A Birder’s Costa Rica Paradise
Luna Nueva Tropical Birding Tour
Luna Nueva is an excellent location for birding, whether you are an experienced birder looking for species to add to your life list, or a nature lover who wants to enjoy magnificent toucans, jeweled hummingbirds, and colorful tanagers from the lodge balconies or our canopy tower. The lodge is located on the Caribbean slope, at 1080 to 1150 feet elevation. It includes a primary rainforest of 126 acres, and 82 acres of secondary forest, fields and gardens, and features trails to explore and bird on your own or with a professional guide. More than 450 species have been recorded within the Arenal area, and over 250 birds have been recorded on our private reserve alone. View a pdf of Luna Nueva’s own bird list, luna-nueva-bird-checklist-2019, and read the review of birding at our lodge by the renowned Costa Rican birder Patrick O’Donnell, http://www.10000birds.com/highlights-from-the-2016-arenal-costa-rica-christmas-count.htm
Birders and nature lovers will enjoy:
A 35-foot high canopy tower, where you can easily observe and photograph colorful toucans, euphonias, honeycreepers, and hundreds more.
Maintained trails that cross secondary forest, primary forest, open areas and gallery forests. A Luna Nueva bird list developed by Juan Diego Vargas & Mirna Salas, both professional birding guides, that describes where you can find species of interest on the reserve.
Native flowering plants that attract 20 different hummingbird species, including the famous black-crested Coquette.
Proximity to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest; San Ramon Cloud Forest; Arenal Lake, and other excellent birdwatching locations (see our birdwatching tours page for more information). As part of our commitment to rainforest restoration, we have planted a wildlife corridor along the Chachagua River that is linked to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, just 600 meters away.
Check out this beautiful article written by Juan Diego Vargas “The feathered jewels of Finca Luna Nueva”.
- Schedule your guide 24 hours in advance
- Departure from reception 6 AM
- Duration: Approximately 2 hours
- Recommended ages: All ages
- Minimum: 2 people
- 2 – 4 people: $50 per person
- 4 or more people: $37 per person
- What to bring: Quick dry clothing or poncho, sunblock, bug spray, camera.
- Discounts: 20% off for students and residents
For more information contact us at [email protected]
6- Day Birding Expedition!
Price: $1375 per person
4 Hotspots for birdwatching
1 Relaxing Massage
All Meals (Fresh from our organic farm)
All hotel taxes included (13%)
Valid from May through November 2020
Minimum 2 people
For inquiries please contact us at [email protected]
DAY 1. WELCOME / BIENVENIDO!
Welcome to Finca Luna Nueva Lodge. Today you will be able to explore our hotel grounds, enjoy a fresh farm to table dinner and have a relaxing night’s sleep in the rainforest.
DAY 2. BIRDWATCHING AT FINCA LUNA NUEVA
As the sound of birds awaken you, your bird specialist guide will be waiting for you at the Moon Drops Restaurant for a light snack before your very first bird watching experience at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge. With over 200 species on this regenerative farm and rainforest, you will be enchanted by many bird songs and bright colorful feathers above the trees. You will be able to spot Great Ant shrikes, White Collared Manakins’, Toucans and many more!
At 9am an ample breakfast buffet will be waiting for you at the restaurant to conclude your first birding tour. At 12.30pm enjoy a delicious lunch and have free time in the afternoon to take a walk, swim in the pool or relax in our solar heated Jacuzzi. It would be a great time to enjoy a massage after an exciting day (we can schedule at your request).
Dinner will be served from 6pm until 8.30pm every night. Prepare for a delicious farm to table dinner and why not a glass of wine?.
DAY 3. VISIT TO CHILDREN’S ETERNAL RAINFOREST
To continue on this birding journey, today you will be visiting one of the most beautiful natural treasures in Costa Rica, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. It is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica where you can spot the famous Umbrella Bird, trees of golden-plumed Montezuma Oropéndula and bubbling mud pits where geotechnonic plates collide. Yes, you can rub the hot volcanic mud on your faces! This is an all day tour.
DAY 4. CAÑO NEGRO WILDLIFE REFUGE (WETLAND)
It’s time to move from the rainforest to the wetlands!
Today you will visit the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge located near the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This includes a picturesque boat ride along the Río Frío, one of Costa Rica’s biologically-diverse areas.
