Costa Rica offers a great number of regional endemic species of birds. Since the geological formation of the Central American area
and in particular the Western portion of Panama is shared with Costa Rica, this has become center of evolution on itself.
The following tour intends to provide birders with the opportunity to come and explore for regional and country endemics.
The trip has a length of 19 days, however we can always custom design a shorter or longer tour.
Day 1: Arrive to Costa Rica
Arrive to Costa Rica - depending on time of arrival stay at Buena Vista Hotel this first night, or drive past this area and reach Poas Volcano Lodge
(ideal) to get into our first birding spot. Poas Volcano Lodge would be 1 hours 10 minutes away from the airport.
Day 2: La Paz, Vara Blanca and Cinchona. (B,L,D)
Explore the area of La Paz Waterfall, Vara Blanca and Cinchona, full day moving around the area. Stay in Poas Volcano Lodge.
Potential target species in general are: Black-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Coppery-headed Emerald, White-bellied Mountain-Gem,
Prong-billed Barbet, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Orange-bellied Trogon, Black-and-Yellow Silky-Flycatcher, Streak-breasted Treehunter,
Sooty-faced Finch, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo. Additionally look for Emerald Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Emerald Toucanet, White-naped Brush-Finch,
Rufous-winged Tanager, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Bare-shanked Screech-Owl and Dusky Nightijar can be seen at night.
Day 3: Birding en route, La Selva Biological Station (B,L,D)
Early birding around Poas Volcano Lodge, drive to La Selva, birding en route. Afternoon birding in La Selva Biological Station.
Transport to La Selva Biological Station. Explore La Selva Biological Station and surroundings for Sungrebe, Great Green Macaw, Snowy Cotinga,
Plain-colored Tanager, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Black-throated Wren, Stripe-breasted Wren,
Crimson-fronted Parakeet. A great collection of woodpeckers here at La Selva: Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker,
Cinammon Woodpecker, Rufous-winged Woodpcker, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpcker. Also Rufous Motmot and Broad-billed Motmot,
White-whiskered Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Long-tailed Tyrant.
More details about Sarapiqui - Caribbean Lowlands....
Day 4 and 5: La Selva Biological Station and
Two full days in La Selva Biological Station. (B,L,D)
Day 6 and 7: Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. (B,L,D)
After early birding and breakfast, we will begin our drive towards Caño Negro. We will stay in Hotel de Campo Caño Negro, a beautiful property with more than 85 species of fruiting trees. Meals are quite particular and many of them are made with locally grown products. The hotel is located right next to a lagoon. On our drive we will look for Jabiru, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Harris' Hawk, Bat Falcon, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, and Red-breasted Blackbird. This afternoon or tomorrow morning we will take in a wonderful boat ride to explore Rio Frio River and Caño Negro Wetlands. (B,L,D)
Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge
Located on the northwestern portion of the Caribbean Slope, the area of Río Frío offers a very interesting habitat composition. Its climate is influenced by the Northern Pacific region of Costa Rica and its dry season goes from December to April. Two very well marked seasons cause drastic changes in the level of the Rio Frío which feeds the local wetlands. The best time of the year to explore Caño Negro is the dry season as more birds congregate in great numbers around the remaining pools of water.
Caño Negro has an extension of approximately 9960 Hectares and it is one of the most important biological areas of the country and the four most important wetlands area in the world, it is also a "Ramsar Site" This Wildlife Refuge was declared a "Wildlife Area of International Importance" in 1991.
This Costa Rica ecological treasure is home to more than 350 species of birds, as well as interesting species like the Emerald Basilisk, River Turtles and Spectacled Caimans.
Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge is perhaps the best location to see the endangered Jabiru. Other target birds for this marshes and disturbed grassy areas are Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Black-collared Hawk, Limpkin, Glossy Ibis, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Spot-breasted Wren (local endemic), Nicaraguan Grackle, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch and Yellow-tailed Oriole.
Other species that we will look for include: Pinnated Bittern, Boat-billed Heron, Green Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Snail Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Black-collared Hawk, Northern Harrier, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Gray-headed Dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Striped Owl, Great Potoo, Bare-crowned Antbird, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Tricolored Heron, Snowy Egret and Rufescent Tiger-Heron.
More details about Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge ....
Day 8, 9 and 10: Celeste Mountain Lodge - Tenorio Volcano Slopes. (B,L,D)
Early birding, breakfast and travel towards Celeste Mountain Lodge and begin exploring this magnificent tropical corner. Birding in extraordinary here! mixed flocks can be large and very
productive. Potential target species are Lattice-tailed Trogon, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Striped-breasted Wren, White-throated Shrike-Tanager,
Tawny-capped Euphonia, Sooty-faced Finch. Additionally look for White-fronted Nunbird, Lovely Cotinga, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Keel-billed Motmot,
White Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Long-tailed Manakin, Tody Motmot, Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, Violaceous Quail-Dove, Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl.
Day 11: Birding en route, Cerro Lodge, Carara and Tarcoles (B,L,D)
Early birding and then departure towards Cerro Lodge on the Pacific Coast. Birding along the way might produce Double-striped Thick-Knee, Rusty Sparrow,
White-throated Magpie-Jay, Streak-backed Oriole, Spot-breasted Oriole, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo. Cerro Lodge is found in the vicinities of Carara National
Park and Tarcoles River. Explore the mangroves by boat and several other spots, roadsides, trails for Yellow-billed Cotinga, Mangrove Hummingbird,
Mangrove Vireo, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Fiery-billed Aracari, Black-hooded Antshrike, Black-bellied Wren, Riverside Wren, Cherrie´s Tanager,
Spot-crowned Euphonia, Costa Rican Swift. This is a great destination as well to see Scarlet Macaws, Yellow-naped Parrots, White-fronted Parrots,
Orange-fronted Parrots, Pacific Screeh-Owl,Black and White Owl, Crane Hawk, Scrub Euphonia, Royal Flycatcher, Cinammon Hummignbird, Blue-thorated
Goldentail, Mangrove Warbler, American Pygmy-Kingfisher, Mangrove Cuckoo, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Pearl Kite, King Vulture,
Red-capped Manakin, Orange-collared Manakin.
