Birding tours 2015
Concept: Chose up to 3 destinations base on their bird list.
Sarapiqui is a real rainforest experience with vast areas to cover, primary rainforest, active and non active pasture fields, river edges, canopy bridges, thick understory, etc. Cotingas, macaws, oropendulas, guans, eagles, toucans are some of the many species to find. At Gavilan Lodge daily birds to spot are Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Jacamars, Tanagers, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Tityras, etc. Botanical gardens nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always bring good surprises as Little Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and much more. The Braulio Carrillo National Park is a real rainforest experience with the largest mixed flocks ever including favorites such as Sharpbills and Umbrellabirds.
Great green Macaw, Nicaraguan SeedFinch, Green Ibis, Snowy Cotinga, Slaty breasted Tinamou, Shinny Cowbird, White collared Manakin, Great Potoo, Bare necked Umbrellabird, Sharpbill, Blue and gold Tanager, Short tailed Nighthawk, Spectacle Owl.
Day 1. Gavilan Lodge.Traveling to the Braulio Carrillo is breath taken, its 95% of the forests has never been altered by human hands, dozens of small waterfalls, evergreen vegetation makes this little piece of jungle one of the best places in Costa Rica to visit. More than 350 species had even recorded within the park area & adjacent villages. Our first visit is a local’s farm in search for Spectacle Owl, Long tailed Tyrant, Great Potoo, White throated Crake and the least goes on!! Lunch on a nearby restaurant and visit the national park to try to find Sharpbill, aracaries, mix flocks of tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, barbets, woodquails, rare wrens, etc. All meals included.
Day 2. Gavilan Lodge. Birding all day at the lodge grounds. At the lodge, the nearby riparian forests holds a good biodiversity of birds, such as Sunbittern, Green Ibis, Bright rumped Atila, Fasciated Antshrike, Rufous tailed Jacamar to mention few. We will also visit couple local spots for guans, toucans and more.
Day 3. Gavilan Lodge. Visit to the world known La Selva Biological Station, whom is some of the best birding in the area with large forested it areas combined with secondary vegetation and gardens. Dozen of birds are found upon arrival, guans, tanagers, motmots, toucans, becards, euphonias, etc. Several hours at La Selva and continue to explore close by grounds for Great Green Macaw, Bat Falcon, etc.
Arenal Volcano Area is well known for its active summit, but little is talk about its great bird diversity and its beautiful rainforest. Coming across Quail doves, mix flocks, soaring eagles, elusive antpittas are just another day in paradise. Bordering forest edges by the lake is very successful, the complex vegetation of many different ages makes this piece of Costa Rica a must to visit for birdwatchers. Great Currasows in the middle of the paths, active Black throated Wrens on tangled vines, silently perched raptors on expose death tree trunks, hyperactive Coquettes going from flower to flower are just part of a daily birding.
Scaly breasted Wren, Black crested Coquette, Thicket Antpitta, Ornated Hawk Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Three wattled Bellbird, Fasciated Tiger Heron, Keel billed Motmot, White fronted Nunbird, Brown capped Tyrannuelt, Long tailed Tyrant, Black headed Nightingale Thrush.
Day 1. Arenal Observatory Lodge. Breakfast at the lodge, follow to departure to La Fortuna. Upon arrival we are going to explore the hotel grounds, for a good number of honeycreepers, tanagers, oropendulas, some hummingbirds and many other forest birds such as trogons, pygmy tyrants on the hotel private preserve. The remaining part of the afternoon we will take a drive to the Arenal Lake area in hopes to find guans, parrots, motmots, toucans, etc. All meals included.
Day 2. Arenal Observatory Lodge. Birding all day at the hotel grounds.
Exploring its private 600 hectares of primary, secondary forests with unlimited possibilities and good chance for Bare necked Umbrellabird. The hotel is place in front of the most active volcano in Central America its views are majestic and unrivaled. Upon request a visit to Baldi Hot Springs (non included)
Day 3. Arenal Observatory Lodge. Early birding to the forest nearby the Arenal lake which ist mostly secondary forest where a good combination of micro habitats increase the birding possibilities such as Long tailed Tyrant, Broad billed Motmot, Crested Guan, Keel billed Toucan, White Hawk, Thicket Antpitta, and maybe Ornated Hawk Eagle.
