BIRDER’S PARADISE

September 9 - 23, 2023

Discounted Rate (for payment by check or bank transfer)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $4635

Single supplement: $792

 

Regular Price (payments by credit card)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $4,843

Single supplement: $827

*This tour needs a minimum of 6 people to run*

*Small Group prices available upon request*

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 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 (Sep 10) and one on departure day (Sep 24)

  • 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 entrance and lunch Paraiso Quetzal 

  • 1 entrance to Oak Forest

  • 1 full day entrance to La Selva

  • 1 half day entrance to La Selva

  • 1 entrance to Cinchona Hummingbird Garden

  • 1 entrance to Cope's Garden or Pierella Eco Gardens

  • 7 private wildlife boat tours of the canals in Tortuguero National Park

Important Travel Information: US CDC international travel requirement: "If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel)." See: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html 

In order to comply with CDC international travel regulations Cotinga Tours suggests using the Juan Santamaria International Airport COVID testing service provided by Lab Echandi. More information here: https://covid.morphotr.com/ Costs for Covid test are not included in tour price.  Guest must pay testing lab directly upon making the reservation.

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.


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/

 

 

 

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.

September 9: 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.

 

September 10, 11, & 12: Spend three 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.

September 13: 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 sloths, 3 different species of monkeys, and peccaries. 

September 14 & 15:  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. 

September 16, 17 &18: Travel by bus and then 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 July and October, we will venture out along the beach in the evening to look for the Green Sea Turtles, that come up to nest July-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 Hawksbill turtles in Tortuguero at different times a year.

 

September 19: Travel to Cerro de la Muerte, stopping for lunch en route. 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.

 

September 20 & 21: 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.

September 22:  Return to San Jose, stopping for lunch en route at Paraiso Quetzal. We will spend the afternoon exploring the misty highland cloud forest reserve at the Paraiso de Quetzal.  Return to hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

 

September 23: 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 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.

  • 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.

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

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Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

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Red-headed Barbet
Red-headed Barbet

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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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Scarlet Macaw, Costa Rica
Scarlet Macaw, Costa Rica

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

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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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White -throated Crake
White -throated Crake

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DSCN4739
DSCN4739

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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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tortuguero5
tortuguero5

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tortuguero9

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tortuguero8

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Keel-billed Motmot.jpg

COVID-19 Detailed Policies and Country Requirements

  • Starting April 1, the temporary immigration measures for entering Costa Rica – put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic – are repealed. This eliminates the requirement to complete the epidemiological form known as the Health Pass and the requirement of medical insurance for unvaccinated foreigners. All commercial establishments, activities, and events can operate at 100% capacity. Although the use of a mask is not mandatory, it is recommended to maintain the protocol of hand washing and temperature taking, as well as compliance with health protocols in each tourist activity.

  • 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.