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Description: Approximately ten years ago, it was designated as a private natural reserve, actually is under the administration of the NGO Unión para la Protección del Bosque Nuboso (UPROBON, Union for the Protection of the Cloud Forest). Chelemha is located near Sierra Yalijux, with 1236 acres of primary forest, and is a very important area, since the habitat is critical for the preservation of the Resplendent Quetzal and other endemic species of the highlands. The reserve also promotes scientific activities and ecotourism, and has established an alliance with PROEVAL RAXMU, a program for bird monitoring and training for the local Keqchí guides for tourist activities.
Services: Lodging at Maya Cloud Forest Lodge, rest areas, restaurant (offers organic food from the reserve, an interesting mixture of typical Guatemalan food and international cuisine). You must make reservations by email.
Access: Take the CA-9 Highway from Guatemala City to El Rancho (Km85), where you drive to Cobán. After approximately 59 miles, turn right towards the community of San Julián; from there turn right on a road that will lead you to the community of Tucurú. Then look for Finca Vinarós; from there take to the left to Covadonga community where you will drive for another 16 miles to Chelemhá. It is recommended to drive a 4X4 vehicle and check the map for more directions at www.chelemha.org
Tourist facilities: Trails through different habitats inside the reserve, and a birdwatching observatory.
Fees and schedule: Half-day guided tours $6 person, and a full-day tour for $12 per person. The local guides only speak Keqchí or Spanish; if you require an English speaking guide contact the reserve ahead of time.
Other features: Although this is a distant destination, you can visit other attractions as the Biotopo Mario Dary in Baja Verapaz, or other attractions in Alta Verapaz like the magic of Semuc Champey, Chicacnab, and Chisec.
Contact: Telephones: (502) 7941 7673, 5303 8708 firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.chelemha.org
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Some species: Highland Guan, Fulvous Owl, Resplendent Quetzal, Blue-throated Motmot, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Rufous-collared Thrush, Black-capped Swallow, Rufous-browed Wren.
Complete checklist: http://www.chelemha.org