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Birding and Photography Paradise: The Caribbean Lowland Rainforests of Costa Rica

Costa Rica lays claim to several major habitats. Cool and misty cloud forests cloak the mountains, tropical dry forest and wetlands occur in the northern Pacific lowlands, rainforest with a number of endemics is the natural historical habitat of the southern Pacific lowlands. All of these habitats offer exciting encounters with hundreds of beautiful birds but the region with the highest number of birds is situated on the other side of the mountains in northern and eastern Costa Rica, the region we refer to as the Caribbean lowlands.

Bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east and mountains to the west, historically, this part of Costa Rica was covered in tall, dense tropical lowland rainforests dotted with palm swamps, lagoons, and other tropical wetlands. Although in many areas, those original forested habitats have been replaced by cattle pastures and agriculture, primary forest still occurs and is protected in various reserves. Even better, several excellent sites with rainforest are easily accessible on good roads.

As one might surmise, both the birding and subsequent photography happen to be spectacular.

Yes, toucans are feeder birds!

Around Boca Tapada, so are Brown-hooded Parrots!

Speaking of parrots, both Scarlet and the endangered Great Green Macaw occur,

along with a few hundred other fantastic tropical species including these common birds:

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Green Honeycreeper

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker

Local birders feel a twinge of excitement every time they go birding in the Caribbean lowlands. At least the guides at Lifer Tours do because even after years of exploring and birding this rich habitat, we know that every visit can turn up something exciting, and that the birding will always be fantastic. Easily accessible, excellent birding; we think that's a pretty good definition for paradise.

Want to see and learn about birds in the Caribbean lowlands before your trip? Take a virtual tour with Juan Diego and see what shows up in his birdy garden!

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