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Birding Costa Rica


birding observation tower costa ricaBIRDWATCHING AT LUNA NUEVA & NEARBY
The Arenal region’s open areas and rainforests offers fantastic birding in the Caribbean slope. If you’re an independent birder, join us at Luna Nueva. Our excellent guides can work with you on a target list or lead you on your first tropical birding trip.

Download the Luna Nueva bird checklist here.

Birdwatching Tour at Luna Nueva
This tour with a professional, bilingual birding guide will take you through Luna Nueva’s multiple habitats. Its open areas, forest edges and canopy tower offer exceptional visibility. Olivaceous Piculet, Great Curassow, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, White-collared Manakin, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and 3 species of Toucans are quite common, and White-fronted Nunbird and Spectacled Owl can also be seen. Please reserve in advance.

Duration and cost: 6am - 9am $35

Nature Lover Birdwatching Tour at Luna Nueva
Daily birdwatching tours for nature lovers led by local guides are available each morning on the Luna Nueva grounds. Colorful toucans, tanagers, chachalacas, honeycreepers, and many more species are often seen, and you’ll learn to identify some birds by their songs.

Duration and cost: 6am - 7:30am $15.

Birding Day Trips
Using Luna Nueva lodge as a home base, you can venture out to nearby birding hotspots, including San Ramon Cloud Forest, the foothills of Arenal volcano, and the unspoiled Children’s Eternal Rainforest.
Our staff can prepare coffee and a hearty, before-sunrise breakfast (included in your room rate) so you hit the road ready to bird.

After birding, you can return to the lodge to enjoy the jacuzzi or rest in a hammock before a dinner that includes international cuisine, fresh organic salads and soups made with organic vegetables grown right here on the lodge’s farm. Late afternoon at Luna Nueva is also a good time to watch and photograph euphonias, honeycreepers, tanagers and parrots from the observation tower. The wi-fi access in the tower also means you can post live photos of your findings to your envious friends back home!

Specific day trips
Transportation and guide costs quoted below can be shared by up to 4 people. For up to 6 people, van rental with driver costs$140 a day. All trips are continent on guide and transportation availability, so please book in advance. Other destinations can be arranged upon request.

Children's Eternal Rainforest (Pocosol Station, 45min from Luna Nueva)
This day trip will take you far off the beaten tourist path to the largest primary rainforest in the region that is home to a magical volcanic lagoon. It is an excellent choice for the same birds of the Arenal Volcano area, with much better habitat. Specialty birds include the Lovely Cotinga, Rufous Jacamar, Brown-billed Scythebill and Blue-and-gold Tanager.

Costs
$100 guide fee and $70.00 transportation fee (fees can be split between guests going on field trip).
Lunch and $12 entrance fees will be paid by guests individually.


Arenal volcano foothills and Lake Arenal (1 hour from Luna Nueva)
This excellent mid-elevation forest is close to the volcano and is a great place to find the White Hawk, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Ornate Hawk Eagle, White-throated Shrike Tanager, Nightingale Wren, Song Wren and many others. On the same day you can visit the forests around Lake Arenal, especially the area called La Peninsula. This is one of the best sites in the country to see the rare Keel-billed Motmot, Bare-crowned Antbird, Dull-mantled Antbird, Great Antshrike, and even the shy Thicket Antpitta.

Costs
$100 guide fee and $100 transportation fee (fees can be split between guests going on field trip).
Lunch and any entrance fees will be paid by guests individually.


San Ramon Cloud Forest (1.5 hour drive from Luna Nueva):
Misty clouds, roaring rivers, and trees rich with epiphytes and mosses characterize this cloud forest, located at 3280 -6500 feet elevation. Specialty birds include Resplendent Quetzal (depending on season), Prong-billed Barbet, Orange-bellied Trogon, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo and Emerald Toucanet. We’ll see over 6 hummingbird species during a quick stop at a local restaurant with hummingbird feeders (including the local White-bellied Mountain-Gem and the Coppery-headed Emerald, a Costa Rican endemic).

Costs
$100 guide fee and $100 transportation fee (fees can be split between guests going on field trip).
Lunch and any entrance fees will be paid by guests individually.


Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (approx. 2 hours from Luna Nueva):
This spectacular wetland site offers the only accessible good-quality wetland in northern Costa Rica. We will journey by boat to search for specialties include Nicaraguan Grackle, Pinnated Bittern, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Spot-breasted Wren, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Least Bittern, and Yellow-breasted Crake. Other regular goodies in the area are Gray-headed Dove, Sungrebe, Great Potoo, Glossy Ibis and many waterbirds.

$100 guide fee, $125 transportation fee and boat rental fee of approximately $60 (fees can be split between guests going on field trip). Lunch and $10 park entrance fees will be paid by guests individually.

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