Costa Rica - A Birders Paradise 2019

Wednesday 27th February - Friday 15th March 

This tour to a variety of bird rich sites in central Costa Rica offers superb value for money and the chance to see nearly half the country’s birds in just one trip! Our tour visits the best and most well known areas for birding where you can relax in comfort while enjoying myriads of birds. From Caribbean lowlands, to Pacific coast and then the forested highlands we offer the opportunity to experience a wealth of differing habitats that all hold their own special birds. A good number of hummingbirds can be seen coming to feeders alongside colourful tanagers, absurd oropendolas, toucan-like aracaris, honeycreepers and euphonias. A fantastic boat trip takes us along a bird filled estuary and into the mangroves where countless species allow close approach and ideal photo opportunities. In the highlands we will look for one of the world’s most beautiful birds the Resplendent Quetzal a highlight to a tour ablaze with colourful, exotic and simply superb birds. With huge butterflies, dragonflies, lizards, several monkeys, sloths, and forests laden with orchids and flowers this is a must visit destination for anyone with an interest in wildlife. 
Rest assured we are envied for setting up and running Costa Rica’s very best birdwatching tours with itineraries that work. It seems many people visiting Costa Rica get their itinerary wrong which can lead to frustration and disappointment. With so many good things to see it makes sense to travel with the people that know the country best! Join Steve on his 30+ tour to the fabulous Costa Rica!

  • Resplendent Quetzal
  • Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl
  • Scintillant Hummingbird
  • Streak-chested Antpitta
  • Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher
  • Flame-coloured Tanager
  • Fasciated Tiger-Heron
  • Fiery-throated Hummingbird
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Snowy Cotinga
  • Sungrebe 
  • Black-crested Coquette
  • Turquoise Cotinga
  • Snowcap
  • Zeledonia
  • King Vulture
  • Spotted Antbird
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Volcano Junco
  • Silvery-throated Jay
  • Spotted Wood-Quail
  • Mangrove Hummingbird
  • Sunbittern
  • Ocellated Antbird

Day 1    Arrival – San Jose  - 27th Feb
Arrival in San Jose on Wednesday the 15th March and transfer the short distance to our hotel. Note that this is an arrival day and depending on your flight arrival time there may opportunities to bird the lodge grounds in the afternoon. Night San Jose.

Day 2   Caldera - Punta Morales - Solimar  28th Feb
A look around the grounds of our hotel will introduce us to a few of the commoner bird species such as Clay-coloured Thrush, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Plain Wren. We can also look for special birds such as Blue-crowned Motmot, Lineated Woodpecker and Cinnamon Hummingbird.

A walk first thing in the beautiful grounds of our hotel offers a great introduction to our Classic Costa Rica tour. Here we should see our first tropical birds in the form of Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Blue-crowned Motmot, Great Kiskadee, Rufous-capped Warbler, Blue-grey Tanager, Greyish Saltator, Rufous-collared Sparrow and White-eared Ground Sparrow. 

