10 BEST Birding Places in Costa Rica! (2023)

Are you trying to see plenty of birds in Costa Rica?

birdwatching in Costa Rica

With round 28% of Costa Rica’s land protected by nationwide parks and wildlife reserves, there’s loads of house to discover. And with over 800 fowl species, this nation is really a birder’s paradise.

That will help you discover the most effective locations for fowl watching in Costa Rica, I’ve compiled an inventory of numerous locations, plus different fascinating issues to do in these areas.

#1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

birdwatching in Costa Rica - resplendent quetzal

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a must-see for everybody. The pure great thing about this space is protected by Ticos (Native Costa Ricans), together with Quakers who moved from america to protest the Korean Conflict. Collectively, these unlikely allies protect the Cloud Forest and monitor eco-tourism to verify it’s sustainable.

Cloud Forests are uncommon due to the distinctive circumstances wanted to create them. A forest is simply thought of a cloud forest when its altitude is between 1,000-2,500 m (3,280-8,200 ft). This altitude creates a cool local weather and permits for fixed cloud protection on the cover degree. Be certain that to deliver a lightweight jacket, raincoat, and closed-toed sneakers!

This distinctive Cloud Forest is cut up down the center, with the jap (Monteverde) benefiting from commerce winds from the Caribbean that cool the realm. The jap (Santa Elena) facet, nonetheless coated in clouds, is just a few levels hotter with out these commerce winds. Though either side provide a number of the finest birdwatching in Costa Rica, most vacationer lodging is on the Monteverde facet. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve at a Look:

  • Should-see birds: Resplendent Quetzal, Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher, Chiriqui Quail Dove, Three-Wattled Bell Chicken, and Violet Sabrewing
  • Different Animals: Olingo, Two-Toed Sloth, Kinkajou, Tayra, Coati, Central American Agouti, Mexican Furry Dwarf Porcupine, Mantled Howler Monkey, White-Confronted Capuchin Monkey, Vipers, and Frogs
  • The place to remain
    • Hidden Cover Treehouses offers you the sensation of residing within the rainforest with all of the facilities of a elaborate lodge.
    • Sedna Monteverde Lodge gives mountain bungalows which are excellent for {couples} or households and are solely a brief stroll to something you want.
    • El Establo Mountain Lodge gives majestic views of the cloud forest, spectacular sunsets, scrumptious meals, and a lush tropical setting.
  • Different Sights:
    • An evening tour- Even in the event you resolve to go by yourself in the course of the day, you have to rent a information to do an evening tour by means of the forest.
    • Discover the hanging bridges at Skywalk Monteverde: whether or not you select to take a tour, trip a prepare, or hike, the hanging bridges are a should.
    • Cover Zip Line Tour – remember that it is a strenuous course with plenty of mountaineering and uphill climbs.
    • Pattern the native espresso, as this space is known for its flavorful beans.
    • Go to the Monteverde Cheese Manufacturing facility, the place milk from native cows is changed into one of many world’s favourite meals!

#2. Tapantí Nationwide Park

birdwatching in Costa Rica - Tapanti National Park

Tapantí Nationwide Park is taken into account the wettest nationwide park within the nation! It receives over 6.4 meters (21 ft) of rain per 12 months. Situated in a valley close to the city of Orosi and the mountains of Talamaca, this park can be house to the Rio Grande de Orosi River, which gives San Jose with consuming water and hydroelectric energy.

The large quantity of precipitation makes Tapantí an ideal place for botanists to go to. Scientists have found 1000’s of vegetation throughout the park, in addition to over 100 kinds of mushrooms and lichens.

The vegetation could make it tough to identify birds and different elusive wildlife, however this park is house to the uncommon Resplendent Quetzal and Fiery-throated Hummingbird, together with the endangered Baird’s Tapir. Your finest likelihood to identify these species will likely be to rent a information to hike with you.

Tapantí Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should See Birds: Resplendent Quetzal, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Collard Trogon, and Golden-bellied Flycatcher
  • Different Animals: Baird’s Tapir, White-faced Capuchin, Agouti, Ocelot, and Jaugaurduni
  • Different Sights:
    • Tour the Colonial Church of Orosi, the oldest church in Costa Rica, and go to the connected museum.
    • Take a dip in Hacienda Orosi Scorching Springs.
    • Hike to Irazu Volcano, an energetic volcano close to Tapanti.

