QUOTE SELF-DRIVE TOUR - December 2022
Designed for: Dean LaTray & Persis Karim
December 9 - 24, 2022
Discounted price per person based on 2 participants in double occupancy: $3,968
*applied when client pays by check or bank wire*
Regular price per person based on 2 participants in double occupancy: $4,147
*applied when client pays by credit or debit card*
15 nights of lodging
Meals starting with Breakfast on Day 2, ending with breakfast on Day 16
All tours and entrances listed above, taxes (airport taxes and tips to local staff, guide and driver not included)
Tipping is customary and merit based in Costa Rica. (See below for tipping guidelines to pass along to guests)
Meet and greet with your guide on Day 1
Full time ground transportation in a rental vehicle (AT - 4WD Hyundai Tucson or similar large SUV) in a spacious air-conditioned vehicle with Hotspot connection for a GPS from Day 1 until Day 16 (a free shuttle is included from the airport to the Adobe Rental Car Office and vise versa)
Tours and Entrances included:
Access to the 10-acre garden at Bougainvillea
Access to the trails and private reserve at Rancho Naturalista
Access to the trails and private reserve at Bosque de Paz
Day 1 - Dec 9 - Hotel Bougainvillea (Mountain View)
Day 2, 3, 4, 5 - Dec 10, 11, 12, 13 - Rancho Naturalista (#13 Tinamou)
Day 6, 7, 8 - Dec 14, 15, 16 - Bosque de Paz (Standard)
Day 9, 10, 11 - Dec 17, 18, 19 - Arenal Observatory (Standard)
Day 12, 13, 14, 15 - Dec 20, 21, 22, 23 - Villa Lapas (Standard)
Day 16 - Dec 24 - Departure to SJO
*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.
Meal Key: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Day 1 - December 9th: Hotel Bougainvillea (Mountain View Room)
Arrive in San Jose and pick up the rental car at the Adobe Rental Car Office. There will be a free Adobe shuttle to bring you to the office. Spend the evening 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, some colorful hummingbirds, and maybe even the Prevost’s Ground-sparrow. (Check in at 3pm, Check out by 12pm)
(No Meals Included - Cold Dinner Order has been made and will be paid by the clients out of pocket)
Day 2 - December 10th: Rancho Naturalista (Tinamou Room)
After breakfast, you will begin your journey to Turrialba in the Province of Cartago. Rancho Naturalista and the local area is home to over 450 species of birds. Many of these birds, including the beautiful hummingbirds can be see right outside your room. Please arrive between 11:30am and 12pm for lunch. After a delicious lunch made with fresh, local ingredients, you can explore the ground of the private reserve. Afternoon area birding around the lodge will sure be a great way to spend your wonderful birding get-a-way. (Check-in: 2pm, Check-out: 12pm)
Important information from Rancho Naturalista:
-First just so you are forewarned, its always best to get the GPS for the
rental car but sometimes the GPS directs our guests to the wrong place.
If you put Tuis on the GPS then you would be certain to get here.
-The driving directions are from San Jose drive
to Cartago this is highway # 2.
-Next head to Turrialba on highway # 10.
-From Turrialba continue on the highway # 10 towards Siquirres
but soon after Turrialba you will cross a bridge over the
Rio Reventazon and 100 meters after this bridge, just at the
top of the hill there is a road turning to the right that goes
to La Suiza this is highway # 414- TAKE THIS ROAD
-Continue on to La Suiza, then continue to TUIS.
-From Tuis continue 1 km and you will see the
entrance to Rancho Naturalista on your left.
-You will see some small signs on both sides of the road. Take this road
1.8 km all the way to the end and you will arrive at Rancho Naturalista.
This road is a dirt road with some cement in places and rocks so it is
recommended to have a 4x4 for the high clearence needed although
a car will also make it but it will not be as good as a 4x4 car.
-If you get lost or need to call please call me on my cell phone
at 8704-3217 or 2554-8100 we will be happy to help you!
RESERVING A GUIDE
It is better to hire a guide when you are at the lodge, you can discuss with your guide about what you would like to see and where you would like to go. You will see many more birds on your visit to Rancho Naturalista if you decide to hire a local guide because the guides know the local birds – where to find each species, its calls, its behavior, and how to show the bird to guests. Guiding is subject to availability, if there are not enough guides than you may have to share a guide. You also may be able to join a group and split the cost of the guide.
