Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge is not for everyone but if your intentions are to make a serious Costa Rica birding tour then spending here a few days will be very rewarding. Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge is a small and very isolated little lodge completely surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest . The lodge is run by a friendly North-american – Tico couple who mostly cater to birders and photographers who are interested in the spectacular fauna and flora of the southern Osa Peninsula.
Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge is located in the heart of the Osa Peninsula in the Southwest of Costa Rica. To get there from San José you will need at least 8 – 9 hours by car. The first part follows good paved roads, the last 60 to 80 kms however the road wil have many big holes and the driving will be slow. The last 15 kms will be along unpaved road and to get to the lodge you will actually have to cross a river (and there is no bridge), which, with heavy rains sometimes is tricky because of the swelling of the river…Alternatively one can fly in and get one of the daily flights from San José to Puerto Jimenez and drive from there with a 4 x 4 taxi to the lodge. This way will limit your travel time to about 1 hour. Aratinga Tours will be glad to make travel arrangements for you…
The term “Rustic Luxery” is maybe a good way to describe the situation in Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge: the lodge is very small and can accomodate a maximum of only 15 people (eventhough most of the time only about 5 or 6 are present) in nicely decorated rooms. There is also a spaceous community loung with rocking chairs and a natural history library and quality food using healthy and fresh local products are served daily. However baths are shared (there is one small cabin with private bath). There lodge property has a good trail system through their own 13 ha private reserve with great birding habitat like creeks, lagoons, primary and secundary rainforest.
• Birding and wildlife attractions:
The spectacular setting in the middle of the tropical rainforest in the heart of the extremely diverse Osa Peninsula and the exellent service of a very knowledgable local birdguide (Abraham: he is also the owner) are the main reason why serious birders from all over the globe come to visit Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge. Over the years the lodge has gained the status of being poassibly THE best of the Costa Rica birding lodges. Bananafeeders near the lodge attract Blue-crowned Motmots and some colourfull tanagers like Cherrie’s Tanager and Golden-hooded Tanager. On my last visit I was surprised to see also some typical forest birds on them like Black-hooded Anthsrike, Dot-winged Antwren and even the endemic Black-cheeked Ant-tanager, a quiet common bird around the lodge. Hummingbirdfeeders attract Charming Hummingbird and several Hermit species. The rainforest-trails near the lodge can be very rewarding with possibilities for some hard to see Costa Rica birds like Marbled Woodquail and Scaly-throated Leaftosser among many others. Also White-tipped Sicklebill and even White-crested Coquette might be around. A 3-hour morning birdtour with local guide Abraham will easily produce 60 – 70 species and more. The owners Liz and Abraham will be happy to join you on birding trips to nearby sites to see even more species and can be arranged for an extra cost if desired (and if it not already included in your package). Highly reccomanded is a trip to the mangroves near the Rincon bridge. This is one of the best spots of the country for the endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga and also Turqoise Cotinga has been seen here on various occasions. Also the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird can be seen here and along the pasturelands en route Red-breasted Blackbirds and many seedeaters including Yellow-bellied and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater can be observed. Possible raptors include the hard to see Pearl Kite, Roadside Hawk, White Hawk and King Vulture. Further south towards Matapalo forest becomes thicker and there is a slight chance for seeing the Harpey Eagle, eventhough only a handfull individuals remain and have become extremely hard to see, most however have been seen around Matapalo. Other birds of interest in and around Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge includes the Scarlet Macaws, which is common all over the Peninsula, as are many other smaller parrots. Baird’s Trogon, Fiery-biled Aracari, Black-hooded Antshrikes, Red-capped Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakins and Orange-collared Manakins are also relatively easy. Besides birds one can expect to see other aspects of the extrordinary biodiversity characteristic for the area; The Osa Peninsula is one of the few areas in Central America with an intact ecosystem with large predators like big cats and raptors at the top of the foodpyramid. They are however always hard to see. Besides that the area is one of the last in Costa Rica where one can observe the Baird’s Tapir and all 4 monkey species of the country, including the endangered Red-backed Squirrel Monkeys. We reccomand a minimum stay of 3 nights in Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge in order to get a good impression of the area and the local avifauna.