Spot quetzals in the cloud forest

In the misty, humid cloud forests, the gemstone-bright plumage of a resplendent quetzal is hard to miss. The iconic birds, worshipped by the ancient Aztecs and Maya, are commonly sighted here between January and July, and it's well worth a little patience to see a male with its glimmering emerald, red feathers and tufted head.

Even if you aren't lucky enough to see a quetzal, there is plenty more animal and bird life to be spotted within this thriving ecosystem. There are several national parks and mountainous regions  at the altitude where cloud forest thrives, including Monteverde  (which encompasses six different ecological zones and protects more than 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species and 1,500 different types of plant) and San Gerado de Dota in the Talamanca mountains, to name just a couple. .