3 Destinations, 3 Hotspots Tour
Three Destinations, Three Hot Spots
3 different natural areas
Locations to be visited:
1 night - Hotel Bougainvillea or Hotel Buena Vista
3 nights - Arenal Observatory Lodge (northern region’s lowland rainforest, Arenal Volcano environs)
3 nights - La Selva Biological Station (Caribbean lowland rainforest)
2 nights - Rancho Naturalista (Caribbean foothills, Turrialba)
1 night - Hotel Bougainvillea or Hotel Buena Vista
Arrive in Costa Rica at SJO. Transport to Hotel Bougainvillea or Hotel Buena Vista.
Begin the day with some early birding on the grounds of Hotel Bougainvillea or Hotel Buena Vista and vicinities. Typical resident bird species include White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Lesson’s Motmot and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl as well as the endemic Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow. Depart for Arenal Observatory Lodge, traveling across continental divide we will explore the Caribbean foothill country of Vara Blanca and Cinchona, where we can find endemics; Coppery-headed Emerald, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Prong-billed Barbet, Costa Rican Warbler, Sooty-faced Finch and Silvery-fronted Tapaculo as well as residents; Green Thorntail, Green Hermit, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, White-bellied Mountain-gem, Violet Sabrewing, Red-headed Barbet and Ochre-breasted Antpitta. Arrive at Arenal Observatory Lodge late afternoon.
Day 3 and 4
Two full days exploring the extensive grounds and trails of Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent areas and the road bordering Lake Arenal. Each morning we will begin by visiting the fruit feeders and areas surrounding the main deck which can produce excellent sightings of Montezuma Oropendola, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Hepatic Tanager, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Collared Aracari, Great Curassow and Golden-olive Woodpecker. The gardens, trails and fruiting ficus trees can yield good views of Rufous-winged Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Olive-backed Euphonia, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Orange-bellied Trogon, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Crested Guan, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Ocellated Antbird, Dull-mantled Antbird, Lovely Cotinga, Black-crested Coquette, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Band-backed Wren and Long-tailed Tyrant. Raptors include Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Great Black Hawk, White Hawk, Gray-headed Kite, Hook-billed Kite and King Vulture. The road to and along the lake side is great for Keel-billed Motmot, Bare-crowned Antbird, Thicket Antpitta, White-fronted Nunbird, Three-Wattled Bellbird, Keel-billed Toucan and Yellow-throated Toucan.
Depart from Arenal Observatory Lodge. On the way out, briefly explore the habitats bordering Lake Arenal. Continue the drive towards La Selva Biological Station in the Caribbean lowlands of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Accessing the foothills of the Central Volcanic Range gives you a good chance of finding the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Prong-billed Barbet, Costa Rican Warbler, Sooty-faced Finch as well as resident Green Thorntail, Green Hermit, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, White-bellied Mountain-gem, Violet Sabrewing and Red-headed Barbet. Arrive at La Selva in the late afternoon.
Early in the morning you will wake up to the song of birds and powerful far carrying sounds of the Howler Monkeys. Get ready for a full day of great birding in La Selva Biological Station, home of the most studied rainforest in the world. Explore the access road and the grounds around the cafeteria. After breakfast, birdwatch the trails and open areas of the reserve. Some of the numerous bird species at La Selva are Snowy Cotinga, White-collared Manakin, Dusky-faced Tanager, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Rufous Motmot, Great Tinamou, Little Tinamou, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, Plain-colored Tanager, Black-throated Wren, Blue-chested Hummingbird, White-whiskered Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Tiny Hawk, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Great Curassow, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Mealy Parrot and Red-lored Parrot. Great Green Macaws regularly fly over the station. At night the station offers great access to look for owls and other wildlife, night birds include Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Black-and-white Owl, Middle American Screech-Owl and Great Potoo.
Early departure for a day trip to Braulio Carrillo National Park and Cope’s Feeders. An early walk in the wet foothill forest of Braulio Carrillo can produce excellent birds like Black-and-yellow Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, Blue-and-gold Tanager, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Lattice-tailed Trogon, Black-eared Wood-Quail, Black-crowned Antpitta, Pale-vented Thrush, Lanceolated Monklet, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, White-crowned Manakin, Sharpbill and Emerald Tanager. In the afternoon we will visit Cope’s Feeders, this is a wonderful site for photography and ideal to observe quite a few species in detail. Cope always walks us around in the woods nearby looking for owl roosts and other interesting wildlife, possible birds include Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Bronzed-tailed Plumeleteer, Crimson-collared Tanager, Russet-naped Wood-Rail, White-necked Jacobin and Blue-chested Hummingbird. Cope also offers interesting wildlife sightings. He typically stakes out the nice looking Honduran White Bats, Helmeted Basilisks, vine snakes and sloths. Return to La Selva at the end of the day.
A bit of early birding in La Selva, then depart for Rancho Naturalista. Lunch in Rancho and begin birding the open areas and forest trails. Specialty birds include Snowcap, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, White-crowned Manakin, White-throated Flycatcher, Black-crested Coquette, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Northern Schiffornis and Gray-headed Piprites.
A full day in Rancho Naturalista and adjacent areas. Start early with the forest lighted sheet which attracts a great number of birds right at dawn. Here you can usually get good sightings of the famous Tawny-chested Flycatcher. Then after breakfast begin birding the trails within the property. In the afternoon we can choose to visit the Tuis River Valley in search for Ashy-throated Chlorospingus, Emerald Tanager, Speckled Tanager, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Torrent Tyrannulet, Buff-rumped Warbler, Sunbittern and a chance for Lanceolated Monklet.
Depart from Rancho Naturalista. Visit Tapanti National Park by way of the Orosi Valley, a picturesque region that leads into the lush Tapantí. Explore the forest of Tapantí for Collared Trogon, Azure-hooded Jay, Ochre-breasted and Scaled Antpittas, Sharpbill, Prong-billed Barbet, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Green-fronted Lancebill, Barred Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Black-faced Solitaire, Tropical Parula, Elegant Euphonia and Golden-browed Chlorophonia. Drive back to the Central Valley and stay at Hotel Bougainvillea or Hotel Buena Vista.
Transfer to the airport and return home.
The above itinerary includes:
Lodging in all locations based on double occupancy
All meals starting with breakfast on Day 2 and ending with dinner on Day 10
Professional birding guide
Entrance fees to parks and reserves
Your list of the birds of Costa Rica
Bottled drinking water for the drives
* Tips and Alcoholic Drinks are not included within the price.
Price per person: US$ 4,765 / per person in double occupancy
The price of the trip can be adjusted according to the number of people in the group. Single occupancy rates can be supplied.