Lomas Barbudal Biological Reserve, Guanacaste

Owl Butterfly on tree in Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve
Owl Butterfly on tree in Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve

Birdwatchers, insect enthusiasts and nature lovers all around should plan a visit to Lomas Barbudal, located around 15 kilometers southwest of Bagaces in northwestern Costa Rica. A major forest that’s part of the Tempisque Conservacion Area, it’s situated directly north of Palo Verde National Park and lies about 40 minutes south of Liberia, the capital and largest city of Guanacaste province. It’s also home to thousands of flora and fauna species, taking an active role in conserving the area’s wildlife and prevent its extinction.

Costa Rica’s Famous “Insect Park”

It's no surprise that Lomas Barbudal is called the “Insect Park” by locals and visitors alike. The reserve houses a huge range of insect, wasp and butterfly varieties, including over 60 kinds of moths and at least 60 types of nocturnal butterflies. Moreover, it boasts around 250 different kinds of bees, which accounts for around one-fourth of the world’s bee species.

An Impressive Array of Wildlife

As one of Costa Rica’s premier birdwatching spots, this forest serves as home to more than 200 species of avian creatures. During your tour, pay close attention and you’ll see the elegant trogon, a grey and orange bird known for perching motioning on tree branches. You might also spot the scarlet macaw, a rainbow-hued species popularly depicted as roosting on pirates’ shoulders, and other majestic birds like the jabiru stork, the king vulture and the great curassow. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll also see animals such as collared peccaries, wildcats, coatis, deer and many native primate species such as the white-headed capuchin, the Central American squirrel monkey and the mantled howler.

A Majestic Forest Focused on Conservation

As a deciduous forest populated by tons of rare trees, Lomas Barbudal is the best hope for many endangered arborous species. Among striking classic varieties, visitors will also spot uncommon kinds such as the cocobolo, the pochote and the ron-ron, a flowering tree that can reach heights of more than 35 meters when fully grown. Probably the greatest standout in this forest is the corteza amarilla, a tree famous for its short-lived yet breathtaking clusters of electric yellow blossoms. To take in their beauty, you’ll need to schedule your visit during the country’s dry season, which typically spans from December to April. Be sure to keep your eyes open, because these beauties only last for four days before their petals drift to the ground.

Hiking Trails, Museums and Other Attractions

Taking one of the park’s many hiking trails gives you the perfect chance to take in its wildlife. While you’re there, why not visit its research station, which houses a plethora of facts about the species you’ll see? This museum and information center, housed in the Casa Patrimonio at the park’s entrance, is a great place to start your journey through the reserve. To appreciate the best of what it has to offer, make plans to visit between December and April. Your trip should be blessed with clear skies and warm temperatures while avoiding the extreme wet conditions of the rainy season.

Visiting Lomas Barbudal

Tourists can visit the reserve by flying into Daniel Oduber International Airport, located in Liberia in Guanacaste province. From that capital city, travel southeast on the Interamericana Highway and take the turnoff near Pijije, a small village right next to the highway. From there, it’s around a 15-kilometer drive to its beautiful, natural splendor.

Make a trip to Lomas Barbudal Biological Reserve part of your total Costa Rica experience! We’re ready to help you plan a getaway filled with exquisite scenery, gorgeous weather and unforgettable experiences.

Guanacaste Escape Adventure Tour
7 Days / 6 Nights
Starting at $932 per person
Costa Rica Beach & National Park Tour
14 Days / 13 Nights
Starting at $2,068 per person

Where to Stay near Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve

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Starting at $339 / night
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Wyndham Tamarindo
Starting at $189 / night
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Bahía del Sol Beach Front Boutique Hotel
Starting at $145 / night
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Occidental Tamarindo
Starting at $136 / night all inclusive
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Hotel Pasatiempo
Starting at $86 / night
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Hotel Bosque del Mar - Playa Hermosa
Starting at $240 / night
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Hotel Mangaby
Starting at $85 / night

Things to Do near Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve

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Palo Verde Jungle Boat Tour with Lunch
Starting at $120 / person
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Coyote Sportfishing Tamarindo
Starting at $475 / Day
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Del Mar Surf Camp - Nosara
Starting at $65 / person