Sketching Holiday in Honduras

3rd Annual Nature Artist’s Sketching Holiday led by naturalist/artist Christine Elder at Honduras’s Lodge and Spa at Pico Bonito, named one of the “Top 50 eco-lodges of the world” by National Geographic Traveler.


Date and Cost: February 13-21, 2019 ; $2,850 double / $3,700 single
$250 discount if signed up by October 1st!




  • Luxurious accommodations; 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, blue morpho 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; opportunities for daily 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. Or, you may choose to simple 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!


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. This trip has changed my idea for Future travel. I love that my travel dollars went to helping preserve nature in a pristine environment, and making Honduras a better country through tourism (rather than agribusiness farming). 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


Julie relaxing with a Coco Frio

I want to say again how wonderful our trip was to Honduras. 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 our guide was fab, and so were you. Thanks again for a great trip
—Kris Falco, Oregon


Kris sketching tropical flowers

Should you be interested in visiting Honduras, I strongly recommend this trip

-Robin Duska, Florida


First watercolor sketch by Veronica

“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

Dorothy and Julie painting leaves

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



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 afterward. It covers basic skills for sketching plants and birds in the field, taught using video tutorials and downloadable e-books.

This course normally sells for $125, but trip participants receive it for free!  You’ll also get a field sketching kit like the one Christine uses; complete with pencils, pen, brush, watercolors, journal, and sturdy recycled carrying bag (value $75).



P1020129You’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 and the Botanical Society of America. Christine has been teaching people of all ages and ability levels to draw and paint nature’s wonders for over twenty years. Recently, Christine led bird sketching workshops at birding festivals in Jamaica and Mexico and is a frequent arts instructor in her home state of Oregon. Christine is running this retreat through the bird watching tour company Paradise Birding, for which she is a co-leader of tours with them, having traveled from Alaska to Florida, and to international destinations such as Italy, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In the Honduran paradise that is Pico Bonito, she will share her best secrets and techniques for sketching birds and blossoms in pencil, pen, and watercolor.

“Christine Elder has a refreshingly welcoming approach to teaching about birds through art that reflects her obvious passion for wildlife and conservation of our natural environment. Whether at her home in Oregon or visiting us deep in the tropics at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, she has a marvelous potential to connect people with birds in a rich and meaningful way”
– Neil Gerlowski, Executive Director, Vallarta Botanical Garden




 $2,850 double occupancy / $3,700 single occupancy

Retreat fee includes 8 nights lodging; 3 meals & snacks per day; guiding and instruction; group activities; entrance fees; service-related gratuities; airport transfers in a comfortable air-conditioned van; and some art supplies.

Not included: Airfare to San Pedro Sula (SAP); travel insurance; alcoholic beverages; personal items (such as telephone and laundry); and U.S. guide’s gratuity, which is never expected but always appreciated based on your satisfaction with our skills and service.

Deposit: A $500 deposit ($100 of which is non-refundable) and enrollment form are required to hold your space on the trip.

REFUND POLICY: $100 of your deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel your reservation more than 120 days prior to the tour, you will be refunded any payments above your deposit. If you cancel between 119 and 90 days prior to the tour, you will receive a 50% refund of fees paid over the deposit. If you cancel less than 90 days prior, you forfeit your entire tour fee, unless you can fill your space with another participant. If you cancel at any time, your deposit is transferable to any Paradise Birding tour at any time in the future. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full).



Inquiries welcome!
Instructor and guide, Christine Elder:


Our Destination: The Lodge at Pico Bonito

A short film highlighting the beauty of our tropical destination 

I’ve been dreaming up this program for years and once I visited The Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras, I knew it had to happen there.  My first two trips in 2016 and 2018 were great successes so I’m excited to bring it back to you again in 2019!

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 one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

XO, Christine