Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Sendero Los Quetzales

with 3 comments

November 23, 2009 | Early in the morning, we were picked up by Rolando, our Chilean guide with Boquete Outdoor Adventures, at 7am along with another hiker (Dan from Wisconsin) that was staying at Isla Verde.  We definitely got lucky– no rain!  But nevertheless, we had to be prepared as the trail would be muddy and we’d have to cross a few streams!

The Los Quetzales Trail is probably one of the rougher trails that I’ve attempted although it took us just under 5 hours there and back.  It was certainly a challenge and I’m REALLY glad we got a guide for this.  There were a lot of spots where the trail would split off and it’d be easy to get lost!

Embarrassing to say, I almost didn’t make it all the way up the trail.  I got dizzy, nauseous, and according to my sister, a bit green.  I actually had to awkwardly lie down on the trail with my feet uphill to help my circulation.  After taking a few breaks,  Rolando asked if I wanted to just stay near the river and wait while the rest of the group went ahead.  No way.  I was determined, so I slowed my pace and made it!

Here’s our guide helping Dan and my sister to cross one of the smaller streams.

To get back, we basically backtracked and went downhill– to no surprise, the return trip was MUCH faster.  I also felt a lot better after having a light lunch at the top!  I’ve always had problems dealing with inclines for some reason.  Rolando told us that it wasn’t uncommon for people to not be able to complete the hike– the elevation is fairly high and there’s definitely less air.  Still, it was my idea to do this hike so I felt silly that I was the only one who had problems on it!  My doctor had recently told me that my blood level is lower than average though, so I’m guessing that didn’t help.

First image was the entrance to the park.  The road was long and VERY bumpy.  Took us roughly 45 minutes between getting picked up and getting to the trail head.  Definitely couldn’t be done without a 4WD.  Second image is the view from the top (as you can see, nothing amazing).  Last image is a picture from where we started the hike.  It’s the home of some local indigenous people.   As in most countries, the indigenous people of Panama are the poorest of the poor in the nation.

We didn’t see any quetzales (its a type of bird), but we did see some other interesting birds, which is what the trail is known for.  If you really enjoy hiking, this is a good hike for you.  Otherwise, I’d say skip it– it’s a rough and muddy, and there aren’t any super awesome scenic views.  FYI– $50 per person (or $65 per person from Boquete to Cerro Punta).


Written by Jessica

February 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Posted in Panama, travel

Tagged with , , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. kind of cool you went bird watching. i’ve never thought i’d have the patiencce for it


    February 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    • haha, I don’t either! i only looked when the guide would happen to spot it, haha. but then half the time i couldn’t see what he was pointing at. i only REALLY saw the birds once we were on the road when the guide would pull over and tell us where to look.


      February 4, 2010 at 5:43 PM

  2. how high was the elevation on the trail. it’s weird bc sly is extremely sensitive to elevation, but of all things, I’m not (I would have expected me to be completely sick). In Peru, sly had altitude sickness that took him out of the game for 2 days, while I felt fine. Even when we are at lower elevations (but still higher than normal), he’ll get puffy and have a hard time breathing, and his ability to do aerobic anything is extremely limited. Weird.


    February 8, 2010 at 9:00 PM

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