Costa Rica northern Pacific coast tour, 13 days
The northern Pacific cast of Costa Rica stretches from Guanacaste, the relatively dry land to the northeast, to the medium altitude cordilleras and their impressive volcanoes in the interior.
Habitatas in this picturesque country include freshwater wetlands, coastal mudflats, mangroves, dry tropical forest, gallery forest, humid forests and lowlands, as well as the magnificent cloud forest that cloaks the high cordilleras.
During our tour we will visit all the main habitats , concentrating on the most productive sites to try see the greatest range of representative species. This means we will be observing a multitude of species, from waders and waterbirds to the most emblematic cloud forest residents, Resplendent Quetzal and Three-wattled Bellbird.
|Day 1||SAN JOSÉ – ALAJUELA|
Arrive at san Jose airport and transfer to hotel. If we arrive early, we’ll have an opportunity to observe some birds of the Central Valley in the hotel grounds Accommodation in Alajuela.
» Buena Vista Hotel
|White-tailed Kite, Red-billed Pigeon, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-eared Ground-sparrow, Grayish Saltator, Plain-capped Starthroat.|
|Day 2||CARARA NATIONAL PARK|
Transfer to the National Park, a rich bird area with a variety of species of the northern and southern Pacific slope. The lodge grounds and surroundings are also excellent places to watch birds. Accommodation in Cerro Lodge, where we will eat breakfast and dinner. Packed lunch or lunch en route.
» Cerro Lodge
|Black-and-white Owl, Fiery-billed Araçari, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Double-toothed Kite, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Blue Dacnis, Scarlet Macaw, King Vulture, Mangrove Black Hawk, Boat-billed Heron, Pale-billed and Golden-naped Woodpeckers, White-whiskered Puffbird, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Black-faced Antthrush, Riverside Wren, Black-bellied Wren, Orange-collared Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin, Baird’s Trogon, Great Tinamou, Streak-chested Antpitta, Royal Flycatcher, Black-hooded Antshrike, Dusky Antbird.|
|Day 3||CARARA NATIONAL PARK|
We’ll spend the whole day visiting the National Park and its surroundings.
|Day 4||CARARA – MONTEVERDE|
Transfer to the Monteverde area. On the way, we’ll make a few stops to look for birds of the dry Pacific slope. Once we are settled in our hotel near Monteverde, we’ll visit various habitats over the following days, areas with spectacular birdlife. We’ll visit the highest points of the Tilaran cordillera and their famous cloud and Elfin forests (Santa Elena and Monteverde), the driest Pacific slope forests (Finca Ecologica and Bajo del Tigre) and the picturesque San Luis valley with the San Luis waterfall. Accommodation at Hotel Colina Lodge. Lunch and dinner are open- there is a wide range of options in the area.
» Colina Lodge
|Days 5 y 6||MONTEVERDE|
Two days dedicated to visiting the various habitats in the Monteverde area.
|Day 7||MONTEVERDE – BIJAGUA|
Transfer to the Bijagua area, situated among a chain of volcanoes, to explore its rich woods replete with a spectacular avifauna, with representatives from both slopes to be seen. Accommodation in Heliconias Lodge. Lunch and dinner in included.
» Heliconias Lodge
|Great Curassow, Long-billed Starthroat, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Spotted Antbird, Ocellated Antbird, Streak-crowned Antvireo, Song Wren, Nightingale Wren, Tody Motmot, Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoo.|
A day dedicated to exploring Bijagua and its surroundings.
|Days 9 y 10||PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK|
Transfer to Palo Verde National Park to observe its rich wetland avifauna and the dry lands of the northwest. Two nights at the National Park station Lunches and dinners included.
|Anhinga, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Limpkin, White Ibis, Black-bellied and Fulvous Whistling-ducks, Crested Guan, Northern Jacana, Wood Stork, Jabirú, Harris’s Hawk, Crane Hawk, Collared Forest-Falcon, Pearl Kite, Crested Caracara, Yellow-naped Parrot, Mangrove Cuckoo, Striped Owl, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Black-headed Trogon, Cinnamon Hummingbird, White-lored Gnatcatcher.|
|Day 11||PALO VERDE N.P.- RINCON DE LA VIEJA N.P.|
We will head north to explore the Rincon de la Vieja National Park with its interesting savannas and woodland, to search for some of the special species of the northeast part of the country and the Pacific slope. We’ll also experience the geothermal marvell that is this park, and for the less birdy among our number a relaxing dip in the thermal and medicinal baths at Rio Negro is an option. Accommodation for 2 nights at Hacienda Guachipelin, with lunches and dinners included.
» Hacienda Guachipelín
|Crested Bobwhite, Elegant Trogon, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Thicket Tinamou, Chiriqui Quail Dove, Double-striped Thick-knee, Northern Potoo, Pacific Screech-owl, Blue Grosbeak, Olive Sparrow, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Scrub Euphonia.|
|Day 12||RINCON DE LA VIEJA N.P.|
A whole day dedicated to birding the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and its surroundings.
|Day 13||RINCON DE LA VIEJA N.P.|
A last walk in the National Park then transfer to the airport.There is a possibility of stopping on the way at the Chomes shrimp farm to watch waders.
