Elusive Resplendent Quetzal – Boquete, Panama – March, 2017

We opted to take the bus from Las Tablas to Boquete via David rather than going all the way back to Panama City and flying to David. This decision involved transfers in Chitre, Santiago, and David before the final bus to Boquete but it was still the quickest way to get there. I have to say that the bus service is pretty good, we never waited in any of these places, we just went from one bus right on to the next one. The bus from David to Boquete is a school bus which was kind of funny but it works! 

Boquete is set in the highlands in the province of Chiriqui not far from the border with Costa Rica. It’s a small town and it was quite apparent that it’s also a retirement haven for many expats from the United States. The area is well known for hiking, coffee plantations, and the Baru Volcano National Park. Many people come here to birdwatch with hopes of seeing the elusive Resplendent Quetzal and that’s one of the reasons we made a stop here and to also see what all the hype was about with retiring in Boquete. 

Our first day we decided to hike the Sendero Los Quetzales Trail to get out in the forest and hopefully see a Resplendent Quetzal. The hike was gorgeous but we didn’t manage to find a Quetzal bird, we did see some other beautiful birds though. I will mention that you don’t need a tour to hike here, we caught a minivan from the town square and we were dropped right at the trailhead, they also told us when to be back in order to catch the last minivan back to town. The minivans don’t leave town until they are full though so you may have to wait a little bit.


The next day we decided to hike on the pipeline trail with a birdwatching guide in hopes to find the Resplendent Quetzal…and we did. Two of them! Oh what a stunning bird!!

Resplendent Quetzal

We also saw a number of other cool birds and a 1000 year old tree! 

Red Fronted Parrot

Yellowish Flycatcher

Elegant Euphonia

Flame Coloured Tanager


We enjoyed our time in Boquete and the natural environment was really beautiful. The town itself wasn’t super pretty but it had a great variety of restaurants with really good food. 

Where we stayed: Hotel Central Boquete 👍

Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel 


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4 Responses to Elusive Resplendent Quetzal – Boquete, Panama – March, 2017

  1. Lorraine says:

    So beautiful and lush. Loved all the birds Great pictures of you two😍

  2. Judi Wikkerink says:

    Hi Gordon and Tammy, I’m still enjoying receiving your travel news. Would love to know where you are right now, as there will be a small get together in BI next week. Please e-mail me back. Judi

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