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Birding Tours of Costa Rica

The Amazing South       June 1-11-2012     10 nights-11 days

Destinations:
 San Vito-Cotobrus, Osa Peninsula & Cerro de la Muerte.

 Why these destinations?

San Vito-Cotobrus: Also known as Las Cruses Biological Station at Wilson Botanical Gardens is private rainforest of 266 ha; and with the amazing number of 400 species of birds. Located on the little visited town of San Vito this marvelous destination is all what bird & nature lovers ever dream of. Lush gardens, riparian forest, primary dense forested trails within steps from your cabins and with fantastic species to target such as Marble Woodquail, Charming Hummingbird, Turquoise Cotinga, Three wattled Bellbird, Fiery billed Aracari & the wonderful Rosy Thrush Ant-Tanager many, many more...

Piedras Blanca’s Rainforest:  Located at the small community of La Gamba, Esquinas Rainforest has been an icon on sustainable tourism. Employing local people and conserving its natural habitats, this piece of paradise is a dream becoming true for birdseekers. Trogons, hummingbirds, flycatchers, potoos, woodcreepers, tanagers, toucans are just plentiful everywhere. On its trails, rivers, pasture fields new species are found daily. A marvelous destination for target birds such as manakins, aracaries, cotingas, etc...

Talamanaca Mountains there is not destination in Costa Rica more fulfilling for endemic birds, although the number of species in the highlands in the country are far less than rainforest lowlands, the exceptional number of endemics far exceeds those ones in areas as Corcovado National Park or La Selva. Hummingbirds, flycatchers, vireos, trogons, wrens, are some the families that had been isolated for millions of years; creating specialization of species therefore endemics. Among some of the most beautiful birds are found the Resplendent Quetzal and perhaps the only place in which can be found all year round. Giant oaks, misty mornings and crispy air are many of the wonderful things that makes this destination a favorite among us.... Birders!

DAYS 1 - 7 San Jose, San Vito, Golfito-La Gamba.

Day 1. June 1 . Arrival to Costa Rica, Overnight at Hotel Las Orquideas Inn. No meals included. Pick up transfer and information meeting. Today, CRBJ staff will describe the day by day activities, the destinations, possible bird sightings, what to wear by destination and all other general information regarding the trip.

Day 2. June 2. Las Cruces Biological Station. Early breakfast and departure via local airline to Golfito’s town in Osa Peninsula to Golfito’s Town; drive to San Vito’s area stop along the way in search of Crested Oropendula, Blue headed Parrot, Pearl Kite, Mouse colored Flycatcher among many others, the drive to San Vito will lead us to 1500 meters from sea level, climatic conditions may vary and the exuberant rainforest will take over, the rest of the day botanical garden birding. All meals included.

Day 3. June 3. Las Cruces Biological Station. Hotel grounds birding before breakfast, following to exploration of short and long loop trails that will allow us to explore the secondary forest that surrounds the Wilson Botanical Garden. This area had been completely cleared when the Wilsons first started the Garden in the early 1960s. The forest has recovered over the last 40 years, and we might see aracaries, forest flycatchers, antbirds, woodcreepers, manakins, etc  After lunch we will explore more forested trails. All meals included.

Day 4. June 4. Las Cruces Biological Station. Early breakfast and straight to Rio Java trail.The trail begins past the bamboo gate and takes you through a picturesque section of secondary forest, crossing a number of small creeks along the way. It is a well-maintained trail but only people in good physical condition should hike it. Bamboo walking sticks and rubber boots are available upon request.  All meals included.

Day 5. June 5. Esquinas Lodge.  Breakfast and on the road to Piedra Blanca National Park.Upon arrival we are going to take a short drive to Esquinas Lodge and let the journey begin. Exploring gardens, adjacent forest patches are always rewarding, more likely to encounter trogons, wren, toucans, raptors, hummingbirds and even motmots. All day at the hotel forests. All meals included.