A 3-day extension to observe birds of the Pacific coast mangroves and the Caribbean slope of the Tilaran Cordillera.We will extend our stay in the Carara area by one day to do a Mangrove Tour (searching for the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird and other mangrove specialists, along with waders). After that we will spend two days in Monteverde, to visit the Caribbean slope, staying in the rustic but charming San Gerardo Station with its spectacular views of Arenal volcano.
Key Species: Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black hawk-Eagle, Barred Hawk, Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Bare-necked Umbrellabird, Highland Tinamou, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Black-headed Antthrush, Nightingale Wren, Brown-billed Scythebill.
To get to the station we will need to walk a 4km track that is particularly muddy and sometimes steep, and we’ll need to walk back along it at the end of our stay, so if you want to do this extension, please be aware you need to have an acceptable level of fitness. On occasion, it is possible to hire a quad bike to do the steep part up to the station.
- April to August
- Maximum group size: 8 people
- Please contact us
- Booked accommodation consists of double rooms with an en suite bathroom for private use. If for any reason it is necessary to change this, the tour operator reserves the right to substitute booked hotes for another similar establishment. If the use of inferior accommodation cannot be avoided, the client will be reimbirsed proportionately for the difference in price.
- The price of booked accommodation is based on a double room per night. If you are travelling alone, and you don’t mind sharing accommodation, please specify in your application (“willing to share”). If there are other members of the group who are also amenable to sharing, the agency will facilitate the booking. If you are travelling alone and wish to have a room to yourself, please add the Single Room Supplement to the tour fees.
- Being met at the airport on arrival
- Transport in a private vehicle from the start to the end of the tour
- Accommodation in selected hotels
- Three meals a day
- National Park entrance fees according to the interary
- Local guide who speaks Spanish and English
- Health and Safety Insurance
- Professional support from our team
- International flight tickets at the start and the end of the tour
- Travel insurance and flight cancellation insurance
- Personal extras: drinks, laundry, telephone bills
- Single room supplement
- Unspecified food (snacks etc)
- Activities and excursions not mentioned in the tour itinerary
- Airport taxes or entry and exit fees
- Any other service not mentioned above
- If you suffer from an allergy or dietary intolerance, you should inform us of this when you make your reservation and we will try to offer you adecuate menus on the tour.We would be happy to help.
- Road travel (journey distance and time) is carefully planned on our tours. However, in the case of unfavourable weather conditions, or a change in opening hours or other technical problems, our itinerary may alter. The guide will decide how to modify each stage of the trip if necessary to adapt to the conditions on the trip. We ask for flexibilty and understanding from tour members should this be the case.
- Entry requirements. Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months is required to stay in the country for a period of 90 days. Entry visas are not required for US, Canadian and EU citizens. More information on visas can be found here: Visas at the official website.
You cannot bring fruit, plants, meat or narcotics into the country.
We recommend you bring a list of medication you are bringing with you and specify if you suffer from a particular allergy.
- Leaving the country. In the airport you will have to pay a departure fee of 29 US$. You can pay in the local currency (CRC) or by credit card. It’s recommended you do this prior to check-in.
- Health. Costa Rica has an especially good health service.There is a strong network of hospitals and health centres or EBAIS throughout the country. There are also Emergency centres run by the Red Cross in nearly all cities.
Ther are not currently any required vaccinations. However, some nmight be required if you are visiting a particular area. Vaccination against Hepititis A and B, Tetanus, Diptheria and Typhoid re recommended if you are travelling to remote areas with a low population. To obtain more information on this and also Malaria, you should consult your doctor or a specialist doctor in tropical medicine.
- Safety. In comparison with other Latinamerican countries, Costa Rica is a very safe country. We recommend you lock valuables you are not using in the hotel safe. Make sure you are covered with reliable insurance if you loose valuables. More advice on safety: here .
- Money. The currency in osta Rica is the colon (CRC).Many establishments throughout the country accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. There are cash machines throughout. You can check the exchange rate at the following link: Click here
- Climate. The coast, with its valleys and plains, is hot and humid. In higher areas, cloud cover means cooler conditions.The rains generally fall from April to December and there is a brief dry deason between February and April.The annual average temperature is 25-30°C. Annual average rainfall is 3,000-4,000mm. Relative humidity: 81-91%.
- Local Time. The time difference between Costa Rica and Europe is 7 hours behind in winter and 8 hours behind in summer. If you would like to know the exact time difference, check here .
- Birdwatching equipment: binoculars and/or telescope, camera and field guide.
- Photography: due to the strong tropical glare a polarising filter is recommended. Also the use of flash or a suitable filter is recommended in humid areas.
- Electricity: voltage is 110v and 60Hz, with two-point plugs.You will need to bring an adaptor to connect your camera, mobile and laptop chargers. Click here for more information.
- Luggage: you are advised to bring light, comfortable clothing, a waterproof hiking jacket, some warm clothing, a hat or cap, sun protection and mosquito repellent. Spare batteries and memory cards. A shoulder bag (around 10L) for walks.