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Refugio del Quetzal
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In search of the Quetzal - Refugio del Quetzal


Everybody knows about the Quetzal. Primarily because it´s the monetary unit of Guatemala. But the Quetzal is also Guatemala’s national bird. Nowadays this bird is hard to find because people hunted this beautiful animal for it’s feathers. And today it’s in danger of extinction.

In just a few places in Guatemala you have a chance to see this magnificent bird. One of the places where you have a big chance is the “Refugio del Quetzal” in the department of San Marcos. (Not to be confused with the Biotopo del Quetzal in the department of Baja Verapaz on the road to Cobán!) The Refuge is part of a beautiful cloud-forest that lies on the foot of the Tajumulco volcano.

During the mating- and nesting season from December till May, Quetzals can be seen almost every day. February, March and April are the most spectacular because the Quetzals are always close to their nests and easy to be seen.

We offer excursions from Quetzaltenango to the Refuge for 1 or 2 days. We recommend doing a two days excursion because in this way it’s almost impossible to not see the Quetzal.

We use the service of a local guide to locate the birds. Quetzals are very habitual and the guides know exactly when and where to look for the bird. Also they recognize every sound the Quetzal makes. There are at least 5 different sounds, and the guides can recognize from just the sound if it´s from a male or female.

When you stay for the night we sleep and eat with a local family near the refuge. Accommodations are basic and shared between the group, but there´s a hot water shower. If you would like to stay in a hotel this is possible for a surcharge. Camping inside the refugio is also possible. Contact us for more information.

We like to work with the community, so they also can earn money from tourism.

Departure: 06:00h
Return: +/-18:00h

What to bring: sturdy shoes, warm clothes that you can take of layer by layer, sunscreen, sunglasses, flashlight, rain gear, hat, camera and binoculars if you have one.

Includes: Public or private transport, entrance, guide, and local guide. Daytrip: Lunch, And for an overnight trip: accommodation with a local family and 4 meals, but accommodation in a hotel is also possible.



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