Custom Tour - Endemic Species of Costa Rica

#1. With Cotinga Guide & Driver (6&8pax options)

Dates: Tentative February 2022*

*(Prices good for March - April 2022 - excluding "Semana Santa" April 10-16, 2022)

Discounted Rate (for payment by check or bank transfer)

Price per person in double occupancy (based on 8pax): $3,241

Single supplement: $720

 

Discounted Rate (for payment by check or bank transfer)

Price per person in double occupancy (based on 6-7pax): $3,518

Single Supplement: $720

 

Regular Price (payments by credit card)

Price per person in double occupancy (based on 8pax): $3,371

Single Supplement: $749

 

Regular Price (payments by credit card)

Price per person in double occupancy (based on 6-7pax): $3,659

Single Supplement: $749

Tour includes: 

  • 14 nights of lodging and all meals (pre-arranged) starting with Breakfast on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 15

  • All transportation with Driver Day 2-14 in Costa Rica in a modern and spacious air-conditioned vehicle with clear glass windows ideal for wildlife viewing

  • 2 Airport transfers: one on arrival day (Day 1) and one on departure day (Day 15)

  • Full time private bilingual professional guide specializing in birds and natural history from Day 2-14

  • Entrance fees to the parks and reserves specified below

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

  • Owling excursions will be available one night at each location weather permitting and if the guide deems the outing productive.

  • Meals are pre-arranged. All rooms are comfortable, clean and have en suite bathrooms. 

 

Tours and Entrances included:

  • 1 full day at La Selva Biological Station

  • 1 half day at La Selva Biological Station

  • 1 entrance to Cope’s Garden

  • 1 entrance to Cinchona Hummingbird Gardens

  • 2 entrances to Carara National Park

  • 1 Tarcoles Boat Tour

  • 1 entrance to Oak Forest

  • 1 day pass to Paraiso Quetzal

Important Travel Information: Please review your country's exit/entrance requirements before traveling. If your country requires negative COVID-19 test results, Cotinga Tours will assist guests in getting a Covid-19 test at a private testing lab upon returning to the San Jose area on Day 14. Costs for Covid test are not included in tour price.  Guest must pay testing lab directly. Please inform Cotinga Tours if this appointment will be necessary. 

Cotinga Tours is NOT responsible for the following:

 

  • The traveler's compliance or the consequences of non-compliance with United States or Costa Rica COVID-19 policies.

  • Costs associated with the required COVID-19 tests.*

  • Any delays in receiving the COVID-19 test results and any costs incurred due to delayed test results.

  • If the traveler tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Any costs incurred if there is delay in departure from Costa Rica.

 

*Cotinga Tours will assist travelers in the appointment making process at a convenient testing location in Costa Rica with the approved PCR test. Cotinga Tours will also provide transportation to the location for testing. It is the client’s responsibility to provide their personal information to make and complete the appointment. Most laboratories will email the test result directly to the client.


Travel restrictions and entry policies for the United States of America can change without notice. It is the responsibility of the client to stay informed the weeks and days before and during their trip to make sure they comply with the most current United States policies. Here is a helpful link to the United States Embassy guidelines: https://cr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/. If you are not traveling from the United States of America, please consult your country's travel guidelines. 

 

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

*Each morning we will be getting an early start to make the best of our time, and maximize our opportunities to see the most species of birds possible while maintaining a comfortable pace. As an optional outing, one night in each location, we will go owling (weather permitting and if the guide determines the outing to be productive). Each evening there will also be an optional meeting before or after dinner to go over the bird/wildlife checklist for that day.

 

*Please note that exact meal amd outing times will be announced by the guide as the tour goes along. This is to allow for flexibility in the itinerary to be able to best take advantage of time in the field and so the logistics run smoothly for the group as a whole.


Day 1: 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, Rufous-capped Warbler and Hoffman’s Woodpecker.

 

Day 2 & 3: 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. 

Spend the next 2 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. 

 

Day 4 & 5: 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 and Mottled Owl, in the hotel grounds.