Carara National Park is by far one the best birding place all year round in Costa Rica.Within the national park protects the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws, easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges. There are very few places in the country where more than hundred species can be found in one trail. Meandrica’s trail it has become an icon for quality birding, tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, antshrikes are among the most common birds in the forest. The nearby forested edges give as a good number of open field birds, jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, owls are among many of the avifauna found in these habitats. The mangroves at Rio Grande de Tarcoles are very rewarding on a good day along the river edges 5 species of kingfishers can be spotted, more than a couple dozens of shorebirds, herons, egrets are also easy to find but the most remarkable species are the ones with a restricted range or to the mangroves such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, the elusive Rufous necked woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic Mangrove Hummingbird.
Scarlet Macaws, Orange collared Manakin, Fiery billed Aracari, Baird’s Trogon, Riverside Wren, Crane Hawk, Red breasted Blackbird, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Hummingbird, Scrub Greenlet, Cherrie’s Tanager, Great Tinamou, Northern Royal Flycatcher.
Day 1. South Beach Hotel. 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. South Beach Hotel. Breakfast at local restaurant after a boat trip to the mangroves.Travel a for half hour to birdwatch about 3 hour boat tour to Tarcoles River Mangroves in which a combination of deforested areas, river edges, mangrove forest and river mouths are impressive. Herons, egrets, vireos, hummingbirds, frigatebirds, shore birds, waders, cuckoos, macaws, parrots, hawks, also looking for White throated Magpie Jay, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Black headed Trogon and much more are among the common groups of birds sighted; although the boat tour main goal is to find the mangrove specialities such Mangrove Hummingbird, Cuckoo, Vireo, Warbler, Rufous necked Woodrail, Panama & Scrub Flycatchers & American Pygmy Kingfisher. On the afternoon we will visit open farm lands, forest patches, river edges and more pasture fields; the goal here is to find seedaters, raptors, parakeets, flycatchers, lapwings, anis,ducks, species that are not longer found at the national park due their habitats disappearance.
Day 3. South Beach Hotel. Breakfast on the go! “The early bird catches the worm”, today we will visit one of the best birding sites in Central America, Carara National Park is a combination of ecosystems, that aloud an amazing number of endemics, birds with restricted ranges and many other beauties with more than 400 species recorded antbirds, macaws, hummingbirds, euphonias, tanagers, flycatchers, cotingas, wrens, manakins and dozen more families are daily sightings. All day at the park, lunch at a local restaurant & dinner at Jaco Beach town.
Bosque de Paz if your idea of birding is endless trails opportunities, un-crowded forests, great food, breath taking vegetation, appealing lodging and over 350 species to target! Then, Bosque de Paz is your Costa Rica gateway. Or if your idea of birding is to watch hummingbirds everywhere, friendly trogons, singing wrens, rapid endemic jays, and the adore beauty of Resplendent Quetzals! Bosque de Paz is your destination.
Gray breasted Woodwren, Collared Trogon, Red headed Barbet, Magenta throated Woodstar, Streak breasted Treehunter, American Dipper, Solitary Eagle, Rufous Motmot, Azure hooded Jay, Golden bellied Flycatcher, Highland Tinamou, Silvery fronted Tapaculo
Day 1. Bosque de Paz Lodge.
Breakfast at the lodge, follow to departure to Bajos del Toro’s town. Early birding, breakfast and lets go to the “Forest of Peace”, fantastic destination for hummingbird lovers, quetzal seekers and much more. The lodge has dozen of trail systems for exploring its avian biodiversity, we will spend all day at the lodge grounds. Bosque de Paz is an amazing place to find highland endemics such Azure hooded Jay, Prong billed Barbet, Gray breasted Woodwren, etc.
Day 2. Bosque de Paz Lodge.
Early birding at the forest trails. Bosque de Paz Lodge.
Looking for Resplendent Quetzal, Red headed barbet, leaftossers, woodhunters, woodcreepers , highland tinamous, etc. After a well deserved breakfast we will travel few minutes down the road to another great hummingbird garden at Bajos del Toro’s waterfall some other great birds are found such as Prevost’s Ground Sparrow, Purplish backed Quaildove, Long tailed Silky flycatcher, etc.. After exploring the forest trails and hummingbird gardens we will return to the lodge for lunch more forest birds. All meals included.
