Embark on a bird-watching adventure at one of Costa Rica's lesser-known natural gems with this tour from La Fortuna to Juan Castro Blanco National Park. Escape the crowds as a guide leads you through the park’s pristine and rarely visited cloud forest, home to an array of native wildlife including deer, white-faced capuchin monkeys, tapir, and abundant bird species including the famously colorful quetzal. A fresh seafood lunch caps off this full-day eco adventure.
Nature tour of Juan Castro Blanco National Park from La Fortuna
Drive through the San Carlos lowlands agricultural region
Explore the park's diverse cloud forest ecosystem with a guide
Spot quetzals, crested guans, and chachalacas in this bird-watcher's paradise
See other wildlife such as monkeys, tapirs, and jungle cats
A less crowded and closer alternative to Monteverde
The day begins with pickup at your La Fortuna hotel and a 1.5-hour drive through the San Carlos lowlands, an important agricultural region. Enjoy the scenery on the way to Juan Castro Blanco, a mountainous expanse of 35,200 acres (14,250 hectares) that was declared a protected national park in 1992. Many of the region’s rivers and aquifers originate in the park’s peaks. With an incredibly diverse cloud forest ecosystem similar to that of more famous Monteverde, Juan Castro Blanco offers fewer crowds and is easier to reach from La Fortuna.
Follow your guide along nature trails to observe the park’s primary and secondary forest, home to a vast array of plant and animal life. Look to the trees to spot birds including the chachalaca, black and crested guans, and the resplendent quetzal with its colorful and iridescent plumage. Also keep an eye out for mammals such as armadillos, pacas, tapirs, red brocket deer, several cat species, and adorable white-faced capuchin monkeys.
After exploring this fantastically rich ecosystem, recharge over a fresh seafood lunch featuring a main dish of trout. Relax on the ride back to La Fortuna, where the tour concludes with drop-off back at your hotel.