Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

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Red-headed Barbet
Red-headed Barbet

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

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Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

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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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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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Pale-billed Woodpecker, Costa Rica by Pa
Pale-billed Woodpecker, Costa Rica by Pa

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Royal Flycatcher, Costa Rica by Keith Of
Royal Flycatcher, Costa Rica by Keith Of

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Pale-billed Woodpecker, Costa Rica by Pa
Pale-billed Woodpecker, Costa Rica by Pa

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Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Costa Rica by Pac
Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Costa Rica by Pac

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Spectacled Owl, Costa Rica by Paco Madri
Spectacled Owl, Costa Rica by Paco Madri

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Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Costa Rica by Pac
Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Costa Rica by Pac

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Scarlet Tanager, Costa Rica by Paco Madr
Scarlet Tanager, Costa Rica by Paco Madr

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Whte-fronted Parrot, Costa Rica by Paco
Whte-fronted Parrot, Costa Rica by Paco

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Scarlet Tanager, Costa Rica by Paco Madr
Scarlet Tanager, Costa Rica by Paco Madr

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White-Faced Capuchin (002)
White-Faced Capuchin (002)

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Whte-fronted Parrot, Costa Rica by Paco
Whte-fronted Parrot, Costa Rica by Paco

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Manuel 005
Manuel 005

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White-Faced Capuchin (002)
White-Faced Capuchin (002)

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Fiery-throated hummingbird.JPG
WhatsApp Image 2022-06-17 at 9.52.33 AM.jpeg
White-Faced Capuchin (002).jpg

PRIVATE TOUR - SOUTHERN SENSATION

Designed for: Glenna Eaves & Chris Boebel 

Guide: Paco Madrigal

December 11 - 22, 2022

Discounted price per person based on 2 participants in double occupancy: $6,340

*applied when client pays by check or bank wire*

Regular price per person based on 2 participants in double occupancy: $6,625

*applied when client pays by credit or debit card*

Tour includes: 

  • 11 nights of lodging

  • Meals starting with Breakfast on Day 2, ending with breakfast on Day 13 (Day 1 - Reservation for cold dinner order for Dec 11th, clients pay out of pocket for this cold dinner)

  • 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)

  • Full time Bilingual English-Spanish speaking guide that serves as the driver as well, specializing in birds and natural history starting on Day 3 until Day 11

  • Full time ground transportation in a rental vehicle (Chevrolet Trailblazer or similar large SUV) in a spacious air-conditioned and 4X4 vehicle from Day 3 until Day 11 (While at Drake Bay - Day 9, 10, 11 the rental vehicle will not be available while staying at the lodge)

  • Private ground transfer with driver from SJO Airport to Hotel Bougainvillea on Day 1

  • Private ground transfer with driver from Hotel Bougainvillea to SJO Airport on Day 12

  • 1 Shared water taxi boat transfer from Sierpe Dock to Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge on Day 8

  • 1 Shared water taxi boat transfer from Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge to Sierpe Dock to on Day 11

 

Tours and Entrances included:

  • 1 entrance to the Hummingbird Gardens at Paraiso Quetzal 

  • 1 entrance to the Oak Forest

  • Access to the Savegre Reserve

  • 1 shared Mangrove Tour

  • 1 shared tour of Sirena Station - Corcovado National Park*

    • *(If availability or weather does not permit entrance to Sirena Station, the alternative entrance to Corcovado National Park will be at San Pedrillo Station)

    • Museum entrances on Day 2 or 3 - NOT INCLUDED

________________________________________________________

 

Abbreviated Itinerary:

Pre-Tour Extension:

Day 1  - Dec 11: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

 

Main Tour Itinerary:
Day 2 - Dec 12: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

Day 3, 4 - Dec 13, 14: Savegre Lodge (Jr. Suite Room)

Day 5, 6- Dec 15, 16: Las Cruces Biological Station (Standard Room)

Day 7 - Dec 17: Esquinas Lodge (Standard Room)

Day 8, 9, 10 - Dec 18, 19, 20: Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge(Standard Room)

Day 11 - Dec 21: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

Day 12 - Dec 22: Departures

______________________________________________________________________

 

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.

Meal Key: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 1 - December 11th: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

Arrive in San Jose where you will be warmly welcomed by your 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, some colorful hummingbirds, and maybe even the Prevost’s Ground-sparrow.

(No Meals Included - Cold Dinner Order has been made and will be paid by the clients out of pocket)

Day 2 - December 12th: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

Enjoy the day relaxing on the beautiful hotel grounds and gardens. Take advantage of the morning sunshine to take a dip in the pool or take a stroll through the gardens checking off new bird species along the way.  Paco will join you two for dinner to visit and go over tour details.

(Dec 12 - B, L, & D at Hotel Bougainvillea)

Day 3 & 4 - December 13th & 14th: Savegre Lodge (Jr. Suite Room)

On December 13th, travel to Cerro de la Muerte. We will spend the morning exploring the misty highland cloud forest reserve at Paraiso Quetzal, where up to 20 pairs of quetzals have been seen 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. 

 

Spend the next two days exploring the gardens, riparian highland habitats, and old growth tropical oak cloud forests. 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 evenings after a delicious dinner, we will go over the birds, reptiles, mammals, and any other wildlife seen that day. One morning we will visit the Paramo habitat at approximately 3500m above sea level in search of the Volcano Junco, Fiery-Throated hummingbird, Timberline Wren to name a few, as well as flowering plants and the amazing views of the Talamanca Mountain range.

