Violet Sabrewing, Costa Rica by Paco Madrigal.jpg

BIRDING HIGHLIGHTS with Tortuguero

March 3-12, 2023

Discounted Rate (for payment by check or bank transfer)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $3,235

Single supplement:$475

 

Regular Price (payments by credit card)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $3,380

Single supplement: $496

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

Tour includes: 

  • 9 nights of lodging and all meals (pre-arranged) starting with Breakfast on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 10

  • All transportation Day 2-10 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 (Jan. 27) and one on departure day (Feb 5)

  • Full time private bilingual professional guide specializing in birds and natural history from Day 2-10

  • 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 day pass entrance to Carara National Park

  • 1 Tarcoles River Mangrove Boat Tour

  • 1 full day entrance to La Selva

  • 1 entrance to Cinchona Hummingbird Garden

  • Full access to the Arenal Observatory trails

  • 1 entrance to Cope's Garden

  • 2 Day pass entrances to 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 licensed 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 will provide guests with a link to the laboratory page where each client must schedule a Covid test at the SJO airport on their departure date 4 hours prior to their flight departure time. Costs for Covid test are not included in tour price.  Guest must pay testing lab directly.

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 and their trip is interrupted by quarantine requirements.

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

 

*Cotinga Tours will provide travelers with the link where you can make your appointment and pay for the approved COVID-19 test to be administered at the SJO airport on departure day. Cotinga Tours will also provide transportation to airport so that you arrive 4 hours prior to your departure time so that there is time to receive your results prior to your departure time. 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/

 

 

 

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 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.


March 3: 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.

March 4 & 5: 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. 

 

March 6: 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,an d 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. 

 

March 7:  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 unforgettable days. 

March 8 & 9: 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.

 

March 10:  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.

 

March 11: 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.

 

While in the area, one afternoon you 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.

 

March 12: Transfer directly to the airport for departing flights. FLIGHTS MUST BE IN THE AFTERNOON TO ALLOW ENOUGH TIME FOR COVID TESTING RESULTS (N0 earlier than 2:30 pm departures). You will arrive to the airport 4 hours prior to your departure time for COVID-19 tests at the airport. We will provide you with link to reserve and pay for your COVID-19 test after booking your tour with us. 

 

 

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.

Keel-billed Motmot.jpg
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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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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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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COVID-19 Detailed Policies and Country Requirements

  • 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.