Bijagua, Costa Rica
Located in the foothills of Tenorio Volcano, between Tenorio and Miravalles, Las Heliconias Rainforest Lodge protects over 175 acres of primary rainforest adjacent to Tenorio Volcano National Park in northern Costa Rica. The reserve extends from the lodge at an elevation of 700m (2,300 ft.) up to Laguna Danta, an extinct crater that fills with rainwater and that is favored by tapirs (“danta” in Spanish), at an elevation of over 1,150m (3,800 ft.). On a clear day, the lodge provides stunning views over the town of Bijagua extending to Lake Nicaragua in the far distance.
In 1985, the land where Las Heliconias now stands was designated by the Institute of Agricultural Development (Instituto de Desarollo Agrario) to be deforested and distributed to families in need. A group of twenty-three families came together and formed an organization called ABIPA (Asociación Bijajueña de Productores Agrícolas) to protect the land from deforestation. With the support of several national and international organizations, ABIPA created a private reserve and initiated an ecotourist project. Today the lodge is 100% Costa Rican owned and operated by a group comprised of eight local families. Under new management for the past year, many improvements are underway, including the construction of new trails and a hummingbird garden. The hummingbird garden is expected to be open to the public by December 2019.
700-1150m (2,300-3,800 ft.)
Heliconias Trail – 1km loop
Hanging Bridges Trail – 2.5km loop with 3 hanging bridges offering canopy views
Laguna Danta Trail – 2.5km, steep with over 500m (1,500 ft.) elevation gain
The bird list for the reserve contains over 400 species of birds, including 18 species of hummingbirds. Some of the most sought after species that can be found here include:
Black-eared Wood-Quail (rare)
Tawny-faced Quail (rare)
Chiriqui Quail-Dove (rare)
Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (rare)
Just 3.5km from Bijagua