Birding close to Alajuela

Old Jun 30th, 2010, 05:00 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Birding close to Alajuela

I have olf friends coming that are avid birders. I have taken them all over the country for birding. For this trip, I would like to keep them as close to Alajuela as possible before their trip back. Last year it was Cartago. Where else can they relax and see birds a couple days before they depart, that is close to the airport? Thanks!
Allylam is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2010, 06:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Xandari has a morning bird walk with a guide. I didn't go with a guide but I loved walking the trails to the waterfalls. Lots of birds. We enjoyed staying at Xandari--nice pools, reasonable prices in the lovely restaurant, wonderful grounds and gardens, complimentary breakfast.
LindainOhio is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2010, 07:28 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,085
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
La Selva/Selva Verde in Sarapiqui is about 1 1/2 hours away, not sure if that is too far, but great birding, especially the great green macaws. You can hire a guide at La Selva, while Selva Verde offers free birding walks in the AM and PM.
colibri is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2010, 07:30 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree, Xandari seemed to have tons of birds. Sorry not a birder so don't know if they were your run of the mill birds or really interesting, but there were a lot of them. Not to mention great villas there, views and about 15-20 minutes to the airport. The grounds are amazing, a lot of hard work and thoughtful planning.
tully is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2010, 08:05 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We saw a beautiful Mot Mot at Xandari.
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 07:17 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How easy are the trails at Xandari? One of my friends is pushing 80 years young and can't do a lot of stairs ....only easy 'simi flat' walking. He has been fine just sitting around other lodges with his binoculars but it would be nice to know ahead of time.
I will also look into Selva Verde. I don't know yet what their departure time is so 1-1/2 hrs may or may not not be too far.
Thanks everyone!
Allylam is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 09:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I remember them being fairly easy. There are also several small waterfalls that you can hike to. They have a nice open air restaurant. Great views from Xandari.
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 02:46 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Selva Verde area is a great choice.Lots of edge habitat, gardens, the river, etc. They could do fine just on the grounds which are pretty much flat. Nearby is the La Selva Biological Station. An early morning [dawn]stroll along the last couple of hundred yards of the La Selva entrance road and around the cafeteria / visitor centre lawns can yield excellent birding, including some real "goodies". Again, very flat terrain. This area has some of the best birding in CR.
Cheers-Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 03:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bosque de Paz too far? East of Zarcero, right tully?
shillmac is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 03:34 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good thought. I haven't been there myself but know lots of folks who have. Great for hummingbirds and quite a few highland species. Again edges, river etc. They regularly get black guan at their feeders. I believe that many of the trails into the forest are quite steep. But would be interesting birding from the deck and lawns /roadside.
gannetmusic is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2010, 03:56 PM
  #11  
RAC
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,951
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The La Selva/Selva Verde area is spectacular for birding. We got bored seeing toucans, to give you some idea.
RAC is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 04:49 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Xandari and Selva both look awesome! Now I need to find out what time their flight leaves! Thanks everyone!
Tully, I await your reply regarding Bosque de Paz (Thanks Shillmac!)
Allylam is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 05:20 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bosque de Paz yes had tons of birds. Especially hummingbirds and large black ones that often ate the bird food alongside agoutis. The trails were a mix of flat and hilly. There was one long one to the right of the small bridge that was about 40 minutes long and all flat. The other way, at the fork, ends up branching off several times but also had 1-2 all flat loops, the others were hilly. Very peaceful, low key place. I'd also mention it was pretty nippy there after sunset. It was about 2 hours from SJ, after Zarcero.
tully is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2010, 11:22 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay, now I have a thrid place to explore! Thanks Tully!
Allylam is offline  
Old Jul 4th, 2010, 12:22 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do your friends have a "wish list" either species or types of birds they want to see? If so, post it here and we can quickly make an educated suggestion.

cheers- Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 08:40 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sure they have some kind of list...is it called a "life list" in birding? Anyway, I'll find out and post it!
Allylam is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:14 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually a 'life list' is everything they HAVE seen, but I'm guessing they have some particular species or groups of birds they they have yet to see, or would really like to see again... Or if you post their CR life list we could help fill in the blanks.
gannetmusic is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 02:59 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I heard back from my friends and they said they have seen hundreds of birds here so it doesn't matter what they see! Okay, so I guess I'll just decide which place will be more comfortable for them. Thanks again everyone.... and thanks gannetmusic for clarifying what 'life list' means! I knew I had heard that term in regards to birding but didn't know what it was!
Allylam is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 05:59 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are welcome. For hummingbirds definitely Bosque de Paz is best. They have feeders and there are some beauties at that altitude [approx 4800 feet above sea level], including the big spectacular violet sabrewing. Several other good birds there including the big black guans that Tully and I mentioned earlier. Cool nights and moderate temperature days. They also get agouti and nocturnal paca [ big rodent] coming into their feeders.

Selva Verde area is a different habitat of course, in the Caribbean lowlands. Three species of toucans are common in this area, as well as several species of parrots and some very beautiful tanagers. Lots of other birds including tons of flycatchers, various motmots, puffbirds, manakins, antbirds,tinamous etc etc. Some big impressive birds such as great currasows which can be quite common at La Selva. Also excellent for poison dart frogs. Mammals we've seen here include collared peccaries,prehensile-tailed porcupines, neotropical otters. tamandua, agouti, and three species of monkeys. Also saw an impressive fer-de-lance on the grounds of Selva Verde.
You can't go far wrong with either of these options. Xandari is not in the same league as the other two.
cheers -Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2010, 10:32 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Xandari but agree with Jerry; it's not a big birding paradise, more of a great hotel property that's beautiful and relaxing. If you're looking for comfort like you mentioned, Xandari is great, but for true birding, I'd go with one of the other options.
volcanogirl is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lhgreenacres
Mexico & Central America
15
Mar 11th, 2010 12:05 PM
classc1
Mexico & Central America
5
Mar 12th, 2009 04:13 PM
RAC
Mexico & Central America
7
Sep 17th, 2008 08:48 PM
lorrie2404
Mexico & Central America
5
Dec 22nd, 2006 11:39 AM
dbarton
Mexico & Central America
5
Nov 4th, 2004 12:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:36 AM.