naturschutzes Erfolg hat, damit "Quetzal & Co" weiterhin durch die Regenwälder fliegen." Reisebericht
Yvette Glass, Ulrich Schuster, Wiebke Schuster (Chemnitz).
März 2003, 12 Tage Naturreise mit CAYAYA BIRDING (Reiseleiter: Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño):
"Wir haben mit Claudia und Knut 12 Tage lang eine sehr spannende, sehr dichte und sehr liebevoll vorbereitete Tour durch die wichtigsten Regionen Guatemalas erlebt, bei der keine Frage unbeantwortet blieb und alles bestens geklappt hat. Dabei waren wir immer bestens untergebracht in sorgfältig ausgewählten Quartieren außerhalb der großen Touristenpfade. Beide überzeugen durch ihre souveräne wissenschaftliche Sachkenntnis sowohl in kulturellen als auch in ökologischen und landeskundlichen Fragestellungen als auch durch ihr Engagement für ihre spannenden Projekte. Dabei ist gleichzeitig ihre unaufdringliche, aber immer aufmerksame Art der Vermittlung hervorzuheben. Wir haben uns immer sicher, gut betreut und bestens versorgt gefühlt, die landesübliche Verpflegung war immer sehr gut und bekömmlich. Die CAYAYA BIRDING homepage ist keine Übertreibung."
Vera Luthardt und Günther Vahrson, (Fachhochschule Eberswalde).