Arenal Lodge and Hacienda Baru Lodge Advice Request (w/pics)

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 3488
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Location: Morrisville, PA

Arenal Lodge and Hacienda Baru Lodge Advice Request (w/pics)

Post by brick911 » July 10th, 2017, 6:16 am

Long time! I was looking for any and all advice regarding an upcoming trip. I'll list all the details, and what I'm looking for, but am open to all suggestions.

August 2-10th
Four nights at Arenal Lodge
Four nights at Hacienda Baru
Myself, my girlfriend, and our five kids all going

First, I'd love any advice on both herps, birds, and mammals at both places. I'm open to night-hiking til all hours, birding at sunrise, traveling within 2ish hours of each place for specialty species. I'd probably take one side trip off each spot if it were feasible and worthwhile. For example, I did a search on FHF for Hacienda Baru and saw that up the mountain I may be able to get Resplendent Quetzal among others. Any bird feeder stations, any good tours with can't miss species, any great guides (birders or herpers), etc. That's the type of advice I'd love! ...from both spots I'm staying.

I guess while we are at it, if you have any family-oriented-not-so-much-nature-focused activities that you think I should give a shot, throw them at me too.

I know a lot of you have been in these areas (or nearby) so I'm all ears. Finally, I have been to Honduras and Panama in the last 12 months, so I'll throw up some of my favorite pics as good faith and so you aren't leaving empty handed. :) Thanks!


ImageEyelash Pitviper... Bothriechis schlegelii by Bob Ferguson

ImageOrange-bellied Litter Snake... Urotheca guentheri by Bob Ferguson

ImageTemporal Snail Eater... Dipsas temporalis by Bob Ferguson

ImageBlunt-headed Tree Snake... Imantodes cenchoa by Bob Ferguson

ImageBothrops asper... Fer de lance by Bob Ferguson

ImageCascade Glass Frog... Sachatamia albomaculata by Bob Ferguson

ImageCentral American Coral Snake... Micrurus nigrocinctus by Bob Ferguson

ImageRed-webbed Treefrog... Hypsiboas rufitelus by Bob Ferguson

ImageRed-capped Manakin by Bob Ferguson

ImageRufous Motmot by Bob Ferguson

ImageThick-billed Euphonia by Bob Ferguson

ImageYellow-throated Toucan by Bob Ferguson

ImageBay-headed Tanager by Bob Ferguson

ImageBarred Antshrike by Bob Ferguson

ImageCollared Aracari by Bob Ferguson

ImageCrimson-backed Tanager by Bob Ferguson

ImageOrnate Hawk Eagle by Bob Ferguson

ImageBoat-billed Heron by Bob Ferguson

ImageCalico Snake... Oxyrhopus petola by Bob Ferguson

ImageBrown Vinesnake... Oxybelis aeneus by Bob Ferguson

ImageHowler Monkey by Bob Ferguson

ImageRed Coffee Snake... Ninia sebae by Bob Ferguson

ImageMussarana... Clelia clelia by Bob Ferguson

ImageHog Island Boa... Boa constrictor imperator by Bob Ferguson

ImageHonduran Curlyhair... Brachypelma albopilosum by Bob Ferguson

ImageMargay by Bob Ferguson

ImageHelmeted Iguana... Corytophanes cristatus by Bob Ferguson

ImageJamaican Fruit Bat... Artibeus jamaicensis by Bob Ferguson

ImageWhite-necked Jacobin by Bob Ferguson

ImageHonduran Brook Frog... Duellmanohyla salvavida by Bob Ferguson

ImageMexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine... Sphiggurus mexicanus by Bob Ferguson

ImageCrowned Woodnymph by Bob Ferguson

ImageFerruginous Pygmy Owl by Bob Ferguson

ImageBrown Bark Scorpion... Centruroides aff. gracilis by Bob Ferguson

ImageMexican Climbing Salamander - Bolitoglossa mexicana by Bob Ferguson

ImageRed-eyed Tree Frog... Agalychnis callidryas by Bob Ferguson

ImageKeel-billed Toucan by Bob Ferguson

Posts: 100
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Re: Arenal Lodge and Hacienda Baru Lodge Advice Request (w/p

Post by DanW » July 10th, 2017, 9:51 am


If you have time and depending how much they want to charge you to enter you might consider stopping at Parque Nacional Carara. I went for a short hike there and saw some cool birds, including nesting Scarlet Macaw.

Pull over to the side of the road when crossing the River Tarcoles and check out the crocs, wading birds, and kingfishers.

Seeing Quetzals would be quite a drive, San Gerardo de Dota and surrounding area are the best spots. They try to get you to pay for a guide, but I just paid the cheaper trail entrance fee and found them myself at Paraiso Quetzal Lodge. The hummingbird feeder setup there is amazing. I also saw one along the road driving down in the San Gerardo valley. There is a trail near the end of the road along the river that goes past trout rearing pens that had good birding (Emerald toucanet).

I never made it, but you should stop by Parque Reptilandia on Hwy 243. They might also arrange some herp tours with you.

There are plenty on trails to walk at HB and it is a nice quiet property. I had the most luck along the canal trail at night (Tree boas, caimans, etc), walk the road to the beach and the entrance is on the right hand side. There is a good, but steep trail on the property across HWY 34 that is good for Dendrobates auratus.

Stay away from Manuel Antonio unless you want to visit $$ tourist land, they try really hard to sell you a guide at the park who will show you crabs and squirrel monkeys that are everywhere. If you go pay the few dollars for someone to watch your car. Kids might like the monkeys running up to them begging for food, and the beach is nice.

Uvita was an ok place to go kick around, just be careful of the crocs in the canal by the beach if you go (don't remember which road I drove down to access the beach, but I think it was the one on google maps with Adventura Uno). Rancho la Merced has a nice, but poorly marked trail on the opposite side of the highway from where you pay the entrance fee. Had howler monkeys and laughing falcon along the trail. I didn't walk the trails on the beach side.


Posts: 100
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Re: Arenal Lodge and Hacienda Baru Lodge Advice Request (w/p

Post by DanW » July 13th, 2017, 9:10 am

Not sure "RothDigga" is very active anymore, he took the pictures the same place I mentioned.


User avatar
Posts: 3488
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Location: Morrisville, PA

Re: Arenal Lodge and Hacienda Baru Lodge Advice Request (w/p

Post by brick911 » July 13th, 2017, 9:22 am

Thanks Dan! I've made note of everything. I appreciate the advice.

Post Reply