(Dec 13th - B at Hotel Bougainvillea, L at Paraiso Quetzal, D at Savegre Lodge)

(Dec 14th - B, L, D at Savegre Lodge)

 

Day 5 & 6 - December 15th & 16th: Las Cruces Biological Station (Standard Room)

On December 15th, travel to Las Cruces Biological Station home to Robert and Katherine Wilson Botanical Garden, run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. The station boasts an impressive collection of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world, including rare and endangered species from Costa Rica. Among the 1000 genera and 212 plant families represented at the station there is an astounding compilation of ferns, aroids, bromeliads, gingers, heliconias, marantas, and palms. The gardens and surrounding rainforest attract a wide variety of birds, many of which are exclusively found in the southern zone of the country. Over the next two days, some of our target birds while at the station include: Turquoise Cotinga, Fiery-billed Aracari, Masked Yellow-throat, Marbled Wood-Quail, Garden Emerald, White-bellied Emerald, Charming Hummingbird, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Speckled Tanager, Thrushlike Manakin (Thrushlike Schiffornis), Golden-naped Woodpecker, and Pale-breasted Spinetail, If we are lucky we may even see Crested Oropendola and Wattled Jacana.

(Dec 15th - B at Savegre, L en route, D at Las Cruces)

(Dec 16th - B, L, D at Las Cruces)

 

Day 7 - December 17th: Esquinas Lodge (Standard Room)

After breakfast, travel to Esquinas Lodge on the outskirts of Golfito where. The lodge is surrounded by dense lowland rainforest, bordering the Piedras Blancas National Park. This a great area to look for Ruddy-breasted Seed- eater, Red-breasted Blackbird, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (endemic), Baird’s Trogon, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Blue-crowned Manakin, Brown-chested Martin, Scrub Greenlet, and Thick-billed Euphonia among many others. We might even spot Pearl Kite and Uniform Crake.

(Dec 17th - B at Las Cruces, L & D at Esquinas Lodge)

 

Day 8 - December 18th: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (Standard Room)

Travel to Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, home to Corcovado National Park. You will arrive at the Palmar Sur airstrip and take a ground transfer to Sierpe. In Sierpe you will take a 1.5 hour boat transfer through the impressive Sierpe Terraba mangroves to get to the Drake Bay Wilderness Resort. Be prepared for wet-landing. This is one of the richest areas in the country in terms of biodiversity. It is the largest nesting grounds for Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica. While here, we will explore one of the most extensive patches of primary rainforest in the South Pacific region of the Americas. This is the most likely place along the trip to see a Tapir or even a Jaguar or other types of wild cats. Among the great number of colorful birds that inhabit this region, we will enjoy seeing toucans, Blue-crowned Manakins dancing in their lek, a variety of trogons, possibly the Yellow-billed Cotinga in the mangroves, and many others. Snakes may also be a part of the adventure. Our hotel is situated on the coast, allowing for breathtaking views of the ocean from the pool area and open-air pool bar.

(Dec 18th - B at Esquinas Lodge, L & D at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge)

 

Day 9 - December 19th: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (Standard Room)

Spend the day in the waters surrounding Caño Island*, approximately a two-hour boat ride from the lodge. We will enjoy a day of snorkeling among the coral reefs that surround this tropical paradise. Snorkelers will find a broad and colorful spectrum of Pacific Coast reef fish such as: triggerfish, needlefish, parrotfish, angelfish, puffers, grunts among many others -- as well as rays and sea turtles. In nearby waters, common bottlenose dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, Orca whales, humpback whale, false killer whale, and several species of turtle can be seen. We hope to have the pleasure of seeing some of these marine beauties from the boat. This is a full day tour so you will enjoy a picnic lunch on the boat. *Depending on the lodge schedule, you will do the Caño Island tour or Sirena Station (see Day 11 for further details). 30 days before the tour, if you wish to change the tour of Caño Island to the Mangrove tour, we can do that upon request.*

(Dec 19th - B, L & D at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge)

 

Day 10 - December 20th: Drake Bay Wilderness Resort (Standard Room)

You will enjoy a full day trip to Sirena Station* in the heart of Corcovado National Park. The Osa Peninsula is best known for the famous Corcovado National Park, truly a highlight of the itinerary. This requires an ocean boat trip to get there. Corcovado National Park is considered one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Truly a nature lover’s paradise, the park contains 2.5% of the planet’s total animal species. This list includes all four species of monkey found in Costa Rica, an enormous concentration of Scarlet Macaws, four species of turtle, peccaries, red-eyed tree frogs, Harpy Eagles, and a small number of jaguars. One of the few endemics to Costa Rica resides in the area: the Black-cheeked Ant Tanager. Here among the 400+ bird species in Corcovado, we may also see the Great Curassow, antbirds, tinamous, toucans, Fiery-billed Aracari and many others. *Depending on the lodge schedule, you will do the  Sirena Station  or Caño Island tour. If availability or weather does not permit entrance to Sirena Station, the alternative entrance to Corcovado National Park will be at San Pedrillo Station*

(Dec 20th - B, L & D at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge)

 

Day 11 - December 21st: Hotel Bougainvillea (Garden View Room)

Today you will make the journey back to San Jose. After breakfast, you will take the shared Sierpe water taxi back to the docking point. After hopping in the rental car, Paco will take you on the most productive route back to San Jose. You will be making birding and wildlife viewing stops along the way to break up the long drive. Around lunchtime, you will make a stop to stretch your legs and enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant. Finally, you will arrive in time for dinner at Hotel Bougainvillea where Paco will bid you farewell after reminiscing about the tour's highlights.

(Dec 21st - B at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge, L en route, D at Hotel Bougainvillea)

Day 12 - December 22nd: Departures

Today your driver will pick you up at the hotel reception in time to drop you off at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) for check-in 3 hours before your flight's departure.

(Dec 22nd - Only Breakfast included at Hotel Bougainvillea)

 

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.

  • 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/