The Costa Rican Bird Route consists of 18 bird watching locations. A criterion was established to ensure the selected locations provide the best bird watching and eco-tourism opportunities in the Sarapiqui – San Carlos region of Costa Rica. This region supports the last remaining habitat of the endangered Great Green Macaw, the second largest parrot in the world. The Costa Rican Bird Route offers the most superb viewing opportunities on the planet of this rare species.
Eight of the 18 Costa Rican Bird Route sites are reserves owned by local landowners. These new reserves are enrolled in the Costa Rican Private Reserve Network and protect a total of 2,629 acres (1064 hectares) of wildlife habitat just waiting to be explored. Overall, the Bird Route protects a total of 11,950 acres of wildlife habitat. To maintain environmentally sound tourism and conservation practices within the route, all Bird Route locations adhere to a set of sustainable tourism practices.
The goal of the Costa Rican Bird Route (CRBR) is to promote the conservation of bird habitat and the biological diversity within the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor and improve bird tourism in this region. Bird tourism, and nature tourism in general, has the potential to bring economic opportunities for local landowners and communities. These opportunities are derived from the region’s natural resources, and therefore provide an economic incentive for habitat conservation.
Well known for its national park system, which protects 25 % of the country, Costa Rica holds nearly 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It is known worldwide as an excellent place for observing birds as well as its fine treatment of tourists. However, the country also has had one of the highest deforestation rates in the region. The natural and cultural aspects, in addition to a biological need, make Costa Rica a logical location for the development of Central America’s first birding trail: the Costa Rican Bird Route.