El Copal Reserve

El Copal Reserve, Pejibaye: Address, Phone Number, El Copal Reserve Reviews: 5/5

El Copal Reserve
5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
30 reviews
Excellent
26
Very good
3
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1
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Terrible
0

IronLenny
Charlotte, North Carolina173 contributions
Feb 2020
We only visited here for a couple hours on our way toward San Gerardo de Data. This area is known as a birding hotspot thus explains our interest. We hiked a trail across from the main building. The birding was slow and we didn't linger long as there was a threat of rain in the air. We had some luck but missed out on the Ocellated Antbird as it wouldn't show itself. There actually was a good bit of activity in the trees surrounding the lodge rooms. Might be worth a couple days stay next visit.
Written March 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim P
Dallas, TX66 contributions
Jul 2019
You need to be a committed bio-bum or birder, but if you are, then this place should be at the top of your list.

It's a non-profit reserve, so don't expect anything but the basics. Other reviews spell this out. Very nice people as cooks and caretakers though.

You should have a bird guide even if you know Spanish. You'll be birding by ear on the trails, but lots to look at, including Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Dull-mantled Antbird, and Rufous-browed Tyrannulet. The veranda is fabulous for birds right after a rain. You're at eye-level not more than 10 meters away. Snowcaps are in the garden. Collared Trogons, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Emerald Tanager, White-ruffed and White-collared Manakins all seen from the veranda.

I consider this place and the San Gerardo Field Station as two of the best birding hotspots in Costa Rica.

Message me if you want deeper info on birds.
Written August 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David S
Indianapolis, IN220 contributions
Jul 2013 • Couples
My wife and I visited El Copal Reserve in July 2013. Last year, while on the Caribbean coast, we visited a BriBri village that is associated with ACTUAR. That was such a great visit, that we decided to look at some of the other locations in their association. After reading about most of them, we decided that El Copal sounded like the kind of place we would like to visit.
Though it is a little challenging to get there (should have 4WD), the total experience is worth the challenge. If you miss San Jose rush hour, and take the most direct route, it is only about a 2 hour drive from the airport.
It is owned by a group of local people, mostly farmers, and they have turned this place into one of the best locations in Costa Rica to see an amazing variety of birds and other wildlife. Total size of the property is about .7 square miles, but the elevation ranges from 1000 to 1250 meters. There are several well-maintained trails throughout the property, some difficult, but some easy. Because I am handicapped and need a cane, I only used the easy trails. But they were amazing for butterflies and birds.
There is a lodge with some dormitory rooms with shared bath, as well as a couple of rooms with private bath. There are also 2 handicapped accessible cabins with private bath. All of the electricity and hot water here are produced using solar devices. The rooms are simple, but very clean and well maintained.
A dining hall, named "The Cotinga" (for a bird that can be seen here), uses only candles for light during evening meals.
Beto and Patricia Torres, some of the nicest and most patient people you will ever meet, run this place. They speak only Spanish, but they had a way of making communication with non-Spanish speakers fun. Beto and other men in the group that own this facility build and maintain the buildings and trails. Patricia cooks delicious meals (the best we had in Costa Rica), mostly using products produced on the local farms. Beto and Patricia joined us for all of the meals, and we learned more Spanish while eating with them than we did during the rest of our 3 week trip.
The scenery is amazing, with mountains surrounding it. Wide covered balconies with benches and chairs, 60 meters long (I measured them) provided opportunities to see birds at very close range. After hiking in the morning, I spent the whole afternoon on the balcony and saw so many beautiful tropical birds at close range that I was sad to see the day end. It was a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon, with the birds coming to me rather than me seeking them out.
One side is second growth forest with very large trees. One side has fruit trees that are filled with tanagers and other birds that eat fruit. Another side has flowers planted that attract lots of hummingbirds, including the Snowcap. During our two nights and one full day here we saw 11 different species of hummers. The balcony is at canopy level for trees that are about 100 feet away and give great opportunities to see those that prefer this habitat.
We made arrangements for this visit through ACTUAR in San Jose. They helped us with some issues that came up, and made this the highlight of our trip.
They arranged for Cristhian Ureña, a local bilingual naturalist from Peregrinus Tours to provide guide services for us. He was an excellent guide, knows the environment of this area well, and is very passionate about El Copal. During our short stay, he helped us identify about 80 species of birds, many of them first timers for us.
If you come to Costa Rica to see birds, this is a must go location. I recommend it highly.
Written July 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seth I
Ithaca, NY3 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
My friends and I stayed at the reserve's little lodge for two nights on a birding trip. We greatly enjoyed the beautiful setting and delicious food prepared by Patricia. One day we had a full tour with local bird guide Cristhian Ureña (Peregrinus Tours) and saw and heard over a hundred species while learning a lot about local avifauna in the wonderful private reserve.
Written August 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jeremy H
Melbourne, Australia8 contributions
Mar 2019
El Copal was the highlight of a very enjoyable holiday in Costa Rica. The sleeping accommodation is basic but if you don't mind that we highly recommend it. The food is wholesome and plentiful, they provide all meals. Birding is very good, we recommend you arrange a bird guide in advance to get the most out of the visit. One thing for drivers - we strongly advise against tackling the road coming through the park from the east, you should access el Copal via Humo from the west.
Written June 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

garybirder
Florida333 contributions
Apr 2018
This lodge has a difficult access road so if weather is rainy a 4WD is required. And it rains a lot here. There is one main building with a few small rooms with no private bathrooms, but there is elecrticity and WiFI there. There is another building with two rooms with private baths but no electricity or WiFi. A separate restaurant was nice, but what they serve is what you get. There is one long trail up a hillside, which is nice but the top part is not well-maintained. Bird activity depends a lot of whether trees are fruiting or flowering. Lots of hummingbird flowers near the lodge for viewing. Great to see the Snowcap.
Written May 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Moises S
1 contribution
Jul 2017 • Family
I spent 1 day at El Copal Reserve and it was incredible, the food, birds, the building; everything was very nice. I'll definitely recommend this place, and I'll spent more time with my family there.
Written August 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike J
Brevard, Nc47 contributions
Feb 2016 • Couples
My wife and I were lucky enough to get El Copal on our radar and visit last week. The hosts Patricia who brings the great cuisine of Guanacaste and Beto the bird whisperer were the most gracious people we have met in years. It is rustic and simple and a beautiful setting in this most important project to preserve primary forest and educate and train coming generations in sustainable living. The birds from the porch are great and the trails into the forest are enlightening. You will want to have at least some rudimentary Spanish to visit as well as 4 wheel drive for the last part of the drive in. It will be more than worth it!
Written February 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

LiveYourYBR
London, UK349 contributions
Nov 2015
Wonderful remote location with great hiking trails. Owner spent time sharing knowledge of the development of this eco-reserve. Basic accommodation, very clean, friendly and great food.
Written December 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eduardo S
Cobano, Costa Rica1 contribution

I was fortunate to visit El Copal Reserve about three weeks ago and I have no more to say that's one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I have visited. The trails are very nice with good views. I had the opportunity to photograph approximately 10 new species of birds. The balconies around the lodge are special for photography because they are at eye level. It is a place I recommend to anyone who wants to spend a nice time in harmony with nature.
Written October 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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