This is a birdwatcher’s paradise! There are thousands of migratory and resident birds (such as Anhingas, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Cormorants and much more!) Plus three different species of monkeys (howlers, spider and white-faced monkeys), and lots of other wildlife like caimans, turtles, iguanas and sloths.
Your boat captain will be awaiting you. The boat is a comfortable covered, motorized boat and the river tour takes about 3 hours. Your guide with his eagle eyes (and binoculars!) will point out things along the way and narrate this interesting river adventure.
Lunch is included with your tour. You will arrive to our lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy a dinner with us.
DAY 5. CLOUDFOREST OR R&R
As we know this has been a full birding immersion you get to decide to end it in a beautiful secluded Cloudforest where you can find the resplendent Quetzal which is an near-threatened species or the Three-wattled Bellbird with one of the loudest bird calls on Earth. Or you can stay at the lodge and rest for the day.
Either way lunch will be included and you will be picked up later in the day to take you to the Hot Springs to relax after a day filled with adventure or relaxation.
DAY 6. FLY HOME
Cloudforest Experience (1-Day Excursion)
Travelling just a couple hours north we find the Cloud Forest. Our reception team can coordinate a day trip to this wonderful location.
Resplendent quetzals are one of the iconic species of the Central American tropics. They are near-threatened, reside in the tropical cloud forest, and we are fortunate to have easy access to their habitat: EN RESERVA NATURAL VALLE DE LOS QUETZALES in La Paz de San Ramon. Aztec and Mayan cultures venerate quetzals as sacred creatures that symbolize goodness and light. This glorious bird is associated with the Snake God Quetzalcoatl, and when you see the male’s long iridescent tale undulating in flight you’ll understand the connection.
In addition to Resplendent quetzals, this nature reserve also offers birders the chance to see (and hear!) the Three-wattled Bellbird, a “vulnerable” species with one of the loudest bird calls on Earth. And the Emerald Toucanet and Long-tailed Manakin are also there, along with approximately 200 other bird species that have been observed at this reserve.
In addition to the birding experience, this reserve offers a 13-kilometer hike, moderate in difficulty, to a 50 meter waterfall in the cloud forest. Hikers on this trail can sometimes spot the Baird’s Tapir, the largest native land mammal of Central and South America classified as a vulnerable species in danger of extinction. This is a perfect experience for those wanting to do a longer hike up into the cloud forest.
The birding and the waterfall hikes take approximately 5 hours, starting at 7 a.m. in the reserve to optimize birding. The tours includes transportation to and from our lodge, a nature guide, and a packed breakfast and lunch. The birding trail is 5 kilometers in length, but it may be a much shorter hike depending on birding conditions. There is also a ranch in the reserve where people not wanting to hike can set up camera gear for a more relaxing experience. The birding trail is well managed, and the degree of difficulty is “easy.” Please check with reception for birding conditions – species will vary depending on the season.
The time required for this activity is 8 hours approximately.
- The tour starts at our reception desk at 6 am
- The tours are scheduled by reception, upon request
- Recommended ages: 16- 100+ yrs old.
- Rate: $135 per person (special rates for groups)
- What to bring: Quick dry clothing or poncho, hiking shoes, socks, sunblock, mosquito repellent, change of clothes, camera.
- Includes: Entrance fee, transportation, rubber boots, lunch and professional bilingual guide.
- Minimum: 4 people.
- Discounts: 20% off for students and Costa Rican residents
For more information contact us at [email protected]
“Finca Luna Nueva combines perfectly a well-thought process of forest restoration with an absolutely wonderful gastronomy using local organic products. The edge effect of the their organic farm provides nice and easy birdwatching in the gardens and the decent-size private reserve gives a nice challenge if you want to try for more secretive species. This is also a great lodge to use as an strategic location to birdwatch the Pocosol Station of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and many of the main hotspots of Arenal Volcano area.” Juan Diego Vargas Country Coordinator, eBird. Bird Guide, Lifer Nature Tours
Birdy as always. During the count, we kept on seeing and hearing more birds at this excellent organic farm/ecolodge. This site truly shows how we should be using the land in sustainable fashion and it shows with the numbers of birds that live there including many migrants. 2018. Patrick O’Donnell. Costa Rica Living and Birding