Birdwatching in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a great place to add to your birding checklist!
You’ve got your bird checklist in hand, and your Costa Rica rental car (we recommend an SUV) is gassed up—you’re on your way to Monteverde, the best place for bird watching in Costa Rica!
When you pack for this Costa Rica birdwatching adventure, don’t forget to bring sturdy shoes, a light rain jacket, insect repellent, and naturally, your field glasses and camera.
Dedicated birdwatcher or not, Monteverde is Costa Rica’s top spot for seeing an astonishing assortment of tropical birds. The lush cloud forest habitat is home to at least 366 bird species, including 28 hummingbird species, trogons, three-wattled bellbirds and resplendent quetzals.
The best way to locate and see birds is a guided tour, with a naturalist guide.
Many of Monteverde’s feathered residents live well up in the canopy. Your guide knows where to look, depending on the different birds, and will point out any she spots. She’ll also carry the spotting scope.
There are miles of hiking trails, and if you later want to strike out on your own, you’ll know what to look for. In addition, there are several nearby areas that conduct hiking tours that focus on the birds and other wildlife.
A 3-hour morning hike at Vida Silvestre is an excellent opportunity to spot Monteverde’s birds at their most active. In addition to migratory species visiting the refuge, you may catch sight of coppery-headed emeralds or purple-throated mountain gems, as well as black-breasted wood quail. The hike is an easy one.
At the Monteverde Sky Adventure Park, you have a choice of 2 tours. The Sky Tram will take you up through the canopy on a series of cables, while the SkyWalk is an easy hike over 5 hanging bridges. Both are great opportunities to catch sight of the canopy-dwelling birds that a guide will point out to you.
Mix a little adrenaline with your birdwatching and take the Sky Trek zipline through the canopy on a system of 11 cables. Sky Trek is one of the most substantial canopy zipline tours in Costa Rica. Glide through the canopy from platform to platform. When you stop to catch your breath, look around for the canopy’s exotic birds. The platform crews do all the work as well as pointing out the sights.
Finally, consider joining a night tour to catch a glimpse of Costa Rica’s nocturnal bird species, including owls and nightjars, among others. Neighboring Curi-Cancha Reserve offers day and night tours; night tours begin at sunset.
Wherever you fly into, Liberia or San José, we have the right rental car for your travel itinerary. We’ll have you on the road in no time, on the way to beginning your Big Year. Who knows what you’ll see along the way?