Day 3. Bosque de Paz Lodge.
Explore the nearby forest trails where Highland Tinamou, Purplish backed Quail Dove, Spotted Barbtail, Streak Woodhunter and many more species that inhabit the understory and dark canopies. After breakfast we will take a short drive and target raptors such as Great Black Hawk and Solitary Eagles from the upper valley views over seen Poas & Barva Volcanoes. After lunch birding on the surrounding forest edges for Gray breasted Wood Wren, Silvery fronted Tapaculo, Redstars, 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 among many of the wonderful things that make this destination a favorite among us.... Birders!
Spotted Woodquail, Resplendet Quetzal, Silvery throated Jay, Sulphur winged Parakeet, Dusky nightjar, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Buffy Tuftedcheck, Flame throated Warbler, Blue throated Toucanet, Maroon chested ground Dove, Fiery throated Hummingbird
Day 1. Savegre Lodge or Paraiso del Quetzal. Early departure to the Savegre Valley; birding along the road for endemics such as Timberline Wren, Junco Volcano, Volcano Hummingbird, Flame throated Warbler, etc.. Upon arrival lunch and garden birding. All meals included
Day 2. Savegre Lodge or Paraiso del Quetzal. Birding before breakfast. In Search of Resplendent Quetzal.
Early birding in search for always elusive Zeledonia, Tapaculo and Resplendent Quetzal. All day birding at the lodge grounds roadsides, gardens and riveredges. All meals included.
Day 3. Savegre Lodge or Paraiso del Quetzal. 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.
Hacienda Solimar or Ensenada private preserve area in which thousands of birds inhabit during the migration from the north, also a fabulous place to find dry tropical forest specialities such as Thicket Tinamou, Long tailed Manakin, Lesser ground Cuckoo, and the rare Jabiru stork. The areas is a seasonal flooded flatlands with semi deciduos forest evergreen riparian vegetation, small shrubs and bushes are a great combination for birding possibilities. Adjacent to mud flats, mangrove forest and coastline these destinations are just to rave for it. Its birding simply rewarding with species such as Jabiru, dozens of ducks all herons species, kingfishers, frigatebirds, dozens of migratory species such as turnstones, sandpipers, skimmers, willets, spoonbills are rather common.
Day 1. Upon arrival exploration of the local spots, lunch at the lodge follow to a relax time until 3:30 pm for more birding on the nearby forests.
Day 2. Birding with sunrise; visit the local swamps, marshes, forest before and after breakfast. Due the high temperatures during 11 am to 1 pm we strongly suggest to take some resting time and continue birding after 3 pm.
Day 3. Early birding give us the best results, today we will search Collared Forest Falcon on the nearby forest, along with Yellow naped Parrots, Long tailed Manakin, Spectacle Owl, Lesser Ground Cuckoo before a well deserve breakfast. After it, we will explore adjacent marshes for limpkins, hawks, sparrows, seedaters, etc. Lunch and drive to Abangares River Mouth for long legged birds, kingfisher, and northamerican migrants.
Tenorio Rainforest among one of the best places to go birding in the country and definitely the best canopy birdwatching, with net of suspended tree top bridges this rainforest its an impressive destination for birders. Some of the best highlights are Tody Motmot, Bare necked Umbrellabird, Rufous ground Vented Cuckoo, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Yellow eared Toucanet and few hundred more species.
Day 1. Celeste Mountain Lodge or Heliconias Lodge. A long journey await us, breakfast at the lodge and departure to the northern Guanacaste rainforest, the only places in which the canopy is just a step away. Heliconias Lodge has several suspended bridges, easy trails and tons of rainforest to explore for Nunbirds, Tinamous, Motmots, owls, woodpeckers. All day birding at the lodge grounds.
Day 2. Celeste Mountain Lodge or Heliconias Lodge. A full day for exploring the lodge grounds its private reserve and adjacent cattle farms. The lodge offers a good diversity on tanagers, euphonias, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many others.
Day 3. Celeste Mountain Lodge or Heliconias Lodge. Early birding at Heliconias Lodge private preserve.
