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The Biotopo del Quetzal, formally the Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera, is a cloud forest preserve in Baja Verapaz province, central Guatemala.
The signature species is of course Resplendent Quetzal, but numerous other cloud forest species are present, such as Highland Guan, Golden-browed Warbler, Slate-colored Solitaire, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Common Bush Tanager, Yellowish Flycatcher, Unicolored Jay, Slate-throated Redstart, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, and Northern Emerald Toucanet.
Birds you can see here include:
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
The Biotopo is located on the main highway between Guatemala City and Coban. Any bus travelling between the two cities will drop you here (ask the driver in advance). You will have to flag down one of the numerous local minibuses for your return journey.
The Biotopo proper opens at 7 am; since the best quetzal-viewing is often earlier than this, you may have better luck around any of the local accommodations. It may be possible (with an advance permit) to camp at either of the two small camping facilities located near the entrance.
There are two small hotels located adjacent to the Biotopo entrance. The Hospedaje Biotopin appeared closed in summer 2008, leaving the Eco-Hospedaje Ranchitos del Quetzal with a monopoly. Fortunately for the visiting birder the Hospedaje Ranchitos is a hospitable and welcoming establishment with six rooms in two hillside cabins and a simple restaurant. A trail up the mountainside behind the cabins has many of the same birds found in the Biotopo proper.
In the early morning several quetzals come down the mountain to feed on wild avocados in the trees just behind the guest cabins. On your arrival, ask the staff for a wake-up call of "when the quetzal shows up."