Our guides are excellent bird guides. The guides work “freelance”. They are paid directly by the clients who hire them at Rancho and we do not take any money from them. They charge $80.00 for the morning and $60.00 for the afternoon for groups of up to 5 people (guests after 5 people pay $20.00 each). Most guests are more than satisfied with this arrangement because they like having a private guide. A private guide may not always be available in all situations. In this case, you may need to share a guide.
We do have a Checklist of over 450 species of birds recorded in our private forest reserve and within the local area and we are proud of it! Click here for the checklist.
(B at Hotel Bougainvillea, L & D at Rancho Naturalista)
Day 3, 4, & 5 - December 11th 12th, & 13th: Rancho Naturalista (Tinamou Room)
Spend the next three full days exploring the private reserve on site as well as local area birding. You can decide if you would like to hire a local lodge guide. If so, this can be coordinated with reception. This location is nestled in a Caribbean with distant views of the Turrialba Volcano. You will have the opportunity to see species in advance secondary and primary forests as well are fruit orchards. On the lodge ground you can spot Lesson’s Motmots, Montezuma, and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, Grey-headed Chachalacas, Baltimore Orioles, several kinds of euphonias, flycatchers, and tanagers. Many hummingbirds call the gardens their home including the Violet-crowned Woodnymph, White-necked Jacobin, Green Hermit, Green Thorntail, Violet Sabrewing, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, and Green-crowned Brilliant. There are specialty species that we hope you are lucky enough to see such as the Snowcap and Black-Crested Coquette. Other fantastic species in the area are the Lovely Cotinga, Thicket Antpitta, Dull-Mantled Antbird...and the list goes on!
(All meals at Rancho Naturalista)
Day 6 - December 14th: Bosque de Paz Lodge (Standard Room)
After breakfast, travel northwest towards Valle de Rio Toro in the Province of Alajuela. You will have to make a stop en route for lunch at a destination of your choice. After lunch, you will arrive to the Bosque de Paz Biological Reserve where you will spend the next three nights. Enjoy some afternoon birding around the lodge with your guide before dinner. (Check-in: 12pm, Check-out: 10am)
(B at Rancho Naturalista, L NOT INCLUDED, D at Bosque de Paz)
Day 7 & 8 - December 15th & 16th: Bosque de Paz Lodge (Standard Room)
Spend the next two days exploring the Bosque de Paz Biological Reserve. You can decide if you would like to hire a local lodge guide. If so, this can be coordinated with reception. There are over 300 species that you can observe just in the reserve alone. These include multiple species of flycatchers, kingbirds, herons and raptors. Among those species you can see the Great Curassow, Spotted Wood-Quail, Blue-headed Parrot, Crested Owl and many more!
(All meals at Bosque de Paz)
Day 9, 10, 11 - December 17th, 18th , 19th: Arenal Observatory (Standard Room)
In the morning after breakfast, travel further west into La Fortuna. 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. (Check-in: 3pm, Check-out 12pm)
(Dec 17th - B at Bosque de Paz, L & D at Arenal Observatory Lodge)
(Dec 18th & 19th - All meals at Arenal Observatory Lodge)
Day 12 - December 20th: Hotel Villa Lapas (Standard Room)
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, you can explore the bird-rich trails through the forest, and hope to see Scarlet Macaws and Tiger Herons, among many others. (Check-in: 3pm, Check out: 12pm)
(B at Arenal Observatory Lodge, L & D at Hotel Villa Lapas)
Day 13, 14, 15 - December 21st, 22nd, 23rd: Hotel Villa Lapas (Standard Room)
You can choose to spend the next two days 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.
(All meals at Hotel Villa Lapas)
Day 16 - December 24th: Departures
Today after breakfast, you will make the journey back to San Jose. It is your responsibility to return the car to the Rio Segundo Adobe office (where you picked it up) and have time to return to the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) for check-in 3 hours before your flight's departure.
(B at Hotel Villa Lapas only)
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
A non-refundable booking deposit of $650 is due upon booking.
Be prepared for a $100+ hold on your credit card for the rental car deposit
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.
COVID-19 Detailed Policies and Country Requirements
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/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements
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.
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/