Continuing north beyond the Taulabé caves, the highway divides at the small town of La Guama, from where a dirt road runs east for another 7km to the entrance to Parque Nacional Cerro Azul Meámbar. Named after its highest peak, the blue-hued Cerro Azul Meámbar (2047m), this is one of the smaller and most accessible national parks, with a core of untouched cloudforest. The visitors’ centre at the park’s entrance has information on a number of short walking trails. Anyone planning to hike should be prepared for precipitously steep gradients in the upper reaches of the reserve, with dense vegetation and tumbling waterfalls. The excellent marked trails – you don’t really need a guide – are suitable for day-trips, though it is worth staying overnight so that you can see the forest in the early morning.

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