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Los Quetzales Trail- Volcan Baru National Park

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The Basics

Trail type: in and out or just one-way
One-way Distance: 8.8 km (5.4 miles) - 18 km (11.1 round trip)
One-way Time: 5-7 hours (10 -14 hours round-trip)
Elevation Gain: 686 m. (2,250 ft)
Max Height: 2,505 m (8,218 ft.)
Attractions: cloud forest, view, plants and animals , rivers
Activities: hiking, camping, bird watching
Use: low
Rating: MODERATE
Activity combines some easy sections with others that require more physical effort. It applies to long walks on uneven terrain (river crossings, dense vegetation , big boulders , very slippery ground), or short walks on trail with steep inclination.

Moderado

The Trailhead

The Quetzal Trail can be accessed from Boquete and Cerro Punta Cerro Punta Access: Taking Bajo Grande Street about 6 km (3.7 miles) is a ranger station in El Respingo. Part of the road is unpaved and it can be blocked from mudslides. 4x4s are better for getting up to the station. If you are not being able to drive to the station due to a mudslide, get out and walk up to the trailhead, it is not very long.

Boquete Access: Take the road that leads to Alto Chiquero. It can be reached by taxi or bus from the Parque Domingo Medica. In Alto Chiquero is an ranger station, but the trailhead is still about 2.2 km (1.3 miles) down a gravel road and is marked by a faded sign on your left.

The Trail

The Quetzal Trail has earned the name because there are more than 300 pairs of quetzals in Baru National Park. Some can see them, if you are careful, tending to their nests in the cloud forest. If you start the trail from Cerro Punta you go down hill and then hike up the remaining 2 km (1mile) "Hill of Lament" to reach the ranger station in Alto
Chiquero.

The trail is in relatively good condition, sufficiently marked. After being closed for two years for storm damage ANAM has reopened the trail for the public again. There is only one river crossing that has no bridge (1 km from the Boquete trailhead) but not enough to cause any worry. During the rainiest part of the year (October to December) the path can be very muddy.

You have several options for how to enjoy this trail:

1. Go and return the same day 18 km (11 miles) - recommend starting no later than 6:00 a.m.

2. Most people go in one direction and arrange for someone (taxi-tour operator) to pick you up the other side to take back to your town of origin

3. Camping - there is a point that is almost at the halfway point of the trail (about 3 miles from both trailheads). You can camp at this point and finish the next day

4. You may walk the trail from Boquete to Cerro Punta and stay in Cerro Punta (or vice-versa). You can carry a day pack and than arrange for a taxi to take your luggage to where you will be staying in Cerro Punta o Boquete. Trusting the taxi driver is up to you though!

Additional Information - Volcan Baru National Park:
http://www.anam.gob.pa/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=328&Itemid=322&lang=es

Facilities

Look out (very run down), rest points and shelters, camping area, both ranger stations have facilities for visitors to sleep with booking ANAM’s

Recommendations:
http://www.anam.gob.pa/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=435&catid=78&lang=es&Itemid=322

The Tips

Go with an experienced guide. Hikers have been lost even though the path is properly marked.

Bring:
  • Enough water
  • Waterproof hiking boots (see a “little extra”)
  • Hikers First aid kit
  • Waterproof jacket (rainy season)
  • Enough food
  • Insect repellent (optional)
  • Head lamp,
  • Hiking pole,
  • Proper camping equipment

A little Extra:

Trails like this we recommend you use hiking boots. Be sure to use several times BEFORE attempting this hike.

There are points on the path where there is trash consisting of plastic water bottles, food cans and cans of energy drinks. Make the effort to keep the trail clean and make sure "Leave no Trace" and exit with all that brought in.

Seasonal Items
Dry Season: Easily Accessible
Rainy Season: Path muddy landslides, high water level in rivers


The Hours, Fees, Local Guides

Management: National Government (ANAM)

Hours: 6AM – 4PM

Fees:
Students National - B. 1.00
National Visitors - B. 3.00
Foreign Visitors B. 5.00
Seniors - B. 1.50

Contact Information:
National Protected Areas Department: (507) 500-0855 / (507) 500-0839
National Protected Area (ANAM) Regional Office, David – Tel: (507) 774-6671
Boquete - ( 507 ) -720-3057
National Park offices Tel: (507) 775-2055

Disclaimer - Caminando Panama is a personal project, a nonprofit website. The contents are based on personal contributions from the authors and /or of partners and general public. No rights can be derived from the information and images that are shown. The data in this website is informational only, may contain errors, or be slightly out of date.Caminando Panama is not responsible in any way for accidents and losses caused by people during walks or hikes. Each walker is responsible for their actions and consequences.