Hummingbird Hotspots of Costa Rica

Dec 7 08:24 2012 Matthew Barker Print This Article

Discover the best locations to go bird watching for hummingbirds on your next vacation to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has long been a top destination for bird enthusiasts. One bird that has especially captured the hearts of many bird watchers is the hummingbird. Costa Rica’s cloud forests are the native habitat sporting more than 50 hummingbird species,Guest Posting some of which are rarely found outside of the country and has attracted loyal lovers from all over the world to try to catch a glimpse of some of these amazing minuscule feathered creatures. Bird watching is best from from December to May, especially during the driest months from February to March in the mornings and the late-afternoons. The following destinations are great places to see these flickering beauties and should be seriously considered by bird fanatics for their next trip to Costa Rica.  
Selvatura Park is a popular, well-developed cloud forest in Monteverde that features an unforgettable hummingbird garden. When you are in the hummingbird garden you can see over 100 hummingbirds from more than a dozen species fluttering around you. They will amaze you with their grace and lively colorations that you will not regret visiting. Other park highlights include a beautiful butterfly garden with winding cobblestone paths and benches, reptile center and a rainforest insect display for visitors to enjoy. There are plenty of opportunities to take pictures, but as hummingbirds are rapid movers you should be sure to use fast shutter speed on your camera and take multiple frames at once. Selvatura Park offers different tour packages that range from a couple hours to full-day trips. Tours normally stop at the hummingbird garden, along with adventures like zip line rides, hanging suspension bridge walks and canopy tours. Birders are more likely to spot wild hummingbirds during a canopy tour, because ziplines and bridge walks are designed more for thrill than wildlife viewing. Private guide services are also available upon request for the parks tour service.

San Gerardo de Dota is a perfect hidden gem of Costa Rica in the quaint farming small village sitting in a secret valley, which is virtually unknown to everybody but avid birdwatchers. Located about 50 miles southwest of San Jose, the region has a dazzling array of tropical bird species that thrive in higher altitudes. It is a primary habitat for rare hummingbirds and woodpeckers. The area is home to nearly 200 other exotic birds as well as the Resplendent Quetzal, trogon, parakeet and pygmy owl. Savegre Mountain Lodge is a popular destination for serious birders because it has guided half and full-day tours to the Gerardo de Dota Cloud Forest and Los Quetzales National Park. On the way travelers will see the picturesque Savegre River Valley lined with peach and apple orchards, green rolling hills, exotic flora and towering waterfalls.  

Home to hundreds of bird species is Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. The Hummingbird Gallery just outside its parking lot and features the remarkable photography of Michael and Patricia Fogden. The gallery protects several species and is designed to let visitors get up-close and personal views from feeding hummingbirds. Don’t forget your birding binoculars with a high magnification that will bring these tiny little gems into clear focus for a great look. Wide lens binoculars are best to let in plenty of light to help you identify the birds’ markings and colorings for proper identification. There are guided semi-private tours that are limited to eight people and last for about four hours. Private tours can be customized to your preferences. Guides take visitors on a variety of hiking trails and ecosystems to learn about the forest’s great biodiversity. Birders should try and take the early morning tour. Most tours involve about five miles of hiking and it’s best to come to the park prepared wearing long pants, light rain gear in neutral colors and sturdy hiking shoes.

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Matthew Barker
Matthew Barker

This article about discovering Costa Rica travel was written by a travel expert for Costa Rica for Less, specialist in great value Costa Rica vacation packages who can help you organize a fully customized Costa Rica vacation.

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