BEST BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS IN GUATEMALA

VERAPACES

 

QUETZAL BIOTOPE

Located in the cloud forest corridor of the Baja Verapaz region, it has an extension of 1,022 hectares and an altitudinal range between 4921 to 7709 feet above sea level. This is the ideal place to get to know the cloud forest and the different species that inhabit it, as well as the environmental benefits of this type of ecosystems. There are two hiking trails: Los Musgos (2.5 miles) and Los Helechos (1.24 miles). This is one of the best sites in Guatemala to observe the Resplendent Quetzal, which sometimes hangers on the electricity cables located on the edge of the access road to the protected area.


Some interesting species:

Oreja de burro (Engelhardia guatemalensis)

Guayabillo (Clusia salvinii)

Guatemalan magonlia (Magnolia guatemalensis)

Coyo (Persea schiedeana)

Salvinii Fern (Alsophila salvinii)

Bicolor Fern (Cyathea spp.)

Purulha Jewel Beetle (Chrysina purulhensis)

Coban climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa helmrichi)

Guatemlan Mountain Abriona (Abronia fimbriata)

 Yellow-blotched palm-pitviper (Bothriechis aurifer)

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

Mottle Owl (Strix virgata)

Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorynchus prasinus)

LACHUA LAGOON NATIONAL PARK

This is a spectacular circular shaped lagoon with beautiful crystalline waters. It is a paradise within the lush rainforest of Alta Verapaz that invites visitors to cool off in its warm waters. The National Park is dedicated to the conservation of local biodiversity, so it is necessary to always respect the environment. From the visitor center, visitors must walk 4 km inside the rainforest on a path suitable for anyone. The site has viewpoints, rustic lodging, camping areas, kitchen areas and a small designated area to immerse in the waters of the lagoon. The lagoon is paradisiac and is one of the must visit places in Guatemala.


Some interesting species:

Santa María (Calophyllum brasiliense)

San Juan (Vochysia hondurensis)

Hourglass treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus),

Rainforest hognosed pitviper (Porthidium nasutum),

Motelet’s crocodile  (Crocodylus moreletii)

PUERTA AL MUNDO MAYA

Candelaria Camposanto 


Located in the Candelaria Caves National Park, the Candelaria Camposanto community offers two magnificent dry caves and an exhilarating cave tubing tour in an underground section of the Candelaria River


Mucbilha' I 


In the Mucbilha' I community, located in the Candelaria Caves National Park, you may enjoy Q'eqchi' hospitality in a lovely eco-lodge, visit an extraordinary cave with cathedral-like caverns and embark on a thrilling cave tubing tour in an underground section of the Candelaria River. 


Jul Iq' and B'omb'il Pek Caves 


Located only two kilometers away from the town of Chisec, Jul Iq' and B'omb'il Pek are two distinct and impressive cave systems where you can admire extraordinary rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites and the first cave paintings to be discovered in Guatemala. B'omb'il Pek offers an exciting alternative for the more adventurous tourists, since you can rappel down the cave or use an alternative flight of stairs


San Simón River 


San Simón River, surrounded by a lush rainforest, is located two kilometers away from the town of Chisec. Its crystalline turquoise waters, intricate limestone formations and exotic limestone walls make it the perfect setting for a breath-taking river tubing tour. 

SEMUC CHAMPEY

It is a natural bridge formed by several pools of crystalline waters that turn to a turquoise colour surrounded by a lush tropical forest, and two enormous hills making it a magical scenario. The warm climate and the refreshing water invites visitors to dip in the pools. There is a hiking trail that runs along the banks of the Cahabon River, which offers breath taking views of the river and the exit of the river just under the natural pools. Visitors can also ascend to the viewpoint, through a path of approximately a mile long.


Some interesting species:

Cohune Palm (Attalea cohune)

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais)

Fer de Lance (Bothrops asper)

Boa  (Boa constrictor)

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