Trail of the Quetzal 4-Day Trek
Panoramic view back up into the Majestic Sierra las Minas, one of Guatemala’s most protected areas
Camp in an old abandoned church
Catch a glimpse of the quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, in its wild native habitat
This is a pioneer trek across the Sierra Las Minas, one of Guatemala’s most protected areas. It is not easy, but to experience such pristine nature, untouched and raw never is. The Sierra las Minas encompasses over 60% of Central America’s remaining cloud forest and boasts the highest amount of biodiversity anywhere in the region. If you are hoping to catch a glimpse of the quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, in its wild native habitat, book this trip.
The hiking is rough and hard going. It is often damp and muddy.
Our walk takes us 4 days across the sierra through the various parts of the park where howler monkeys play overhead. We will spend each night in rustic cabins that are nestled in the forest. They are basic but provide a warm shelter for us to warm up and dry out after the day's walk.
$499 - $699 per person, depending on group size
4 days, 3 nights
- Round trip transportation from Old Town Outfitters office in Antigua
- All gear, food and guiding, including local resource officers in the park
- Entrance fees to protected area
- OTO bilingual guide with certified 1st-Aid training
- Hiking shoes
- Clothing for hiking and campsite
- Expedition pack with rain cover
- Rain jacket
- Personal medication, camera, hat, sunglasses & sunscreen; 1½L bottle for water
- TIP for great service from your Old Town guide!
What to Expect
Leave Antigua at 5:00am and transfer out to the entrance to the reserve. After picking up our rangers/guides we head out to tackle the 30 kms. 2000 mts climb up to the trailhead. We have lunch at the top of the climb before setting out on foot through the forest to the top of the ridge. This is prime Quetzal country so hopefully, we’ll get a glimpse of some. We arrive at our Cabanas by late afternoon just in time to listen to the sounds of the forest and take in the sunset.
After an early breakfast on the porch of the Cabana, we gear up for the long and hardest of the treks. An 8 hour day will push us up and past La Pena del Angel then down through the forest to one of the Ranger cabins where we’ll meet up with the next set of rangers to accompany us the rest of the way. After a quick snack here we’ll continue on to the next cabin for lunch. The trail crisscrosses those of tapirs, jaguars and it is not uncommon to hear monkeys howling over-head. Our last objective is up and over a small ridge to an area called Cana Braval where we’ll spend the night.
Today will take us further into the Sierra through areas that no one else ever ventures. Today we’re sure to see lots of wildlife and follow the tracks of various big animals. It’s not an easy walk today, but getting this far back into the wilderness never is. We’ll make our way to our final ranger cabin of Vega Larga where we will camp in an old abandoned church. Vega Larga was once a small community that was relocated outside the park to further protect the area.
We round out our 4-day trek with a beautiful hike out to the nearby town of Chilasco. Leaving the cloud forest behind as we reach the limit of the core zone we enter a beautiful Pine/oak forest on our way home. Arriving in Chilasco we have a panoramic view back up into the Majestic Sierra las Minas as a departing glimpse.