Costa Rica Wildlife Highlights

Private Tour: Helene L. Lauzon

 January 2 - 13, 2020

Tour includes: 

  • 11 nights of lodging and all meals (pre-arranged) starting with Breakfast on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 12

  • All transportation Day 2-11 in Costa Rica in a modern and spacious air-conditioned vehicle with clear glass windows ideal for wildlife viewing (Day 3 all transportation will be by boat while in Tortuguero)

  • 2 Airport transfers: one on arrival day (January 2nd) and one on departure day (January 13th)

  • Full time private bilingual professional guide specializing in birds and natural history from Day 2-11

  • Entrance fees to the parks and reserves specified below

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

  • Optional 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:

  • 4 private boat tours on the Tortuguero canals **

  • 2 day passes to Tortuguero National Park

  • 1 visit to Cinchona Hummingbird feeders

  • 1 visit to Paraiso Quetzal

  • 1 visit to Oak forest reserve while in Savegre


*Tours for 3 pax scheduled and reserved at an additional cost to the quoted price (additional cost specified below): 


  • 1 visit to Carara National Park (For 3 birding participants only at an additional cost of $10 per person not included in the price below)

  • 1 Tarcoles mangrove boat tour (For the 3 birding participants only at an additional cost of $20 per person not included in the price below)


Price per person based on 6 pax in double occupancy: $3,453 (+$30 per person  for the 3 birders only for entrances to Carara National Park and the Tarcoles mangrove boat tour)



*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 and 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.


January 2: 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. Overnight Hotel Bougainvillea


January 3, 4: 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. Overnight Laguna Lodge


January 5, 6, 7: Spend three nights at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, 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. You may also see sloths, coatis, anteaters and monkeys while in the area. One night, those who are interested could go owling in search of the Black-and-White Owl, Mottled Owl, and Striped Owl in the open fields, below the lodge. Overnight Arenal Observatory Lodge


January 8: Travel to Punta Leona Hotel, situated near the Carara National Park on the pacific coast. Here you will enjoy exuberant tropical forests, beautiful beaches with white sand and green-emerald waters of the Pacific Ocean. You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the natural highlights of the area.


*One afternoon while in the area, the 3 birdwatchers in the group will enjoy a boat ride on the calm waters of the Tarcoles River. You will see an impressive variety of water birds and raptors, including the Roseate Spoonbill, several species of herons, Anhingas, Amazon kingfishers, Crested Caracara and Double-toothed Kites to name a few. You will also experience excellent views of the Giant Crocodiles as you travel through the mangroves. At dusk it is possible to see pairs of Scarlet Macaws fly over en route to their roosting grounds.  Overnight at Punta Leona


January 9: *Today the 3 birders in the group will visit 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 an excellent spot for birdwatching. You will relish in the incredible experience of seeing the famous Scarlet Macaws who find refuge during the day in the reserve. We also hope to find the brightly colored Orange Collared Manakins dancing in their lek, fascinating antbirds following the army ant's trail gobbling up insects as they try to escape the predaceous ants, up to four different species of brilliant Trogons (in the same family as the Resplendent Quetzal), Boat-billed Herons, and many more. Monkeys, sloth, peccaries (wild pigs), agoutis, coatis, raccoons, turtles and iguanas also inhabit the rich area of Carara. Overnight at Punta Leona


January 10, 11: We will overnight at the Savegre Mountain Lodge, nestled in a quaint highland valley nearby. Spend the day exploring the gardens, riparian highland habitats, and old growth tropical oak cloud forests surrounding the Savegre Mountain 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. Overnight Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa


January 12: Return to San Jose for dinner and an overnight stay, to rest up for departing flights the next day. 


January 13: Transfer to the airport for departing flights.


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. Tipping is customary and appropriate in Costa Rica. 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 any medical attention needed while in country, as well as trip cancellation, trip interruption, and loss or damage to optics and equipment, and personal property in order to protect your investment.

  • 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.