Birdwatching in Costa Rica

///Birdwatching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Birding

Book now for Nov- Dec 2019 & Jan-Apr 2020

Our company supports crucial research in tropical forests. This gives us a special insight into this wonderful green world, in the countries we work. So we also want to put this knowledge to good use making your nature holiday  special and in harmony with all creatures that inhabit the places you visit. And Costa Rica is without shadow of a doubt one of the best places in the world to achieve that. We are lucky to have in our team a south American Biologist with experience in Bird-watching and Ecotourism. Take advantage of that!

Costa Rica Birding  (12 nights) £2,447

Includes all meals accommodation and transfers

Does not include international flight


Central Valley (2 nights)

You arrive in San Jose international airport and are greeted by your guide and taken to your hotel, we can spend two nights in the area while we go birding for some of the central Valley’s specialities Lesson´s Motmot, White-winged Dove, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Crimson-fronted Parakeet and among other species.

Caribbean lowlands- rainforest (4 nights)

The Caribbean Lowlands is where we will see the biggest number of birds. Hence, we spend the longest exploring this area and visit different locations in the region where we get very good chance to spot species such as Great Curassow, Crested Guan, White and Barred Hawks, Swallow-tailed kite, Prong-billed Barbet, Red-headed Barbet, Common Chlorospingus, Silver-throated Tanager, American Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Violet Sabrewing, Green-thorntail and the Costa Rican endemic Coppery-headed Emerald. We will also see Tucans, Parrots, Tyrants, Crimson-collared and Golden-Hooded tanager manakins and many other.

We also explore the area of the Arenal Volcano, enjoying waterfalls and gardens where we will also see some of the hummingbirds.

Central Pacific lowlands Rainforest (2 nights)

In this area we will explore Carara National Park, located in a transition zone between the rainforests and the dry forest of the Northern Pacific. The park offers the great opportunity to see Scarlet Macaws, Owls (black and white and crested), Crested Guans, Black-headed Trogon, Fiery-billed Aracary toucans, Pale-billed Woodpecker and many other birds as well as other species of the typical Costa Rican Willdlife, crocodiles, iguanas, frogs, monkeys and many arthropods. In this region, we will also take a take a boat trip on the Tarcoles River for a chance to see water birds.

Northern PacificDry forest (2 nights)

Contradictory as it sounds in the dry forest of the Northwest we will visit the Jabiru Stork tour at Solimar wetlands

Central Highlands 2 nights – cloud and sub-montane forest

Last but no least take a spectacular excursion to a place where you can see Resplendent Quetzal. This is also a good place to see other resident endemic species.

Costa Rica Birding Trips

Taking bookings for November, December 2019 and January, February and March 2020. Submit an enquiry!!

Planned Itinerary for 2019

Meet and greet at San Jose Juan Santamarina International Airport where you will be welcomed by your guide and escorted to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you may also be able to do some birding on the hotel grounds. (Dinner included at your hotel in San Jose).

Drive north from the central valley over the active volcanic zone, down into the Caribbean lowland forest, towards one of the best spots for hummingbirds and middle elevation birds. Waterfall Gardens is well known as hummingbird’s heaven with some endemic mountain species, not seen anywhere else in the world. Commonly seen species are: Coppery-headed Emerald (known only from Costa Rica), Black bellied hummingbird, Brown violet-ear, Green Hermit, Ochraceous Wren, Crimson-collared Tanager, Emerald Tanager, and Silver-throated Tanager, White hawk, Prong-billed Barbet and Red-headed Barbet, American Dippers and Torrent Tyrannulets. The best place for Northern Emerald Tucanet. (All meals included at Arenal lodge).

Arenal Volcano, its picture prefect imposing image is visible from miles away. In our search for birds, we will venture off the roads, into the national park and around the lake. Will also visit one the most beautiful environmentally-friendly projects in Costa Rica, the Hanging Bridges, a natural corridor followed by migratory birds between North and South America. Looking for birds so high up in the canopy gives us the chance to see raptors such as Swallow-tailed Kite, Double-toothed Kite, Tiny Hawk, Bicolored Hawk, and Grey Hawk. (All meals included at Arenal lodge).

