Zoned as "The Mountains" in Barratt Lawson's "Where to watch Birds in Costa Rica", the area around Santa Elena provided the highest elevation birding that we did, at around 1,300 metres.
Why go there ? Well, 39 out of Costa Rica's 89 endemics occur in the central chain of mountains. Including, of course, Resplendent Quetzal, a bird I'd lusted after since seeing Michael Fogden's photos of them in BBC Wildlife Magazine some time in the 1980s. (Edit - Read "AND" for "Including".)
We stayed at the "Cloud Forest Lodge". It was a nice place with no TV in the rooms, which I regard as a sign of discerning management. Website here: https://www.monteverdecloudforestlodge.com
We had not been long on the Sendero El Camino ("The Road Path") before Sergio heard the calls of Resplendent Quetzal. There turned out to be three of them, all males, and we had prolonged views.
The place has a fine array of hummingbird feeders, attended by a fine array of hummingbirds, some of which are shown below.
|Purple-throated Mountain Gem (female)
|Green-crowned Brilliant (female)