There are 8 self-guided marked trails for guests to choose from that are described below in more detail. In addition we have guided trails to the peak of Mount Totumas as well as to remote areas in La Amistad National Park. Guides are available for birdwatchers and for nature lovers. A guide will dramatically increase your chances of spotting wildlife. Trails are safe. We do share the forests with apex predators like the mountain lion and jaguar, but these elusive big cats are wary and stay away from people. A hiker who spots either of these magnficent creatures can consider themselves very lucky. All our trails are loop trails except La Amistad which connects Mount Totumas Cloud Forest with the main trail in La Amistad National Park.
La Amistad Trail
This well groomed trail of moderate difficulty leads you from Mount Totumas Cloud Forest reserve into La Amistad National Park. The trail enters mature 2nd growth forest at .5 km and connects to the park trail at around km 3. Great trail for spotting howler and spider monkeys. The total length of the trail depends on how far into the national park you go. A popular destination is the abandoned old car that a homesteader from long ago used as a temporary lodging. Round trip approx 8km.
A short 2.2km loop trail of moderate diffculty takes you through riparian habitat into mature 2nd growth forest and then into primary forest as you skirt the base of Mount Totumas. Majestic mature oak trees and bamboo understory. One of our better trails to spot Resplendent Quetzals and Black Guans. The short section of the trail leads you through a section of the reserve we are reforesting that was previously pasture. Look for wild raspberries in season.
Big Tree Loop
A 3.5km loop trail of moderate difficulty allows guests to observe the transition from mature 2nd growth forest to primary forest. This trail consistantly rewards guests with great views of any of the three monkey species, quetzals, trogons, bellbirds, coati's and tracks of big cats. The section with primary forest has stunning ancient trees that create cathedral acoustics where the song of the Black Faced Solitaire invariabally inspires the listener. For guests staying only a couple days this trail is highly recommended.
This easy 2.9km trail departs from the Bellbird Lodge and descends open fields with stunning views of the national park. You enter mature 2nd growth forest on a narrow path that soon joins an old forest road that flattens out for about a kilometer with large trees, riparian habitat and prime habitat for forest birds and monkeys. The trail winds back up through excellent Quetzal and Bellbird habitat where during breeding season these birds can be spotted on most days.
This trail of the Elders (ancianos) is an easy short 1.4km trail with minimum grade that is a great hike later in the afternoon or in the morning when time is limited. Great for spotting monkeys.
A short 2.2km loop trail of moderate diffculty through riparian habitat and two waterfalls. Sections of the trail are slippey and steep and require surefooted hikers. A old growth fig tree near the confluence of the stream and the Rio Colorado is a great spot for birding and having lunch. Quetzals and Black Guan are common. Collared Peccaries have made game trails in this area. The open sections of the trail have spectacular views of La Amistad and when you reach canopy level in the open areas this is a great place to sit quietly and look for monkeys and mixed species flocks of birds
Los Pozos Trail
A 3.1 km loop trail of moderate difficulty that includes both waterfalls, majestic old growth cenizo trees (Mexican Elms) riparian habitat and an extension to Los Pozos hotsprings. The forest trail along the falls can be slippery and steep in places so this trail is for sure footed hikers. For birders you gain access to lower elevations down to 1600m where a different avifauna begins; Bay-Headed Tanager, Elegant Euphonias, Red-Headed Barbet, Fiery-Billed Aracari and Blue Dacnis are more common here. There are sweeping views of the valley and national park on the section that follows are road through open meadows.
An easy short 2.1km loop trail that starts in riparian habitat in 2nd growth forest and then opens into the upper meadows where stunning views of Mount Totumas and La Amistad National Park. The forest bordering the meadows is situated in a micro climate that is draped with the bajareque mists that fall from the gap on the northern slopes of Mount Totumas. The epiphytes in this area are abundant and stunning. Bromeliads and orchids along with ferns, moss, and lichen cover the entire surface of the trees and branches.
Mount Totumas Peak Trail
This is a difficult trail with 2000 feet elevation change and is unmarked. Taking this trail requires a guide. The reward is at the peak of Mount Totumas at 2630m, when you enter a truly magical pristine oak bamboo forest of ancient trees draped in moss and epiphytes. The forest is superlative in conjuring up primordial visions of a lost eden. Universally remembered as a magic but tough walk for all those who have braved this trail. Highly recommended for adventure seekers. A truly unique experience.