One of the most accessible national parks in Honduras, Parque Nacional La Tigra protects a cloud forest considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Just 20 km (12 mi) north of Tegucigalpa, the park feels worlds away. You'll forget the crowds in the capital as you wander among the orchids, bromeliads, and treelike ferns that tower above you. If you start early in the morning, you can see much of the park in a day, but you'll gain even more by spending the night. With patience and a bit of luck you might spot ocelots, peccaries, armadillos, and white-faced monkeys, but don't consider your visit a wash if you don't see them; they are extremely reclusive. You will be able to spot many of the more than 350 species of birds here. La Tigra is second only to Lago de Yojoa as Honduras's top birding destination (seeLago de Yojoa in Western Honduras)The bird-watcher's Holy Grail, the magnificent resplendent quetzal with its showy plumage, is here, too, but difficult to locate.
and mining had almost entirely stripped the area of its trees until the Honduran government set aside the land for conservation in 1982. (This was the headquarters of the El Rosario Mining Company.) Most of the trees you see are secondary growth, but the park is a reassuring example of what can be accomplished by environmentally-minded officials.