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“Fantastic Must See Place”

Dave & Dave's Costa RIca Nature Pavilion Park
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in La Virgen
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This BBC Wildlife Magazine and National Geographic published destination offers a 2 hour guided tour by the owners. The tour begins with a brief history of the nature park followed by visits to Dave & Dave's Mirador and the Hummingbird Balcony. Reservation required at least 1 hour before the tour. Price per adult $40. Childrens rates available. Free delicious coffee and Wi-Fi.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Fantastic Must See Place”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

If you are in the Sarapiqui region, this is a must-see location, especially if you are a birder or if you just love wildlife.

We stayed in the Tirimbina Lodge (almost next door) and saw a few great birds and other wildlife in their area, but it required substantial hiking. Because I have a disability that makes walking on uneven ground very challenging, this makes seeing many bird species quite difficult, and in some locations impossible.

This facility consists of a former palm plantation with many, if not most, of these trees removed to create appropriate environment for birds that like that type of environment. Along the edges, the owners (Dave and Dave, Jr.) have focused on planting trees that are native locally, especially those that provide fruits and other food for birds. This creates an excellent forest edge for birds that prefer this type of environment.

A covered platform overlooks this area, with bird feeder located a short distance away. Sitting in the location we saw many beautiful and somewhat difficult to see birds. In about 1 hour, we saw over 20 species of birds, many both male and female, and about 75% of these were first time sightings for me. A real treasure for someone who loves birds, but cannot easily hike on trails.

At the far end of this open area, but an easy level walk, is a hummingbird feeder where there were MANY White-Necked Jacobins - beautiful hummers. Also many birds in the forest edge that this trail follows.

And behind the building near the covered platform is a covered porch that overlooks the canopy of the rainforest. We say several different species of birds here, and with a spotting scope would have seen many more.

And there is a fairly short trail that drops through the forest to the river's edge. We did not take this hike, however, because of my disability.

This family make you feel very welcome, and are very committed to making this location one where you can see many birds in a comfortable natural setting. David, Jr. is the guide, and he is very knowledgeable about the birds in this region. He helped us locate and identify some of the birds that stayed hidden as well as those that were coming to the feeders.

My wife, who loves nature and photography, got many magnificent pictures of the colorful birds, including Golden Hooded, Blue Gray, Cherries, and Crimson Collared Tanagers, Green (both m & f) and Red-Legged Honeycreepers, and many others.

We planned only part of one day in this area, but it deserves much more. Any return visit we make to Costa Rica will include another stop at this location.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David L, Owner at Dave & Dave's Costa RIca Nature Pavilion Park, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
It was a real pleasure meeting the both of you and sharing the beauty of the Eco-Observatory with you. I am so happy to hear you thoroughly enjoyed the easy access trails and that the majority of the birds you saw were first time sightings. It is such a joy and a privilege for us at the Eco-Observatory to meet guests from around the world who share our same appreciation and passion for the Costa Rican wildlife. Thank you for the excellent review and I hope to one day see you again. Pura Vida!
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302 reviews from our community

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  • Dutch first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Grand Bird Watching in Pretty Tropical Setting”
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Three of us visited the Eco-Observatory one afternoon while spending a week in the Sarapiqui region. It is a gem of a place for bird-watchers! The owner and his adult son greeted us and son David showed us around. First we sat & were mesmerized with the gorgeous birds coming to a feeding "tree" that afforded a lovely natural setting to photograph the birds. At the foot of the garden was a hummingbird garden that attracted a variety of gorgeous hummers. Heliconias provided such beautiful & natural photographic opportunities here as well. There are a variety of plants, trees & flowers around the grounds. We saw many birds including a pair of amorous Collared Aracari. There is a steep wooden path with many wooden steps, down to the river, a very pretty area that had a resident Sunbittern at the time...although he was away when we went looking...we'll wait for next time! They have sturdy wooden walking sticks to use to descend to the river. The main grounds are easy to walk about & the bird-viewing pavilion is easy to reach & has seating. The Eco-Lodge is on a paved highway and the grounds are easily accessed. It is a very interesting place for kids & folks. It is especially great for those of us who enjoy birds & enjoy photographing birds in natural settings. Dave was most gracious & very helpful in identifying the birds and plants about the grounds. This is a very interesting, beautiful & peaceful place to visit.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Chanterelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic for bird photography!”
Reviewed May 18, 2012 via mobile

Amazing how many species you can see with little effort.
Great place.
Looking forward to go back

Helpful?
Thank Tizoc S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David L, Owner at Dave & Dave's Costa RIca Nature Pavilion Park, responded to this review, June 17, 2012
Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure meeting you and having you as our guest at the Eco-Observatory. I also wanted to thank you for your suggestion to contact BioCursos of the Organization for Tropical Studies. We are now currently working with the director of BioCursos and have our first group coming out this Friday to plant trees and enjoy a nature walk. Hope to see you back here soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Forest ,UK
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Not just for enthusiasts”
Reviewed April 21, 2012

We called in as a family when passing, not as particularly keen birders or photographers but interest in natural history and wildlife. We had a fantastic morning being shown around the trails by Dave and watching birds from the decks. My ten year old was captivated by the easy to identify birds and learnt so many species whilst here that she continued to point out to us throughout our vacation. Although obviously designed for experts there was plenty of interest for amateurs like us, thoroughly recommended!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank LentonFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A gem, pure and driven by the love for nature”
Reviewed March 21, 2012

What a sympathic place. The atmosphere, the authenicity, the serenity and sincerity. All put together in one perfect spot.
Dave and Dave jr. Have the hearts in the right place. They deserve thr title 'heros of the world'
Saw more special birds in 10 minutes then in weeks of travelling in CR.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank MIZAWD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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