The Panamerican Highway starting about 15 miles south of San José rises over the Cerro de la Muerte, or Mountain of Death, so named about a century ago when settlers migrating to the rich lowlands beyond often perished in cold, windy rains near the 10,000 foot peak. Today a modern highway runs through the area, and it is now known for its outstanding scenery and for excellent high elevation bird watching. Most notable is that this region is very likely the best place in the world for observing resplendent quetzals-birds so spectacularly beautiful they were considered divine entities by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. Many comfortable lodges are now located here for visitors to best enjoy the colorful avifauna and cool mountain scenery.