With more than 900 species of birds and a relatively small area, Costa Rica is truly a paradise for bird lovers. The country alone holds more than 5% of the total biodiversity of the world and, as a bridge connecting the Americas, it is a perfect location to watch the migration of raptors, warblers, and shorebirds.
When it comes to birds, Costa Rica has more species than the U.S. and Canada combined! The country’s mountainous topography creates a multitude of microclimates and habitats that attract a wide variety of birds: rainforests, cloud forests, mangroves, beaches, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and dry tropical forests.
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Best time of the year for birdwatching in Costa Rica
From January to March, during the dry season on the Pacific side of the country, you can see thousands of migratory birds in the wetlands and forests. February is the nesting season for Quetzals in the cloud forests. The rainy season, which begins in May, brings an abundance of vegetation, which attracts many birds. As the Caribbean region moves into a short dry season between September and October, migratory birds from the north begin to appear and soon spread throughout the country. Many birds continue to migrate to South America during the winter, while many others remain in Costa Rica until early spring.
Top birdwatching destinations in Costa Rica
Bird lovers will be searching the sky for the spectacular quetzal, scarlet macaw, or a colorful toucan. There is no place in Costa Rica where you won’t have great birding opportunities!
Monteverde’s cloud forest reserves are home to more than 400 species of birds. Emerald toucans, brightly colored hummingbirds and the famous Quetzal are some of them.
San Gerardo de Dota
The virgin cloud forest high in the Cordillera Central makes San Gerardo de Dota one of the best in the country for this activity. Visitors to this small valley enjoy the pure mountain air, the lush green forest, waterfalls, and the search for. resplendent Quetzals.
This National Park is a great attraction for birdwatchers because it is located in a transition zone between tropical dry forest of Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific and tropical rainforest of the Southern Pacific. This makes the Park home to a vast variety of wildlife and plant like the colorful Scarlet Macaw.