Birders' Paradise

Jan 11th - Jan 25th, 2020


Tour Includes:

15 day and 14 nights of lodging
All meals from Breakfast on day 2 - Breakfast on day 9
All Transportation in Country
Professional Guide
Resident Guides (certain locations)
All Accommodations
All Fee's and entrances (national parks, reserves, etc…)

Jan 11: Arrive in San Jose where you will be warmly welcomed by your guide/chauffeur and escorted back to your hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the poolside or taking a walk in the lovely gardens to recuperate from your long day of travel. This is a good place to see the White-eared Ground-sparrow, the Blue-crowned Motmot, some colorful hummingbirds, and maybe even the Prevost’s Ground-sparrow.

Jan 12: Travel to Cerro de la Muerte, stopping for lunch en route. We will spend the afternoon exploring the misty highland cloud forest reserve at the Paraiso de Quetzal.  The area is home to Resplendent Quetzal as well as fiery-throated hummingbird, Black-and-yellow Silky- flycatcher, Large-footed Finch, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Robin, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Peg-billed Finch to name a few. Before returning to our lodge for dinner, we will also visit the Paramo habitat at approximately 3500m above sea level in search of the Volcano Junco. We will overnight in San Gerardo de Dota, nestled in a quaint highland valley nearby.


Jan 13: Spend the day exploring the gardens, riparian highland habitats, and old growth tropical oak cloud forests surrounding the lodge. Walking through the gardens and along the Savegre river, we can hope to see Flame-colored Tanager, Collared Trogon, Torrent Tyrannulet, Volcano hummingbird, and Gray-tailed Mountain Gem, among many others. Some of the other species we will be looking for include Black-faced Solitaire, Spotted Wood-Quail, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Golden-browed Chlorophonia (Blue- hooded Chlorophonia), Ochraceous Wren, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, and of course the Resplendent Quetzal. In the evening after a delicious dinner, we will go over the birds, and any other wildlife seen that day.

Jan 14: Travel to the Central Pacific lowlands, situated at the edge of the Carara Biological Reserve on the banks of the Tarcoles River near the Pacific coast. After lunch at the hotel, we will explore the bird-rich trails through the forest, and hope to see Scarlet Macaws and Tiger Herons, among many others. After a delicious lunch at the hotel, we will enjoy a two-hour mangrove tour by boat along the Tarcoles River with a local guide. During the tour we will not only be impressed by the giant crocodiles that inhabit the area but also the variety of shorebirds, water birds, and raptors.


Jan 15:  Spend the day exploring the Carara National Park, a unique climatological zone where the ecosystem of the humid southern coastal region joins the dry climate of the northern Pacific area, becoming a rich meeting ground for species from both regions. This is truly one of the highlights of the tour, where we hope to find the Orange Collared Manakin dancing in their lek. This is a great location to spot antbirds, up to five different species of Trogons, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, and even Royal Flycatchers. We will also take time to visit Playa Azul where some of the species we will look for are Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Melodious Blackbird, Bare-throated Tiger- Heron, Pacific Screech-Owl, Spectacled Owl, and many species of shorebirds.

We will organize a lecture by one of the park rangers to discuss conservation in the area.

Jan 16:  Travel to Guanacaste to explore the tropical dry forests, marshlands, estuaries, and mangroves, characteristic to the northern Pacific region. This is an ideal place to see water birds, raptors, and other species found only in this zone. In the wetlands, we are likely to see Snail Kites, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Boat-billed Herons, Black- crowned Night-Heron, Limpkins, and several species of Kingfishers. Walking through the semi-deciduous forest, we are likely to see Turquoise-browed Motmot, the Long-tailed Manakin, and several species of Parrots, Orioles, Cuckoos, Trogons, Jays, and Owls. While in the area, we will visit an area famous for nesting Jabirus, an endangered species seen in few places.


Jan 17 & 18: Spend two nights in the Arenal area, which offers breathtaking views of the jungle-covered Arenal Volcano. This is a birding and wildlife hotspot, and the stunning natural beauty will astound you. The extensive trails at the lodge allow for tremendous opportunities to view the Crimson-collared Tanagers, White Hawk, Brown- hooded Parrot, and the Golden-olive Woodpecker, along with an array of colorful hummingbirds, and three species of Toucans. One night, we will go owling in search of the Black-and-White Owl, Mottled Owl, and Striped Owl in the open fields, below the lodge.

Jan 19:  Travel to the tropical lowlands of Sarapiqui. Spend the afternoon exploring the wildlife-rich riparian zone along the banks of the Sarapiqui River. This rain forest region at the base of the Caribbean slope is well known for hosting the greatest diversity of tropical flora and fauna. Here the Sunbittern, Black-faced Grosbeak, and Gray-necked Wood-Rail are a few of the inhabitants of the area. This is the most likely spot on the trip to see the Great Green Macaw, an endangered species that depends on the Dipteryx tree for feeding and nesting. This is one of the emergent trees commonly found in Sarapiqui. Also lurking in the forest are two- and three-toed sloth, 3 different species of monkeys, and peccaries.

