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Rancho Naturalista – Central Caribbean Slope


Golden-olive Woodpecker Located in Turrialba, Rancho Naturalista is a lodge that carters especially to bird watchers and nature photographers. It offers some rooms in the main lodge and some are found in three separate buildings located next to the main facilities. All rooms are well kept and the food in Rancho is excellent. The dining area is quite nice, big round tables provide a family atmosphere and nice conversations can be held at each meal time……in photography and birding most people like to share what they saw and talk about their adventures for the day! A nice living room area is also a perfect spot for getting to know other people while staying at Rancho Naturalista.

An extensive system of trails provides access to different points of this 125 acres reserve, the banana feeders in front of the main lodge´s balcony and the hummingbird feeders in the balcony and forest, and the bird bathing pools close to the lodge make it a unique place to bird watch. Additionally, there are chances for exploring nearby sites which can be very productive. Cerro el Silencio, Tuis River Valley, and La Mina are the main outings offered by Rancho. If booked in advanced we can make sure you have a guide for Rancho and also to explore surrounding areas.

The hummingbird feeders at the main lodge´s balcony attract species like Green-breasted Mango, Brown Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-necked Jacobin, and female Snowcap. Also there are porterweed bushes in front of the parking area next to the lodge, here you can spot Green Thorntail, Black-crested Coquette, and Violet-headed Hummingbird. To access a different hummingbird feeding station walk about 200 meters into the rainforest where you should be able to watch male and female Snowcap, Violet-crowned Woodnymph, Green Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, and Bronzed-tailed Plumeleteer.

Exploring the trails here provides access to different habitats which will of course give diversity to your findings.


Cerro El Silencio.

This is steep, long, and slippery walk and in rainy conditions it can be very though. It is always good to inquire about it before planning on going. We can assist you with the coordination of this exploration. The main targets here are Lovely Cotinga , Red-fronted Parrolet, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Green-fronted Lancebill, Sulfur-winged Parakeets, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, and Sharpbill.

Tuis River Valley

Near Rancho Naturalista you can visit the Tuis River Valley, a small trail leads into it. A combination of forest and open areas with pastures added to the fact of being next to a river make it very good habitat for birds. This would be a half day walk, ideally in the morning, bird targets include Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Speckled Tanager, Black-and-Yellow Tanager, Torrent Tyrannulet, Buff-rumped Warbler, Sunbittern, and even possibilities for Lanceolated Monklet.

La Mina

This is basically a forested area next to a river, it is accessed on a dirt little road and it basically provides chances for Sunbittern, Buff-rumped Warblker, Green and Amazon Kingfishers. One good target here is the understory Dull-mantled Antbird, quite a nice bird!

Rancho Naturalista and sorroundings have accumulated a list of over 430 species birds, some of the target species for a birding trip here could be:

Snowcap Bicolored Hawk
Sunbittern
Purplish-backed Quail-Dove
Mottled Owl
White-necked Jacobin
Green–breasted Mango
Black-crested Coquette
Green Throntail
Snowcap
Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer
Lanceolated Monklet
Rufous-winged Tanager
Golden-olive Woodpecker
Black-banded woodcreeper
Strong-billed Woodcreeper
Tawny-throated Leaftosser
Brown-billed Scythebill
Checker-throated Antwren
Dull-mantled Antbird
Immaculate Antbird
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
Tawny-chested Flycatcher
White-ruffed Manakin
White-crowned Manakin
Black-throated Wren
Scaly-breasted Wren
Black-headed Nightingale
Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager
White-lined Tanager




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