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Designed for: Susan Hubley Group 2024

Guide: Paco Madrigal

February 3 - 17, 2024

Discounted price per person based on a group of 10 participants: $4,336

Discounted price per person based on a group of 8-9 participants: $4,856

Discounted price per person based on a group of 6-7 participants: $5,249

Single Supplement: $650

(when paying by check or bank wire transfer)

Regular price per person based on a group of 10 participants: $4,531

Regular price per person based on a group of 8-9 participants: $5,084

Regular price per person based on a group of 6-7 participants: $5,485

Single Supplement: $679

(when paying by credit or debit card)

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 2-15 in Costa Rica in a modern and spacious air-conditioned vehicle with clear glass windows ideal for wildlife viewing

  • 1 Shared water taxi boat transfer from Sierpe Dock to Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge on Day 6

  • 1 Shared water taxi boat transfer from Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge to Sierpe Dock to on Day 9

  • Airport transfers on Day 1 (SJO to Hotel Bougainvillea) and Day 15 (Savegre Lodge to SJO)

  • One meet and greet with your guide on Day 1

  • Full time private bilingual professional guide specializing in birds and natural history from Day 2 until drop off at airport on Day 15

  • 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.

  • Tipping is customary and merit based in Costa Rica


Tours and Entrances included:

  • 1 half day visit to La Selva Biological Station

  • 1 entrance to Cope’s Garden or Pierella Ecological Gardens

  • 1 entrance to Cinchona Hummingbird Gardens

  • 1 entrance to Carara National Park

  • 1 private Tarcoles River Boat Tour

  • Access to Punta Leona’s private reserve 

  • 1 private tour to Sirena Station at 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)

  • 1 private Mangrove Tour

  • Access to the Savegre private reserve 

  • 1 entrance to the Oak Forest

  • 1 entrance to Paraiso Quetzal Hummingbird Gardens with lunch



Abbreviated Itinerary:

DAY 1 - Feb 3 - Hotel Bougainvillea (Mountain View Rooms) 

DAY 2, 3 - Feb 4, 5 - Selva Verde Lodge (Sarapiqui Rooms)

DAY 4, 5 - Feb 6, 7 - Hotel Punta Leona (Selvamar Rooms)

DAY 6, 7, 8 - Feb 8, 9, 10 - Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge (Standard Rooms)

DAY 9, 10 - Feb 11, 12 - Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (Standard Rooms)

DAY 11, 12 - Feb 13, 14 - Las Cruces Biological Station (Standard Rooms)

DAY 13, 14 - Feb 15, 16 - Savegre Lodge (Standard Rooms)

DAY 15 - Feb 17 - Direct departure to SJO (Late afternoon flights are necessary)*

*Since the group will be departing directly from the lodge to the airport, it would be important for group members to coordinate their flights to depart at similar times, ideally on the same flight. We can offer a post-tour extension night at the Bougainvillea & airport transfer for an additional cost if anyone would like to fly out on February 18th.




*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 - February 3, 2024: Hotel Bougainvillea (Mountain View Room)

Arrive in San Jose where you will be warmly welcomed by your guide Paco Madrigal and/or chauffeur. You will be brought directly to Hotel Bougainvillea. Paco will let you know if you will have a brief orientation meeting today or in the morning on the bus to Selva Verde. While at the Bougainvillea, spend the day 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. 

(Overnight: Hotel Bougainvillea - no meals included)


Day 2 - February 4, 2024: Selva Verde Lodge (Sarapiqui Room)

Travel to the tropical lowlands of Sarapiqui. You will stop at the Cinchona Hummingbird Gardens and have lunch en route. After arriving at 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. 

(Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge - B at Hotel Bougainvillea, L en route, D at Selva Verde Lodge)


Day 3 - February 5, 2024: Selva Verde Lodge (Sarapiqui Room)

Spend the morning at the 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. After lunch, you will visit the famous Cope’s Gardens, which is a fantastic place to enjoy more of the avian gems of the Caribbean lowlands.

(Overnight: Selva Verde Lodge - B, L, D at Selva Verde Lodge)


Day 4 - February 6, 2024: Hotel Punta Leona (Selvamar Room)

Travel to the Central Pacific lowlands where your lodge is situated near 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. 

(Overnight: Hotel Punta Leona - B at Selva Verde Lodge, L en route, D at Punta Leona)


Day 5 - February 7, 2024: Hotel Punta Leona (Selvamar Room)

Spend the morning 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. In the afternoon, we will have a 2-hour boat tour of the Tarcoles River. 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.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, Pacific Screech-Owl, Spectacled Owl, and many species of shorebirds. 

(Overnight: Hotel Punta Leona - B, L, D at Punta Leona)


Day 6 - February 8, 2024: Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge (Standard Rooms)

Travel to Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula,  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. Humpback whales are often seen here during certain times of the year and while it is not the breeding season in February, there is still a possibility of spotting a whale. 

(Overnight: Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge - B at Punta Leona, L, D at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge)


Day 7 & 8 - February 9 & 10, 2024: Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge (Standard Rooms)

Spend the next 2 days immersed in the rich biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula. During these two days you will have the opportunity to explore Corcovado National Park at the Sirena Station (if weather and availability permit - if not, the alternative location is the San Pedrillo Station at Corcovado National Park). You will also enjoy a Mangrove boat tour. We know you will be amazed by the natural beauty of this location. 

(Overnight: Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge - B, L, D at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge)


Day 9 & 10 - February 11 & 12, 2024: Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (Standard Room)

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

(Overnight at Esquinas Lodge; Feb 11: B at Drake Bay Wilderness Lodge, L & D at Esquinas Lodge, Feb 12: all meals at Esquinas Lodge)


Day 11 & 12 - February 13 & 14, 2024: Las Cruces Biological Station (Standard Room)

Travel to Las Cruces Biological Station, home to the Robert and Katherine Wilson Botanical Garden, run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. You will spend the next two nights here. 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 Yellowthroat, Marbled Wood-Quail, Garden Emerald, White-Tailed Emerald, Charming Hummingbird, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Speckled Tanager, Thrushlike Schiffornis, Golden-naped Woodpecker, and Pale-breasted Spinetail. If we are lucky we may even see Crested Oropendola.

(Overnight: Las Cruces; Feb 13: B at Esquinas Lodge, L & D at Las Cruces, Feb 14: B,L.D at Las Cruces)


Day 13 - February 15, 2024: Savegre Lodge (Standard Room)

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 stay overnight in San Gerardo de Dota, nestled in a quaint highland valley nearby.  

(Overnight: Savegre Lodge Hotel; B at Las Cruces Biological Station, L en route, D at Savegre Lodge)


Day 14 - February 16: Savegre Lodge (Standard Room)

Spend the day 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. 

(Overnight: Savegre Lodge; BLD at Savegre Lodge)

Day 15 - February 17: Departures

Transfer to the airport for departing flights, stopping for an early lunch at the misty highland cloud forest reserve at the Paraiso de Quetzal. Enjoy the amazing hummingbirds in the gardens before traveling back home. (scheduled flights MUST depart NO earlier than 5:00pm). 

(B at Savegre Lodge, L at Paraiso Quetzal - dinner not included) 


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 on Day 1 (SJO to Hotel Bougainvillea) that are not on the arrival date for this tour have an additional charge of $50 per transfer

  • Any additional transfer from the San Jose area to the Juan Santamaria International airport has an additional charge of $50 per transfer. Additional transfers from a lodge to the airport have varying prices and can be quoted upon request.

  • 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

  • A non-refundable deposit of $650 will be required upon booking to confirm your space on the tour and to reserve the specific guide for your dates.

  • 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:

  • 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:

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