Cloud Forest Biological Corridor
The Cloud Forest Biological Corridor (Corredor Biológico del Bosque Nuboso) is a relatively new creation that encompasses a forested area bisecting the Quetzal Biotope and Sierra de Las Minas Biosphere Reserve. Its purpose is to provide an uninterrupted biological corridor for many species of animals living in these protected cloud forests.
The area along the road to Cobán (CA-14) between Km. 144 and Km. 170 is part of this corridor, and it is clearly marked at its beginning and end. The corridor covers 28,640 hectares and includes nine communities and eight private reserves.
A number of these private reserves are part of local hotels and restaurants that have begun catering to visitors interested in exploring all that this exuberant highland forest ecosystem has to offer. The result is an emerging ecotourism development area, which may serve as a model for other areas in Guatemala with roads adjacent to protected areas.
The initiative is managed by an association based at Restaurante Montebello, at Km. 164 in the vicinity of Purulhá, which can provide additional resources and information. It can be contacted at tel. 7953-9234. Ask for Marlen de Moino.
The first stop along this ecotourism corridor is
Hacienda Río Escondido (Km. 144, tel. 5308-2440 or 5208-1407, ecorioescondido [at] yahoo [dot] com, $20 per person), where you’ll find family-size bungalows on a private nature reserve bisected by the cool, clear waters of the Río San Isidro.
There are several kilometers of nature trails, horseback riding, and inner tubing to keep you busy should you not want to just relax and unwind. The best of the cabins are set along the creek and there are plans for smaller cabins catering to independent travelers in the works. The restaurant here does barbecued meats and has some delicious smoothies you can enjoy in an open-air patio.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com