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Black crowned night heron | © Amir Matityahu
Black crowned night heron | © Amir Matityahu

The Top 10 Birding Lodges in Costa Rica

Picture of Jenn Parker
Updated: 4 November 2017
On top of being a family destination, an eco adventure, a yoga-wellness and surf-beach destination, Costa Rica is also a top birding hotspot. There are more species of birds in Costa Rica than in all of North America combined, over 850. For all the avid birdwatchers and bird lovers out there, check out Costa Rica’s top birding lodges.

Macaw Lodge

Macaw Lodge is a small completely off-the-grid eco lodge nestled in the verdant forests of Cerros de Turrubares in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. The lodge is ideal for bird watchers, yogis, chocolate lovers, and nature enthusiasts. Macaw Lodge is passionate about operating a sustainable lodge where guests can enjoy the vast beauty and wildlife of Costa Rica all while being comfortable and well taken care of. There are 300 different species of birds, both permanent and migratory, that reside in this part of Costa Rica, so you can rest assured that you will be able to check plenty of unique tropical birds off of your list.


Trogon Lodge

Trogon Lodge is a romantic and peaceful lodge, up in the cloud forest, near the small community of San Gerardo de Dota. It is close to the Los Quetzales National Park and Los Santos Forest Reserve. It is here that you can unwind and disconnect from your everyday life to reconnect with nature, yourself, and your loved ones. This area is home to the famous resplendent quetzal among a wide assortment of other exquisite birds. There are multiple bird watching and nature tours offered by Trogon Lodge so that you can see all of the natural beauty and wildlife of this part of Costa Rica.

Caño Negro Natural Lodge

Caño Negro Natural Lodge is an exceptional lodging choice for those interested in visiting Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the premier bird watching destinations in Costa Rica. The sanctuary is a lovely 20 minute walk from the lobby of the lodge and an important feeding ground for 350 migratory and permanently residing bird species. The lodge has 42 simply decorated, cozy, and immaculate rooms for bird and nature enthusiasts, as well as a great restaurant and bar.

Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel and Spa

Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel and Spa is a beautiful and luxury bird watering accommodation set between the forest and the sea outside of Uvita on the Pacific coast. Aside from the gorgeous rooms, there is a huge pool, a bar, an open-air restaurant, a full service spa, and rainforest hiking paths. They also offer guests a unique opportunity to take a tour with an experienced birding guide. Cristal Ballena has counted 200 different species of birds in their immediate area!

Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel and Villas

Tango Mar is harmoniously settled on a 150-acre private beachfront reserve in Tambor on the Nicoya Peninsula. This luxurious and intimate resort has it all, including five-star accommodations, an on-site restaurant, a bar that serves up tasty tropical cocktails, a spa, and of course a fantastic bird watching tour. The bird watching tour takes you through the Pochote Mangroves at sunset where you will have the opportunity to observe hundreds of species of birds alongside a knowledgable guide.

Tango Mar

Not a bad place to sit and watch the birds | Courtesy of Tango Mar

Hacienda Baru Lodge

Hacienda Baru Lodge is located just north of Dominical on the Pacific coast. For the past thirty years, Hacienda Baru has made it its mission to provide the best value and highest quality eco tours, while protecting the wildlife habitats of their 335 hectare/815 acre biological reserve. Hacienda Baru is made of up wetlands, primary rainforest, secondary low land forest, and a highland coastal ridge. The wildlife, including birds is quite spectacular here. There are several different bird watching hikes that you can take when you stay at this incredible lodge.

Bare throated Tiger Herons-HaciendaBaru

Bare throated tiger herons at Hacienda Baru| Courtesy of Hacienda Baru Lodge

Rancho Naturalista

Rancho Naturalista is one of the top recommended lodges in Costa Rica for bird lovers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts. There are so many birds that you don’t even have to leave your balcony to see an impressive variety of them, including hummingbirds. Rancho Naturalista provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, delicious family-style meals, and more than 450 species of birds in their immediate area. Rancho Naturalista employs exceptional and highly knowledgeable bird watching guides and there are a number of tours and trails that you can embark on during your stay.


So cozy! | Courtesy of Rancho Naturalista

Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge

Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge is the oldest rainforest lodge in Costa Rica. This unique place is located so deep into the rainforest that it is only accessible by horseback or tracker cart. This is the most phenomenal place to visit if you are set on spending time completely immersed in nature and away from the modern world. The secluded location is optimal for rare wildlife and bird sightings. Each day that you stay at the lodge you will be treated to family-style traditional Costa Rican meals and a guided nature tour.


Set into the jungle | Courtesy of Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge

Paraiso Quetzal Lodge

Paraiso Queztal Lodge has been awarded the National Geographic Certificate and the Blue Flag for Ecology. The lodge is situated up in a cloud forest where there is an impressive collection of plants and animals, including some truly unique birds. It is safe to say that Paraiso Quetzal Lodge is a bird watcher’s utopia. There are multiple guided and self-guided tours that you can embark on during your stay at the lodge, including a highlands birding tour. At the end of your day, you can have a belly satisfying meal at the Los Colibries restaurant and then settle into your cozy cabin to rest up for your next day’s adventure.

Selva Bananito Lodge

Selva Bananito Lodge is located on the captivating Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. This eco-friendly and sustainable lodge takes great pride in their conservation efforts and invites you with warm and open arms to come stay in one of their cozy cabinas and learn all about the local ecology. The birdwatching here is extraordinary and there are a number of tours and hikes that you can take to see hundreds of different species of birds and other unique wildlife.

Selva Bananito Lodge, Karibik

Set out into nature | Courtesy of Selva Bananito Lodge