Honduras Sketching Retreat

Dates: February 13-21, 2020
Tour Fee: $2,850 single / $3,700 double occupancy
Leaders: Christine Elder and local guides
Questions: Contact Christine Elder
How to Register: Click the button below to view and download the tour itinerary and registration form.

Watch the Introductory Video



I’ve been dreaming up this program for years and once I visited Pico Bonito in Honduras, I knew it had to happen there. For 2019, I’m excited to bring this trip back for a third time. My goals are to inspire you to look more deeply and empower you to sketch more freely. I can’t wait to meet you in this amazing tropical paradise!

  • Luxurious accommodations at the Lodge at Pico Bonito, with your own private cabin, veranda, and hammock.

  • Daily workshops and presentations; learn about sketching tools and techniques and local natural history.

  • Visit Cuero y Salado Coastal Wildlife Refuge by train and boat through mangrove estuaries to view monkeys, crocodiles, butterflies and myriad wetland birds.

  • Visit Rio Santiago Nature Resort, the “Hummingbird Capital of Honduras.”

  • Private naturalist-led hikes; stroll through the rainforest jungle with English-speaking Lodge guides.

  • 400 acres of tropical flora: orchids, bromeliads, hibiscus, heliconia, and much more, right on the property.

  • Over 100 species of easily seen tropical birds: oropendolas, parrots, woodpeckers, motmots, toucans, trogons, tanagers, and up to 15 species of tropical hummingbirds. Birds will regularly visit the Lodge’s easily observed fruit and nectar feeders, practically posing for your pencil and paintbrush!

  • Plenty of free time, with daily opportunities for private reflection and relaxation. Options include: swimming in the pool or rivers; sitting on the lodge deck, sipping a beverage, and watching hummingbirds whiz by; or exploring the lush gardens and trails on your own. You may also choose to simply snooze in your private hammock, enjoying the exotic sounds of the jungle.

  • Conservation Funding: a portion of the proceeds will support habitat conservation in the region.

  • Space is limited to a maximum of 8 participants for a high quality and intimate experience!

Bonus: Your trip fee includes Christine’s new online course, Introduction to Nature Sketching, which comprises eight modules through which you can progress at your own pace, either before the retreat or anytime afterwards. It covers basic skills for sketching plants and birds in the field, taught using video tutorials and downloadable guides. This course normally sells for $125, but trip participants receive it for free!  


You’ll study with professional naturalist, teaching artist, and biological illustrator, Christine Elder. Her experience as a freelance illustrator includes projects for organizations such as the National Park Service, Botanical Society of America, and BirdsCaribbean. For over twenty years, Christine has been teaching people of all ages and ability levels to draw and paint nature’s wonders. She has led bird-sketching workshops in Jamaica, Mexico, Alaska, and California, and she is a regular art instructor in her home state of Oregon. Christine is also a frequent co-leader of other Paradise Birding tours, having traveled  from Alaska to Florida, and to international destinations such as Borneo, Italy, Honduras, Peru and the Caribbean. In Honduras, she will share her best secrets and techniques for sketching birds and blossoms in pencil, pen, and watercolor.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my sketching trip to Honduras with Christine Elder and Stephen Shunk. It was the perfect combination of seeing incredible wildlife, learning new sketching skills, seeing birds that I’ve never seen before, and enjoying some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. I came home inspired to paint all the beautiful wildlife that I had experienced while there and I have noticed that my sketching skills have improved dramatically! I’m still glowing about our vacation, it was perfect!
— Julie Herlinger, California
Our trip to Honduras was wonderful. I loved everything about it. There are so many nice memories, and it was lots of fun trying to sketch plants and animals, and great food, and a really lovely place to stay. Esdras was fab, and so were you. Thanks again for a great trip
— Kris Falco, Oregon
Thanks to Christine for a wonderful trip and an excellent introduction to nature sketching! I had a fantastic time and am leaving Honduras inspired and looking forward to future travels with her! This trip is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a beautiful country, spectacular fauna and flora, and nurture your creative spirit! Christine is a gifted artist and wonderful instructor. I learned so much from her on my trip to Honduras in January.
— Veronica Bowers, California
Should you be interested in visiting Honduras, I strongly recommend this trip
— Robin Duska, Florida
I attended Christine’s 2018 trip. She delivers an amazingly well-planned week utilizing all of the nature and beauty of the area. Christine’s knowledge and enthusiasm, paired with the peaceful setting, make it a perfect experience.  It’s more than I can describe with words. DO IT!  It’s worth it for sure!”
— Dorothy Gates, Oregon