Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour

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Costa Rica Grand Birding Tours

‘Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour’  Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive San Jose | Welcome to Costa Rica

Arrive in San Jose, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your Costa Rica birding tour begins with an afternoon walk through the exquisite gardens of the Hotel Bougainvillea. The gardens stretch over 10-acres with pathways, benches, and viewing areas. There are 50 species of bromeliad, native trees, orchids, herbs, cactus and much more. The gardens are a haven for several hard to see bird species including the white-eared ground sparrow and the Prevost Ground sparrow. The hotel is decorated with local pottery and hosts an impressive collection of rocks and minerals found throughout Costa Rica. Dine tonight at the hotel restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel Bougainvillea

2 Weeks Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 1 - San Jose

Day 2: San Gerardo de Dota | Paramo

Depart after breakfast for San Gerardo de Dota. The towering Talamanca Mountains are not only home to the highest peak in Costa Rica (Chirripo) but also unique areas of sub alpine paramo and lush white oak forests. Have your binoculars handy as this area is rich with almost 200 bird species. The Resplendent Quetzal, Flame-throated Warbler, Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Volcano Junco and the Silvery-throated Jays are just a few of the many birds that inhabit the area. Enjoy the cool temperatures, clear mountain streams and the magnificent forests of San Gerardo de Dota.
Hotel: Savegre LodgeGrand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 2 - Paramo


Day 3: San Gerardo de Dota | Talamanca Highlands, Quetzal Country

A full day of birding at the private reserve of Savegre Lodge. You will walk the trails and be entranced by the beautiful white oaks, and golden moss of this stunning forest. The array of bird species is astounding. In the afternoon, stroll along the river looking for dippers and phoebes and relax in the gardens surrounded by hummingbirds as the sunsets.
Hotel: Savegre Lodge

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 3 - Quetzal Country


Day 4: Caribbean Slope | Birdwatch from the balcony

Today after breakfast you will take a lovely scenic route north to the Caribbean slope. You will stop above the tree-line, looking for the timberline wren and peg-billed finch (among others) and then through Tapanti National Park. The irregular topography creates fabulous vistas and chances to stop and bird along the way. You will stop along the way for a tasty lunch. The drive is only about 2 hours but plan on stopping often to search for the species you need in the area and enjoy the gorgeous views.
Hotel: Rancho Naturalista

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 4 - Rancho Naturalista


Day 5: Caribbean Slope | Hummingbirds

Rancho Naturalista is one of Costa Rica’s premier birding lodges. From the warm homey feel, the expansive balcony for bird watching right from the lodge, to the wide expanse of trails every detail at Rancho is designed to give guests an amazing experience. Over 450 species of birds have been recorded in the private forest reserve. Have your binoculars handy at all times, you are going to need them!
Hotel: Rancho Naturalista


Day 6: Caribbean Lowlands | Lush rainforest

You will finish your stay at Rancho with lunch and then make the 2-hour drive to La Selva, arriving in time to bird the grounds of the station. La Selva is also home to many species of mammals, reptiles, and insects, so keep your eyes peeled as you maneuver the trails. La Selva is incredible bird watching with over 400 species seen in the area.  The rustic accommodations are comfortable and clean. The surrounding forest and trails are a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers.

Grand Costa Rica BIrd Watching Tour - Day 6 - La Selva Biological Station

Day 7: Caribbean Lowlands | Exploring La Selva

Today it is an early breakfast and then off to the forest trails of the La Selva Biological Station. La Selva is comprised of 3900 acres of tropical forest nestled between two rivers. (Rio Puerto Viejo and Rio Sarapiqui) La Selva was established in 1954 as a farm dedicated to natural resource management. In 1968, it became a private reserve and research station owned and operated by the O.T.S.  More than 250 scientific papers are published yearly with research and study done and completed at La Selva. You will enjoy the entire morning at La Selva. Enjoy a break for lunch and a rest during the heat of the day. That afternoon you will continue to explore the trails around the reserve.
Hotel: La Selva Biological Station

Day 8: Caribbean Foothills | Arenal Volcano region

Enjoy the morning at La Selva, have lunch and then depart for the Arenal Volcano area. The drive is only about 2.5 hours and you’ll bird along the way as you pass through fields, farms, and rolling hills. You’ll arrive at the lovely Arenal Observatory lodge with time for birding the grounds. The Observatory Lodge has a huge observation deck overlooking the Arenal Volcano and an expansive garden.  There is a total of 870 acres of forest and an excellent trail system. This is the premier birdwatching location in the Arenal area.

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 8 - Caribbean Foothils - Arenal

 Day 9: Caribbean Foothills| Arenal Volcano Region

Today you will spend the full day around the trails at the Observatory Lodge. More than 500 species have been registered on the grounds and forest of the lodge. Keep watch for the black-crested coquette, yellow-eared toucanet, great curassow and many more. The diverse habitat provides a true paradise for bird watchers.
Hotel: Arenal Observatory Lodge

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 9 - Arenal Volcano area

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

2 Weeks Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 10 - Monteverde

Day 11: Monteverde | Cloud Forest

You will spend the day today in the rich, exuberant Cloud Forest at the Monteverde Reserve. Monteverde is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. 10% of its flora is endemic. A wonderful network of trails covers more than 13-kilometers. Marvel at the huge tree ferns, bromeliads, and orchids. The reserve is home to the three-wattled bell bird, quetzals, tawny-throated leaf-tosser, lineated foliage-gleaner, and many more fantastic species.
Hotel: Hotel Montana de Verde

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 11 - Monetverde Cloud Forest

Day 12: Central Pacific | Transitional Forest

Time to move from the cool mountains of Monteverde to the warmth of the Pacific Coast. Enroute, stop for a birding safari floating on the Tarcoles River. This trip is a great place to see mangrove birds, marsh species, and of course the gigantic Central American Crocodiles. You will arrive at your hotel late afternoon for check-in.
Hotel: Cerro Lodge

Grand Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour - Day 12 - Carara National Park

Day 13: Central Pacific | Carara National Park

2 Weeks Costa Rica Bird Watching Tour slowly comes to the end, but not without a bang—few places in Costa Rica boast the diversity and grandeur of Carara National Park. It is a key location as a wildlife corridor between northern and southern Costa Rica.  This important location creates a sanctuary for a huge variety of animals and birds. More than 400 species are possible in this region.  With a rich habitat and an excellent trail system, guests will enjoy birding in this gem of the Costa Rica National Park system.
Hotel: Cerro Lodge

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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!

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