Season Guide: When to Visit Costa Rica for Bird Photography in 2024

Season Guide: When to Visit Costa Rica for Bird Photography in 2024

Ah, Costa Rica! A paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike. But, have you ever wondered when is the best time to capture these feathery beings in all their glory? Well, let's dive right into it.

Ah, Costa Rica! A paradise for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike. But, have you ever wondered when is the best time to capture these feathery beings in all their glory? Well, let’s dive right into it.

Understanding the Costa Rican Climate

Before you pack your bags and camera, it’s crucial to get a grip on Costa Rica’s unique climate.

Wet Season

Also fondly known as the “green season”, this period lasts from May to November. You might be thinking, “Rain and cameras? No way!” But hear me out. The wet season brings out vibrant landscapes and a variety of birds that aren’t usually seen in the dry season. Just remember to pack your rain gear!

Dry Season

From December to April, you’ll experience the dry season. It’s the tourist peak season, which means popular spots might be crowded. But, the good news? Clear skies and sunny days. Perfect for those crisp bird shots.

Prime Seasons for Bird Photography

So, when should you specifically visit for bird photography?

Migratory Patterns

Between September and April, many North American birds migrate to Costa Rica. That’s right, they’re snowbirds, escaping the cold! This is a golden opportunity to capture species you won’t see any other time.

Best Locations

Monteverde Cloud Forest? The Osa Peninsula? Or maybe the Tortuguero National Park? Different regions come alive during different seasons. It’s all about location, location, location!

Wet Season Birds

Now, for the juicy details.

  • Characteristics: These birds are usually vibrantly colored, blending seamlessly with the lush greenery of the wet season. Their songs often fill the rain-soaked air.
  • Species to Look Out For: Look out for the Resplendent Quetzal, Scarlet Macaw, and the Three-wattled Bellbird, among others. They’re not just birds; they’re nature’s very own art pieces!

Dry Season Birds

On the flip side, here’s what the dry season has to offer.

  • Characteristics: Dry-season birds are no less captivating. They often have a mix of earthy tones and bright colors.
  • Species to Look Out For: Keep your lenses focused for the Orange-collared Manakin, Turquoise-browed Motmot, or the iconic Toucan. They’re a treat for the eyes and the lens!

Preparing for Your Trip and Travel Tips

Before setting off, here are some handy tips.

  • Equipment Recommendations: A sturdy tripod, a lens with a good zoom, and of course, waterproof equipment bags. And don’t forget those lens cleaners!
  • Respect the Environment: Birds are sensitive creatures. Always keep a respectful distance. After all, we’re in their home.
  • Local Guides and Tours: Considering hiring a local guide or joining a bird photography tour? They can provide invaluable insights and take you to hidden gems unknown to most tourists.


Costa Rica, with its plethora of avian wonders, is undoubtedly a haven for bird photographers. Whether you visit during the wet or dry season, this country promises an experience like no other.

Pack your bags, gear up, and set out on a journey that’ll leave you with memories and photographs for a lifetime.

Planning your photo tour

Our tips for you!

Group tours 2024-2025