#3. Palo Verde Nationwide Park

birdwatching in Costa Rica

Situated in one of many final tropical dry forests on the planet, Palo Verde Park is a paradise for birds and different wildlife. You’ll discover numerous habitats, together with mangrove swamps, marshes, grassy savannas, and evergreen forests. There are additionally a variety of limestone hills that present wonderful lookouts for recognizing wildlife. After all, in the course of the dry season (December- Might), solely the everlasting lagoons survive to maintain the wildlife.

This park is the place to go in the event you’re on the lookout for waterfowl and shorebirds, as Palo Verde has the best focus of them in Central America. Moreover, there are over 300 different fowl species, loads of mammals, and quite a few reptiles, together with crocodiles!

The most effective time to go to Palo Verde as a birder is in the course of the dry season. The timber may have dropped their leaves, making it simpler to see birds farther by means of the forest. The rivers and watering holes have additionally shrunk to just a few lagoons, making it simple to identify wildlife alongside the shores and within the water. Nonetheless, remember that the dry season is extraordinarily scorching and sunny.

Palo Verde Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should See Birds: Cattle Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, and Black-crowned Evening Heron
  • Different Animals: Variegated Squirrels, Howler Monkeys, White-nosed Coatis, and Crocodiles
  • The place to Keep
    • Tenting is allowed close to Hacienda Palo Verde Analysis Station. There are bogs, scorching water showers, and meals can be found on the station.
    • Rancho Humo Estancia is without doubt one of the closest resorts to Palo Verde.
  • Different Sights:
    • Take a ship tour alongside one of many rivers to maximise your wildlife viewing.
    • Take a guided birdwatching tour by means of the nationwide park.
    • Go to Hacienda Palo Verde Analysis Station and take part in considered one of their many public occasions.

#4. Carara Nationwide Park

Carara Nationwide Park is a hidden gem surrounded by farmland and one of many solely wildlife sanctuaries within the space. It’s thought of a organic melting pot due to its location between the dry forests of the Northwest and the rainforest of the Southern Pacific lowlands, making this park extraordinarily numerous in wildlife! This park is without doubt one of the few locations to seek out the uncommon Scarlet Macaw, in addition to a number of the largest crocodiles within the nation.

Top-of-the-line issues about Carara Nationwide Park is that the combined forest gives a better place for bird-watching than another forests. It isn’t as dense, so it may be simpler to identify birds and different wildlife by means of the foliage.

Carara Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should See Birds: Scarlet Macaw, Tiger Herons, Orange-collard Manakin, Antbirds, Trogons, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, and Royal Flycatchers
  • Different Animals: Big Crocodiles, Pink Brocket, Collard Peccary, Monkeys, Sloth, Agouti, and Tayra
  • The place to Keep
    • This park is a simple day journey from the close by metropolis of Jacó.
    • Lodge Cerro Lodge is situated very near Río Tarcoles Bridge. In addition they cater to birders and nature lovers.
    • Paradise Bay Lodge Boutique is situated North of Jacó to get you out of the hustle and bustle of town.
  • Different Sights:
    • Take a guided tour of the traditional burial grounds of the Huetar folks.
    • Get pleasure from consuming at Restaurante El Cocodrilo.
    • Spend a while on the lookout for crocodiles at Río Tarcoles Bridge.
  • Warning: Petty theft and theft have elevated on this space. At all times journey in teams, park close to official buildings, and concentrate on your environment.

#5. Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park:

Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park is the smallest nationwide park in Costa Rica, however this shouldn’t deter you from checking it out! Due to its manageable dimension and simple trails, it has change into one of the crucial widespread parks within the nation.

In case you’re on the lookout for simple mountaineering and ocean swimming, that is the vacation spot for you. Though it isn’t often called an incredible bird-watching location, there are nonetheless loads of birds round to refill your listing. Moreover, in the event you’re feeling adventurous, you may try the white-water rafting or sea kayaking provided by native firms.

Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should-See Birds: Blue Grey Tanagers, Palm Tanagers, Fiery-billed Aracaris, Black-hooded Antshrikes, Baird’s Trogons, Yellow-Topped Evening Herons, and Brown Boobies
  • Different Animals: Squirrel Monkeys (Costa Rica’s rarest primate), Bottle-Nosed Dolphins, Humpback Whales, Tough-Toothed Dolphins, and Inexperienced Iguanas
  • The place to Keep
    • La Posada is ideal for many who solely wish to go to the park and the seaside as a result of these are inside strolling distance. In addition they present non-public jungle bungalows.
    • Parador Nature Resort and Spa is for these on the lookout for a extra enjoyable expertise however nonetheless eager to be very near every part.
  • Different Sights:
    • Get pleasure from a nighttime paddle board tour by means of the mangroves.
    • Take a ship tour for an up-close expertise with marine life.
    • Take a look at the Medicinal Plant Backyard.

#6. Corcovado Nationwide Park and the Osa Peninsula

Corcovado Nationwide Park shouldn’t be a spot to your common vacationer. This is without doubt one of the final untouched forests of Costa Rica, so it’s good to be ready for rugged terrain and tough lodging. This distant space accommodates one of many final old-growth moist forests alongside the Pacific coast, in addition to 13 different wonderful ecosystems. It’s simple to grasp why Nationwide Geographic has labeled this place as probably the most biologically intense place on Earth!

Hiring a information is a vital a part of your go to to Corcovado. They lower your likelihood of turning into misplaced, they usually can assist with particulars like checking tide charts earlier than you head out. Additionally, the correct information will know the most effective locations to identify birds.

Situated close to Corcovado Nationwide Park, the distant Osa Peninsula is a incredible escape from the hustle and bustle of the world. This space shouldn’t be simply accessible and offers you that peaceable and quiet jungle expertise you’re on the lookout for. Though these places are rugged and distant, they’re a number of the finest birdwatching places in Costa Rica.

Corcovado Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should See Birds: Scarlet Macaw, Orange-collard Manakin, Nice Curassow, Rufous Piha, Harpy Eagle, and Black Hawk
  • Different Animals: Jaguar, Baird’s Tapir, primates, Silky Anteater, and Peccary
  • Different Sights:
    • Snorkel off of Cano Island Organic Reserve in Drake Bay.
    • Kayak by means of mangroves close to Puerto Jiménez.
    • Tour Rancho Raices de Puerto Jiménez Chocolate Farm.
    • Set sail on a deep-sea fishing or whale-watching tour.

#7. Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

Cano Negro is an incredible place to go to year-round. This wildlife refuge is very excellent in the event you’re trying to verify water birds off your listing. For 3 months beginning in January, migratory birds cease right here, making a world-class birding location in Costa Rica. The best and finest option to view them is to take a ship tour down the Rio Frio River. Hiring a ship tour by means of the Cano Negro Tour Cooperative is a good way to assist the native economic system.

Cano Negro can be an ideal park for anglers. Throughout the dry season, because the rivers dry up, the fish congregate within the year-round lagoons. If you’re trying to discover unique freshwater fish species, then that is the place to do it! Simply consider the tales it is possible for you to to inform.

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge at a Look:

  • Should See Birds: Potoo, Olivaceous Cormorant, Nicaraguan Grackle, Lesser Yellow-Headed Vulture, and Water Fowl
  • Different Animals: Contemporary Water Fish, Bats, Spectacled Caiman, Inexperienced Iguana, Striped Basilisk, Howler Monkeys, and River Turtles
  • The place to Keep
    • Lodge de Campo Cano Negro is true in the course of the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. If you wish to be near the motion, then that is the place to be.
    • Kingfisher Lodge and Excursions present an ideal all-in-one bundle. This family-owned lodge will deal with you want household and gives excursions of a lifetime as nicely.
  • Different Sights:
  • Take a turtle and butterfly tour.
  • Go horseback using by means of the rainforest.
  • Get pleasure from an ecological tour.

#8. Tropical Lowlands of Sarapiqui

Sarapiqui Valley has transitioned quite a few instances over the past century. As soon as a main farming area for bananas, it turned a vacation spot for kayakers after the banana commerce died out. Since a serious earthquake within the Nineteen Nineties, the folks of Sarapiqui have rebuilt and created an incredible eco-tourism area.

