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Hepatic Tanager, Costa Rica by Paco Madr
Red-capped Manakin, Costa Rica by Paco M

Classic Birding Short

Costa Rica

 April 11 - 18, 2020




Tour includes: 7 nights of lodging and all meals (pre-arranged) starting with Breakfast on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 7; all transportation Day 2-7 in Costa Rica in a modern and spacious air-conditioned vehicle with clear glass windows ideal for wildlife viewing with a full time professional driver; 2 Airport transfers (one on arrival day, April 11; and one on April 18, departure day); full time private bilingual professional guide specializing in birds and natural history from Day 2-7; entrance fees to the parks and reserves specified below; 1 chilled bottle of water per day per client (we encourage guests to refill water bottles at filtered water dispensers in lodges to reduce our use of plastics); and taxes (airport taxes and tips to local staff, guide and driver not included). Price based on double occupancy. Owling excursions will be available one night at each location weather permitting. Meals are pre-arranged. All rooms are comfortable, clean and have en suite bathrooms.


  • Price per person in double occupancy: $2200 per person ($400 single supplement)  THIS PRICE IS IF WE GET 2-3 PARTICIPANTS.

  • Price per person in double occupancy: $1800 per person ($400 single supplement)  THIS PRICE IS IF WE GET 4-5 PARTICIPANTS.

Ask about our possible pre-tour extension to Tortuguero.


April 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, Rufous-capped Warbler and Hoffman’s Woodpecker


April 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.


April 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.

April 14:  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.


April 15: Spend the day 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 an unforgettable day.

April 16 & 17: Spend two nights in the Arenal area, which offers breathtaking views of the jungle-laden 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, on the hotel grounds. 


April 18: Direct transfer to the airport for departing flights (flights must be after 1pm.) (If flights are not available for late departures we can help to arrange a stay in San Jose near the airport on this day for departing flights on April 19)

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


*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.

Entrances included:

  • 1 Visit P. Quetzal (lunch and hummingbird garden)

  • 1 Visit Oak Forest

  • 1 Visit to La Selva

  • 1 Visit to Cinchona Hummingbird Garden

  • 1 Visit to Cope's

  • 1 Visit to Bogarin Trails


Important notes and 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 the themselves and the guide and driver.

*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 airlines 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.  (Tipping is customary and merit-based in Costa Rica. General guidelines: $5 per guest per day for the driver and $8-$10 per guest per day for the main guide as well as for local guides/ boat drivers, $1 per bag for porters, $1 per night for cleaning staff in hotels)

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

*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 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.


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