Day 6. June 6. Esquinas Lodge. Early rising, search for antbirds, leaftossers, woodcreepers return for breakfast and spend all day birding at the lodge grounds and nearby trails. Night search for Potoos, owls and paraques. All meals included.

Day 7. June 7. Esquinas Lodge. Get up with the sounds of the forest, birdwatch on forest trails in search for Black cheeked Ant-tanager a south pacific endemic of Costa Rica. After a delicious breakfast take a short walk along the roadside for more open field species such as hawks, falcons, seedaters, endemic woodpeckers, etc. After a well deserve lunch, we will drive to Golfito’s town for a mangrove boat tour at Coto’s river todays highlights are mangrove specialties as American Pygmy Kingfisher, Mangrove Hummingbird, Scrub Flycatcher, Yellow billed Cotinga, and even a rare Rufous necked Woodrail. All meals included.

DAYS 8-11 Talamanca Mountains- Savegre Valley & Cerro de la Muerte.

Day 8. June 8. Early departure to the Savegre Valley by land birding along the road for raptors, seedaters and woodpeckers; once in the highlands at 9000 ft, the number of endemics such as Timberline Wren, Junco Volcano, Volcano Hummingbird, Flame throated Warbler, are our new targets at the Paramo forest. Upon arrival lunch and garden birding. All meals included

Day 9. June 9. Birding before breakfast. In Search of Resplendent Quetzal. Savegre Lodge.
Early birding in search for always elusive Zeledonia, Tapaculo and Resplendent Quetzal. All day birding at the lodge grounds roadsides, gardens and river edges. All meals included.
Day 10. June 10. Birding after breakfast to oak forest, were dozens of birds are found in the dense understory or high in the canopy. Redstars, silky flycatchers, woodcreepers, woodquails, becards and some eagles are among others to search for. In the late afternoon we will visit several local spots for endemic warblers, wrens, hummers and nightjars.

Day 11. June 11. Relax breakfast and good bye paradise, transfer to the international airport!! Breakfast Included

Price per participant
 6 pax $2550 ( double accommodation )
**Single supplement add $250 u.s**
Included
All lodging
All meals except arrival day.
All ground transportation
Local airflight
All park fees
All activities
Pro-birder guiding the entire trip
Costa Rica Bird Check lists
Non included                                                                      
Airfare
Gratuities
Travel Insurance
Alcoholic drinks
Optional hot spring visit

What to bring on your trip to Costa Rica

Clothing
Tennis shoes with good traction or Hiking boots with good ankle support (waterproof)
Comfortable sandals or flip flops
Swim wear
Underclothes and socks
Neutral colored clothing for rain forest hikes
Several cool long sleeve shirts and short sleeve shirts
Hat for sun protection (breathable)
2-3 pairs of light weight long pants for rain forest hikes
Lightweight rain jacket (neutral color only)
Casual beach clothing(t-shirts, shorts, sun dresses)
Long pants and a fast drying sweater for the city/mountains (temp. are cooler there)
Lightweight gloves for cooler areas
Rubber boots can be bought in Costa Rica for $12 us.

Gear
Small hiking backpack for day trips
Small first aid kit
Binoculars
Camera (optional)
Sunglasses
Sun block and Bug Spray (Avon’s Skin So Soft)
Several pencils
Daily journal
A passport purse (to carry money, credit cards, etc... wear it close to your body)
Any needed medications, anti-diarrhea, or any prescriptions
Flashlight
Alarm Clock
Money,credit cards, identification
About $50-200 in cash (not tears in bills, small bills are better)
Travelers checks (American Express or Visa)(can exchange some of them for Colones at the the local banks or hotel front desk)
Visa credit card widely accepted in Costa Rica, except rural towns(keep phone number of credit card company separate.)
Passports
Photo copies of passports and driver’s license(kept in a separate place) IUse a credit card to call US from your hotel room or local phone.
For local calls in Costa Rica, purchase a phone card at pharmacies or supermarkets-use public phones (1000 colones)
You can also purchase a phone card here for international calls ($9 for 12 minutes to US)

 

 
 
 
 
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*Photography by Randall Ortega 2007.