Located in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. This area is known for the great bird diversity that inhabit a number of National Parks, private protected forests and bird sanctuaries. As well as the raptors migration that uses this region as their chosen corridor. The target birds in Sarapiquí are the highly endangered Great Green Macaw and Sun bittern. Along the Sarapiquí River its possible to see Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Green Ibis, Keel-billed and Yellow- throated Tucans and others. (meals included at Selva Verde Lodge).

Visit La Selva Biological Reserve that protects an extension of lowland rainforest on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This is a great birding area and due to its protection and studies there have been over 400 species recorded there. We stand a good chance of seeing: Great Currasow, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Tiny Hawk, White-crowned, Red-lored, and Mealy Parrots. (All meals included at Selva Verde Lodge).

Travel from the Caribbean Lowlands into the higher mountain range, to experience the magic of a montane cloud forest located in a valley more than 2000 meters of altitude. One of the best birding spots for Costa Rican endemics, as more than 50 endemic bird species find their home here. Volcano Hummingbird, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and both Yellow-thighed and Large footed Finch are some of the species that we may be able to see here. (All meals included at Savegre Lodge)

Our target species for the day is the amazing Resplendent Quetzal. However, there is opportunity to see many other birds, as more than 170 species have been reported for the area; including some of the endemics such as Highland Tinamou, Red-tailed Hawk, Black Guan, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Ruddy Tree-runner, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Sooty Robin, Ruddy Pigeon. As well as the hummingbirds White-throated Mountain-gem, Scintillant Hummingbird, and Purple throated Mountain-gem. (All meals included at Savegre Lodge).

Jabiru Stork
Jabiru Stork

Today we travel to the North Pacific area to the last remaining patch of tropical lowland dry forest in Costa Rica. The salt marshes are good habitat for shore birds, local and migrant populations. Our target for the day is the rare stork known as Jabiru and the Three-wattled Bellbird. This area also gives the best chance to see other dry forest specialities such as  Spot-bellied Bobwhite, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Spotted-breasted Oriole, Streak-backed Oriole, Snail Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, Double striped Thick-Knee, Yellow-naped Parrot, Mangrove.

Hummingbird, Banded Wren, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Limpkin, Scrub Euphonia, White-throated Magpie-Jay. (All meals included at Ensenada lodge).

We venture to the Palo Verde Wildlife Refuge, visited by thousands of birds during the migration from the north, also a fabulous place to find dry tropical forest specialities such as Thicket Tinamou, Long tailed Manakin, Lesser ground Cuckoo, and the rare Jabiru stork. The area contains several vegetation types: seasonally flooded plains, semideciduous forest as well as evergreen small shrubs and riparian vegetation. We visit Solimar later in the afternoon when the temperature is lower and we can enjoy the orange sunset over the wetlands. (All meals included at Ensenada Lodge).

The central pacific area of Costa Rica enjoys a huge diversity of birds, thanks to the ecotone formed by the transition from the dry northern pacific forest to the wetter forests of the Southern Pacific region. So, in this area we can find species characteristic of both regions. In the afternoon we take a tour along a river inhabited by a large population of American Crocodile, for a chance to see waders and shorebirds. (all meals included at Villas Lapas)

Today we visit Carara National park, considered by many one of the best areas for birding in Coast Rica and famous for its population of Scarlet Macaw. There is also a good chance to see species such as Yellow headed Caracara, Hook-billed Kite, Laughing Falcon, King Vulture, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Striped Owl, Northern Crested Caracara and more. Also reported for the area there are  five species of Trogons, and some rare wetland local species such as Mangrove Hummingbird (endemic to Costa Rica), Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Warbler and Rufous-necked Wood Rail. (All meals included at Villas Lapas)

Enjoy birding in the trails around the lodge, for the last birds of the trip, before setting off to San Jose International Airport.

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