The world is a birder’s paradise as a result of the Sarapiqui River and Puerto Viejo River mix within the rainforest, which gives numerous habitats for birds to dwell in. Not like different rainforests in Costa Rica, Sarapiqui is extraordinarily flat, making this an excellent location for many who choose to keep away from mountains.

Tropical Lowlands of Sarapiqui at a Look

  • Should-see Birds: White-tipped Sickle Invoice, Nice Pootoo, Crested Owl, and Nice Inexperienced Macaws
  • Different Animals: Howler Monkeys, Snowy Contiga, and Brown Two-toed Sloth
  • The place to Keep
    • Ara Ambigua Lodge is the place to remain if you’re trying to assist native ecology. There are lakes and trails so that you can discover when you take pleasure in your time.
    • Gavilan Lodge is true on the Sarapiqui river, making it handy for excursions hat depart proper from the lodge.
  • Different Sights:
    • Have enjoyable white water rafting on the Sarapiqui River.
    • Calm down on a safari boat tour.
    • Zip Line by means of the rainforest cover.
    • Take a look at the suspension bridge walks.

#9. La Selva Organic Station

This analysis station, situated throughout the Sarapiqui Lowlands, is without doubt one of the most necessary organic analysis stations in Costa Rica. La Selva was established in 1968 to guard the realm from encroaching farmland. It will definitely turned a part of the Group for Tropical Research (OTS) to additional shield this space. Since its opening, it has pioneered forest conservation, defending old-growth forests, and recovering wetland tropical forests.

The station doesn’t permit you to discover by yourself as a result of excessive danger of damage. They do, nonetheless, have loads of excursions to fulfill everybody’s wants. La Selva tour guides are nicely outfitted to deal with any problem the rainforest might pose and know the most effective wildlife-spotting areas.

La Selva Organic Station at a Look

  • Should See Birds: Naked-necked Umbrella Chicken, Pink-capped Manakin, Nice Antshrike, Lengthy-billed Hermit, and Rufous-tailed Jacamar
  • Different Animals: Mexican Porcupines, Honduran White Bats, and Frequent Opossums
  • The place to Keep
    • La Selva has single and household cabins to accommodate as much as 180 guests. That is the most effective place to remain if you wish to be proper in the course of the motion.
    • El Lugar is a resort-type lodge simply South of La Selva. If you’re trying to journey to La Selva for the day, then this is a perfect alternative for you.
  • Different Sights:
    • Get pleasure from a guided horseback trip by means of the forest.
    • Go to Cope Gardens.
    • Go on a pineapple plantation tour.

#10. Santa Rosa Nationwide Park

With over 250 fowl species noticed right here, don’t rely out Santa Rosa Nationwide Park as a birding vacation spot in Costa Rica. It could be one of many driest and hottest locations in Costa Rica, but it surely’s no much less beautiful by way of wildlife. The world was initially made a Nationwide Park to guard La Casona, the location of the Battle of Santa Rosa in 1856, the place native Costa Ricans defended their independence from Nicaragua.

Loads of numerous ecosystems like dry forests, savannahs, deciduous forests, marshland, mangroves, and seashores imply there’s an abundance of wildlife. The Santa Rosa seashores are additionally well-known for sea turtle nesting and at instances can have over 8,000 turtles on the seaside directly to nest.

Santa Rosa Nationwide Park at a Look:

  • Should-see Birds: Raucous White-throated Magpie Jay, Lesser Floor Cuckoos, Violet Sabrewings, Orange-fronted Parakeet, and Coastal Birds
  • Different Animals: Sea Turtles, Armadillos, Deer, and Tapirs
  • The place to Keep
    • Throughout the dry season, you may camp close to the ranger station for a country go to to the park.
    • 4 Seasons Papagayo Resort is situated to the south of Santa Rosa Nationwide Park and gives a really luxurious expertise for these trying to chill out.
    • Andaz Costa Rica Resort is ideal for these on the lookout for a stability of true Tico tradition and resort-quality facilities.
  • Different Sights:
    • Get pleasure from browsing at considered one of Santa Rosa’s seashores (closed throughout turtle nesting season, Might-November).
    • Go to the historic websites and study Costa Rican tradition.

For information on birdwatching excursions in Costa Rica, try these sources!

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