Searching for the Quetzal

Searching for the Quetzal

You'll be given a chance to spot a resplendent quetzal - the national bird of Guatemala - on this tour. The tour includes bird watching at the Refugio del Quetzal.

Featured in:Bird Watching, Nature Walk, Biotopo del Quetzal
Available Days:
Every day
4:30 AM
Hotel Transport Included
Mobile Ticket Included
Offered in English, Spanish

You do not have to go far from Quetzaltenango to explore one of the sanctuaries of Guatemala’s national bird. This tour takes you to the Refugio del Quetzal, a reserve that is about 1.5 hours outside Quetzaltenango.

The reserve is set an an elevation of around 6,000 feet (1,830 m) and is populated with humid forest. The forest here protects a number of birds, including the Azure-rumped Tanager, Blue-throated Motmot, Emerald-chinned hummingbird, and Emerald Toucanet.

The reserve supports a population of resplendent quetzals. The breeding season, which ranges from February to May, is the best time of year to see them. Guides accompany travelers along a short, 0.5-mile (1 km) loop trail through the forest (there are also smaller trails that lead to other spots in the reserve that you may hike on too). You're given binoculars to help you spot the birds.

Attraction Visited

Biotopo del Quetzal

Biotopo de Quetzal, also known as Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera, is a 2,580-acre (1,044-ha) protected area that’s about an hour from Cobán. While you may or may not see the namesake bird, the reserve’s convenient location makes it a good place to stop and explore the region’s dense cloud forests.

Read more:Biotopo del Quetzal

What to Bring

Comfortable clothes and shoes, rain jacket, camera, and snack.

What's included

Transportation, local guide (birdwatcher), entrance fees, and breakfast.


Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.