Costa Rica Expeditions

Costa Rica: A birdwatching paradise

Pharomachrus Mocinno
By Bernal Díaz CEO & Naturalist Guide / Costa Rica Expeditions

For decades, thousands of birdwatchers who have experienced Costa Rica can confirm it. So many great places, so many different habitats in only one journey; amazing! Birdwatchers have a sole idea in mind, adding up to the life list with great species an, hopefully, some “lifers” (the term lifer describes a bird that is seen and positively identified for the very first time by a birder) for many, this is not so hard since they have never seen a quetzal bird before (Pharomachrus mocinno). For the most avid birders, this may not be so simple, and they must look for some more rare birds. Evidently, to be accompanied by a professional guide will always be a plus.

Vanellus Chilensis

Perhaps, a trogon will do, I f you cannot have a quetzal? Look for the elegant trogon (Trogon elegans) in Arizona, or Costa Rica because we also have them in the north of our country. So many different birds already and the numbers keep growing. During the last years, new species have decided to stay in Costa Rica such as the Southern lapwing (Vanellus chilensis), or the Greater ani (Crotophaga major) A few years ago you had to travel to Panama to see this magnificent bird. Well, the list goes on and on, and birders will certainly enjoy some of the many endemic species that can also become your personal lifer. Species like the Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps), Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow (Melozone cabanisi), or the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager from Osa Pensinsula (Habia atrimaxillaris), could be an epic challenge for the academic birdwatcher.

Trogon Elegans

Let us see the pros and cons for a birding trip in Costa Rica:


  • 3.5 hours average from major destination cities in the US.
  • 2 main international terminals serving the country, as well as several domestic airstrips covering the entire country.
  • 120 miles from Pacific to the Caribbean by land, and good roads to connect isolated but fabulous birding sites.
  • Great weather and the chances to select your choices according to the time of the year. October & November are perhaps the rainiest months at the Pacific, but they are within the “Dry Season” for the Caribbean.
  • Comfortable accommodations and excellent food.
  • Travel Specialists with all the experience to give you nothing but the best options for your birding adventure.
  • Marvelous, knowledgeable, and charming Nature Guides to make this journey unforgettable!


  • Selecting another destination instead! 😉
Crotophaga Major

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