A Blue-crowned Motmot in Curú Wildlife Refuge
A Blue-crowned Motmot in Curú Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife in Costa Rica is just about as vibrant as the color of my skin! Wherever you look, there is a beautiful creature soaring high in the air, swinging from the tree branches or crawling around the forest floor. With nearly 840 different aviary species in Costa Rica, these animals are the most diverse and interesting to watch! Bird tours are located across the country, and they can give you front row access to view colorful birds like hummingbirds, toucans and more. There is just so many birds to look out for, I'll share with you some of the best spots around my home country to view them.

Caño Regro Wildlife Refuge

Because of the location near Caño Negro Lake and the Rio Frio, there is a great diversity of birds that live here, especially aquatic birds. This region relies heavily on bird migration through the area, so depending on what the weather in Costa Rica is like, you'll see different species. During the rainy season, or green season, which is between May and October, the Rio Frio's water level increases and the amount of marine birds is at its highest. Beginning in the dry season, around December, millions of birds call this area their temporary home. North and South American species take refuge here, so it might be the best time to see the most diverse array of species. You may catch a glimpse of American Anhinga, northern Jacana, black-necked Stilt, Nicaraguan Grackle or blue-winged Teal.

Resplendent Quetzal in Los Quetzales National Park
Resplendent Quetzal in Los Quetzales National Park

Corcovado National Park

As the largest of Costa Rica's national parks, Corcovado is one of the most stunning and ideal to go birding. The park is home to nearly 400 different species of birds, as well as 10 percent of the mammals who live in the Americas. Corcovado is a must-visit for any aviary lover, and you'll quickly see why! The park is home to species such as the brown pelican, green hero, long-tailed hermit, scarlet macaw, chestnut-headed oropendola, bananaquit, magnificent frigatebird and more. This park is so big, it can take you two to three days to get from one side to the next, but camping is permitted so you can see tons of birds while you're here!

Parque del Este

Are you staying in San Jose? That doesn't mean that you can't experience the wildlife in Costa Rica! Head over to Parque del Este where the sprawling green space and manicured gardens create a great home for many aviary species. Grab a blanket, pick up some snacks and have a picnic while spotting a number of different soaring creatures. Oropendola and blue-crowned motmot populate this park.

La Selva Biological Station

With more than 1,530 hectares of land, two rivers and a diverse landscape, you can bet there are tons of bird species here! In fact, this park is home to more than 400 species of resident and migratory birds, which is almost half of the species that live in all of Costa Rica! You can venture through the park with an experienced guide or walk by yourself to view birds like the rufous-tailed jacamar, red-capped manakin, great antshrike, scarlet macaw or bare-necked umbrella bird.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde is home to more than 400 species of birds that live in the pre-mountain and tropical mountain landscape. Did you know that the early morning is one of the best times for bird watching lovers? Well you can go on a sunrise tour in Monteverde and walk along the various trails, suspension bridges and more to get an up close look at the birds residing in this park!

Brown Pelican diving for food off the coast of Corcovado
Brown Pelican diving for food off the coast of Corcovado

A pair of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in Palo Verde National Park
A pair of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in Palo Verde National Park