Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. If you are thinking to coming to the tropics, and enjoy nature photography, then this is the place for you. Costa Rica's small size anebles us to move through the country and explore its microhabitats with ease. Here at The Birding Experience, we offer unrivaled familiarity with Costa Rica´s best birding spots to help you get that "perfect shot".
Here's a sample itinerary:
Days 1 and 2: Welcome to Costa Rica!!
We will start our journey in the cloud forest of the Central Valley. You will meet your guide and driver at the San José International Airport, then drive to our first lodge (approximately 1.5 hours away).
On the way to our first lodge, we stop at a restaurant with feeding stations, great for bird photohraphy (Cinchona).
In the afternoon , we'll check-in to the lodge and bird around the grounds.
Target species: Black Guan, Coppery-headed Emerald, Green Thorntail, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Northern Emerald Toucanet, Violet Sabrewing, Prong-billed Barbet, Red-headed Barbet, Blue-gray Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager.
Days 3 and 4: Caribbean foothills.
The Boca Tapada region is one of the best-known areas for wildlife photographyin the country. Some of is main attractions include Red-capped Manakin leks, eye-level feeding stations adorned with native vegetation, and a blid where you can take pictures of the King Vulture!
We will plan on arriving from the Central Valley in the afternoon (approx. 3 hours drive), and bird/take photos around the lodge for the remainder of the day.
Next day, we have the option to visit the King Vulture blind and another feeding station to photograph tanager and hummingbirds.
Target species: King Vulture, Crested Caracara, Brown-hooded Parrot, Central American Pygmy-Owl, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Collared Aracari, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Golden-hooded Tanager.
Days 5 and 6: Caño Negro and Medio Queso Wetlands. Located close to the Nicaraguan border, those two wetlands are probably the best spots to look for waterbirds. The tour is about to move through the canals of the wetlands on a private boat.
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 7 and 8: Arenal Volcano Area. Another great oportunity for photographers in the Caribbean Slope. The Arenal Volcano region allow us to enjoy a great experience of birds with stunnig views of the volcano, several antbirds, motmots, tanagers and hummingbirds are always hanging around.
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 9 and 10 : Central Pacific Rainforest. This is another spot with amazing species. The transitition from the dry forest to the rain forest give us the opportunities to find a huge variety of species of birds. Here we have the chance to enjoy the wonders that Carara National Park offers, and also we will take a boat trip to the wetlands that sorrund the area.
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 11 and 12: The Highlands of Costa Rica. In our last destination we will focus on endemic species. Costa Rica and Panamá share around 60 species that there is no other place to find. Here at the highlands, our goal is to find all the endemic species we can. From the oak forest, to the timberline at the habitat call it Paramo.
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 13: San José. Early morning birding around the hummingbird feeders to get more chances of good pictures. There is the oportunity to go one more time to the Quetzal tour, and take more pictures of this bird. In the afternoon we will take a walk around San José.
Day 14: Flight home. In the mornig take a breakfast at the hotel and then time to say farewell, after that we drive towards the international airport.