Tropical Birds of Costa Rica

Manakin Magic

Sun filtered through the verdant canopy. The air temperate was 80 degrees in the middle of January. It was hard to believe.

I was hiking with my girlfriend on an abandoned road in Nosara, Costa Rica. Soon, we heard a faint but mesmerizing sound from the underbrush to our left. Transfixed, we moved closer to peek through the thick tangle. We waited. Then we caught glimpse of a black bird smaller than a sparrow sitting on a low branch. Soon, we heard two, singing with each other in bubbly notes.

For a brief moment the bird sat in plain view, under the full light of the midday tropical sun—it was long enough to absolutely shock us both.

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Playa Guiones, Costa Rica

Surfers, Birds, & Turtles

Renowned for its steady waves and smooth beaches, Playa Guiones, on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, has become a destination for surfers, yoga enthusiasts, and others in search of a tropical getaway.


It’s a bit remarkable that so many people flock to the area’s beaches through the nearby town of Nosara. It’s not exactly easy to get to.

Nosara is a 6-hour bus ride from Costa Rica’s capital, San José. The final quarter of the journey is on narrow, dusty, and rutted dirt roads. But the dry tropical air, network of walking trails, and easily accessible beaches have made this area a hotspot nonetheless.

A Beach of Birds

Sandpipers at Sunset
Sandpipers forage on Playa Guiones as the sun sets.
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