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]
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