Some 20km east of Juticalpa, MONUMENTO NACIONAL EL BOQUERÓN, one of the last remaining tracks of dry tropical forest in Honduras, is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including more than 250 species of bird.

To see the forest properly, you’ll want to hike the moderately strenuous main trail through the reserve. The trail runs from where the bus drops you off near the Puente Boquerón bridge to a point a few kilometres west of the main entrance; the walk is manageable in one day if you get an early start.

Follow the track starting on the left-hand side of the Río Olancho – though it crosses over several times, so be prepared to wade – and after about a kilometre the path enters the gorge, eventually emerging onto the floodplain at the other side. From here it is around two more easy hours through level pastureland to the village of La Avispa. Beyond the village, the path loops steeply uphill and through the cloudforest section of the park; you have a pretty good chance of seeing some of the country’s elusive bird and animal life here, including mixed flocks of brightly coloured trogons and quetzals that feed together at fruit trees. The reserve is also the only known Honduran location of the white-eared ground sparrow, fairly easily seen in the undergrowth. Beyond the cloudforest the walk is downhill all the way, with the path finally emerging a few kilometres later on the highway at Tempisque, west of the main entrance.

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