Jan 20 & 21: Spend the next two days at La Selva Biological Station run by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), clearly a highlight of the tour. The station is among the four most famous tropical research facilities in the world. We will see an outstanding abundance of wildlife. The station is home to more than 420 bird species, more than 500 species of butterflies, 55 species of snakes, and 120 species of mammals. A vast variety of different species of trees can be seen in the arboretum. This is the most likely place to make your Tinamou dream come true. There are three species of Tinamou that inhabit La Selva. We will be looking for Rufous Motmot, Trogons, Caciques, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, and Snowy Cotinga, among many others. Animals here are not camera shy, so there will be ample photo opportunities. Peccaries (wild pig), agoutis, coatis, sloth, and monkeys frequent this area. All of which makes for unforgettable days.

One of these days we will organize a lecture by one of the researchers to discuss current research projects.

Jan 22 & 23: Travel by boat to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean. Here we will explore the rich labyrinth of waterways which will afford us excellent wildlife viewing. The area boasts 320 bird species, including Tiger Herons, Agami Herons, White-fronted Nunbird, and all six species of Kingfishers belonging to the Americas. Along with birds, we may also see sloth, caiman, iguanas, poison-dart frogs, freshwater turtles, basilisk lizards, the Honduran White tent-making bats, and three species of monkeys that frequent the banks. If your travel dates are between June and October, we will venture out along the beach in the evening to look for the Green Sea Turtles, who come up to nest June-October. July is known to be an excellent month to see the Green Sea Turtle, while rare; it is also possible to see the giant Leatherback Turtles and the Hawksbill turtles at this time.


Jan 24: Return to San Jose for a farewell dinner and an overnight stay, to rest up for departing flights the next day. En route you will have the chance to visit a spot where the Snowcap and other species characteristic to the Braulio Carrillo region, frequent.


Jan 25: Transfer to the airport for departing flights.

*Each morning we will be getting an early start to make the best of our time and to maximize our opportunities to see the most species of birds possible. As an optional outing, one night in each location we will go owling (weather permitting). Each evening there will also be an optional meeting after dinner to go over the bird list and the next days activities.

Tour includes:

  • 14 nights of lodging as specified above

  • Meals starting with breakfast on Day 2, and ending with breakfast on Day 15

  • Full time Bi-lingual English-Spanish speaking guide/driver, specializing in birds and natural history starting Jan 12th until Jan 24th, when clients are dropped off at lodge for final night.

  • Airport transfer to Hotel Bougainvillea on Jan 11th.

  • Ground transportation in a spacious, air-conditioned vehicle from Jan 12 until Jan 24, when clients are dropped off at lodge for final night

  • All tours and entrances listed above

  • Filtered water to refill your reusable water bottle

  • Taxes (airport taxes and tips to local staff and guide not included)

  • Owling excursions will be available throughout the tour, weather permitting, and when the guide deems them productive.


Tour does not include: International air fare, airport taxes (Approximately $30.00) and tips to local staff, guides and driver.


  • Carara National Park (x2)

  • Tarcoles Boat tour

  • Paraiso Quetzal

  • Tortuguero National Park (x2)

  • La Selva (x2)

  • Cinchona Hummingbird feeders

  • Tapir Reserve

  • Cope's gardens

  • Solimar

  • Trip to Earth University


Price: $3325.00/person/double occupancy for 10 paying clients and 1 tour leader free. Single supplement $550.00


Important notes and conditions:

  • Meals are pre-arranged and pre-paid so if clients want to make changes to the schedule that result in missing a pre-arranged meal, there will be no refund and the clients will assume the additional cost of the missed meal elsewhere for themselves and the guide.

  • Airport exit taxes are not included and are approximately $30 per person but most airlines are including this in their fare now, so check with your airlines.

  • Tips to guides and hotel staff not included (Tipping is customary and merit-based in Costa Rica. General tipping guidelines can be provided upon request)

  • Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and expenses of a personal nature are not included

  • Any additional airport transfers have an additional cost of $50 each from or to the SJO hotel

  • No refund for any unused entrances or tours. Changes to tours are not possible once the guests are in country.

  • Payment method is by bank wire. If more than two wires are sent to cover payment there will be an additional $65 per wire charged to cover bank processing fees.

  • Full balance due in our accounts 90 days prior to the arrival day. Please take into consideration weekends and bank holidays, so that wires are sent with enough time to arrive in our account by 60 days prior to the arrival date. We will process any cancellations and respective refunds according to the following schedule:

  • All cancellations must be received in writing.

  • *Cancellations received between 90-70 days prior to the arrival date, the client receives a full refund less the non-refundable deposit.

  • Cancellations received between 69 days to 43 days prior to the arrival date, the client receives a 50% refund of the total.

  • Cancellations received between 42 days to 29 days prior to the arrival date, the clients receive a refund of 25% of the total

  • Cancellations received at 28 days or fewer prior to the arrival date, there will be no refund available.

  • We highly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, and loss or damage to optics and equipment, in order to protect your investment.