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Cotinga Tours: An Unparalleled Experience!  

Cotinga Tours specializes in Birding, Nature, and Eco-educational tours in Costa Rica. We are an owner-operated company that provides personalized service and the knowledge of Costa Rica’s natural ecology that only a local company can offer. We are passionate about birds, conservation and sharing Costa Rica’s rich wild life and habitats with others. We design our tours with your comfort and enjoyment as our highest priority. We find restful and relaxing travel allows you to fully enjoy your outdoor experience. Your accommodations, meals, and transportation  have been carefully selected to maximize your comfort and peace of mind, while enabling you to bask in Costa Rica’s rich natural beauty. There are several critical elements that make for an exceptional birding or nature tour:

Guides Make All The Difference!

Costa Rica’s Finest Guides— Paco Madrigal, our co-founder and master guide, has a passion and love for the natural world that is infectious. His expertise and enthusiasm has attracted a team of the finest birding and naturalist guides in Costa Rica.

Delicious Food and Superb Lodging!


We have carefully chosen our lodging to provide proximity to wildlife parks and reserves, as well as clean, comfortable rooms, great service and delicious food. Enjoy Costa Rica’s rich wildlife habitats right from your doorstep.

Costa Rica: A birder’s and nature lover’s paradise!


The Orange Collard Manakins dance in their lek with a firecracker of sounds; a Grey-tailed Mountain-gem pierces a flower. All across Costa Rica the sun has broken the horizon and columns of light penetrate the forest canopy. The forest is alive! Costa Rica is truly a birder’s and nature lover’s paradise. 


Due to Costa Rica’s small size, range of elevation and twelve distinct ecological zones we can offer tours that encompass a wide variety of habitats and astonishingly abundant wildlife diversity, while maintaining a comfortable pace. 


Costa Rica acts as a continuous corridor for migration between North and South America and is a meeting ground for seemingly unimaginable bio diversity. Costa Rica, no bigger than the state of West Virginia or Wales, is home to approximately 5 percent of the earth’s known species. More than 870 species of birds have been recorded on the Costa Rican mainland, including roughly 600 species of permanent residents. The country also boasts 350 species
of reptiles and amphibians (including six different species of sea turtles that nest on Costa Rican beaches), four species of monkeys, 8000 species of higher plants, and more species of butterflies than in all of Africa.

As you explore this rich environment, you will bask in the incredible beauty that abounds— languid lowland rain forests, misty cloud forests, arid tropical dry forests, and vast wetlands, surrounded by thundering volcanoes, sun-drenched beaches, serene pasture land, and pristine waterfalls. Costa Rica will not only impress you with all of its natural splendors, but will also charm you with its warm hearted people and peaceful socio-political environment.

Our Team: Staff

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Heather Frid Jimenez (co-founder): Tour coordinator and manager of our Costa Rica office is a true nature-lover. Her friendly personality, resourcefulness and dedication to every last detail ensure that your tour runs smoothly and worry-free from start to finish.

“Heather, your enthusiasm, organizational skills and love of the environment played a tremendous role in making our visit such an enjoyable learning experience.” – Paula Lader, Birds of Paradise Tour 

Ashley Torgerson: Tour coordinator and nature travel specialist in the Costa Rica office. Her warm personality and in-depth knowledge about Costa Rica's travel destinations makes her a great initial contact point for our clients.

"I’d like to also say how great Ashley has been since taking over the day-to-day booking arrangements -  excellent communication and attention to detail." – Keith Offord, Tour Leader, Wild Insights, UK


Marco Frid (co-founder):  Director of Sales & Marketing manages our U.S. office. He has a long-standing passion for the natural world, love for Costa Rica.

Our Team: Guides

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Paco Madrigal (co-founder): Master guide and guide coordinator, has over 20 years experience guiding both bird watching and natural history tours throughout Costa Rica. Paco’s profound understanding of tropical ecology, coupled with his expert spotting abilities and infectious enthusiasm, has made him Costa Rica’s finest!


 “Paco, you continually amazed me with your expertise, uncanny ability to find the birds, impeccable planning and execution of the trip, and your warmth and wit. An unforgettable experience for me.” – Kathryn Chapman, Birding Highlights Tour

Esteban Biamonte: He is a passionate biologist that has been leading birding trips for more than two decades. His field experience as a guide and researcher makes an outing with him a great opportunity to experience the true dimension of neotropical biodiversity. His vast experience in the tourist industry has given Esteban that vital “know how” to give you not only a nice list, but a thorough experience of the neotropical habitat.

