Category: COSTA RICA
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Region (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (25th-28th January, 2005)


Birding Site Guide

The Carara National Park was accessed from the town of Tarcoles which can be reached in about 2 and a half hours from San Jose on regular buses towards the beach town of Jaco. Tarcoles has several places to stay. I stayed at the Restaurant Hotel Carara ($20 for a double) which is a 10 minute walk from where the bus drops you (towards playa Azul). Scarlet Macaws could be easily seen feeding in trees near the hotel during the day. The park headquarters were about 2km back along the highway. There are some trails through good forest from the Headquarters but better is the Sendero Laguna a further 2km towards the bridge over the Rio Tarcoles. This has a wide trail through secondary and primary forest and also passes a lake which has many water birds. Entrance tickets ($6 for foreigners) are sold from 7am but it seems possible to buy a ticket the day before and go along the lake trail earlier. I also birded along the beach to the river estuary which had several wading bird species and I also checked mangroves near Tarcoles for possible Mangrove Hummingbird and Yellow-billed Cotinga. Some mangroves are easily accessible. From the Hotel Carara take the road towards Playa Azul for just a few hundred metres and turn left at a sign which reads 'Paseo de la Laguna'. This comes to a dead end but before that on the left is a small wooden bridge over a creek with some mangroves. Neither species were seen here although Mangrove Warlber was. A female Yellow-billed Cotinga was seen just before bridge over the Rio Tarcoles perched in a tree by the road. It then flew down into trees by the river. Three-wattled Bellbird was heard along the Sendero Laguna but Baird's Trogon and Mangrove Hummingbird were not seen. Apparently good mangroves occur upstream of the bridge over the Rio Tarcoles where Mangrove Hummingbird may occur and one of the tour companies running crocodile viewing trips may be persuaded to take people up there. I saw 153 species including 35 lifers.

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Species seen 

Other Fauna 

A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse