Los Quetzales National Park encompasses both rainforest and cloud forest, encompassing fourteen different ecosystems, and is named for the colorful Resplendent Quetzal, Costa Rica's national bird found here.
Los Quetzales National Park
Los Quetzales National Park encompasses what was formerly the Los Santos Forest Reserve, stretching across 5,000 ha (12,355 acres) of both rainforest and cloud forest, encompassing 14 different ecosystems.
Declared a national park in 2005, Los Quetzales National Park encompasses what was formerly the Los Santos Forest Reserve. It is located within the parameters of the Savegre Biosphere Reserve.
The elevation of the National Park is between 1,240 - 3,190 m (3,190 - 10,465 ft) along the Talamancan mountain range. It protects crucial habitats for a number of plant and animal species.
The Savegre River basin occupies the park's center. Small streams and waterfalls feed into this river system. The river, critical to those that live here, provides water into lowland ecosystems as it travels toward the coast and supports agriculture for the entire region.
The park is named for the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), found here. It is well known for its colorful plumage and is the national bird of Guatemala.
Resplendent quetzals have a green body (showing iridescence from green-gold to blue-violet) and red breasts. Depending on the light, quetzal feathers can shine in various colors: green, cobalt, lime, yellow, to ultramarine.
Their green upper tail coverts hide their tails, and in breeding, males are particularly splendid, as their tails are longer than the rest of the body. Though quetzal plumage appears green, they are actually brown due to the melanin pigment.
Other bird species in the park include Colibri, trogons, tanagers, and hummingbirds. Other wildlife in the park includes Baird's Tapir, deer, and pumas.
Oak and cypress trees grow at higher altitudes. Significant portions of the park are covered in aguacatillo trees, a relative of the avocado and one of the quetzal's favorite foods.
Many tropical flower species and more than 500 kinds of orchids grow here, with many growing wild on giant tree trunks.