10 best bird watching tours in Costa Rica in 2024

Looking for the best bird watching tours in Costa Rica?

I’ve personally experienced birdwatching here and can’t wait to help you discover the perfect tour for your trip.

From the cloud forests of Monteverde to the rich biodiversity of Osa, each location brings you face-to-face with some of the world’s most exotic bird species, including the resplendent quetzal and scarlet macaw.

In this post, I’ll cover the best options to suit every type of birder, with insights to help you choose the right one.

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🦜 3 best bird watching tours in Costa Rica

#1 best Pick
Monteverde Cloud Forest

Bird Watching Tour in Monteverde

Up to 450 species of birds

Spot wildlife like coatis, capuchin monkeys, and the Resplendent Quetzal

#2 best
costa rica

Bird Watching Near the Arenal Volcano

Choice of morning or afternoon departure

Spot toucans, parrots, parakeets, tanagers and hawks

#3 best
Wildlife in Central America

Bird-Watching Tour in Manuel Antonio

Choice of morning or afternoon departure

Spot toucans, parrots, and much more

🦜 10 top Birding tours in Costa Rica

1. Bird Watching Tour in Monteverde

Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 from 42 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

If you’re into birdwatching, you’ll love the Monteverde Cloud Forest Birdwatching Tour.

With a local guide, you’ll wander the forest pathways, eyes peeled for colorful birds in the wild.

This tour gives you a chance to see some of the 400 bird species that call Monteverde home, including the elusive quetzal, in one of the most biodiverse sanctuaries in the world.

2. Bird Watching Near the Arenal Volcano

costa rica
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 10 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

If you’re keen on spotting exotic birds, the La Fortuna Bird Watching Tour near the Arenal Volcano is perfect for you.

Follow a knowledgeable guide to find an array of local species in their natural habitat. Ideal for early risers, this tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off for a hassle-free experience.

3. Bird-Watching Tour in Manuel Antonio

Wildlife in Central America
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 22 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

Get your binoculars ready for the Private Bird Watching Tour in Manuel Antonio, where you’ll join a local expert to uncover the vibrant birdlife of Costa Rica.

Enjoy the exclusivity of a private tour while you spot an impressive variety of feathered friends in their natural tropical paradise.

4. Bird Watching Tour in Osa

best bird watching tours in Costa Rica - Osa
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 1 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

Grab your birding gear and set off on the Drake Bay Bird Watching Tour, a hit with reviewers for its rich sightings.

You’ll venture into habitats teeming with Costa Rica’s diverse bird species, guided by an expert who knows just where to look. Perfect for avid birders and nature lovers alike.

5. Poas Volcano National Park Tour and Bird Watching Near San Jose

Wildlife in Central America
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 3 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

Step into a world of natural wonders on the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, and Birdwatching Tour from San Jose.

This excursion takes you up close to the steaming crater of Poas Volcano, through the misty beauty of La Paz Waterfall, and into the vibrant world of Costa Rican birdwatching, all in one day.

6. Early Bird Watching Tour – Guanacaste

best bird watching tours in Costa Rica - The Cattle Egret - Guanacaste
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 5 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2-3 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

Kick-start your morning with the Early Bird Watching Tour in Guanacaste, where you’ll get the chance to see some of the region’s most spectacular birds.

An expert guide will help you spot a variety of species in this area known for its biodiversity.

This tour is a favorite for its peaceful, early start and the opportunity to observe wildlife when they’re most active.

7. Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour in Tarcoles

best bird watching tours in Costa Rica - Crocodile Safari
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 170 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

Check out the Jungle Crocodile Safari and Bird Watching Tour if you’re interested in seeing crocodiles and a variety of birds.

This tour takes you along the Tarcoles River, where you can safely view these animals and learn about the local ecosystem from an experienced guide.

It’s a popular choice for families and wildlife enthusiasts.

8. Bird Watching Tour in Carara National Park

bird watching in Costa Rica - Black-hooded Antshrike
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 5 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4-5 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

The Bird Watching Tour in Carara National Park is a great opportunity to observe numerous bird species in their natural habitat.

With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, you’ll explore one of Costa Rica’s most diverse ecosystems, making it a solid choice for anyone interested in birding and nature.

9. Curi-Field Bird-Watching Tour Semi Private

best bird watching tours in Costa Rica - Blue-Crowned Motmot - Monteverde
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 65 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

On the Cloud Forest Tour in Monteverde, you can expect to see a variety of birds such as the iconic Resplendent Quetzal, the Three-Wattled Bellbird, and the Blue-Crowned Motmot among others.

This guided tour provides an informative walk through one of Costa Rica’s unique high-altitude ecosystems, known for its rich biodiversity and birdlife.

10. 3 Hours Uvita Bird Watching Oro Verde

best bird watching tours in Costa Rica - Manakin - Uvita
  • ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 from 2 reviews
  • ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours
  • 🦜 BOOK NOW

During the Uvita Bird Watching Oro Verde Tour, you will have the opportunity to see birds such as woodpeckers, toucans, tanagers, and manakins in the Oro Verde Reserve.

The tour involves a guided walk through primary forest with a bilingual local guide who will help you spot and identify different bird species.

This experience is designed for bird enthusiasts looking to observe birds in their natural rainforest environment.

FAQ – Bird watching tours in Costa Rica

What is best month to go birding in Costa Rica?

The best month for birding in Costa Rica is generally considered to be December, during the dry season.

Read next: The best and worst time to visit Costa Rica

What is the best place for bird watching?

One of the best places for bird watching in Costa Rica is Monteverde Cloud Forest, known for its high biodiversity and numerous bird species.

What is the most common bird in Costa Rica?

The most common bird in Costa Rica is the Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi), which is also the country’s national bird.

How do you plan a bird watching trip?

To plan a bird watching trip, follow these steps:

  1. Determine Your Goals: Decide if you’re targeting specific species or want a general birding experience.
  2. Research Destinations: Look for areas known for bird diversity or specific species you want to see.
  3. Seasonal Timing: Consider the best time of year for bird activity and migration patterns in your chosen location.
  4. Equipment: Ensure you have binoculars, a field guide, a camera (if desired), and appropriate clothing.
  5. Local Expertise: Consider hiring a local guide for expert knowledge of the area and birding hotspots.
  6. Logistics: Arrange travel, accommodation, and any necessary permits for birding areas.
  7. Checklists and Apps: Use birding checklists or apps like eBird to track sightings and find popular birding locations.
  8. Be Prepared: Familiarize yourself with bird calls and behaviors, and be ready for early mornings as many birds are most active at dawn.

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Explore my curated list of the best birding tours in Costa Rica, perfect for every level of birder. Find top-rated bird-watching tours in Costa Rica and immerse yourself in the unparalleled Costa Rica birding experience. #BirdingTours #CostaRicaBirding #BirdWatching

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