We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Birdwatching during "Green Season"

Brisbane
Level Contributor
642 posts
241 reviews
Save Topic
Birdwatching during "Green Season"

We will be in Costa Rica next year and the time we have to get away falls between late Aug-early Nov which I understand to be the rainy "Green Season". I really want to be able to see as many birds as possible so was wondering which time would be best within this window? The specific areas we would be visiting are-Savegre, Carara, Selva Verde, Arenal, Monteverde and possibly Laguna del Lagarto which is supposed to be excellent birding but has a very rough access road. tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
47,172 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

Try to visit Caño Negro from Arenal and of course in Guanacaste Palo Verde...a visit to bird island in Tempisque river is a most!

During that time maybe better a 4x4 to drive into Boca Tapada ...

roadadvisor

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,526 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

The areas you listed are good birding areas. I would probably take out either Monteverde or Savegre considering they're both highland cloud forest areas with very similar species.

Arenal is not a great birding area, UNLESS you stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge and/or visit Cano Negro.

Carara is good for birds. If you're into birds, Jungle Crododile Safari boat trip is very good--we saw 37 species in a three hour boat tour.

Selva Verde/Sarapiqui area may be the best birding area in the entire country (it narrowly edges out the Osa peninsula, imo).

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
6,400 posts
193 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

If you go to Arenal, I'd highly recommend getting Xender Chacon from Sunset Tours as your guide. He's an expert and lots of fun. We've done the Cano Negro tour with him and also hired him as a birding guide and saw tons of things including toucans and an ornate hawk eagle. If you can get to the Osa at all, it's amazing. We saw lots of scarlet macaws there and toucans. We saw a lot of cool birds at La Selva in the Sarapiqui area; we did a day tour. Lots of crested guans, toucans, etc. Also saw peccaries and a fer de lance.

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
15,947 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

Using a good guide will increase your bird count. In Monteverde I can recommend Aandres Alvarado. Also try to squeeze in Hacienda Baru.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
Level Contributor
8,060 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

Agree with Xelas and others 100%. A good guide makes all the difference on a nature tour. They can spot so many species that may slip your notice, they are trained to do so. More $$ but worth it IMO.

Cheers

Brisbane
Level Contributor
642 posts
241 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

Thanks for all the replies. I was thinking we would use the local guides at the lodges as they would know their immediate area best. I am especially interested in parrot species, from my research, Monteverde has more parrots but Savegre is easier to see Resplendant Quetzal. The parrots are also the main draw at Boca Tapada but I am worried about the access road as I hear it's pretty bad.

What about the time frame? Is there any preferable time between late Aug to early Nov? I am worried about road conditions and I don't know how to drive a 4x4.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
9,710 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

In a normal year September is the rainiest month followed by October. This year has been ususually dry so tough to guess about next year.

Brisbane
Level Contributor
642 posts
241 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

This is going to be a frequent flyer award ticket from Australia to Central America, also going to visit Belize and Tikal in Guatemala and the Pipeline Rd area in Panama. Then we plan to stop in Hawaii on the way back so have to avoid Thanksgiving high season. We are using hotel points for major cities and paying cash for eco-lodges but we are on a budget. I wish we had the money to pick and choose the best times but we don't, if it weren't for frequent flyer miles, we couldn't travel at all.

What this all means is that I have to book the tickets about 330 days before departure to stand a chance of getting seats so have to make an approximation of weather conditions in the time frame we have available. If we go next Oct, the weather and road conditions that exist now might be an indication of what to expect next year.

How difficult is that road to Boca Tapada and can it be done in an automatic sedan car?

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,526 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

You'll see all the parrots you could possibly want to at Tikal. Crazy numbers of them there.

Monteverde had nowhere near as many parrots as at Tikal or Selva Verde/Sarapiqui. There were other birds--barbets, black guan--but it's not prime parrot turf.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
47,172 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Birdwatching during "Green Season"

It can be done but no body can guarantee it...since the road condition can and will vary depending on the amount of rain...etc...

For Parrots...Red and green Macaws...for sure around Tarcoles beach...Carara...Bijagual..all the way to Bejuco beach on 34 the road to Manuel Antonio...

I love Brisbane...you live in a great part of the world...all my love and respect for all Australians!

roadadvisor