More details about Carara National Park and Tarcoles River...
Day 12 and 13: Two full days exploring Carara and Tarcoles River (B,L,D)
Explore the two main trails in Carara National Park, roadsides around Cerro Lodge are also quite productive and ideal for photography, also a boat trip in
the Tarcoles River to explore mangroves and mudflats.
Day 14 and 15 Birding en route, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)
Travel to Esquinas Rainforest Lodge located in the Southern Pacific zone, just off Piedras Blancas National Park. Potential species include:
Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Fiery-billed Aracari, Turquoise Cotinga, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Orange-collared Manakin, Black-bellied Wren, Riverside Wren,
Cherrie´s Tanager, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Costa Rican Swift, White-throated Shrike-Tanager, Crimson-fronted Parakeet. Other birds include: Blue-headed
Parrot, Brown-throated Parakeet, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Tiny Hawk, Slate-colored Seedeater, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Yellow-billed Cotinga.
Other birds include King Vulture, Black Hawk-Eagle, Spectacled Owl, Gray-headed Kite, Pearl Kite, Gray-headed Tanager, White-throated Shrike-Tanager,
Striped Woodhaunter, Baird`s Trogon, Little Tinamou, Bronzy Hermit, Band-tailed Barbthroat, White-tipped Sicklebill, Scrub Greenlet.
Day 16: Birding en route, Talari Lodge in San Isidro de El General (B,L,D)
Early birding and travel to Talari Lodge, a few stops on the way, birding the grounds of Talari in the afternoon, also roads in the valley are quite productive.
Look for Turquoise Cotinga, Greenish Elaenia, Pale-bresated Spinetail, Speckled Tanager, Orange-billed Nightinagle-Thrush, , Red-breasted Blackbird.
Tonight look for Tropical Screech-Owl and Common Potoo.
More details about Valley of El General and Talari Lodge....
Day 17: Birding Los Cusingos, travel to Savegre Mountain Lodge (B,L,D)
Explore several areas around in Valley of El General, several roads and preserves such Los Cusingos of Dr. Skutch offer good opportunities to find:
White-crested Coquette, Garden Emerald, Charming Hummingbird, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Baird´s Trogon, Fiery-billed Aracari, Golden-naped Woodpecker,
Black-hooded Antshrike, Turquoise Cotinga, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Orange-collared Manakin, Black-bellied Wren, Riverside Wren, Cherrie´s Tanager,
Spot-crowned Euphonia, Costa Rican Swift, White-throated Shrike-Tanager, Crimson-fronted Parakeet. Also Ruddy Woodcreeper, Bicolored Antbird,
Ruddy Quail-Dove, Bicolored Hawk. IN the afternoon explore some middle to high elevations to ensure the sightings of Spangle-cheeked Tanager,
Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Black-cheeked Warbler, Yellow-winged Vireo, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, White-tailed Emerald,
Red-fronted Parrolet. Also good chances for Ornate Hawk-Eagle, White-winged Tanager, Speckled Tanager, Collared Trogon, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch,
Red-faced Spinetail, Brown-capped Vireo.
More details about San Gerardo de Dota - Cloud Forest....
Day 18 and 19: San Gerardo de Dota, Savegre Mountain Lodge (B,L,D)
Two full days exploring San Gerardo de Dota, a magnificent Cloud Forest destination. Trails in the oak forest, roadside and open areas and gardens
provide a fantastic opportunity for birding and photography.
These location can produce species like Resplendent Quetzal, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Volcano Junco, Large-footed Finch,
Yellow-thighed Finch, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Peg-billed Finch, Spangle-cheeked Tanger, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Black Guan, Buff-fronted Quail Dove,
Sulfur-winged Parakeet, Red-fronted Parrolet, Bare-shanked Screech-Owl, Costa Rica Pygmy-Owl, Dusky Nightjar, Fiery-throated Hummingbird,
White-throated Mountain-Gem, Ruddy Treerunner, Strek-breasted Treehunter, Dark Pewee, Ochraceous Pewee, Black-capped Flycatcher,
Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-winged Vireo, Silvery-throated Jay, Ochraceous Wren, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Wrenthrush, Timberline Wren,
Black-faced Solitaire, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Thrush, Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart,
Black-cheeked Warbler, Peg-billed Finch.
Day 20: Birding in San Gerardo de Dota, return to San Jose,
Bougainvillea Hotel (B,L,D)
Early birding in San Gerardo de Dota, lunch and begin return to San Jose. Stay at Bougainvillea Hotel. Some later afternoon birding in the grounds of
Bougainvillea might produce White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Rufous-capped Warbler, Blue-crowned Motmot, Squirrel Cuckoo. Dinner.
Day 21: Return home
Transport to the airport.
Lodging for 20 nights
All meals except for the dinner on the first night - you might also miss breakfast on departure day- depends on flight schedule.
Professional Bird Guide with Spotting Scope
Fees to parks and reserves
Updated Checklist of the birds of Costa Rica
Tarcoles River Boat Tour