Costa Rica is a popular destination for birdwatching, photographers, and travelers. It’s because Costa Rica has some of the greatest natural gifts the world has to offer. The country has a large bird list for the size of the country, with over 800 species to choose from. It has beautiful wetlands, mangroves, highland forests, and humid tropical wet and dry forests.
The Resplendent Quetzal is a must-see bird, which is usually difficult to spot however, the challenge is worth it. The country is also home to several outstanding lodges, some of which include a bustling set of bird feeders. The best way to see the quetzal in Costa Rica is to visit the national park.
If you want to learn about bird watching in Costa Rica, then stick with us as we tell you all the best places where you can spot beautiful birds.
1. Quetzal Paradise
Visiting San Gerardo de Dota and the nearby environs may be the ideal option for a bird-watching getaway. This wonderful and stress-free location has numerous birding places. Enjoy the pleasant weather, friendly people, and lush woodlands. Look for the Mighty Quetzal and other species including Fiery-throated, Volcano, and Magnificent Hummingbird. Visit San Gerardo de Dota, a lovely village on the Savegre River for birding watching on the river.
2. Carara National Park
Carara National Park on the Central Pacific Coast is the most favorite place for bird-watchers. The park’s location means the rainforest is more open, with fewer evergreens, allowing bird spotting to be easier than the rest of the places. The beautiful Scarlet Macaw is one of the most popular birds to watch in the park. The macaw bird is the largest parrot in the whole family and is popular among local birdwatchers.
3. La Selva Biological Station
La Selva Biological Station is one of the best places to research tropical rainforest ecology. More than half of the 450+ bird species found in La Selva are native to the area. Selva Verde Lodge offers horseback riding and whitewater rafting as well as birding and animal watching. The protection area of La Selvas is around 1500 hectares, and the station hosts around 300 scientists and students each year. If birding or animal watching is on your bucket list, then it’s recommended to stay at Selva Verde Lodge.
4. Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge
Make a beeline towards the “Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge” if you’re looking for aquatic birds. You should visit Cano Negro Lake and Ro Fro, both of which are located within the refuge. A day trip from La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, is the ideal way to go. You’ll see “storks, egrets, herons, and roseate spoonbills” once you’ll arrive. The greatest time to visit the refuge is during the rainy season (from May to mid of November). Note that when the landscape is at its greenest, the water levels are at their highest and that’s the time when the birds are out in force.
5. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest was named one of the country’s “seven wonders” back in 2007. Monteverde means “Green Mountain,” which allows you to explore the trails and elevated walkways in this beautiful and surreal setting. The reserve contains more than 400 bird species. The Resplendent Quetzal, known for its spectacular plumage, is a must-see bird. The cloud forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Osa Peninsula
The Osa Peninsula is home to 350 different bird species, including 16 different types of hummingbirds. Although there are many protected areas in Costa Rica, this is the place that’s visited the most. The rainforests are teeming with tapirs, jaguars, squirrel monkeys, and scarlet macaws. Here you’ll find a huge variety of beautiful birds for example aquatic birds can be seen near lagoons, marshes, and rivers, including the tiger heron, which often waits on riverbanks for frogs and fish to come within reach of its long beak. Even if you don’t go into the park (Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula), you’ll see plenty of interesting species as long as you’re on the Osa peninsula.
7. Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde National Park is mostly made up of wetlands fed by the Tempisque River. A variety of aquatic birds, including the tiger heron, Jabiru, and White Ibis, can be found here. Apart from these species, you’ll also find exotic animals like “toucans and macaws” in Palo Verde. Since the place is less mountainous, it gives an excellent opportunity to travelers and photographers to spot beautiful birds with ease.