Costa Rica Group Birding Trip: Search for the Elusive Birds
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This 8 night / 9 day birding and nature trip to Costa Rica gives avid bird watchers the chance to see some of Costa Rica’s rarest and most exciting bird species, plus, enjoy some of the other fantastic activities that Costa Rica has to offer. This Costa Rica Birding trip is a great combination of excellent bird watching, culture, and nature. With your private naturalist birding guide, you’ll travel throughout the country on this small group trip to Costa Rica and experience paradise at its best.
Some of the species on our Target List: Lovely Cotinga, Bicolored Hawk, Ocellated Antbird, Red-fronted Parrotlet, White-Tip Sicklebill, Sharpbill, Lanceolated Monklet, to name a few.
Day 1: Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica | Hotel Bougainvillea
Day 2-3: Turrialba | Guayabo Lodge
Day 4-5: Tortuguero | Rana Roja
Day 6-7: Arenal | Observatory Lodge
Day 8: San Jose | Villa San Ignacio
Day 9: San Jose | Depart for Home
Map of the October Birding Trip: Elusive Birds Tour
October Birding Trip: Elusive Birds of Costa RicaOn a tour with a private guide, the guide is with you from your arrival to your departure. You not only bird at the hotels, Parks, and Reserves on your itinerary, you also have the flexibility to stop with the guide at local spots, off the beaten track locations, and places that only the guides know. You have an expert with you every step of the way. Guests with a Private Guide can expect to see at least 50% more species than guests using local guides.
- Meet and Greet at the SJO Airport from your Naturalist Guide, Rudy Zamora.
- Services of your private guide for the duration of your journey.
- Transportation in a comfortable coaster with an English speaking driver.
- 1 night at Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose.
- 2 nights at Guayabo Lodge in Turrialba
- 2 nights at Rana Roja in Tortuguero
- 2 nights at Arenal Observatory Lodge in Arenal
- 1 night at Villas San Ignacio in San Jose
- All meals beginning with dinner on arrival day and ending with breakfast on departure day.
- Activities to include: Privately guided bird & nature tours at each destination, Cooking class with dinner at Guayabo, Aquires River Birding expedition, Guayabo National Monument visit, CATIE with lunch, Tortuguero National Park, Turtle Museum and Town tour, Green Sea Turtle Nesting Tour, La Selva Biological Station visit, EcoTermales Hot Springs with dinner.
- Welcome Packet
- Official checklist of the birds of Costa Rica
- Daily species review with your guide
- 24/7 in-country customer service
‘Elusive Birds of Costa Rica’ October Birding Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive San Jose | Welcome to Costa Rica
Welcome to Costa Rica! We’ll meet you at the San Jose International Airport. Your private guide will meet you at the airport and transfer with you to the charming Hotel Bougainvillea. Check in and enjoy the spectacular gardens at the hotel. This evening join your group for a Welcome Dinner.
Hotel Bougainvillea / Meals: Dinner
Day 2: Turrialba | Guayabo Lodge
You’ll depart after breakfast, driving East towards the town of Turrialba. You’ll pass through the town of Cartago, the original capital city of Costa Rica, and then head into the country passing small towns, beautiful green hills, rivers and forests. Your guide will be happy to stop along the way for birds and other sites. Your drive will take about 3 hours.
Charming and friendly, Guayabo Lodge sits in a beautiful garden on the slopes of the active Turrialba Volcano. It’s a family run eco lodge, renown for good service and great views all around.
The smoking Turrialba Volcano is to the North, the valley with the town of Turrialba and the Angostura lake to the South; Santa Cruz and the Caribbean to the East and the Cerro de La Muerte on the background to the West.
This evening your group comes together for a fun hands-on cooking class. You’ll learn about local Costa Rican cuisine, and prepare a fabulous dinner with local, fresh ingredients.
Guayabo Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: Turrialba | Guayabo Lodge
After breakfast you’ll visit the Guayabo National Monument for bird watching and time to experience Costa Rica’s most important archeological site. The area includes ancient trails, petroglyphs and homesites estimated to be more than 3000 years old. Your guide will tell you about the history of Guayabo and you’ll enjoy excellent bird watching in the surrounding forest.