Punta Morales - ??
Moving on we will check several coastal areas including some salt pans where numerous waterbirds will be in residence. There could always be a surprise or two but we would hope to see several species including Gull-billed, Royal and Caspian Terns, and sometimes Black Skimmer. Amongst the shorebirds we could find Solitary, Spotted, Least and Western Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher and maybe Stilt Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit or Wilson’s Plover. We also have chances to see such birds as Brown Pelican, Roseate Spoonbill, Magnificent Frigatebird, Crane Hawk, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Spot-breasted and Streak-backed Orioles, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and with luck the elusive Lesser Ground-Cuckoo. We will then drive to Hacienda Solimar a 32,000acre privately owned ranch set on the edge of the Madrigal Estuary. 
Night Solimar 
Overnight Hacienda Solimar.
Day 3   Hacienda Solimar - Arenal  1st March
This morning we will spend our time searching this prime wetland for countless species that will keep us entertained. The huge Jabiru will one of our main targets, and beside this awesome bird we will have to sort through hundreds of Wood Storks, plus Great Egrets, Green and Little Blue Herons, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Northern Jacana, Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, Muscovy Duck, Anhinga, Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Least Grebe, good numbers of Snail Kite and maybe the smallest of the American kingfishers the tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher. Sheltering from the heat of the day we could find Double-striped Thick-knee, and possibly Spot-bellied Bobwhite. The area is not only a haven for waterbirds but surrounding woodlands and dry forest will have us searching for Collared Forest Falcon, Harris’s Hawk, Grey-headed Kite, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl and with luck the rare Thicket Tinamou. Other species could include Banded Wren, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Olive Sparrow, Scrub Euphonia, Turquoise-browed Motmot and Long-tailed Manakin. Flowering bushes and trees may hold Cinnamon Hummingbird or Canivet’s Emerald, and this is also a good area to find Mantled Howler Monkeys.
We will then head for Arenal Volcano, with its almost perfectly shaped cone, which soars 1,633 meters (5.500 ft) above sea level, and from time to time, deep earth echoes are heard and clouds of vapor or smoke billows out of the top, making for a wonderful experience, and all viewable from our perfectly situated lodge. Although the main attraction in this region is the volcano, the area offers fantastic bird watching opportunities, with forest trails, tumbling streams and a huge lake. The gardens abound with birds and feedersand flowers attarct a wealth of birds. A nearby stream often holds Fasciated Tiger-Heron and occasionally Sunbittern, while forest edges could treat us to Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Collared Aracari, White-throated Magpie-Jays, Keel-billed Toucan, Slaty Spinetail, Bright-rumped Attila, and possibly Keel-billed Motmot.
Night Arenal Observatory Lodge
Day 4    Arenal  2nd
No doubt we’ll be up early checking the feeders at our lodge and hopefully marvelling at the sounds of the volcano. We’ll spend today birding the grounds around the lodge and some nearby tracts of forest. The entire area is a haven for birds and we will search out rarely seen species such as Keel-billed Motmot, Lanceolated Monklet, Ocellated Antbird and Thicket Antpitta. Easy viewing on the feeders 

and flowers should include Emerald, Crimson-collared, Hepatic, Blue-grey, Golden-hooded, Passerini’s and Bay-headed Tanagers, while hummingbirds amongst the flowering gardens should include Black-crested Coquette, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Crowned Woodnymph, Purple-crowned Fairy, Stripe-throated Hermit, White-necked Jacobin and maybe Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer. Many other birds will keep us busy such as Montezuma’s Oropendola, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Red-legged and Green Honeycreepers, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Orange-bellied Trogon, Spotted Antbird and Crested Guan. The shy yet vocal Nightingale Wren will be sought, and we could get to grips with Black-bellied Wren, Bare-crowned Antbird, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush and even Great Potoo or the rarely seen Bare-necked Umbrellabird. White-nosed Coatis will entertain us and we could even see Northern Tamandua. Nights Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Day 5   Arenal - Medio Queso boat ride - La Fortuna  3rd
We begin the day birding from the Arenal Sky Walk, transfer via Medio Queso boat ride 
Today we will spend some of the morning catching up with any species we may have missed before setting off towards Cano Negro National park. This wonderful park is a stark contrast from where we have just been and it borders Nicaragua to the north. Our wonderful lodge is nestled right beside a bird filled lagoon, where a variety of herons, ducks and even the localised Nicaraguan Grackle, one of our main target birds can be found. There are many other superb species within close vicinity of the lodge and we will search for localised Spot-breasted Wrens, Grey-headed Dove, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Olive-throated Parakeet and in the open grasslands the Nicaraguan Seed-Finch and Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. In the evening we will go on a night drive in search of Pauraque, Common and Great Potoo.

Medio Queso - ??

