13-Day Birding Across Costa Rica
The bird watching in Costa Rica's forests is unparalleled. With approximately 850 different species of birds, Costa Rica has more variety than Europe, Australia, and North America. It's no wonder that so many people make bird watching part of their Costa Rica travel activities, or their whole reason for coming! Ecodestination is dedicated to providing the finest birding excursions and tours throughout the many ecosystems of Costa Rica.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon your arrival at the airport in San Jose you will be greeted by your guide and driver then transferred to your hotel. At dinner you will go over the itinerary with your guide who will answer any questions you may have. There may be some time for afternoon birding around the hotel property.
Day 2: Sarapiqui Lowlands
Today starts with early morning birding around the hotel then after breakfast the group will depart to Sarapiqui Lowlands, about three hours away, and check into the Hacienda Baru. On the way to the lodge we will travel through the Braulio Carrillo National Park. 95% of these parks forests have never been altered by human hands. Dozens of small waterfalls, evergreen vegetation is what makes this little piece of jungle special. More than 350 species of birds have been recorded within the parks area & adjacent villages. First we visit the national park to try to find Sharpbills, aracaries, mix flocks of tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, barbets, wood quails as well as many others. Afterwards it's off for a traditional Costa Rican lunch. We will then visit a local farm. All meals included.
Day 3: Riparian Forest
This morning we are going to a nearby riparian forest that holds a great diversity of birds, our guide will lead us on a walk in search of such birds as Sunbittern, Green Ibis, Bright rumped Atila, Fasciated Antshrike, Rufous tailed Jacamar to mention few. We will also visit couple local spots for guans, toucans and more. All meals included.
Day 4: Savegre Mountain Lodge and Quetzals in the high Lands
Birding before breakfast and departure to the highlands of Talamanca and Cerro de la Muerte where we will check into the Savegre Lodge. Cerro de la Muerte is one the best destination for endemic birding in Costa Rica with over 170 species being recorded. The property surrounding the lodge holds seven different trails winding through mostly primary forest, some secondary growth and open space this comes together to create a birders paradise. All day birding at the lodge and exploring the grounds. All meals included.
Day 5. In search of Quetzal
The Resplendent Quetzals inhabits these valleys all year round, and we will get an early start and head out in search of these beautiful birds, as well as many others as our guide leads us along some of the trails. We will return for lunch and then visit the Paramo forest in search of Junco Volcano, Timberline Wren & Dusky Nightjar. All meals included.
Day 6: Carara National Park
Today we travel to Carara Biological Reserve the location of Costa Rica's largest population of scarlet macaws. They arrive in the park like clockwork every morning and then head for the coastal mangroves around dusk. These daily migrations give birders a great chance to see these magnificent birds in flight. The reserve is located about 3 hours from Savegre Lodge along the central Pacific coast. You will arrive at hotel Villa Lapas near Carara in the afternoon. You may spend the remainder of the day exploring the area. After dinner your guide will explain the conservation efforts the Costa Rica government, as well as other groups are taking to preserve this magnificent bird and what makes the park so valuable.
Day 7: Macaws and Jaco
Early start: 5 a.m. to make it out to the reserve in time to see the macaws as they fly in from the mangroves. We will be back to our hotel by 9 for breakfast, followed by some time to relax. At 1:30 p.m. an optional Crocodile jungle safari. This is a great opportunity to see American Crocodiles, Iguanas, Jesus Lizards, and the resident shore birds including the Roseate Spoonbill. The group will finish the day in the town of Jaco have dinner and time to do some shopping.
Day 8: Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge
Optional bird watching at the hotel, then after breakfast travel from Villa Lapas towards Hacienda Baru Wildlife Refuge. The group will arrive at Hacienda Baru on the Pacific Coast near Punta Uvita. The refuge consists of an area of over 815 acres which is comprised of wetlands, lowland secondary rain forest, highland primary rainforests, mangrove estuary, and frontage on the Morete River and beach. It offers a wide variety of habitats to explore. In the evening our guide will lead us on a nocturnal walk that might produce Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Black and White Owl, and an assortment of reptiles. (B,D) Overnight at Hacienda Baru.
Day 9: Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge
Awake to the sounds of the tropical jungle, the call of the howler monkeys, birds and numerous other creatures, it couldn't be a better scenario for a new birding day. A early start as we explore the rainforest trails of this 500 acre nature reserve in search of Keel- Billed Toucans, Great Green Macaw, Violet Crowned Woodnymphs , and wood thrushes as well as many others. In the afternoon a hike through the Lowe lands to see the birds endemic to open areas and the sea shore. The Tawny-winged Woodcreepers, King Vultures, Red-capped Manakins, Streaked-chested Anpitta, are just some of the highlights. (B,L,D) Overnight at Hacienda Baru.
Day 10: Corcovado National Park
After breakfast we will travel to the beautiful Sierpe river, where we will be taken by boat through the jungle mangroves and then follow the Pacific coast until we arrive at the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is a 170 acre private reserve bordering Corcovado, a national park that includes thirteen separate ecosystems with almost one hundred species of trees and nearly four hundred species of birds. Corcovado has been called "the most biologically intense place on earth" by the National Geographic Society. Birding in the Corcovado National Park will be one of the most amazing experiences on your tour. Afternoon birding and exploration and finish the day off with a after dinner night walk.
Day 11: Casa Corcovado lodge
Early morning for bird watching at the lodge. After breakfast a half day guided nature walk in Corcovado National Park. In the afternoon we will visit Historic town of drake bay have dinner Return to our hotel.
Day 12: Free Time in the Osa and back to San Jose
Optional early morning birding and free time or visit Cano Island Biological Reserve. Cano Island is considered of great archeological importants due to the indigenous ruins found there. It is a great place to snorkel and explore. Back to the hotel for a early lunch and transfer for our flight back to San Jose at 2 pm. We will be greeted in San Jose and transferred to Hotel Don Carlos in the heart of the city. After we get checked in we will go out for dinner.
Day 13: Homeward bound
Today we get packed up, have breakfast, and prepare for our trip to the airport for the flight home.
Included: All meals, all hotels, private bus, 24 hr private naturalist guide, all activities.
Not included: Airfare, tips and spending money.
Free Travel for Trip Leaders: With 10 participants a trip leader travels FREE, including air.
Available Trip Dates: March through July 2014.Cost:
Please contact us for a price for the tour.