Guatemala Cloud Forests

Guatemala Cloud Forests


Learn about Guatemala's cloud forests off the page or screen when your Guatemalan getaway puts you in the midst of the real thing! First, do you know what a cloud forest is? Cloud forests are so named because they have almost constant cloud coverage. High in humidity, the moisture from foggy clouds precipitates onto leaves and slowly drips to the forest floor. For this reason, cloud forests are some of the most biologically productive places on Earth; organisms are found in every crack and crevice. It's not uncommon for these ecosystems to be the habitat of some of the world's most spectacular and important creatures, and Guatemala's cloud forests are no exception.

Explore Biotopo del Quetzal when you find yourself in Purulhaá, Verapaces. Head to Raxruhaá Candelaria, where you can explore cloud forests, caves, and ruins. Perhaps the alpine community of Cobán, Alta Verapaz is more your pace — before you head into Guatemala's cloud forests, you can start your day with an incredible cup of coffee. Whichever destination you choose, please be sure to bring warm clothes, a rain jacket, and good hiking boots, because the higher elevation of Guatemala's cloud forests can make them chilly — especially if you're going on a night tour or camping excursion.

#1:  Coban

Cobán has high humidity, high-altitude forests called cloud forests. These offer beautiful environments where exotic plants thrive. Come here for nature tours and the chance to absorb the beauty of the forests.

This type of misty environment offers the ideal conditions for coffee. While you're here, you'll want to stop by plantations and try some of the local brew — Chicoj Plantation offers visitors a chance to see traditional K’ekchi farming techniques. Orchids sprout in delicate profusions on the decomposing forest floor, and you can see some of the country’s most exotic species on a tour of Orquigonia, an orchid sanctuary.

See more cloud forest wildlife in the Biotopo del Quetzal reserve. It’s named for the resplendent quetzal, a bird that perches in the aguacatillo trees where it nibbles on the green flesh of the round aguacatillo fruits. These are colorful birds with long, bright green tail feathers. They're just one of the many stunning species you can spot on a cloud forest tour.