One of the premier natural protected areas in Honduras , Parque Nacional Celaque boasts the country’s highest mountain, Cerro de las Minas, at 2,849 meters, as well as an impressive cloud forest on the high plateau. Towering trees are covered with vines, ferns, and moss, forming a dense canopy completely blocking out the sun, with little undergrowth between the trees. Celaque means “box of water” in Lenca; 11 major rivers begin at Celaque, which gives an idea of how wet it can be.
Parque Nacional Celaque covers 266 square kilometers, with 159 square kilometers in the core zone above 1,800 meters. Although treacherously steep on its flanks, Celaque levels off in a plateau at about 2,500 meters, which is where the true cloud forest begins. You can spend hours or days admiring the flora and quietly keeping an eye out for quetzals, trogons, hawks, or any of the other 150 bird species identified in the park, as well as for the rarer mountain mammals, such as armadillos, raccoons, white-tail deer, howler monkeys, wild boar, and gray foxes. Patient watchers might catch a glimpse of a quetzal at Celaque, particularly on the lower trails, and during the months of March and April. (Some of the best bird-watching is closer to the visitors center; be sure to bring your binoculars.)
Added bonuses are two well-maintained trails , one leading to the highest peak, which passes a visitors center  and two basic encampments on the way, and another to a slightly lower peak, also passing the visitors center and one encampment. This makes Celaque accessible for the casual backpacker who is after a good hike but doesn’t want to hire a guide or try to navigate by compass and topographical map.
The more adventuresome hiker  should plan for at least one night out, to be sure to have time to spend in the cloud forest, which is only in the highest reaches of the mountain. This would require spending a night at Don Tomas camp, in a very rough, rather nasty hut; better yet, come prepared with your own tent. Trips up into the forest and, if you’re really industrious, all the way up to the top and back in one day are possible but exhausting.