Day 6:  Travel to the Central Pacific lowlands where your lodge is situated at the edge of the Carara Biological Reserve on the banks of the Tarcoles River near the Pacific coast. In the afternoon, we will explore the bird-rich trails through the forest, and hope to see Scarlet Macaws and Tiger Herons, among many others.

Day 7 & 8: 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, , Spectacled Owl, and many species of shorebirds.

Day 9 & 10: Travel to Esquinas Lodge on the outskirts of Golfito where you will spend the next two days. The lodge is surrounded by dense lowland rainforest, bordering on the Piedras Blancas National Park. This a great area to look for Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Red-breasted Blackbird, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (endemic), Baird’s Trogon, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Blue-crowned Manakin, Brown-chested Martin, Scrub Greenlet, and Thick-billed Euphonia among many others. We might even spot Pearl Kite and Uniform Crake.

Day 11: Travel to Cerro de la Muerte. 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.

 

Day 12 & 13: Spend the next two days 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, 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.

 

Day 14:  Return to San Jose.  We will be stopping for lunch en route and spend the early afternoon exploring the misty highland cloud forest reserve at the Paraiso de Quetzal.  Lat afternoon Covid test. Return to lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

 

Day 15: Transfer to the airport for departing flights. FLIGHTS MUST BE IN THE AFTERNOON TO ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR COVID TESTING RESULTS.

 

 

Important Notes & Conditions:

 

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

  • We encourage guests to bring reusable water bottle and refill water bottles at filtered water dispensers in lodges and on the bus to reduce our use of plastic

  • Any additional airport transfers that are not on the arrival or departure date for this tour have an additional charge of $50 per transfer

  • Airport exit taxes are not included and are approximately $30 per person (Most airlines are including them now, so please check with your airline for details.)

  • International airfare not included

  • Cotinga Tours will not cover any additional costs that could result from flight changes such as schedule changes, flight cancellations, airstrip closures, flight rerouting or other situations that are out of our hands, including extra costs in transfers, lodging, or costs due to missed/rerouted flights that may result from these changes.  All additional costs due to flight related changes will be covered by the client

  • No refund for any unused entrances or tours

  • Tips to guides and hotel staff not included Guidelines are available upon request

  • Alcoholic beverages and costs of a personal nature are not included

  • 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.

  • A non-refundable deposit** of $650 per person will be charged upon booking. (**if the clients are unable to travel because either one of the participants fall ill to COVID OR a government restriction imposed by the US government or Costa Rica government restricts travel the non refundable deposit will be refunded, and prices will be adjusted for new number of participants. )

  • Cancellations and respective refunds are according to the following schedule (all cancellations must be received in writing):

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

    • Cancellations received between 90 and 75 days prior to the arrival date, the client receives a 50% refund of the total less the non-refundable deposit.

    • Cancellations received between 74 and 66 days prior to arrival date, the client receives a 25% refund of the total less the non-refundable deposit.

    • Cancellations received at 65 days or less prior to the arrival date, there will be no refund available.

Keel-billed Motmot.jpg
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

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Red-headed Barbet
Red-headed Barbet

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Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Costa Rica b
Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Costa Rica b

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Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

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Grey-headed Tanager (003)
Grey-headed Tanager (003)

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Scarlet Macaw, Costa Rica
Scarlet Macaw, Costa Rica

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Fiery-billed Aracari, Costa Rica by Paco
Fiery-billed Aracari, Costa Rica by Paco

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Grey-headed Tanager (003)
Grey-headed Tanager (003)

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Turquoise-browed Motmot
Turquoise-browed Motmot

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Stripe-headed Sparrow, Costa Rica by Pac
Stripe-headed Sparrow, Costa Rica by Pac

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Jabiru on nest, Costa Rica by Paco Madri
Jabiru on nest, Costa Rica by Paco Madri

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Turquoise-browed Motmot
Turquoise-browed Motmot

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White-fronted Nunbird
White-fronted Nunbird

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White -throated Crake
White -throated Crake

