Take A Tour Of A Bird Garden In Costa Rica And Relax In Nature

Hotel Bougainvillea Costa Rica

How is this for a hotel garden? Where we begin our Costa Rica tours.

We are very lucky to have visited the wildlife paradise of Costa Rica several times, a tiny Central American country with staggering diversity of habitats and nature. With two coastlines, Pacific and Caribbean, and a central spine of high mountains with forested slopes it packs a lot in. We start our tours in the capitol city of San Jose, direct flights from the UK or via Amsterdam, and are met at the airport and soon find ourselves at the beautiful Hotel Bouganinvillea a world apart from the city. The rooms are large and airy and with huge comfortable beds and the showers are wonderful just what you need after a long-haul flight.

Blue crowned Motmot CR 2015 1

One the many star birds at the hotel, Lesson's Motmot, taken from the breakfast table!

But the best is still to come, we usually arrive in the evening and it is dark, so only in the morning do you realise just how wonderful this place is. Bird song begins before dawn, always so exciting to wake up somewhere new and hear new songs and calls in the half light. Dressing quickly and rushing downstairs keen to get out and find the songsters and more. Stepping out into the garden in the warm tropical air you realise the hotel has a huge garden! Everyone reacts the same way, wow! The beautiful well-kept garden stretched back further than you can see, clever planting screen sections of the garden from one another and each area would be lovely on its own but put together is makes a wonderful “nature reserve” to explore before your first delicious Costa Rican breakfast. The only problem is remembering to go in for breakfast so much to see and listen to.

The garden will give you your first view of Costa Rica's National Bird Clay-coloured Thrush, honestly it is! photo Ivan and Rose

The wonderful and almost omnipresent Great Kiskadee likely to be one of your fist and last birds in Costa Rica photo by Ivan and Rose.

It is so peaceful in the garden hard to believe you are in a capitol city with bird song and calls all around you. The loud “kiss-ka-dee” call is quickly traced to a stunning yellow, black and white bird on a bare branch, Great Kiskadee! This large noisy flycatcher will be a daily companion on your Costa Rica adventure and always a thrill to see. The loud song bursting from a beautiful flowering tree, the garden is a riot of colour, is eventually seen to be from a giant wren, Rufous-naped Wren, almost the size of thrush, not like wrens at home!

A body builder of a wren the Rufous-naped Wren with a song to match photo Ivan and Rose.

Chestnut-sided Warbler, a winter visitor to Costa Rica, photo Ivan & Rose.

A flash or bright colours annouces the arrival of Baltimore Oriole photo Ivan and Rose.

We visit Costa Rica in the Northern Hemisphere winter, best between November and March, so many North American species are wintering here boosting list of birds we can enjoy to over 400 in a relaxed pace two week tour. Looking up into the open trees near the bench with the statue on we can see Red-eyed Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler and amazing Baltimore Orioles all feeding away.

A new bird on day one in the hotel garden! Photo by Ivan and Rose.

On one lucky occasion, in 2018, we saw White-eared Ground Sparrow shuffling about in one of the flower beds! This is a tough bird to find in Costa Rica and we had missed it on previous visits, yet here it was in the hotel garden on day one! This wonderful place always has something different on every visit. Some of our guests and we ourselves often fly out a day before the Birdwatching Trips tour starts. This gives us 24 hours to recover from the jet-lag and of course lots of time to soak up the birds and tranquillity of the hotel garden. It really is a perfect start to a holiday. But of course always good to aware of your surrounds and companions, on one tour two lovely American ladies came and stood next to us as we admired a Yellow-throated Vireo and we pointed out the features to look for on this lovely migrant bird. We moved on and then stopped to watch a Lineated Woodpecker, a huge and wonderful "woody woodpecker" of a bird, the ladies again stood with us and chatted. Next we watched a Summer Tanager and yes the ladies stood in amongst our group enjoying our commentory about this beautiful bird. We asked if they were enjoying being with a British tour group and they were horrified to find that they had got separated from their group and seemlessly joined ours! Yet somehow had not noticed!! You would have thought the accents might have given them a clue? But it was lovely meeting them if unintentionally.

So wonderful to step out of the hotel on your very morning and see Hummingbirds, Roufous-tailed Hummingbird here. Photo by Ivan and Rose.

The hotel garden gives a wonderful introduction to many of the tropical bird families here Blue Grey Tanager photo Ivan and Rose

Come and join us on our next Birdwatching Trips tour to Costa Rica once it is safe to do so. We hope to be running tours here again in 2021 drop us a line if you would like to join us.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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