A relaxed 10-day tour featuring great birding lodges, gorgeous scenery, lush forests, mostly mild temperatures, and incredible birding, primarily in the mid to higher elevations. Also includes a boat trip through the mangroves on the Tarcoles River and stops on both the Caribbean and Pacific slopes.
Costa Rica has long had a reputation for being a birder's paradise, a place where beginning and experienced birders alike can enjoy neotropical birding at its very finest. The reputation is certainly well deserved – life abounds here! Over 900 species of birds have been recorded within its borders, boasting one of the highest diversities per square mile of any country in the world!
Our 10-day exploration of this bird-rich nation begins in the marvelous, middle elevation rainforests of Tapanti National Park and environs. This is one of the best places in Costa Rica to find a number of restricted or uncommon species, including Scaled and Ochre-breasted Antpittas, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Black-bellied Hummingbird, White-bellied Mountain-Gem, and the endemic Dark Pewee and Cabanis's Ground Sparrow. Next, we visit several locations in the Caribbean Foothills and stay a couple of nights at Rancho Naturalista, one of Costa Rica's premier birding lodges. Rancho's gardens and grounds host some incredible hummingbirds including both Snowcap and Black-crested Coquette plus other specialty birds such as Tawny-chested Flycatcher and White-crowned Manakin. We then continue to the highlands near San Gerardo de Dota, and the lush cloud forests, year-round home to the Resplendent Quetzal, and the subalpine paramo (montane grassland) for a selection Talamanca mountain specialties. In this region quetzals are not only numerous but are often seen on the grounds of our lodge, the excellent and comfortable Savegre. Here we can expect yet more key hummingbirds from Fiery-throated, Volcano, and Scintillant Hummingbirds to Spangle-cheeked and Emerald Tanagers. We'll look for Long-tailed and Black-and-yellow Silky Flycatchers, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Yellow-winged Vireo, and Flame-throated Warbler in the areas around our lodge while up in the paramo we seek Timberline Wren, Volcano Junco, Peg-billed Finch, Wrenthrush, and many others. Finally, we finish on the Pacific slope, with a visit to the lowland forests of Carara National Park, where we hope to find the stunning Orange-collared Manakin, Fiery-billed Aracari, Streak-chested Antpitta, Baird's Trogon, the stunning Scarlet Macaw, and so much more. We also will enjoy a boat trip through the mangroves of the Tarcoles River, where we look for the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird plus Mangrove Vireo, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Boat-billed Heron and more.
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Sunbittern, Fiery-throated, Volcano, Talamanca, Black-bellied, Stripe-tailed, and Mangrove Hummingbirds, Snowcap, White-crested and Black-crested Coquettes, Scarlet Macaw, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Baird’s and Collared Trogon, Resplendent Quetzal, Red-headed Barbet, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Fiery-billed Aracari, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Ruddy Treerunner, Chiriqui, Buff-throated & Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaners; White-crowned, Red-capped, Blue-crowned, Orange-collared Manakins; Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Dark Pewee, Black-capped Flycatcher, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Spadebill, American Dipper, Black-throated Wren, Timberline Wren, Black-cheeked Warbler, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart, Flame-colored, Bay-headed, Spangle-cheeked, Speckled, Silver-throated, Tawny-crested Tanager, Ashy-throated Chlorospingus, Orange-billed Sparrow, Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow (E), Tawny-capped Euphonia, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Black-faced Grosbeak, Large-footed Finch, Peg-billed Finch, Yellow-thighed Brushfinch, Costa Rican Brushfinch, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Volcano Junco, Montezuma Oropendola, and many many more.