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Quote: SOUTHERN SENSATION 

February 15 - 28, 2025

Discounted Rate (for payment by check or bank transfer)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $4,417

Single supplement: $839

 

Regular Price (payments by credit card)

Price per person (based on double occupancy): $4,572

Single supplement: $868

*All Prices in US Dollars*​

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

*Small Group prices available upon request*

Tour includes: 

  • 13 nights of lodging

  • Meals starting breakfast on Day 2, ending with breakfast on Day 14

  •  Full time Bi-lingual English-Spanish speaking guide, specializing in birds and natural history starting on Day 2 until drop-off at Bougainvillea on Day 13

  • Full time ground transportation in a spacious air-conditioned vehicle from Day 2 until Day 13 (while in Drake Bay, the bus will remain in Sierpe and transport round trip will be by boat as well as transport included in scheduled tours specified in this quote while at the hotel in Drake)

  • Ground transfer from SJO Airport to Hotel Bougainvillea on Day 1

  • Shared Sierpe Boat Transfers on Day 8 and Day 11

  • Ground transfer from Hotel Bougainvillea to SJO Airport on Day 14

  • 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

Tours and Entrances included:

  • 1 entrance to Carara National Park

  • 1 Tarcoles Boat Tour

  • 1 visit to Paraiso Quetzal

  • 1 visit to Oak Forest Reserve

  • 2 Sierpe boat transfers to Drake Bay

  • 1 shared Mangrove Tour

  • 1 shared Sirena Tour *if weather permits. Back up option is San Pedrillo Station in Corcovado National Park

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.

Day 1 - Feb 15: Arrive in San Jose where you will be warmly welcomed by your guide/chauffer 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.

Day 2 & 3 - Feb 16 & 17: Travel to Cerro de la Muerte. We will spend the morning exploring the misty highland cloud forest reserve at the Finca Mirador de Quetzales, 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.

 

Day 4 & 5 - Feb 18 & 19: 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. 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 Oropendula and Wattled Jacana.

 

Day 6 & 7 - Feb 20 & 21: Travel to Esquinas on the outskirts of Golfito where you will spend the next two days. 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.

 

Day 8 - Feb 22: Travel to Drake Bay, 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.

 

Day 9 & 10- Feb 23 & 24:  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. You will also enjoy a day tour in the Sirpe Mangroves. 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.

 

Day 11 &12 - Feb 25 & 26: Travel to the Pacific lowlands, situated at the edge of the Carara Biological Reserve on the banks of the Tarcoles River near the Pacific coast. We will stop along the way to look for Blue-winged Teals, Least Grebes, Northern Jacanas, Anhingas, and Cormorants. After lunch at the hotel, we will explore the bird-rich trails through the forest, and hope to see Scarlet Macaws and Tiger Herons, among many others.

 

Spend the day in the Carara Biological Reserve, 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. In the early mornings, before entering the reserve, we will visit the nearby bridge overlooking the Tarcoles River, where Scarlet Macaws fly over daily. Here you will also be amazed by the gigantic crocodiles basking on the banks of the river. (Overnight Villa Lapas)

 

Day 13 - Feb 27: Travel back to the San jose Area for an overnight stay, birding along the way.

 

Day 14 - Feb 28: Departure day. 

 

 

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 $56.50 per transfer (if you require an additional transfer to/from a different part of the country this will be quoted separtely and invoiced accordingaly)

  • 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.

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/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. 

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