Costa Rica Tour: 12 days in the southern Pacific zone
The southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica is full of beautiful scenery, from high mountains, deep valleys and rolling savannas, to humid tropical forest bordering the ocean. The varied mix of habitats is home to a markedly rich avifauna.
On this tour we will visit the medium to high-montane Talamanca Cordillera, with its great variety of birds, including many Chiriqui endemics.
We will also explore neighboruing lowlands near the coast, with rainforest, wetlands and mangroves. These areas also hold many specialised southern Costa Rican species as well as an impressive array of raptors, passerines and waterbirds.
|Day 1||SAN JOSÉ – TAPANTI NATIONAL PARK|
Arrive at San Jose International airport and transfer to Kiri Lodge next to the Tapanti National Park. We will stay at Kiri Lodge or a similar establishment for 2 nights.
» Kiri Lodge
|Day 2||TAPANTI NATIONAL PARK|
We’ll spend the whole day exploring the park and its surroundings.There is dense forest at mid-level and a river valley with a varied avifauna where we have a good chance of seeing some scarce species. Accommodation at Kiri Lodge or similar.
|Black Guan, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Prong-billed Barbet, White-bellied Mountain-gem, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Ochre-breasted and Scaled Antpittas, Immaculate Antbird, White-throated Flycatcher, Black-faced Solitaire, Sharpbill, etc.|
|Day 3||TAPANTI N.P.- ALBERGUE MIRADOR DE QUETZALES|
In the morning we’ll return to Tapanti National Park for a feew hours to increase our bird list. After breakfast we’ll move on to the higher parts of the Talamanca cordillera to spend two nights in the Albergue Mirador de Quetzales or similar (Paraiso Quetzal Lodge).
|Day 4||ALBERGUE MIRADOR DE QUETZALES|
We’ll spend the whole day exploring the different high-montane habitats searching for characteristic species.
|Spotted Wood-quail, costaricensis Red-tailed Hawk, Resplendent Quetzal, Sulphur-winged and Barred Parakeets, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Dusky Nightjar, Volcano Hummingbird, Hairy Woodpecker, Ruddy Treerunner, Black-capped Flycatcher, Ochraceous Pewee, Timberline Wren, Long-tailes Silky-flycatcher, etc.|
|Day 5||TALARI MOUNTAIN LODGE|
We will spend the morning trying to increase our list of montane species in this area so full of regional endemics. Transfer to Talari Mountain Lodge where we will spend 2 nights in a montane zone of the Pacific slope in search of local specialities.
» Talari Mountain Lodge
|Day 6||TALARI MOUNTAIN LODGE|
We’ll spend the whole day birding the trails around the lodge, where you can see a great variety of species. Accommodation at Talari Mountain Lodge.
|Grey-necked Wood Rail, Grey-headed Chachalaca, American Swallow-tailed Kite, Laughing Falcon, Scaled Pigeon, White-crowned Parrot, Common Potoo, Long-billed Starthroat, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, White-crested Coquette, Fiery-billed Araçari, Olivaceous Piculet, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Orange-capped and Red-capped Manakins, Turquoise Cotinga etc.|
|Day 7||THE OSA PENINSULA|
In the early morning we will visit the nearby, famous “Los Cusingos” Biological Reserve, the home of Dr. Alexander Skutch, the affable co-author of the Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Here we will continue to increase our list. As an alternative we can visit “Las Quebradas” Biological Centrewith a more montane avifauna. Transfer in the afternoon to Esquinas Rainforest Lodge where we will spend the following 2 nights of the tour.
» Esquinas Rainforest Lodge
|Day 8||THE OSA PENINSULA|
We will dedicate the whole day to tracking down the Osa specialities, as well as the rest of the varied avifauna typical of the southern Pacific coast. Accommodation at Esquinas rainforest Lodge.
|Yellow-billed Cotinga, Black-cheeked Ant-tanager, White-crested Coquette, Scarlet Macaw, Charming Hummingbird, Red-throated Caracara, ‘Pacific’ White-throated Shrike-Tanager, etc.|
|Day 9||THE OSA PENINSULA – LAS CRUCES BIOLOGICAL STATION|
Transfer in the morning to Las Cruces Biological Station in San Vito de Coto Brus, which is part of the famous Wilson Botanical Garden. This is an excellent site for many species that are difficult to find in other areas, especially hummingbirds. Acommodation for 2 nights at Las Cruces Biological Station and Wilson Botanical Garden.
» Las Cruces Biological Station
|Marbled Wood Quail, White-tipped Sicklebill, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, White-tailed Emerald, Garden Emerald, Turquoise Cotinga, Streaked Saltator, etc.|
|Day 10||LAS CRUCES – SAN VITO |
We will spend the day walking the rails and pay a short visit to San Vito to try and see the “Chiriqui” Yellowthroat and the rare Masked Duck. We will spend our second night at Las Cruces and Wilson Botanical garden.
|Day 11||CARARA NATIONAL PARK|
Morning transfer to Carara National Park further north along the Pacific coast. We will spend the following 2 nights at Cerro Lodge. In the Lodge gardens there is great briding, and in the afternoon we will go down to the Tarcoles river to watch parrots and macaws coming to roost in the mangroves, as well as huge crocodiles, herons, swallows and swifts.
» Cerro Lodge
|Day 12||CARARA NATIONAL PARK|
We will spend all day birding the trails of the park with its almost infinite range of opportunities to observe good species. We have the possibility of doing a mangrove tour to try to seekey species like the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird and other mangrove specialists. Accommodation at Cerro Lodge.
|Mangrove Hummingbird, Northern Scrub-flycatcher, Panama Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Boat-billed Heron, Baird’s Trogon, Golden-collared Manakin, Royal Flycatcher, Black-tailed Flycatcher, Streaked Antpitta, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, etc.|
|Day 13||SAN JOSÉ – SPAIN|
Transfer to airport. Return flight to country of origin.
- Between April and August
- Maximum group size: 8 people
- Price: 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.