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OK to miss BellaVista if going to Costa Rica?

Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12
OK to miss BellaVista if going to Costa Rica?

We plan to do go directly from the Galapagos to see Costa Rica. Should we arrive a day early in Quito to see Bella Vista? Our tour guide says a day trip there is not worth doing (and, there is a cloud forest we'll be seeing in Costa Rica) Has anyone been to both? Are they different?
Thanks so much,
sandy46 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2008, 06:26 AM
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i haven't yet been to costa rica, but i would say if you are going to a cloud forest in CR, you could skip bellavista, esp if everything i hear about CR & the wildlife there are true.

however, i loved bellavista and never seen so many hummingbirds in one place!
quimbymoy is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for your input. Were you in Quito longer than 2 nights when you went to Bella Vista? Did you go on a day trip?
Thanks again
sandy46 is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2008, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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hi sandy, yes, we were in quito 2 full days before heading out to the galapagos. the other day we had a city tour of historic quito & mitad del mundo (middle of the world) monument. we did do a day trip but you can also stay overnight in bellavista.
quimbymoy is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I have been to the cloudforest in Monteverde and also to Bellavista.

The cloudforest in Monteverde seemed denser, moister and lusher. I saw (with the help of a guide) the respendant quetzal and a few other birds. There were hummingbird feeders at the shop near the entrance to the Monteverde reserve and there were a lot of hummingbirds showing up but not the most comfortable spot to loiter and watch.

In Bellavista, you have better views. It is located on sort of a promentory, and you have wonderful views out over the valley. They have numerous hummingbird feeders located all over the property and an amazing amount of hummingbirds. You can watch them while you eat lunch in the dining room (good food), or you can sit on various benches and watch them. A more comfortable viewing opportunity.

More people at Monteverde, fewer people at Bellavista. I enjoyed hiking the trails at Bellavista though I never did the hike up the waterfall.

I am a "not overly serious" birder, I enjoy seeing new birds and watching their behaviors, but do not have a life list etc. Bellavista was, for me, a birders paradise. We were able to hike and see Toucans, Trogans, Tanagers and much more. Since the cloudforest is not as dense, the viewing opportunities are better at Bellavista (but then again almost all of Costa Rica offers good birding).

The choice really depends on how much of a nature person you are - for me I am glad to have seen both but for some other people - seeing either cloud forest (but not both) would be fine.

My personal preference over the two is Bellavista - I like the solitude vis-a-vis Monteverde . After my first visit, I brought my husband back to Bellavista and I will probably spend a weekend there in April when I go back to Ecuador, so I guess I have voted with my feet.

Have a great trip!


eveningcrane is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 03:44 PM
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I love this site and thank you two for your postings. It has helped me to decide to get there a day earlier and be sure to make the day trip to BellaVista. We're not bird people, but I love to see nature. The place sounds great!
sandy46 is offline  
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