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Spotted Antbird (Arenal) (2)
Spotted Antbird (Arenal) (2)

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White-fronted Nunbird
White-fronted Nunbird

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Shining Honeycreeper
Shining Honeycreeper

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Central A. Pygmy Owl (13)
Central A. Pygmy Owl (13)

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DSCN4739

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Shining Honeycreeper
Shining Honeycreeper

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tortuguero9

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tortuguero8

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tortuguero5

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tortuguero9

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COVID-19 Detailed Policies and Country Requirements

  • Important update for minors and individuals who are fully vaccinated

  • As of August 1, 2021, all tourists under 18 years of age can enter the country without a travel policy. All tourists who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and inoculated with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson can enter the country without a travel policy. The last dose of the vaccine must have been applied at least 14 days before arrival in Costa Rica.​

  • Vaccinated tourists must attach the vaccination certificate to the Health Pass. As proof, vaccination certificates and vaccination cards that contain at least the following information will be accepted:

  • 1. Name of the person who received the vaccine

  • 2. Date of each dose

  • 3. Pharmaceutical house. In the case of U.S. travelers, the "COVID-19 vaccination record card" will be accepted.

  • To enter Costa Rica, guests must have proof of a  travel  insurance policy that covers them during the full duration of their stay. It must cover medical expenses related to COVID-19 of at least $50,000. It must also include a minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses related to COVID-19. An insurance policy can be purchased internationally or in Costa Rica through the National Insurance Institute (INS - Instituto Nacional de Seguros) www.grupoins.com/seguroparaviajeros, or Sagicor www.sagicor.cr/seguro_para_turistas/­

  • Upon entering Costa Rica, the guest will be filling out a epidemiological form that must include the insurance policy number and upload the results of the negative PCR-RT COVID-19 test (PDF or JPG) as part of the form. Here is the link to the form: https://salud.go.cr/

  • Passengers who fail to comply with these requirements may not enter the country.

  • Upon landing in Costa Rican territory, travelers must wear face protection and comply with the strict protocols of the air terminal with regard to physical distancing, disinfection of carpets, and taking temperature readings, and must follow any other sanitary instructions. 

  • Clients must strictly adhere to the Costa Rican government’s mandates on wearing face coverings (which they will be required to bring along with them in sufficient numbers for the entirety of their stay), physical distancing guidelines,  as well as carry hand sanitizer with them on all outings. (NOTE: Costa Rica has required that people must wear a face mask when entering all public buildings. Costa Rica has put a band on wearly only face shields. If you use a face shield, it has to be accompanied with a face mask when entering a public building).

  • Medical costs and any extra costs associated with a medical issue (lodging, transportation, meals, etc) are the responsibility of the client. Cotinga Tours will not be responsible for any costs incurred. Cotinga Tours will assist clients in finding alternative accommodations if client(s) are denied entrance into a hotel in their itinerary due to illness.

  • If a COVID-19 test is necessary while in Costa Rica, extra costs incurred--transportation, medical costs, test cost (approximately $100), alternative lodging and meals will be covered by the client.

  • The above COVID-19 related travel requirements could change at any time please refer to this website for updates: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/statement-costa-rica-tourism-board-covid-19 

  • In case of a travel emergency within Costa Rica, Cotinga Tours will keep communication with the clients. In terms of a travel emergency that affects travel to or from the country of origin, it will be the responsibility of HeatherLea to communicate with the clients.

  • Traveling during the COVID pandemic does come with risks. Cotinga Tours as well as the hotel properties, tour operators, and restaurants follows the sanitary policies enforced by the Costa Rican Ministerio de Salud. 

  • Be prepared to have your temperature taken with a digital, non-touch thermometer upon arrival at a hotel. If the guest’s temperature is more than 38°C (100.4°F), the guest will not be allowed to enter the hotel. In which case, Cotinga Tours will look into an alternative lodging option for that client. Costs incurred will be the responsibility of the client and the client is responsible to make sure that these costs will be covered by their travel insurance policy.