The Emerald Toucanet is a near-passerine bird occurring in mountainous regions from Mexico, through Central America, to northern Venezuela and along the Andes as far south as central Bolivia. Some taxa currently included in this species are sometimes split into separate species.
Like other toucans, the Emerald Toucanet is brightly marked and has a large bill. The adult is 40 cm long and weighs 200 gm. The male and female are alike in appearance, although the female generally is smaller and slightly shorter-billed.
It is mainly green. The vent and tail-tip are rufous. The bill is black with yellow to the upper mandible and a white band at the base of the bill. Juveniles are duller including the throat, and the black areas of the bill are replaced with dusky or the bill is entirely yellowish.