Our targets today are going to be army ant swarms, and some open forest birds as woodpeckers, tanagers, flycatchers and 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.
Black check Tanager, Charming Hummingbird, Little Tinamou, Riverside Wren, Baird’s Trogon, Ruddy woodcreeper, Yellow bellied Seedater, Uniform Crake, Great Currasow, Brown throated Parakeet, Savanna Hawk, Golden naped Woodpecker
Day 1. 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.
Day 2. 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 hike for potoos, owls and paraques.
Day 3. 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.
Osa Peninsula like no place on earth! Among the most amazing birding anywhere, more than 380 species are recorded, whom many are endemic, the last pristine lowland rainforest of Central America, thousands of hectares to birdwatch to, mangroves, old pasture fields, giant canopy primary forest. Bosque del Rio Tigre Rainforest is one of the best birding destinations in the area, commonly White crested Coquettes, Uniform Crake, Yellow billed Cotinga, Ornated Hawk Eagle, Black checked Ant Tanager, Red throated Caracaras, are found within an easy reach of the lodge and surroundings. If you imagine yourselves hiking but unlimited birding on serene environment and lush tropical forest, then you were thinking of Bosque del Rio Tigre.
Day 1. Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge. Travel morning to Osa Peninsula to Rincon Area; where our rustic lodge and its great meals await for us, birding along the road side for raptors, doves, parrots, seedaters, flycatchers, etc. Upon arrival lunch will welcome us follow of leisure time to relax, take a little siesta and meet back for garden birding around 3 p.m. until dark. Dinning and night birding.
Day 2. Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge. Early birding, hummingbirds, tinamous, trogons, leaftossers are among the first ones to come out, trogons, flycatchers, wood quails are also on this the target birds, breakfast after birding and then visit some road sides and paths for more good species. Return to the lodge for lunch take a short break and lets get back on birding for Cotingas, Aracaries, Woodcreepers and much more.
Day 3. Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge. Today, we will focus on targets that we had yet not found, we will also hike on dense forest for Puffbirds, Marble Wood Quail, Ruddy Woodcreeper, Rufous winged Woodpecker, Bran colored Flycatcher, the elusive Scaly breasted Wren to mention few.
Tortuguero National Park has been for decades a conservation icon in Costa Rica, timing with wildlife literality hanging from the trees among these wildlife birds are some of the most attractive sightings. The forest edges and its huge canopy host more than 300 species of birds ranging from Tiger Herons to the recent rediscover of Harpy Eagle, waters sloughs, canals, creeks, rivers and one of the best rainforest of Central America makes this destination a birders dream.
Green and rufous Kingfisher, Rufescent tiger Heron, Harpy Eagle, Sungrebe, Gray headed Piprites, Black headed Today Flycatcher, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Agami Heron, Great Green Macaw,
Day 1. Upon arrival explore local canals for Rufescent Tiger Heron, Purple throated Fruitcrow, Oropendulas, Aracaries, Parrots, etc. On the afternoon we will explore other local waterways in search for Sungrebes, Green & Rufous Kingfisher, Agami Heron, the rare Lattice tailed Trogon, etc.
Day 2. Early birding back to the canals before breakfast, after 3 hour boat ride we will explore the local gardens for open field birds such as trogons, flycatchers, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, parakeets, etc. On the afternoon we will keep searching for missing targets and also for the biggest hope of the tour its Harpy Eagle (which was recently photographed).
Day 3. Before sunlight our journey continues to search for the re discover of the Harpy Eagle, via boat we will submerge into the jungles of Tortuguero, the vast forest and the calm waters makes this destination a breath taking environment, as the sunlight shines the greens and golden bright up every corner of the forest… Birds suddenly appear to get that first morning light and expose themselves at the river edges. The full day will be a combination between boat rides and hikes in the nearby forests.