Overnight Cano Negro Natural Lodge
Day 6   Cano Negro  4th
This morning we will have an early start for our boat ride on the Cano Negro river. This excellent trip will give us chances for many birds including all five species of kingfisher and the sought after Sungrebe. This is one of the only places we can find the very localised Nicaraguan Grackle a bird associated with wetlands and reedbeds. Depending on water levels we could also find the striking Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Green Ibis, Black-collared Hawk, Grey-necked Woodrail, Collared Plover, Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Swallow and if luck is on our side possibly Pinnated Bittern or one of the rarer crakes such as Yellow-breasted. Spectacled Caiman are easily seen and if we are fortunate we could even see Neotropical Otter.
Morning boat ride on Lake Cano Negro. Afterwards we drive to La Quinta where we stay for 3 nights. After lunch we will continue on to Sarapiqui, in the Caribbean lowlands. Depending on time we may make stops to look for Snowcap and Fasciated Tiger-Heron and the localised Nicaraguan Seed-Finch before arriving at our super lodge. 2 Nights La Quinta Country Inn.
Day 7   La Selva  5th
Full day at La Selva....After an early breakfast we will spend the full day at the nearby La Selva OTS. At the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica, La Selva comprises 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical wet forests and surrounding lands. It averages 4 m of rainfall that is spread rather evenly throughout the year. Located within the tropical and premontane wet forest, the Station has about 73% of its area under primary tropical rain forest. It was purchased in 1968 by the Organization for Tropical Studies and declared a private biological reserve and station. Since then, it has become one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forests. For the birder it is a haven for a wide range of sought after species. Before entering the reserve we will spend time birding the approach road an area always alive with birds and often a surprise or two. Loose flocks may include Barred, Fasciated and Great Antshrikes, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous-winged, Cinnamon and Chestnut-coloured Woodpeckers, Pied Puffbird, Passerini’s Tanagers, Plain Wren, White-ringed Flycatcher, Olive-backed Euphonia, Black-cowled and with luck Yellow-tailed Oriole, Black-thighed and Black-faced Grosbeaks, and occasionally on a tiny stream we have seen Agami Heron. Within the reserve we will spend both morning and afternoon within areas of tropical rainforest where many species will be sought throughout the day including targets such as Snowy Cotinga, Great Curassow, Rufous Motmot, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Western Slaty Antshrike, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Red-capped Manakin, White-collared Manakin, Great Tinamou, Stripe-breasted Wren, Dusky-faced Tanager, White-whiskered Puffbird, Bright-rumped Attila, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Rufous Mourner, and if we are in luck there may be Vermiculated Screech-Owl or Crested Owl on their day roosts, or Great Green Macaws flying noisily overhead. Also overhead we could see Grey-rumped, Lesser Swallow-tailed and even the rare Spot-fronted Swift and raptors could include Short-tailed Hawk, Grey-headed Kite, Semiplumbeous Hawk and even chances for King Vulture. Night La Quinta.   
Night at La Quinta.
Day 8   Braulio Carrillo NP - Old Butterfly Garden - Cope's Feeders - Rio San Jose   6th
Before and after breakfast we will spend some time looking around the gardens and checking the feeders after fresh bananas are put out. By the small ponds we could see Grey-necked Wood-Rails and Green Heron while other species may include Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Orange-billed Sparrow, Crimson-collared, Blue-grey, Golden-hooded, Palm and Passerini’s Tanagers, Green Honeycreeper, Bay Wren, Buff-throated and Black-headed Saltators. We will then depart for Braulio Carrillo National Park, a verdant rainforest dripping with epiphytes, mosses and bromeliad covered trees. We will take a short circular trail through the forest in the hope of connecting with a mixed flock or two. This is one of those areas that can be hit or miss and is generally quiet. If however we find the flocks then this can be a fantastic place to be with streams of birds passing by quicker than we can call them out. We would hope to see some of the more unusual residents such as White-throated Shrike-Tanager, Lattice-tailed Trogon, Brown-billed Scythebill, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Long-billed Gnatwren, Blue-and-Gold, Carmiol’s and Black-and-yellow Tanagers. 
Cope's Feeders - ??

Night at La Quinta.
Day 9   La Virgen - Cinchona - La Paz Waterfall Garden  7th

This morning we will continue to La Virgen del Socorro, a forested valley in the Caribbean foothills. We will search for mixed flocks which here could hold Collared Trogon, Russet Antshrike and Speckled Tanager while a Torrent Tyrannulet or American Dipper is always possible on the rocks of the rushing river below. Raptors present include Swallow- tailed Kite, and both White and Barred Hawks. 

Cinchona - ?? 

We will also visit La Paz Waterfall Garden for hummingbird overload! The fruit feeders at La Paz can hold Silver- throated, Crimson-collared and Passerini’s Tanagers along with Common Chlorospingus... but the buzzing of hummingbirds below will soon beckon us down to the feeders. An incredible variety of hummingbird species can be seen at close range here, among them such delights as Green Hermit, Green Thorntail, Violet Sabrewing, Magenta-throated Woodstar, both White-bellied and Purple-throated Mountain-gems, the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald and the unique Black-bellied Hummingbird to name but a few. Other birds to watch for in the area include Sooty-faced Finch and Black-cowled Oriole, while on the forest trails we may run into roving feeding flocks comprising the likes of Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, Spotted Woodcreeper, Slaty- backed Nightingale-thrush and gorgeous Bay- headed and Spangled-cheeked Tanagers among many others.

