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The best place to see macaws and other colorful birds in Costa Rica.

The best place to see macaws and other colorful birds in Costa Rica.

Old Mar 6th, 2003, 05:36 AM
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RBO
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The best place to see macaws and other colorful birds in Costa Rica.

Any suggestions where to go? What area and what lodge to stay in? We were in Lapa Rios on Osa Peninsula two years ago and we saw many great birds there including a couple of macaws but Lapa Rios is too expensive for revisiting.
Thank you for your help
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Old Mar 6th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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Without question Osa is the place to be to see scarlet macaws. If you liked the area perhaps you can stay someplace cheaper. We stayed at Rancho Almendros, also known as Rancho Kapu. It's 'down' the hill from Lapa Rios and MUCH cheaper. They have a nice little guest house they call their honeymoon cabina and we loved it! If you have a larger group, there are two or three (can't remember exactly) rooms in the main house that they rent. This place is only about 50 yards or so from the beach. They are on the web, so you can check it out by doing a search. As with Lapa Rios, all meals are included and when we were there it was excellent! However, the manager/cook that was there is now on the Green Peace ship, so I can't say how it is now.
You might also consider staying on the Drake Bay side of Osa. Casa Corcovado gets good reviews, as does Bosque del Cabo.
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Old Mar 6th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Ally is right on regarding where to see Scarlet Macaws. The Osa. We have stayed in many places there and have found the Matapalo/Lapa Rios/Carate areas to be one of the best. Bosque del Cabo is across the street from Lapa Rios and much nicer and user friendly for bird watching. While there, Scarlet Macaws flew in daily as did Red Lored Parrots, a whole flock of Chestnut Mandibled toucans, Caracaras, there are resident Mot mots, Trogons, and many many others. Three different species of monkeys were viewed on the grounds daily. The temperature up at Bosque is cooler because they are up high and get the breezes from the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean.
Another option would be El Remanso which is right next door to Bosque del Cabo. Joel is a Greenpeace captain and goes out a couple of times a year and his wife Belen was a cook on the ship. They have a tree platform that you get to on a short zip line. They get many birding clubs/watchers there and serve coffee/breakfast up on the platform for the early birders. Belen recently showed us a Puff Bird hole in the side of a small hill. Mama bird wasn't home unfortunately but she attacked the workers several times a day.
Lookout Inn up the road in Carate is right on the beach and Terry has put in a lot of new rooms from the 3 he started with. It is right across from the beach where there is a row of Almond trees that are full of Macaws this time of year. It is mating season now and the macaws are usually paired up when you see them.
The Corcovado Tent camp is nearby also.
In a slightly different direction from Cabo Matapalo but fairly close to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa is a place called Bosque del Rio Tigre. They recently had the Costa Rican bird club staying there and is a lovely place. Abraham is wonderful.
For a place closer to San Jose for Scarlet watching is Carara Reserve. We saw tons of macaws as well as many many other birds such as the orange collared manakin, toucans, mot mot, a beautiful black and white rat snake lots of mono congos. We stayed at the Villa Lapas where we saw a pygmy owl just outside our room in a tree, pale billed woodpeckers, bare throated tiger herons, etc.
There are many many more serious birding places in CR but for Scarlets the above are the best.
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Old Mar 6th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on Rancho Almendros Ally. My husband is not a beach person so I am always looking for a good beach place to stay after he leaves. I have been hanging out in Playa Platanares at Toby and Laurens places Iguana Lodge/Pearl of the Osa but am open to new ideas. There are several other small places that I had hoped to at least visit this year but didn't get to.
Sue
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:15 AM
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Thank you Sue and Ally for your great help. I am checking out all these places you mentioned. Bosque del Rio Tigre and Rancho Almendros look wonderfulon their websites. Can you give me more details about these two places? Do they have hiking and walking trails? How is food and accommodation arrangements? We are fine with a simple places but like to be surronded by jungle foliage, have peace and quiet and also have a private en-suite bathroom with hot water showers. Am I going to be able to see and photograph scarlet macaws there?
Sue I read your another posts and thank you for details regarding Rara Aavis. We were considering this place. Not anymore. Thanks

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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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I'll give you a little more info on Rancho Almendros.
The 'honeymoon' cabina, where we stayed is built away from the main house and is very private. It's ground floor is storage and laundry. On the second floor is the cabina. The beds (two twins they had pushed together), LARGE stoarge closet, sink and bookselves are in one section with the toilet being behind another door. This area is all screened and has large louvered shades to close at night. There are reading lamps over the beds. Outside the screened area is a large deck with hammock, day bed (very nice touch!) table and chairs. The shower is actually downstairs and is outside, but surrounded by a rock wall for privacy. It's a spring fed shower so it does NOT have hot water, but even though we were there in the 'green season',(Sept.) it was still so hot and humid we didn't miss the hot water.Next to the shower and cabina is what the web site says is a 'pool'. This is not REALLY a pool. It's more like a tiled spring fed pond. Only about 8 feet around and 1 and 1/2 feet deep. It's surrounded by gardens and is also very refreshing to lay in after a hike.
There is forest just to the right of the cabina with walking trails that will take you all the way to Lapa Rios. We took this hike one afternoon. The jungle is fabulous...huge trees, wildlife, beautiful. We stopped at Lapa Rios and they were happy to serve us a beer and show us a room. (Too expensive for us but we wanted to see a room and they were happy to show us one). Then we walked back to the Rancho via the road, instead of the jungle. It's a nice walk too. There are also other walking trails as well, and you can even hike to a waterfall close by. There were scarlet macaws all around, as welll as monkeys. Yes, photo ops abound!
The main house you can rent rooms in MAY have hot water..as I know the kitchen does. The kitchen in the main house is the kitchen they use to make all the meals. As I said, food was VERY good and plentyfull when we were there, but is under new management now so I can't say if it's better or worse. The outdoor dining area is off the the main house right by the kitchen. It's a lovely area to take your meals and again, monkeys come very close, and in the mornings we saw lots of Blue Morpho butterflies float by. It was so beautiful.
And of course, if you like the beach, it's very close. A minute or less walk away. Well, that should answer your questions about this place!
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