Costa Rica has long been regarded as one of the top tropical birding destinations in the world and with good reason! This small Central American country is home to some 900+ species of birds with 47 endemic to the country!
Our 9-day tour will be a fantastic opportunity to observe hundreds of species across a variety of unique habitats. Together we’ll explore the cloud forest highlands, Caribbean influenced middle elevations, Central Pacific lowlands explore the mangroves by boat for sunset! With the help of our excellent local guides we will explore some of our favorite birding destinations, enjoy delicious meals and stay at some gorgeous eco-lodges!
Did we mention you’ll be able to see and photograph some of the central region’s most enigmatic species including the Resplendent Quetzal?! Scroll down to learn more about this epic itinerary and some of the birds we hope to see!
Dates: 16 Jan – 25 Jan 2024 (10 days / 9 nights)
Price: USD $3,950 per person/double occupancy
Single supplement: $350.00
Type: Bird watching and Wildlife Viewing
Length: 10 days / 9 nights
Starting city: San Jose, Costa Rica
Ending city: San Jose, Costa Rica
Pace: easy to moderate
Physical difficulty: easy to moderate
Focus: Bird Watching and Wildlife viewing
Max group size: 8 + 1 leader + local guide(s)
Costa Rica is a gorgeous country and a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Boasting a whopping 900+ species of birds, incredible eco-lodges, and an impressive diversity of ecosystems, who wouldn’t want to go!
The official start of our amazing trip begins today at Hotel Robledal, a great hotel with lots of awesome birds!
Today we have all day for arrivals at Juan Santa Maria Intl Airport (SJO). You will be welcomed at the airport by a team representative with a sign with your name, and we’ll transport you to our first hotel in the city. Although a short drive from the airport, our lodging is a nice, quiet facility with the first tropical birds in the gardens. Dinner is included in the hotel but lunch is not included (please consider this in case of flights arrive early).
Day 2: Early morning birding around our hotel, breakfast at 7 AM, followed by our drive to the Talamanca highlands.
Around midday, we’ll arrive at our hotel and depending on the weather either spend some time at the hummingbird feeders or head out in search of our main target here the Resplendent Quetzal.
Day 3: Our third day starts bright and early with coffee, tea, and snacks at 5:15 AM, following this we’ll take a short drive to see one of the most elusive species in the country and maybe the most sought-after bird in Central America, the Resplendent Quetzal.
After thoroughly enjoying our time with this species, we’ll head back for breakfast at the hotel.
With our stomachs full, we’ll pick up our binos and bird around the hotel, gardens and along the open roads looking for a variety of birds such as Golden-browed Chrolophonia, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-thighed Finch, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Peg-billed Finch, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, Black Guan, Sulfur-winged Parakeet, White-throated Mountain-gem, Black-faced Solitaire, Black-billed Nightengale-Thrush, Sooty Thrush, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, and Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher.
In the afternoon we’ll walk one of the hotel’s trails and spend some time at their feeders, which will give us additional opportunities to see the above-mentioned species and whatever else decides to say hi!
A few other new species we hope to see in the afternoon include Lesser Violetear, Talamanca Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, and the incredible Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Additionally, we’ll look out for Flame-throated Warbler, Ruddy Treerunner, Barred Becard, and Silvery-fronted Tapaculo are normally heard and with luck, we may lay eyes on one! If we’re lucky Spotted Wood-Quail and Buff-fronted Quail Dove can be seen looking for insects foraging on the compost pile.
Band-tailed Pigeon and Barred Parakeet are common sights at sunset as the flocks stream across the sky.
We’ll enjoy dinner at the hotel, and go over our species list for the day!
Day 4: This place is wonderful, a birdwatcher’s paradise located in Costa Rica’s South Pacific region. Several endemic bird species like the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Mangrove Hummingbird, Charming Hummingbird, Yellow-billed, and Turquoise Cotinga are found around here.
Today is mostly a travel day to get to our destination, however, in the late afternoon we’ll explore the hotel grounds. With luck, we’ll see the above species plus other local specialties like Royal Flycatcher and Great Curassow. Following a short talk about our new ecosystem and all the spectacular wildlife that makes this place internationally famous.
Day 5: Early morning we’ll bird the nearby roads searching for Blue-headed Parrot, Tiny Hawk, Crested Owl, Charming Hummingbird, Garden Emerald, Orange-collared Manakin, Streaked Saltator, and Fiery-billed Aracari among others!
Day 6: Today we’ll visit a local wetland habitat to look for Panama – Costa Rica area specialties like Savanna Hawk, Wattled Jacana, Veraguan Mango, and Brown-throated Parakeet. We of course will keep our eyes peeled for any birds and wildlife we may come across!
Day 7: Today we’ll kick things off with some early birding at 6 AM to pick up any missing targets from yesterday. We’ll have breakfast at 7 AM, and then we will load up and head to our next location in the Central Pacific. We have a 3-hour drive so we will start relatively early with stops along the way to look for a few targets like the Fiery-billed Aracari and Speckled Tanager. We will arrive at the next hotel around mid-day and we will enjoy lunch at an ocean-side restaurant.
Following our hotel check-in and a short siesta during the hottest part of the day we will continue birding around our hotel. This place has a strong dry forest influence which means we’ll be looking for White-throated Magpie Jay, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Hoffman’s Woodpecker, Rufous-and-white Wren, Crane Hawk which can be found a short walk from the hotel.
At night we will try for Pacific Sreech-Owl near the rooms.
We’ll go over our bird checklist at 7 PM and enjoy a delicious dinner!
Day 8: Today we will start at 5:30 AM for an incredible boat tour in the mangroves with lots of great birding opportunities including targets like Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, 3 species of Kingfisher, Mangrove Vireo and Mangrove Hummingbird and maybe even Boat-billed Heron!
Later in the morning (or maybe in the afternoon depending on time and heat) we will invest some time exploring Carara National Park looking for Fiery-billed Aracari, Royal Flycatcher, Collared Forest Falcon, Red-capped and Velvety Manakins, Slaty-tailed, Baird’s, Black-throated and Gartered Trogons. Rufous-tailed Jacamar and White-whiskered Puffbird inhabit this coastal forest as well. Scarlet Macaw is commonplace during our time in the pacific lowlands and the photographic opportunities are usually numerous!
Back at the hotel we’ll work on our checklist at 6:30 PM and enjoy dinner together.
In the morning we will spend some time exploring the entrance road of our central Pacific hotel looking for any missing bird species from the previous day.
In the afternoon we’ll load up and drive to San Jose with birding stops along the way including a visit to the world-famous Tarcoles River bridge to see the massive crocodiles sunning themselves a safe distance below.
Today our incredible tour will come to a close, but not before a yummy breakfast. With your bags packed, we’ll send you safely on your way to the airport to catch your flights back home.
Southern Tour Map