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Costa Rica or Ecuador ? (1 Viewer)

Cormac

Well-known member
I am wondering which of the following would provide the most bird species and I would appreciate any relevant advice also.
Costa Rica in May (3 days at La Selva Station + 3 days at Rancho Naturalista)
or
Ecuador in April (3 days at Wildsumaco + 3 days at San Isidro)
 

Jon Gallagher

Well-known member
Pretty sure you'd see more species in the two Ecuadorian lodges than in Costa Rica. (You can take a quick look on ebird and see the totals for all hotspots). Of course it depends on what you've seen before in terms of new birds... You might also want to look at accommodation prices and see if there is still the possibility of staying elsewhere and doing day visits to keep the costs down. However I do know that at San Isidro you can't use the trails unless you are staying there.
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
I have, to some extent, made a clandestine version of both trips :) - we have been in near locations to those. We got slightly more species in Ecuador.
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
Without locla guides you will likely encounter sinilar species numbers on either option. With local guides you will almost certainly see more in Ecuador as there is that much more diversity there compared with CR. Added diversity usually falls into the column of difficult species, hence the benefit/increase of the local guides who know where to see them. From what I hear, both those EC lodges have great feeder setups that attract good variety as well.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I have nothing to add regarding which to choose - others have given perfect comments.

But I would question if you cannot go to either country for a longer trip? 6 days is quite short!
 

Cormac

Well-known member
Thanks. I am looking at 8 to 10 days maybe, but the first and last days will probably be travel from and to the airport.
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Irrespective of quantity, is there not a qualitative difference between some of the species on offer in Central vs South America?
I'm thinking cotingas, which are poorly represented in Central America, antpittas and the sexier hummingbirds like sword-billed.
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
Well I have personally seen cool species in both. I mean yes, Ecuador had Cock-of-the-rock and Oilbirds, but in Costa Rica Sunbittern and Sungrebe are very easy. Costa Rica also has some fun contingas and manakins.
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
Irrespective of quantity, is there not a qualitative difference between some of the species on offer in Central vs South America?
I'm thinking cotingas, which are poorly represented in Central America, antpittas and the sexier hummingbirds like sword-billed.
No. Coquettes and the Snowcap hummingbird are in Costa Rica; as well as Lovely and Turquoise cotingas, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, and several other cotingas as well. To say nothing of the amazing Resplendent Quetzal! Several Antpittas and Antthrushes as well. I took similar short trips to both countries of just over a week, and garnered about 50 more species in CR.
 

kb57

Well-known member
Europe
Well I have personally seen cool species in both. I mean yes, Ecuador had Cock-of-the-rock and Oilbirds, but in Costa Rica Sunbittern and Sungrebe are very easy. Costa Rica also has some fun contingas and manakins.
I stand corrected then...Sunbittern and Sungrebe would definitely be worth travelling to Costa Rica for...and I must admit I'd forgotten about Resplendent Quetzal :unsure:
I guess the point I was trying to make is that rather than looking at quantity, I'd be more inclined to build a trip around key targets of must-see species. That's not to invalidate the OPs question, if you are focussed on building your life list or getting a really good year list then clearly quantity is important.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
It might be worth swapping La Selva for Savegre or Arenal if you want the Quetzal or the Cotingas in Costa Rica but all the places in both countries will give you good birding.
We went back to both Ecuador and Costa Rica after longer trips so don't expect to clean up on such a short trip to either place.
 

C B Allen

Chris Allen
It might be worth swapping La Selva for Savegre or Arenal if you want the Quetzal or the Cotingas in Costa Rica but all the places in both countries will give you good birding.
We went back to both Ecuador and Costa Rica after longer trips so don't expect to clean up on such a short trip to either place.
Would second that: both Arenal & Savegre area were much "birdier" than La Selva when we visited CR earlier this year.
 

Cormac

Well-known member
Many thanks for all opinions. I still haven’t made my mind up, but I will settle on one or the other.
 

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