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High Lands Bird Watching Expedition (Quetzal Tour)


The Resplendent Quetzal is one of the most iconic species on the entire planet earth. It is a bird with an amazing cultural history for the Central American indigenous tribes and is currently ranked as the most beautiful bird in the world. However, it is a threatened species on the way to extinction, due to the loss of forests and habitats throughout Central America. In Costa Rica basically the two best places to find this elusive species are Monteverde and San Gerardo Dota.

Our tour to observe the Resplendent Quetzal takes place in San Gerardo Dota. With an impressive altitude of almost 3,000 meters above sea level, Dota is considered one of the best places in the world for bird watching.

Brief history of San Gerardo Dota:

At the beginning of the 60's, Costa Rica was still an unexplorable place and none discovered by naturalist experts. However, the locals knew very well that our country had an abundance of wildlife. Through comments between different people, Costa Rica reached the ears of different important biology scientists. It was then when Costa Rica began to receive visits from different biologists with the purpose of exploring and discovering the species in our country. Among some scientists who visited our country, two biology students from Oxford University decided to specifically explore the high lands of Costa Rica, to search for orchids. This is how the first two naturalists discovered the Dota forests.

After their expeditions to Dota these students published scientific articles in which they mentioned as special notes making relevance on the abundance of birds in the place. After these publications, Dota became a point of reference for bird watching in Costa Rica and the world.

About the tour:

The tour begins with pickup from your hotel or private home in Manuel Antonio or Quepos. The trip takes about 2 and a half hours. As soon as we get to Dota our goal will be to look for the Resplendent Quetzal. The early hours of the morning are key for bird watching, especially for finding the Resplendent Quetzal. It is necessary to leave Manuel Antonio exceedingly early to guarantee the success of the activity. Later, after exploring the Dota forest, we will visit our favorite restaurant "La Choza de Miriam" a great place and extremely well known by the birdwatchers of Costa Rica. Here we will enjoy a delicious breakfast and while you have breakfast you will see incredible species of birds approach the feeders of Miriam's Choza. La Choza de Miriam is a popular place to photograph birds in Dota.

After breakfast we will continue our expedition to complete as many species as possible from that inhabit the high lands of Dota.

Tour info

  • 6 hours (complete activity)
  • A/C Transportation from your hotel (round trip), Naturalist Tour Guide with professional equipment for bird watching, Cooler with bottles of water and snacks, Lunch
  • US$260 per person
  • 4:40 am
  • Binoculars, sunblock, hiking shoes, bug spray, camera and NO colorful clothing.


High Lands Bird Watching Expedition (Quetzal Tour) Photo Gallery