Watching Wildlife

Great KiskadeeThe best place to begin wildlife watching is at Hostal Casa Blanca, on the balcony that inspired a website: Watch orioles, kiskadees, and parakeets flying among the large trees along the stream or enjoy the colorful butterflies that flit past and sometimes come to sample the hostal’s many flowering plants. also gives you plenty of ideas for self-guided tours, from volcanic lakes to mangroves and from rolling hills to tropical forest.

Zebra LongwingIf you only have an hour or two, take a morning walk across the creek and enjoy the tropical flowers and huge trees along the cobblestone roads. Squirrels and iguanas scamper along stone walls and dozens of species of birds have been seen here. If you have only one full morning or day, most wildlife lovers head to Laguna La Maria, the region’s most famous birding spot. Here, old growth tropical forest, scrubby rangeland and a beautiful natural lake combine to provide a variety of productive habitats. Weekday morning visits are recommended.