Night at Tapanti Media Lodge

Day 10   Rio Macho - Irazu Volcano - Savegre  8th

Do we visit Tapanti Reserve - ??

Tapanti is one of the most scenic of all Costa Rica’s national parks. With an altitudinal range between 1300 and 1600 metres on the country's Caribbean slope, the habitat of wet pre-montane forest holds many specialities we will be searching for today.Near the entrance to the park, Green-fronted Lancebills hawk insects along the streams as we search for other gems such as Black-bellied Hummingbird, White-winged Tanager and the delicate Elegant Euphonia. Mixed species flocks are a regular highlight at Tapanti and often include the stunning Red-headed Barbet, along with its larger but less colourful cousin the Prong-billed Barbet. The dazzling Spangle- cheeked Tanager, Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, Ochraceous Wren and Three-striped Warbler regularly travel with the busy flocks, too. Riverside specialists here include bobbing American Dippers and the darling Torrent Tyrannulet, while the understory conceals Slaty- backed Nightingale-thrush and Chestnut-capped Brushfinch. On the rare event we enjoy a sunny day in these mist-laden mountains, we will be on the lookout for soaring raptors such as Barred Hawk, and both Black and Ornate Hawk-Eagles.


This morning after breakfast and a little birding around the gardens we will slowly head up to 11,000ft with stops along the way to look for a few hummingbirds, Cherrie's Tanager and then if its not too misty we will look at the high paramo for species such as Volcano Junco, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Robin, Volcano Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbirds , Slaty Flowerpiercer, Black-cheeked Warbler and with luck maybe Timberline Wren or the skulking Zeledonia. From here we will decend the other side of the Mountain to a beautiful lodge set in a rich forested valley at 7,000ft. The lodge has recorded over 200 species with many of these being the highland specialities and as we travel down the valley in the afternoon we will make a few stops to search for species such as Flame-coloured Tanager, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-thighed Finch and Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher.  2 Nights at Savegre Mountain Lodge
Day 11   Savegre  9th
Today we will have a full day of birding in the vicinity of Savegre Lodge. There will be great opportunities to look for birds such as Green Violetears, Scintillant Hummingbird , Volcano Hummingbird, Violet Sabrewing , White-throated Mountaingem, and Magnificent Hummingbird. Other specialties include Large-footed Finches, Black Guan, Collared Redstart, Collared Trogon, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Yellow-thighed Finch, Sooty Thrushes, Mountain Thrushes, Ruddy-capped Nightingal-Thrush, Flame-throated Warbler, Emerald Toucanet, Ochraceous and Dark Pewee, Black-capped and Yellowish Flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky and Black-and-yellow Silky Flycatchers, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Silvery-throated Jay, Spotted Woodquail and possibly Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Brown-capped and Yellow-winged Vireos. We are also in Resplendent Quetzal country and will be searching for this superb bird which many say is the most beautiful bird in the world. Night Savegre Mountain Lodge.  
Night at Savegre Mountain Lodge
Day 12   Savegre - Paramo - Tolomuco Lodge - Esquinas  10th
This morning further searching of the lodge grounds and nearby areas could find us Pearl Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Bran-coloured Flycatcher and Speckled Tanager. Moving on we will stop at a small cafe where we could connect with Cherrie’s Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Violet Sabrewing or even the localised White-tailed Emerald. We then continue upward to the highlands of Cerro de Muerte. At the highest point which can be shrouded in cloud we will search the Paramo, an area of short stunted bushes and trees. Here we will target the Volcano Junco and hope to get a few more high altitude species such as Mountain Thrush, Sooty Robin, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Volcano and Magnificent Hummingbirds, Black-cheeked Warbler, and possibly Timberline Wren. Another spot we have recently discovered gives us a good chance to see the elusive Zeledonia, plus Large-footed Finch. We then make our way toward our lodge set in a beautiful wooded valley beside a tumbling stream that holds, American Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet and sometimes Louisiana Waterthrush.
Tolomuco Lodge - ??
This morning we will visit the nearby Paraiso de Quetzales. Here we will look at the hummingbird feeders which will be buzzing with Fiery-throated Hummingbirds, after which we will take a 2 hour walk through the cloud forest to the prefered habitat of the Resplendent Quetzal. The area is alive with Epiphytes, Orchids and Bromeliads, adorning the trees and making this walk a most gratifying experience en route to our encounter with the Quetzal. Other birds are also present and we will try for the elusive Zeledonia, and have more chances for Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Flame-coloured Tanager, Ochraceous Pewee and much more. 
Night at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
Day 13   Esquinas  11th
Full day at and near Esquinas
Esquinas - ?? need info 
Night at Esquinas Lodge
Day 14   Esquinas - Cota 47 nr Cd Neily  12th
Need info for today - ?? 
3rd Night at Esquinas Lodge
Day 15   Rincon Bridge - Carara NP  13th
After a little early morning birding around the lodge we will head for the Pacific coast and our coastal accommodation near to Carara NP for the next 2 nights. Our secluded birding lodge offers opportunities to see spectacular birds like Scarlet Macaws, Fiery-billed Aracari, Cinnamon Hummingbirds, Canivet's Emerald, Ferruginous PygmyOwl and much more. Night at Hotel Villa Lapas/Carara 
Day 16   Carara NP  14th
We have a full day to bird this wonderful area including a day visiting Carara National Park, which is the northernmost region of Pacific rainforest remaining in Costa Rica, and is the beginning of the transition zone into the tropical dry forests of the northwest. Its 11,600 acres hold a wide range of species and includes the most important area for breeding Scarlet Macaws in the country. Our time will be spent on a several short trails where birding can produce amongst others Northern Royal Flycatcher, Green Shrike-Vireo, Baird’s, Gartered, and Black-throated Trogons, Tawny-winged and Cocoa Woodcreepers, Blue-black Grosbeak, White-whiskered Puffbird, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Orange-collared Manakin, Chestnut-backed and Dusky Antbirds, Dot-winged Antwren, Black-hooded Antshrike, Blue-throated Goldentail, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Costa Rican Swift, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Rufous-and-white, Rufous-breasted, Riverside and Black-bellied Wrens, Grey-headed, and White-shouldered Tanagers, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tawny-crowned and Lesser Greenlet, White-winged Becard, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher and Northern Bentbill. With lunches back at the lodge we will then re-visit Carara but this time taking a different trail where we hope to connect with a different variety of species including several understory specialities such as Streak-chested Antpitta, Black-faced Antthrush, Ruddy Quail-Dove and Great Tinamou. We will also check a small stream where Red-capped and Blue-crowned Manakins come in to bathe and sometimes accompanied by Thrush-like Schiffornis. We will also visit an area that offers outstanding views over Carara National Park right down to the Pacific coastline. Here a few select species can be found that maybe hard to connect with elsewhere. Western Tanagers, Painted Bunting, Ruby-throated and Charming Hummingbirds, plus Philadelphia Vireo and possibly Fiery-billed Aracari will all be in our sights. An overlook will give us superb chances to see the magnificent King Vulture as well as other raptors such as White Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk and Swallow-tailed Kite. One of the highlights of the Carara area will be a fabulous boat trip on the River Tarcoles. Setting off under the guidance of our expert boatman we will first search the estuary and river edges where we can expect to see roosting Boat-billed Herons, plus Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned and sometimes Black-crowned Night-Herons, Green Heron, Tri-coloured Heron, White Ibis, occasionally Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Anhinga, Neotropic Cormorant, Spotted Sandpiper, Black-necked Stilt, Purple Gallinule, Northern Jacana, Killdeer, many shorebirds and if we are lucky both Double-striped Thick-knee and Collared Plover. Out towards the mouth of the estuary will see Laughing Gulls and a variety of terns, plus Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds and the ever present Ospreys. We then move into the narrower mangrove creeks where we will look for Mangrove Black Hawk, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Prothonotary Warbler and with a lot of luck Mangrove Vireo and Mangrove Hummingbird. As we return with the sun setting we will see Cattle and Snowy Egrets going to roost and noisy Scarlet Macaws and Yellow-naped Parrots flying overhead. Our finale to this superb trip will be countless Lesser Nighthawks hawking for insects low over the water. 2 Nights Carara.Night at Hotel Villa Lapas
Day 17   Carara - San Jose - End of Tour  15th
Birding locally before transferring to San Jose for our international departures. We can take lunch near the airport.
This morning we will have an early breakfast and then head to an area of mangrove and scrub where we hope to get views of the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird and Mangrove Vireo plus an assortment of other species that could include Panama and Northern Scrub Flycatchers, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Olivaceous Piculet, Masked Tityra, Scrub Greenlet and Northern Waterthrush. We will then set off on our drive towards our next destination. We will keep an eye out for any raptors not yet on our list, such as Harris Hawk and Swallow-tailed Kite. Afterwards we will check out of our accommodation and go to San Jose for our international departures and the ned of our tour.
Day 2    San Jose – Carara NP
Days 3 - 4    Carara National Park
Day 5    Carara NP – San Gerardo de Rivas 

Once we have reached our lodge we will have a little time to bird the grounds where we can look for an assortment of species such as Streaked Saltator, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Blue Dacnis, Slaty Spinetail, Blue-crowned Motmot, Scaled Pigeons and with real luck the gorgeous looking Turquoise Cotinga. Our rustic lodge has recorded more than 200 species of birds including Spotted Tanagers and Red-legged Honeycreepers coming to feeders. At night we can even try for Pacific Screech-Owl in the gardens. Night Talari Mountain Lodge.
Day 6   Talari Lodge - Savegre Mountain Lodge 

Night Savegre Mountain Lodge.
Day 7   Savegre Mountain Lodge
Day 8    Savegre - Sarapiqui
Day 9    La Selva OTS
Day 10    La Quinta – Tenorio Volcano 

We will then depart and travel 
to the Tenorio Volcano region. The slopes of the Caribbean side of the Tenorio volcano are covered with rural farms, cattle ranches, small villages, mountain forest, rivers and waterfalls that create one of the most scenic regions of the country. Our afternoon will be spent birding the private lodge trails. The list of birds includes many sought after species and it is these we will try and find, such as Tody Motmot, Keel-billed Motmot, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Great Curassow, Three-wattled Bellbird, Dull-mantled Antbird, Lattice-tailed Trogon, Purplish-backed Quail-dove, Brown-hooded Parrot, Coppery-headed Emerald, White-collared Manakin, White-ruffed Manakin, Green Shrike-vireo, and Rufous-winged Tanager. Night Celeste Mountain Lodge.
Day 11    Tenorio region and Heliconias
Today we will have the full day to bird in the Heliconias preserve and its hanging bridges. The Heliconias Rainforest Suspension Bridges offer three canopy level bridges between 27 and 37 meters above the ground and varying in length between 75 and 105 meters long, allow you to safely experience the complexity of the forest canopy, and get eye to eye with some of its wildlife. Amongst the special birds here we will look for Tody Motmot, Ocellated Antbird and if we were extremely lucky and came across an Antswarm we might even get the chance of Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, the holy grail of Costa Ricas birds! Amongst other things we will also get to learn about the forest and its many plants. The trails here are covered with wood chippings making it one of the quietest forest walks we have ever encountered. This will be especially helpful when searching out some of the forests special birds. 
Night Celeste Mountain Lodge.
Day 15   Arenal - San Jose
Today we will have time for some final birding in this wonderful area before setting off on our return journey to San Jose. Birding stops along the way will include stopping at a hummingbird garden where we can see the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, plus Violet Sabrewing, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Green Hermit, Green-crowned Brilliant, Violet-crowned Woodnymph and others. After lunch at a local restaurant we will arrive back in San Jose in time for a farewell dinner in the hotel.
Day 16   San Jose – End of Tour – 30th March 
Today we will transfer you to the airport in time for your international departures. Those returning to the UK will probably arrive back the following day – 31st March
Leaders:  Steve Bird & Gina Nichol 

£2795.00 - San Jose/San Jose - 16 days
Go Compare:
Avian Adventures - £3990 - 14 days incl flights
Birdfinders - £2795 - 16 days
Birdquest   - £3190 - 15 days
Tropical Birding - $5990 (£3993) - 19 days
Rockjumper - £3080 - 14 days

Airfare: £650.00 - £900.00 (Approx) - UK/UK, prices depend on airline, route and how far in advance the flights are booked.

Zoothera tour prices explained
Single supplement: £390.00

Deposit: £500.00

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 5

Included in cost: Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, all meals from Dinner on 15th March to Breakfast on 30th March, transfers, ground transport throughout, boat trip, all entrance fees, and services of English speaking leaders and driver.

Not included: International airfare, insurance, depature tax ($29), drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation: All lodges are of a good standard and offer en-suite rooms, a good variety of meals and cooked breakfasts.

Tour Code: This is a standard birding tour with regular birding walks along roads and well marked trails. There are early morning options and pre-breakfast excursions, followed by morning and afternoon sessions. The weather is generally good to warm, even hot, with possibilities of rain in the afternoons. Be prepared for all eventualities.

Previous Tour reports:   2012 Tour Report       2013 Tour Report



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