Mario Dary Rivera
Quetzal Protected Biotope

Mario Dary Rivera

Quetzal refuge
AdventureBird WatchingEnvironmental educationNature

Geographic Location

Department: Baja Verapaz
Municipality: Purulhá
Administration: State
Area: 1,022 hectares (2,524 acres)
Year of declaration: 1,977

What to expect?

Habitat of the Resplendent Quetzal and many other species, interpretive trails, crystal water creeks and waterfalls.

How to get there?

Travel time from Guatemala City:
3.5 hours
Main access road:
Route CA-9 North

It is located 160.5 km (100 miles) from Guatemala City (3.5 hour drive). Take the road CA-9 toward the Atlantic Ocean and turn right at km 85 (El Rancho) onto road CA-14 towards Coban. The entrance to the Biotope is along the road and it is part of the Cloud Forest Corridor.
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The Biotope protects an important remnant of cloud forest, which is habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna, including Guatemala´s national bird, the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). During your visit you can choose between 2 interpretive trails: “Los Helechos” –the Ferns- (2 km – 1.25 miles) and “Los Musgos” –the Mosses- (4 km – 2.5 miles).

It is recommended to look for Quetzals very early in the morning or late in the afternoon. On the trails, you may enjoy several crystal-water creeks that form waterfalls of various sizes and small lagoons.


  • Hikes on interpretive trails
  • Bird watching
  • Enjoying landscape
  • Bathing in cool mountain water pools.
It is possible to take a guided visit with one of the park rangers who give a welcome talk at the beginning of the tour.

Food and lodging services are available around the Biotope. Most of them are provided by Private Nature Reserves that are part of the Cloud Forest Corridor Association.


Because of the area´s topography, it is recommended to be in good physical condition in order to hike the trails. Take appropriate hiking shoes and preferably rain gear.

Schedule to the public

Monday to Sunday From 7:00 to 16:00 hours. You may enter at a different hour with special permission from the administration.

Contact Information

Name of the institution:
Conservation Studies Center (CECON)
(502) 2331-0904,
(502) 2332-2985
(502) 4770-5425
(502) 2361-5450, 51 y 57
(502) 2334-7664
Web site:

Facilities and Services

Camping area
Camping area
Rest and picnic area
Rest and picnic area
Handicaped facilities
Handicaped facilities