Quetzal Trail – Panama


Located within the Volcan Baru National Park, Panama, Sendero de Los Quetzales, or Quetzal Trail, is known for its elusive Quetzal bird sightings. It is one of the most popular hikes in the western highlands of Panama. This trail links the towns of Guadalupe and Boquete. It is 5.4 miles long and takes about 5-7 hours to complete one way. Though the hike from Boquete is mainly uphill, and the hike from Guadalupe to Boquete is all downhill, one must choose what direction to take depending on fitness levels. Either route, you are bound to get in some great bird watching. Though named after the Quetzal, you will be lucky to spot a Quetzal along the way. You are more likely to see other bird species, endemic orchid species, magnolias, and giant oak trees ranging from 600 through 900 years old. This beautiful hike is always changing in scenery. During the rainy season, the cool mist and fog give the rainforest a mystical feeling, and the ever-changing layers of unique flora are always abundant. One can see the elusive Quetzal from December to May if it allows you to! It is best to start your hike around sunrise and with a guide that can further your chance of seeing the beautiful bird. The Quetzal is one of the most beautiful birds in the Americas. The male breeding plumage and tail feathers nearly reach up to 2 feet! If going with a guide, they can mimic their call and noises that would further attract them, and search places only known to them. Owen visited the Quetzal Trail in February 2017.

© Ian Espinosa

Birds found here