As of January 2006 more than 350 species of birds have been identified at Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge. This is mostly due to the wide diversity of habitats found on the 330 hectare (815 acre) reserve. These include: primary rainforest, secondary forest, swamp forest, mangrove forest, river bank, wetlands, seashore, old cacao plantations and open pastures. The primary rainforest is found in the highlands and all the rest are in the lowland portions of the hacienda.
The Lowland Bird Watching Hike begins early when the birds are just beginning to wake up. First on the agenda is a visit to a tower located on top of a knoll. The upper deck puts you in the tree tops at eye level with the birds. This is an ideal location for spotting tanagers, honeycreepers, toucans, saltators, vireos and others. From there you will hike through secondary forest with your sharp-eyed guide until you arrive at La Casona, the old Hacienda Barú home where you will enjoy a delicious breakfast of typical Costa Rican food.
From the Casona it is on to the river your chance to observe water birds. Petrels, jaegers, gulls, and others are likely to be found there, and, with a little luck, an osprey might make an appearance. From there it's on to the rookery where, during the wet season, you will observe egrets, herons, ibis and other water birds from a blind built over the water of the mangrove estuary.
The final leg of the tour includes secondary forest and the beach, your best opportunities to observe shore birds such as whimbrels, plovers, phalaropes, sandpipers and sanderlings, pelicans and frigatebirds. From the beach it is a short walk back to the Guide Center, where you began.
Duration of the tour: 6-7 hours
Price: $45 per persons
Times: 5:30 to 6:00 AM, Requires prior reservation.
Limit: 12 persons, Minimum: 2 persons
Our Gift Shop is well known in the area for having a wide variety of gifts. Not only will you find T-Shirts, Hammocks and Jewelry, but also a beautiful selection of Costa Rican made Arts and Crafts. Our policy is to buy (as much as possible) from local artisans who work with local materials of a sustainable resource.