Touring Chiriquí in Search of the Resplendent Quetzal
One of the best tours available in Panama occurs in Boquete, Chiriquí. This journey sets off in search of the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most amazing birds in Central America. Following one of the most gorgeous paths in Central America, the Quetzal Trail, visitors will be consumed not only by the journey, but by their surroundings as well.
This trail is located within Volcan Baru National Park. The “Sendero de los Quetzales”, as it is known in Spanish, links the towns of Guadalupe, which is near Cerro Punta on the west side of the volcano, with the town of Boquete which is on its east. The trail skirts the Baru Volcano on its north face and can be hiked in either direction, starting either in Boquete or in Cerro Punta.
Hiking the 6 miles of this path takes from 4 to 7 hours. The fluctuations in time come from differences in hiking speeds, direction chosen to complete the hike, time spent admiring the scenery and time invested tracking one of the rarest and most amazing birds in Panama; the Resplendent Quetzal.
Resplendent Quetzals have a brilliant red and green breast. Their green upper tail coverts hide their tails and in breeding males are particularly splendid, being longer than the rest of the body. The primary wing coverts are also unusually long and give a fringed appearance. The male has a helmet-like crest and its beak is yellow, while the female’s is black.
Throughout Central America, this bird has been revered and believed by many to have god-like qualities. For this reason, seeing one is considered good luck and in Panama, with its decreasing numbers, seeing one is lucky indeed.
The Resplendent Quetzals is a unique species of bird; taking a tour while in Boquete can provide visitors with the good fortune of seeing one of these amazing birds.