Best time to travel to Costa Rica

Birdwatching in Costa Rica

Plenty of birds all year round could be watched in Costa Rica, however, ​bird migrations are the real highlight

Best time: August–October


If you fancy birdwatching, come to Costa Rica to see some of the birds that migrate here annually. There are more than 200 migrant birds, such as warblers, flycatchers, swallows, cuckoos, and kingfishers. ​

Practical info

What are some popular migrant birds that can be seen in Costa Rica during birdwatching?

Many migratory bird species are attracted to Costa Rica's tropical climate and unique landscapes, making it a popular destination for bird watchers. Swainson’s thrush, wood thrush, the northern waterthrush, scarlet tanager, Baltimore orioles, and the rose-breasted grosbeak are among the in-demand species. With over 900 identified species, Costa Rica offers plenty of opportunities for bird enthusiasts. Show more

What makes Costa Rica a great destination for birdwatching?

Costa Rica's rich and thriving bird population makes it an ideal place to go bird watching. Its geography is especially conducive to migratory birds, which journey thousands of miles from North and South America. With multiple ecosystems such as rainforests, beaches, and cloud forests, Costa Rica offers unique habitats to hundreds of bird species, making it an attractive destination for tropical birding enthusiasts. Show more

How can tourists prepare for birdwatching in Costa Rica?

When traveling to Costa Rica for birdwatching, it is recommended to go on guided tours to take advantage of experienced birding guides. Comfortable walking shoes, binoculars, cameras, hats, and water bottles are essential items to carry. It is best to wear neutral, dark clothing that blends in with the surroundings where they would plan birdwatching, avoid bright clothes and perfume, and forgo insect repellent. Show more

When is the best time to visit Costa Rica for birdwatching?

The best time for birdwatching in Costa Rica is during the dry season, from December to April, when migrant birds stay in the country. The rainy season, between May and November, is the best time to see species like the resplendent quetzal when the cloud forests' foliage is dense, creating an ideal bird habitat. Migration of raptors can be seen from August to October. Show more

Where are some of the best spots in Costa Rica for birdwatching?

Costa Rica offers many great spots for birdwatching, making it one of the world's best birdwatching destinations. The best locations include Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, La Selva Biological Station, Tortuguero National Park, Corcovado National Park, Palo Verde National Park, Wilson Botanical Gardens, and Carara National Park. These locations provide homes to a variety of endemic and migratory bird species, which makes birdwatching experience all the more memorable. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin