Costa Rica’s endemic birds

Day 1: arrival – Hotel Buena Vista 

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a representative of Aratinga Tours and transferred to Hotel Buena Vista, located in a quiet neighborhood on the flanks of the Poas volcano. The gardens offers some relaxed birding with some common species like Lesson’s Motmot, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, BVlue-gray Tanager, Rufous-naped Wren, Great Kiskadee and much more…

Day 2 + 3: San Luis – Arenal Volcano – Arenal Observatory Lodge 

By the lush rainforest of San Luis you will drive down to the Arenal volcano area…en route you will meet a local guide to take you to a hummingbird garden with the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald and many others and to do some birding in the area…in the months nof March – April – May Three-wattled Bellbirds can be seen; other good possible birds include Blue-and-gold Tanager and Sunbittern. Arenal Observatory Lodge is a spectacular lodge with great setting at the edge of the rainforest and with panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and with spectacular birding…On day 3 a private half day birdtour will be offered on the trails of the lodge.

Day 4 + 5: Parque Nacional Carara – Tarcoles River – Hotel Villa Lapas

You will drive down to the Central Pacific and stay the following nights in Hotel Villa Lapas at the edge of the rainforest and surrounded by beautiful and bird-rich gardens. This is one of the last areas in Costa Rica with a healthy population of Scarlet Macaws. Besides that the nearby Parque Nacional Carara offers some of the best birding in Costa Rica with good possibilities for many Costa Rica – West-Panama endemics like Riverside Wren, Black-hooded Antshrike, Black-bellied Wren, Orange-collared Manakin and many more. On day 5 you will be accompanied by a private birdguide for a half day birding tour in Parque Nacional Carara and in the afternoon a private boattour on the Tarcoles River will be offered. On the river you will be able to enjoy many waterbirds with several species of herons, kingfishers and some true mangrove specialists like American Pygmy Kingfisher,  Panama Flycatcher and the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird that only can be found in the Pacific mangroves of Costa Rica !

Day 6 + 7 + 8: Osa Peninsula – Esquinas Rainforest Lodge 

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is located in the extreme South of Costa Rica, in the heart of the endemic rich Osa Peninsula. The lodge is located at the edge of the rainforest and beautiful gardens attracting a lot of wildlife. Main target species here is the endeic Black-cheeked Ant-tanager, restricted to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and Golfe Dulce region. Other target species include Costa Rica – West-Panama endemics Fiery-billed Aracari, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Baird’s Trogon, Charming Hummingbird,…on day 7 you will be accompanied by a local birdexpert for a half day guided tour around the hotel and on day 8 we will schedule a tour a bit farther away at the Rincon bridge to look for the endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga and other species that can be found in the area like Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Brown-throated Parakeet and many more…

Day 9 + 10: Quizara – Villa Tica 

Quizara is a small authentic rural town on the outskirts of San Isidro del General at the edge of the Las Nubes private reserve and at the base of Cerro Chirripo; Costa Rica’s highest mountain peak. Here, surrounded by lush tropical gardens and blessed with a fantastic view of the surrounding dramatic landscape lies Villa Tica. This is a spacious very exclusive villa and your home for the next days. On day 10 we will offer you a half day private birdtour visiting the Aracari Birding deck and looking for local specialties like the rare and range restricted Turquoise Cotinga, White-crested Coquette and Costa Rican Brush-finch. Other great species include Scaled Pigeon, Speckled and Bay-headed Tanager and Golden-hooded Tanager.

Day 11 + 12: San Gerardo de Dota – Hotel Savegre

You will ascend the Talamanca mountains and be able to enjoy beautiful mountain scenery and end up at Hotel Savegre in the tiny town of San Gerardo de Dota surrounded by lush cloudforest. Hotel Savegre offers nice rooms a good restaurant but most important of all excellent birding. Hotel Savegre has its own private cloudforest reserve exclusive for hotel guests giving easy acces to spectacular bird habitat. San Gerardo de Dota is the best place in Costa Rica for seeing Resplendent Quetzal and many of the highland endemic birds that Costa Rica shares with Panama like Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Collared Redstart, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Black-cheeked Warbler, Wrenthrush, Golden-browed Chlorophonia and many more…On day 12 you will be joined by a local private birdguide in search of resplendent Quetzal and others…

Day 13 + 14: Cachi – Ujaras – Hotel Quelitales

Before heading back to the Central Valley you will spend 2 nights in the beautiful Hotel Quelitales, a relatively new boutique hotel offering nice private bungalows surrounded by gardens and a the edge of the cloudforest at a much lower altitude then the last hotel and therefore offering a completely different set oif birds. Hotel Quelitales is the only place in Costa Rica and probably in the world where the very timid Scaled Antpitta can be seen easily at their hide. Besides that other birds including some range restricted species are also quite easy in the gardens like Sooty-faced Finch, Black-bellied Humingbird, the rare White-bellied Mountain-gem and Green-fronted Lancebill. Besides that Hotel Quelitales is only about 15 minutes driving to Ujarras, one of the most reliable places for the endemic Cabani’s Ground Sparrow, only to be found in Costa Rica. On day 14 a private guided half day birdtour will be schedulded to look for the local specialty birds…

Day 15 + 16: Santo Domingo de Heredia – airport – Hotel Bougainvillea

You will head back to the Central Valley to spend your last night in the beautiful Hotel Bougainvillea where you will have access to a large botanical garden full of colorful birds including Lesson’s Motmot, Crimson-fronted Parakeets and many more. On Day 16 you will be transfered to the airport. End of tour

What is included ?

  • Welcome at airport and private transfer to first hotel
  • All accommodations in double rooms with private bathroom.
  • 3 meals a day from breakfast day 2 until breakfast day 14
  • birdwatching tours with local English-speaking birdguides as described above, including entrance fees
  • Rental Car Geely GX3 4 x 2 + full cover insurance + mobile router that generates Wi-fi signal from day 2 till day 13
  • Detailed information package: practical information, background information, road map + checklist of birds of Costa Rica
  • Acces to English-speaking help-desk of Aratinga Tours during your Costa Rica tour. 7 days a week, during office hours

Extra costs

  • Personal expenses
  • International flight
  • Tips for local guides

Price (per person, with 2 persons participating,  staying in double rooms) :

  • May 1st – June 30th 2024: 3400 usd
  • July 1st – August 31st 2024: 3550 usd
  • September 1st – October 31st 2024: 3450 usd
  • November 1st 2024- April 30th 2025: 3975 usd
  • May 1st – June 30th 2025: 3625 usd
  • July 1st – August 31st 2025: 3800 usd
  • September 1st – October 31st 2025: 3625 usd

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