Costa Rica is a birdwatching paradise, with some of the best locations in the world to spot a colourful array of exotic and endemic birds in lush rainforest.

Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast is home to around 270 different bird species, including six types of parrots, 22 different flycatchers and 14 varieties of hummingbirds. These and many others can be observed on a number of outstanding trails that wind their way through the verdant rainforest. It also has the added benefit of some of the most idyllic beaches in the country, perfect for unwinding and relaxing on.

Heading further north, the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula and the inland Monteverde Cloud Forest both boast a huge collection of colourful birds, including toucans, hawks, eagles, macaws and hummingbirds. With the help of an expert guide, the latter is also probably the best place to spot beautiful but endangered quetzal bird. It is best to head out early, or in the early evening, to have the best chance to see these incredible birds in their natural habitat.

Lesser visited places to observe tropical birds include the Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve, on the border with Nicaragua, reached on an excursion from Arenal, and the Lankester Gardens near San Jose, which boasts over one hundred species of hummingbirds.

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