This is your opportunity to meet all the microhabitats that Costa Rica has to offer. From Caribbean lowlands to timberline, wetlands, dry forest, and everything in between. There is no other country in the world that boasts this level of diversity in such a short distance. On our 12 dy tour, it is not unusual to see over 350 species. Here is an example what we do:
Day 1: Welcome to Costa Rica!! You will meet our guide and driver at the International Airport, then move to a nearby hotel. You'll have the opportunity to pick up any last-minute supplies neede for the journey, and end the afternoon at a restaurant with bird feeders.
Target species: Rufous-naped Wren, Crimson-fronted Parakeet, Lesson´s Motmot, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Coppery-headed Emerald, Green Thorntail, Northern Emerald Toucanet, Prong-billed Barbet, Blue-gray Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager.
Day 2 and 3: Caribbean foothills. The diversity of birds on the Caribbean side of the country is stunning! Over 550 species have been found in the Sarapiquí area. With several private reserves and National Parks, the Caribbean offers us many exciting birding opportunities.
Target species: Great Green Macaw, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous Motmot, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Bat Falcon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Snowcap, Black-crested Coquette, Rufous-tailed Jacamar.
Day 4 and 5: Caño Negro and Medio Queso Wetlands. Located near the Nicaraguan border, these two wetlands are some of the best spots to look for waterbirds. They are both threatened by large-scale agricultural production, but through support of local communities, your visit helps protect this habitat.
Target species: Black-collared Hawk, Jabiru, Sungrebe, Pinnated Bittern, Least Bittern, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Spot-breasted Wren, Nicaraguan Grackle.
Day 6 and 7: Arenal Volcano Area. Another great opportunity to bird the Caribbean Slope. The Arenal Volcano region affords stunning volcano views, along with antbirds, motmots, tanagers, and hummingbirds abound.
Target species: Great Curassow, White-throated Cracke, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Crested Owl, Black-and-white Owl, Gartered Trogon, White-collared Manakin, Collared Aracari, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager.
Day 8: The Cloud Forest of Monteverde. The Monteverde region is often cited as an example of the impacts of climate change on forests. Here you have the opportunity to discover this unique habitat before it disappears.
Target species: Highland Tinamou, Black Guan, Black-breasted Wood-Quail, Violet Sabrewing, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Magenta-throated Woodstar, Chiriqui Quail-Dove, Orange-bellied Trogon, Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird.
Day 9: Tropical Dry Forest. Costa Rica boasts one of the few remaining swaths of tropical dry forest left in the Tropics, representing an estimated 1% of its original expanse along the Pacific coast of the Central American continent. Here some of our excursions will make us feel like we are on safari. We will drive through a large cattle farm, where there are ample opportunities to find dry forest species and water birds that congregate in drainage areas that form along the roads.
Targets species: Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Limpkin, Double-striped Thick-knee, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Black-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Manakin.
Day 10 and 11: Central Pacific Rainforest. The transition from dry forest to rain forest gives us the opportunity to find a huge variety of birds species. We will enjoy the wonders that Carara National Park has to offer, and to it off with a boat tour of the Tarcoles River mangroves.
Target species: Roseate Spoonbill, Scarlet Macaw, Boat-billed Heron, Mangrove Hummingbird, Fiery-billed Aracari, Streak-chested Antpitta, Royal Flycatcher, Orange-collared Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Blue-capped Manakin.
Day 12 and 13: The Highlands of Costa Rica. In our last destination we will focus on endemic species. Costa Rica and Panamá share around 60 species that are not found anywhere else. From oak forests to timberline to paramo, our goal is to find as many specialties as possible.
Target species: Spotted Wood-Quail, Dusky Nightjar, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Talamanca Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain-gem, Volcano Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Timberline Wren, Volcano Junco, Golden-browed Chlorophonia.
Day 14: Flight home. Transfer to international airport for departure flights.