Rara Avis Rainforest Reserve
Many of the nearly 400 bird species at Rara Avis can be found nowhere else in the world. Costa Rica’s first reserve, this is the place that kicked off the country’s ecotourism movement when it opened in 1983. It’s still one of the most biodiverse places in the country: as well as the birds, visitors can see animals like monkeys, tapirs, and coatis—among native orchids, palms, and ferns—from easily accessible trails. Rara Avis is in the small village of Horquetas, a three-hour truck or jeep ride from the pickup point at Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. It’s a long, bumpy ride, but well worth the trip.