"Esteban is very charming & knowledgeable, and also works his socks off making sure everything is going well for everyone. Exceptional, great personality & super proud to show us his beautiful country & the amazing wildlife." - Participant on 2023 Raptor Migration Tour


Erick Castro: He has over 15 years of experience as a birding and natural history field guide in Costa Rica and Panama. He is the pinnacle of professionalism with outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail, not to mention an excellent birder with an exceptional knowledge of CR’s flora & fauna.

“The leader, Erick was extremely professional, affable and an outstanding field ornithologist.” – Derek Moore, Tour Leader, UK 


Tomás Calleja: He has over 10 years of experience as a naturalist guide and tour leader in Costa Rica. He grew up in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica, where he developed great interest towards wildlife and tropical
ecosystems from early on. He is very passionate about ecotourism as one of the best development models to reach sustainability. 

"Tomas was an exceptional guide. He was well organised, guided the group through each day, all with a friendly and easygoing manner. We could not praise him highly enough."

Lenin Duarte: He has over 15 years of experience as a birding and natural history field guide in Costa Rica. He enjoys learning and sharing his knowledge about photography and Costa Rican flora and fauna. Lenin's passion for photography is notable with his eye for beauty and details.

"Lenin spotted birds that none of us would ever see if on our own. His identifications were thorough and accurate. He was very patient with our issues (being seniors) and our photo requests. He's the best!" - Ann G. Group 2022

Erick Guzman: A naturalist and birding guide with 15 years of experience leading groups and private tours. His charismatic personality and insights makes him excellent at showing our clients the amazing biodiversity and beauty of Costa Rica's nature and enriching their travel experience.

"Erick’s enthusiasm and determination to find interesting wildlife is wonderful." - 2022 Virtual Tour Participant


Anthony Arce:  A Guanacaste native, Tony has been leading groups since 2006 as a birding and naturalist guide. He is fascinated by the vast variety of ecosystems in Costa Rica. He enjoys participating in bird counts across the country. Just recently, he has started to extend his birding expertise into Columbia and Ecuador.

"The guide Tony Arce went above and beyond to make this trip a most fantastic experience. His knowledge and expertise were truly amazing." - Particpant on February 2023 small group tour


Jorge Monge:  He has been working as a Naturalist and Birdwatching Guide since 1999 leading groups in Central and South America. Jorge is a  nature lover and always willing to share his love and passion for nature with others. His goal is  to get the most out of every single location and making every experience unforgettable for his participants.

"Very lucky to have a private tour with a knowledgeable and thorough guide. He was an amazing spotter and shared interesting facts on our car drives." - Private tour participant February 2023


Randy Alvarado:  A naturalist and fantastic birder from Sarapiqui, the northern part of the Caribbean lowlands. After studying eco-tourism, he was trained by some of the top naturalists in the region. Randy strives to teach the immense impact the tropical rain forest has on the ecosystem and how important conservation is today. He considers Costa Rica as one of the premier countries for its abundance of biodiversity.

Our Team: Drivers

Alberto Vargas: Not only a fantastic driver, but an extraordinary person. With over 20 years of experience, he always goes out of his way to do what he can to enhance each client’s experience.

“Your driver Alberto, is a credit to your business not only did he have a lovely sense of humor and very pleasing personality, but he was also a very good spotter.” – David & Ann Smith, Birding Highlights Tour 

David Calderon: A prompt and professional driver dedicated to making the journey from point A to point B as enjoyable and inclusive as possible.

"David was prompt and very friendly!" - Ann G. Group 2022

Rodrigo Barrientos: Valued member of the team, enjoys assisting guides with spotting in the field, always a step ahead of the needs of the group, 


"Rodrigo was far more than just the driver: excellent spotter of the wildlife, very attentive to all our needs & also kind & charming." - Raptor Migration Tour 2023

Alex Carballo: Enthusiastic nature lover, as well as an excellent driver. Alex enjoys using his sharp eye to assist the guide in spotting target species for the whole group to enjoy. 

"Alex is terrific!" - Birder's Paradise Tour January 2022

Marco Chaves: Fantastic and friendly driver that is dedicated to making the journey smooth and relaxing.

Marco NuñezWith safety and enjoyment in mind, Marco does an excellent job as a driver. 

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