• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Poas Volcano National Park & Poasito - BirdForum Opus

Stub.png This article is incomplete.
This article is missing one or more sections. You can help the BirdForum Opus by expanding it.

Photo by Stanley Jones
Poas Volcano National Park, March 2006

Central America, Costa Rica


With its highest point at 8,900 feet (2,713 meters) Poas Volcano National Park offers easy access from the Central Valley to high-elevation forests. It's not a well-known birding site, and much remains to be discovered.

The various habitats around Poasito (at 6,459 feet, or 1,969 meters) offer the opportunity for a somewhat different avifauna than is associated with the National Park.


Notable Species

Black Guan, Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Dusky Nightjar, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Talamanca Hummingbird, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Volcano Hummingbird, Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Zeledonia, Large-footed Finch, Black-thighed Grosbeak

A few species more likely to be found below the elevation of the National Park are Magenta-throated Woodstar, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird

Resplendent Quetzal is a presumed resident


To do


Birds you can see here include:

Black Guan, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Band-tailed Pigeon, Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Lesser Violetear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Talamanca Hummingbird, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Violet Sabrewing, Acorn Woodpecker, Ruddy Treerunner, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Mountain Elaenia, Yellowish Flycatcher, Yellow-winged Vireo, Blue-and-white Swallow, Ochraceous Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Black-faced Solitaire, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Robin, Mountain Robin, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Black-cheeked Warbler, Flame-throated Warbler, Zeledonia, Slate-throated Redstart, Collared Redstart, Common Chlorospingus, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-thighed Brushfinch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Golden-browed Chlorophonia

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

The National Park protects 16,000 acres, much of it forested. It was established in 1971, and is reportedly the most visited National Park in Costa Rica. Poas is an active volcano; the last major eruptions were in the period from 1952-1954. The area was devastated by a major earthquake during January 2009.

The population of Poasito is reported to be about 44,000.

Areas of Interest

The Escalonia Trail leads from the parking lot directly into forest, and is much less traveled than the wide paved walkway leading from the Visitor Center to the crater overlook. The Escalonia Trail ends when it intersects with the Botos Trail, and they can be combined for some reasonably good birding away from the crowds on the walkway and at the crater overlook. Don't expect solitude, but don't expect throngs either!

A rough, steep access road (perhaps better walked than driven) to radio towers just outside the National Park entrance gate offers access to the forest and could be especially useful to those arriving before the park opens. During February 2012 a sign indicated that access to the road is now prohibited.

Poas Lodge is between Poasito and the National Park, at 7,170 feet (2,185 meters), and attracts hummingbirds using artificial feeders.

A restaurant called Cocina Costarricense (just within Poasito, along the roas to Poas) attracts a reasonably good variety of hummingbirds. Also in Poasito (along the road toward Varablanca, across from and associated with the restaurant Freddy Fresas) is a small garden park with walkways, a shelter, and several widely spaced hummingbird feeders. A modest trail system leads into the forest beyond.

Access and Facilities

Poas Lodge is a small hotel along the road to Poas Volcano National Park, approx 3 miles from the entrance, at 7,170 feet (2,185 meters) in elevation; feeders attract high-elevation hummingbirds. Poas Volcano Lodge is located on the other side (east) of Poasito and offers excellent birding on the grounds and along nearby trails into cloud forest; the lodge is at 6,200 feet (1,890 meters) in elevation.

Contact Details

To do

External Links