Pejibaye’s mid elevation rainforest is without doubts the best birding place in Costa Rica, it lies beneath the caribbean slope of Talamanca Mountains near Tapanti National Park, its unique geographical position benefits the area with an exuberant forest cover, intermountain valleys, river gorges and more importantly very little human presence. The lower forest near the lodge is a magnet for tanagers, orioles, shrike vireos, oropendulas, toucans, hummingbirds, etc. Its understory with an even vegetation is fantastic for manakins, spinetails, finches, wrens, sparrows and even tinamous. In a single mixed flock over 30 species are found songwrens, antthushes, antpittas are common on the understory darkness, meanwhile grosbeaks,17 species of tanagers, woodcreepers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, also the not often found yellow ear toucanets glide from branch to branch in the forest canopy. Pejibaye’s Rainforest is the best place to find Snowcaps anywhere!! The charm of the hotel staff and the unrivaled privacy of this lodge make a supreme combination for birdwatching.
Ashy throated Bush Tanager, Rufous browed Tyrannulet, Snowcap, Northern Schiffornis, Lovely Cotinga, Song Wren, Black headed Anthrush, Grey headed Kite, Brown billed Scythebill, White crowned Manakin, Yellow eared Toucanet, Tawny faced Gnatwren
Day 1. Copal Lodge. Leisurely take a breakfast pack and get ready to intense birding at Pejibaye’s Rainforest, birding along roadside, farms, cattle fields, etc. Once at the lodge explore the surrounding forests, birdwatch on site. Around the lodge in the mid of the day large eagles and other raptors are present, mixed flocks are very abundant and near the lodge forests, snowcaps, spinetalis, forest sparrows are also spotted. All meals included.
Day 2. Copal Lodge. Early rising, search for antbirds, leaftossers, woodcreepers return for breakfast and spend all day birding at the lodge grounds and nearby trails.The small loop trails at the Copal are very rewarding, insect eating birds such as Song Wrens, Tawny faced Gnatwrens, Brown billed Scythebills, Schiffornis and many others are some of the most active, its dense forest also is very good for rarities like Highland Tinamou, Yellow eared Toucanet and Lovely Cotinga, which in fact its the best month to find it.
Day 3. Copal Lodge. Get up with the sounds of the forest, birdwatch from the lodge deck, breakfast & continue searching for birds inside the forest since the list its large we will concentrated on species not found the previous days and also better looks to some of the pretty tanagers like Emerald Tanager, Black and Yellow and Rufous winged. All meals included.
Tapanti National Park because of its geographical position this national park is effect it by constant cloud formation the forest is lush rich in epiphytic plants, mosses, orchids and a dense understory. This environment encloses an incredible number of biodiversity and a fabulous number of over 320 species of birds. Antpittas, hummingbirds, finches, woodquails, tanagers, euphonias, eagles, trogons, owls are common families represented here. With a large main trail bordering both secondary & primary forest; Tapanti is a place for those birders whom are looking for a challenge and finding those elusive ones such as Sharpbills, Monklets, Antpittas, Woodquails, Quaildoves and a soaring eagles or two. One of the most amazing characteristics of the national park are its mixed flocks which will arrive at any give moment and a good couple of dozens of species will be sighted.
Lanceolated Monklet, Azure hooded Jay, Scaled Antpitta, Prong billed Barbet, Black Guan, Ornated Hawk Eagle, Lance billed Hummingbird, Ruddy Treerunner, Chiriqui Quail Dove, White throated Robin, Black and White Becard, White throated Spadebill
Day 1. Kiri Lodge. Travel to the Orosi’s valley largely cover by coffee farms, active pasture fields, and rivers. Tons of habitats for hundreds of bird species, such as orioles, spinetails, flycatchers, raptors, nightingales, wrens, etc. Birding along the road with several stops. Upon arrival to the lodge a well deserve lunch and some resting time. The rest of the day we will visit disturbed habitats.
Day 2. Kiri Lodge. Birding before breakfast.
Today, we will be birding before the sun shines, finding Antpittas it will require a little sacrifice. Birding inside the national park for antpittas, woodquails, woodcreepers, tinamous, and mixed flocks. All day birding at the park trails.
Day 3. Kiri Lodge. Breakfast to go, early birding at the forest trails, Tapanti is full of surprises, there are few places in Costa Rica where you might get to be all by yourselves birding. Species as Green fronted Lancebill, Prong billed Barbet, Highland Tinamou, Azure hooded Jay, Golden bellied Flycatcher and many opportunities to find mixed flocks are many on daily basis. All day at the park trails searching for tanagers, oropendulas, owls, euphonias, etc.