The Laguna del Lagarto Rainforest Lodge is one of the holy grails for dedicated birders. It’s located in an unspoiled and virtually unvisited tropical rainforest, where you can explore the eco-system at your own pace while staying at a cozy jungle hideaway. Birds are literally everywhere, just my kind of place!
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting to Costa Rica is simple with a Central American award flight. The map below shows the route from the airport in case you want to hire a car and drive yourself. Don’t laugh, but I was not brave enough to drive in Costa Rica (more about that later) and preferred to use either public buses or tourist shuttles. On the map below, the red dot is roughly in the area of Selva Verde where the shuttle came to pick us up.
If you add in the insurances and the cost of the rental car and petrol/gas it’s not really that big a difference in cost. I quite enjoyed the shuttle as it meant I could relax, look out the window and enjoy the ride through the countryside. Just email Laguna del Lagarto and let them know when and where to pick you up from the options on their website.
We finally arrived at Laguna del Lagarto in the early afternoon. I think it took around 3 hours-ish. The road was pretty rough so I was glad I wasn’t driving and possibly messing up the undercarriage of a rental car.
The friendly manager, Adolfo came and greeted us and chatted to my husband while I filled in the registration forms. I had prepaid the room on Pointshound to earn miles but was pleased to learn they take Amex for incidentals such as meals, guides, the shuttle costs and souvenirs.
Rooms are very simple but here it’s all about the view! You can sit on your deck overlooking the rainforest for some lazy birding as they are everywhere! The guides here are fantastic! They really know the local birds and speak English pretty well. We had Didier as our guide and he went out of his way to find birds, especially parrots, even chasing us down at breakfast so we wouldn’t miss a passing flock of Olive-throated Parakeets. You can use the canoes free of charge if you like. I personally preferred to just walk around the grounds or hang out on the deck where the roof protected you from rain even as more birds came to frolic.
This was the only sighting of a Great Green Macaw, off in the distance, seen from our deck.
It’s not just a room with a view, it’s a dining room with a view! Buffets are served at breakfast and sometimes for dinner unless there are only a few people, then they bring you a very full plate of delicious food. Lunch is either sandwiches or a full meal but with the heat of the day most people don’t want a heavy meal at lunch. Wireless internet (WIFI) is offered in the reception and restaurant area. It’s slow but adequate to check your emails. Besides, it’s more fun to sit back and watch the birds eating their bananas on the adjacent viewing deck!
Ina shows the guides how Cook Islanders open a coconut!
You can either email them direct from their website or book on some hotel aggregators such as Pointshound, Hotels.com, Expedia. Prices are extremely reasonable. I wish I had more time to stay longer as this place had amazing bird watching!
MORE PHOTOS OF THE LODGE
Don’t worry, bird photos are coming on separate posts. I have so many, it will take a couple posts.
Front and back view of our bungalow.