This afternoon you’ll visit CATIE (Center for Research and Higher Education of Tropical Agriculture). This center is famous for its integrated approach that combines research, education, and natural resource management of all types of tropical plants. Bird watching is excellent at CATIE, and the chance to see the wide variety of plants provides a unique at tropical flora. You’ll enjoy a tropical fruit tasting session and lunch on site. This evening is at leisure.
Guayabo Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: Tortuguero | Rana Roja Lodge
The Aquiares River Reserve is owned by Guayabo Lodge. You’ll have an early morning birding session (before breakfast) at the reserve, then have breakfast at the lodge and depart for Tortuguero. You’ll travel several hours north to the port of La Pavona where you’ll board your boat and travel through the canals of Tortuguero to reach your lodge. You’ll check and have lunch. After some time to relax, you’ll visit the town of Tortuguero and the Turtle conservation museum.
Rana Roja Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5: Tortuguero | Rana Roja Lodge
You’ll leave with your guide on a wild life filled journey through the canals of Tortuguero. This area is often referred to as “The Little Amazon” due to the remoteness, lush forest, and wide array of wildlife. The canal network is home to 138+ mammals, 442 bird species, and 118 species of reptiles.
Return to the lodge to relax during the heat of the day. Late afternoon join your guide, for some more birdwatching in the gardens. This evening, you’ll head to the beach to witness one of nature’s most extraordinary events. The nesting of the Atlantic Green Sea Turtles. During the prime nesting season from June through October thousands and thousands of sea turtles visit the beaches of Tortuguero at night. You will visit with a ranger, quietly waiting for the sea turtles to emerge from the ocean. You’ll see them crawl through the sand pick their nesting site and lay their eggs. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, mother nature at her best.
Rana Roja Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6: Arenal | Arenal Observatory Lodge
After breakfast you’ll board your boat, travel about 90 minutes through the canals of Tortuguero and then get back on your vehicle and depart with your guide heading West towards the Arenal Volcano. You’ll drive through beautiful rolling hills, farmlands with fields of yucca, groves of bananas, and acres and acres of pineapples, and soon the majestic peak of the Arenal Volcano will appear on the horizon. You’ll arrive at the Observatory Lodge for check in.
Arenal Observatory Lodge is a preferred destination for bird watching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds found on the grounds and surrounding forest.
Arenal Observatory Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7: Arenal | Arenal Observatory Lodge
Today you’ll spend the day with your Naturalist Guide exploring the trails and gardens around the Observatory Lodge. This is truly one of the best places in Costa Rica for spotting wrens, antbirds, tanagers, hummingbirds, raptors, cotingas, woodpeckers, woodcreepers and so much more. It’s a true birdwatchers paradise. The forest is also home to many mammals. We’ll be looking for agoutis, anteaters, armadillos, peccaries, and much more. Enjoy this fabulous day of birding and interaction with nature.
Late afternoon you’ll make a visit to the beautiful EcoTermales Thermal Hot Springs. Here you’ll have a chance to soak in the thermal mineral hot springs, surrounded by forest, soothing tired muscles and enjoying this unique feature of the Arenal area. Your group will enjoy a delicious typical dinner at the hot springs.
Day 8: San Jose | Villas San Ignacio
This morning you’ll enjoy your last morning around the gardens of the Observatory Lodge and then have breakfast. The group will depart the lodge and make a stop in La Fortuna. You’ll have a chance to visit the central park or shop in some local shops. You’ll then begin the journey back to San Jose, birding along the way. You’ll make a stop for lunch and arrive at your hotel late afternoon. Tonight, join your group for a farewell dinner, toast your great memories and reminisce about your last 8 days in Costa Rica.
Day 9: San Jose/ San Jose International Airport
This morning your October birding trip comes to an end. You’ll depart your hotel and transfer back to the SJO Airport for your flight home.
Day 10: Monteverde | Cloud Forest
After breakfast at the Observatory Lodge you will make a stop at the trails of Sky Walk. This is a great stop for birders as it gives you a chance to see the canopy at eye level. Look for the Blue and Gold Tanager, and large mixed flocks. After the Sky Walk trails, travel around Lake Arenal to the lush cloud forests of Monteverde.
Hotel: Hotel de Montana Monteverde
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About Costa Rica Focus
Costa Rica Focus is a birding tour company that offers customized Costa Rica birdwatching tours for individuals or groups of people and guided by a knowledgeable birding expert who will help you spot and learn about the beauty of the birds of Costa Rica. Let’s talk about your Costa Rica birding vacation!