Discoverability, Environment

Birders Into the Wild: A Guide to Costa Rica’s Birdwatching Hotspots 

Despite Costa Rica´s small territory, we enjoy of a vast biodiversity unique and not easily found in other places in the world. While we could dedicate a blog detailing the colorful life that hides beneath the waves, the small kingdoms of diverse insects or iconic mammals such as the sloth spread all over our lush forests and jungles. On this new entry, we will expand on the world of birds, more specifically on the birdwatching hobby or “Birders” as its also called and known as. 

As the experts may know, birdwatching is a very patient-driven hobby. Usually, a day of a birder starts by waking up very early in the morning and, be it alone or together with a group of other birder enthusiasts and/or a tour guide, go to different paths or routes in known bird hotspots and equipped with their binoculars and telescopes, start spotting different types of birds.   

But where in Costa Rica are such hotspots located, and what sort of wildlife can you expect to find?  

 In Costa Rica, we have many different unique spots ideal for the practice of bird watching. Some of the best locations are the following: 

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The lush cloud forest provides a unique habitat for highland species, and specialized birdwatching tours are available. 

  • Birds: Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, various hummingbirds including the Violet Sabrewing and the Magenta-throated Woodstar.

Tortuguero National Park

Explore the Caribbean canals by boat for a chance to spot both aquatic and canopy-dwelling birds. 

  • Birds: Keel-billed Toucan, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Great Green Macaw, and various kingfishers. 

Corcovado National Park: The park’s remote location offers a pristine environment for observing 

rare and endemic species. 

  • Birds: Scarlet Macaw, Harpy Eagle, Spectacled Owl, and a diverse array of hummingbirds. 

La Selva Biological Station

Positioned in the Caribbean lowlands, La Selva is a premier research 

station with guided birdwatching tours. 

  • Birds: Great Green Macaw, Sunbittern, and a variety of toucans, trogons, and parrots. 

The Arenal Region

The region not only offers excellent views of Arenal Volcano but also of the adjacent habitats. 

  • Birds: Keel-billed Toucan, Montezuma Oropendola, and various raptors like the Ornate Hawk-Eagle. 

Carara National Park

Carara is a transition zone, hosting both Pacific and Caribbean species, and due to its location, it’s easily accessible from San José. 

  • Birds: Scarlet Macaw, Fiery-billed Aracari, Boat-billed Heron, and various tanagers.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Coastal birdwatching with the backdrop of pristine Pacific beaches and the tropical forests. 

  • Birds: Brown Pelican, Black-hooded Antshrike, Fiery-billed Aracari, and various Shorebirds. 

Cerro de la Muerte

Located in the Talamanca Mountain Range, it’s an excellent spot for high-altitude bird species. 

  • Birds: Resplendent Quetzal, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and Volcano Junco. 

Palo Verde National Park

This wetland habitat is great at attracting numerous migratory birds, especially during the dry season. 

  • Birds: Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Northern Jacana, and various waterfowl. 

San Gerardo de Dota

Known for its cool climate and cloud forest, the destination is excellent at providing a habitat for many highland species. 

  • Birds: Resplendent Quetzal, Collared Redstart, Flame-throated Warbler, and Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher. 

These destinations offer diverse ecosystems, ensuring a rich and incredibly unique birdwatching experience throughout your journey in Costa Rica. Discover these majestic animals by yourself! Book a trip with us, and let’s start exploring.  

Juan Carlos Ramírez
Marketing Assistant
Hello, I’m Juan Carlos Ramírez. I’ve got a background in Advertising and currently work in tourism, which is a perfect fit for my love of blending creativity with strategy. Beyond the office, I’m passionate about architecture, history, and video games. Exploring the beauty of buildings, uncovering the past, and going on virtual adventures are some of my favorite things. Let’s connect and share some awesome experiences!

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