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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 00:34   #1
BrightonBirder
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Best Single Location In Central America

What do you suggest as the single best birding location in Central America. I am looking for something cheap (I mean really cheap), accessible and convient. I would like to go somewhere for a week and take it easy and bird/botanize, not run all over the place. Thus all birding must be withing 10 km of accomidation. I have thought of Lancetilla Botanical Gardens, Lodge at Pico Bonito (too expensive), Canopy Tower (again too expensive). Any other suggestions?

Michael
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 11:16   #2
Robert L Jarvis
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Serra Tucanos lodge in Brazil.
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 23:20   #3
jocateme
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Err... Brazil is actually in South America. But the place is really famous.
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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 07:07   #4
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There are plenty of good options.
It's about 5 years since I was last there, but the small hotel by the river (with crocodiles) outside of Carara in Costa Rica was only $5 per night when I last visited. Lots of good locations are nearby. The advantage of Costa Rica is that its geared up for budget travelers and there are so many different habitats close to each other. Tim Allwood recently wrote up an excellent trip report on Birdforum of a trip he did by public transport.
Tarrales Lodge in Guatemala is more expensive, but still great value and has really top class birding on site (including some really important local specialties such as Horned Guan). You could spend a whole week there mopping up good birds every day.
Western Guatemala is cheap and full of good birds. You could base yourself in Quetzaltenango and do trips out from there. Transport may be a problem for some locations.
You can camp at Tikal, which could easily be a full week of birding. For me, it has to be the best place to visit in Central America because it has such great birds and the forest and Mayan ruins make it such a great location.
Honduras is pretty much cheap everywhere. You could do Pico Bonito through other routes than The Lodge, such as Campamento Curla or Rio Zacate. Transport may be a problem.
Normally I would offer you the chance of staying with me here in El Salvador, but my son will be born soon and it will no longer be convenient.
Wherever you go, you are guaranteed some fantastic birding and a fun holiday.
Don´t hesitate to get in touch personally, if you want more information.

Tom
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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 08:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme
Err... Brazil is actually in South America. But the place is really famous.
Hi Joao,
Yes, that was my impression as well
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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 12:11   #6
Larry Sweetland
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I'd second Tom's Carara suggestion. Scarlet Macaw for a start.
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Old Saturday 14th April 2007, 17:11   #7
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The Moon guides are ideal for suggesting affordable accommodations in Central America. Also, they are good for alerting people who care about environmentally sustainable travel to some of the worthwhile eco-tourism opportunities that are best for supporting local efforts to protect the environment.

Costa Rica is probably the easiest (especially if you don’t speak any Spanish), but it is no longer very cheap.

Consider Nicaragua – excellent birding and very affordable. Unfortunately, the place I enjoyed most wasn’t exactly “convenient,” because affordable transport into the mountains requires negotiating a bus station in Managua and another in Estelí. Some people find riding these public busses in the mountains too terrifying, but the two that we were on were in very good condition (much better than some we’ve ridden in Mexico) and reasonably well-driven (much less wild a ride than the taxi we took in Matagalpa).

I would highly recommend birding the Miraflor Nature Reserve in Nicaragua. (www.miraflor.org ) We spent nearly a week there, and birded for several hours during three of those days in 2 of the 3 ecological zones in the reserve. There are very affordable and clean accommodations throughout the reserve – some a simple, clean room in a home, and others are cabins or bunkhouses. The hosts are warm and friendly, and the area is very safe. Our room and board (3 meals) was about US$15 per day. Local, well-trained birding guides were $20/day. They spoke fairly good English and knew bird i.d.s in English, but best of all – they knew where to find lots of amazing birds.

I hope to write that trip up, since no one has posted anything on Nicaragua on Bird Forum, but I don’t have the time now. So, this is just a reminder to readers to look into birding in Nicaragua – the birding is every bit as good as in Costa Rica and Honduras, but the tourism infrastructure isn’t so developed yet.
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Old Sunday 15th April 2007, 03:24   #8
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I really hope that you do write up your report. On the entire internet, there are almost no trip reports on birding in Nicaragua. I'm sure that there is some great birding there and I would love to get some more information on the places to visit.

Tom
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