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Situated at 3000 feet in Costa Rica's Cordillera de Talamanca, Rancho Naturalista has long been regarded as one of the country's finest birding lodges. Comfortable rooms, personal service, and delicious home-cooked meals combined with great birding and easy access to other habitats make the lodge a wonderful place to stay.
One of the pleasures of being at Rancho is starting the day on the lodge's balcony, a hot cup of coffee in hand and a myriad of tropical species parading below. Over the years, more than 200 species have been seen from the balcony, and hummingbird feeders and flowers in the garden attract a host of beauties, including the incredible Black-crested Coquette and Snowcap. It's a memorable show that one never tires of watching.
Just behind the cabins, several trails allow access to the lodge's 120-acre private forest reserve, a small but birdy mix of secondary and primary foothill forest habitats. Specialties include Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Brown-billed Scythebill, Zeledon's Antbird, and a trio of manakins.
In addition to Rancho Naturalista, we'll also bird at several other sites, from the mid-elevation cloudforest at Tapanti National Park to the Caribbean lowlands at E.A.R.T.H., an agricultural university. We'll also visit Irazu Volcano National Park, home to the stunningly beautiful Resplendent Quetzal and high-elevation specialties such as Fiery-throated Hummingbird and Volcano Junco.
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