March 22, 2023

Palo Verde National Park offers exciting wildlife-watching and birding

Palo Verde is a protected region of Costa Rica and tours are limited; contact the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) to book a tour.
Rainforests aren’t the only reason to go to Costa Rica. The country packs varied ecological zones between its two oceans. These include the wetlands, lowland mountain forests, and tropical dry forests found in the country’s northwestern Guanacaste region, bordering the Pacific coast.

Wildlife variation is excellent in this region, and one of the best places to see the local fauna is in the 46,950-acre Palo Verde National Park. For birders, in particular, this is a must. Central America’s largest concentration of birds can be found here and the park’s marshes are an important habitat for migratory birds from all over North America. Tricolored herons, snowy egrets, white ibis, jabirus, and roseate spoonbills are just some of the birds you may spy.

Horseback riding and canopy tours are offered in the park, but a riverboat wildlife-watching tour is the best way to see aquatic birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals who cluster at the water’s edge.

As you cruise the Tempisque River, guides point out hard-to-spot crocodiles and lizards and identify some of the 60 species of waterfowl and 75 species of mammals you’re bound to encounter. Keep your eyes peeled for armadillos, peccaries, jaguarundis, and howler monkeys. Guides have even been known to communicate with the howlers, imitating their booming, guttural call.

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