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Birding Tours of Costa Rica

Macaws Paradise       January 5th-19th, 2012      14 nights-15 days

Carara Nat. Park - Sarapiqui Lowlands-Laguna Lagarto Private Preserve - Arenal Volcano Nat. Park- Bosque de Paz Preserve

Why these destinations?

Macaws Paradise Birding Journey!

This journey has been created thinking on the beginner/ intermediate birder, those ones who would love to see a good number of birds within easy approach, without leaving behind the true search of bird watching exploration for rare and uncommon species.

Macaws Paradise Birding Journey is design to find some of the most appealing species; although our priority on this trip is to give you the opportunity to get pretty close to some of the most attractive birds on the planet such as Macaws, Toucans, Trogons, Manakins, Hummingbirds, Oropendulas, Tanagers & much more. Also with good possibilities to photograph many of them at close range.

Although good numbers are easily reachable ( as many as 400 species on previous tours ); the main goal is quality versus quantity, finding the same specie on several destinations is not always the case, the carefully chosen destinations will bring good numbers but over all a good look to the majority of them. Its natural history and secret life are among other important aspects shared by your guide.

Macaws Paradise Birding Journey was created to target two of the most threatened new world species such as Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws which numbers are greatly reduced in the past 40 years. With your important participation Costa Rica Birding Journeys will donated a percentage of its income to conservation efforts directly addressing the survival to some of these species and the preservation of its natural habitats

Day by day Itinerary:

Day 1. January 5. 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. January 6. Breakfast at the hotel, departure to Central Pacific Lowlands to Jaco Beach Area. Arenal Pacifico Hotel. Transfer to Jaco Beach Area, ( 1 1/2 hours ), along the road we will stop a small town in search of Black & White Owl, and pursuit our trip to active pasture fields in search for Gray, Roadside, Crane Hawks, also looking for White throated Magpie Jay, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Black headed Trogon and much more. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to your hotel check in and take a break until 2 p.m. Follow to a 3 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 are among the common groups of birds sighted, the boat tour main goal is to find the mangrove specialities such Mangrove Humminbird, Cuckoo, Vireo, Warbler, Rufous necked Woodrail, Panama & Scrub Flycatchers.
All meals included.

Day 3. January 7. . Breakfast on the go! “ Arenal Pacifico Hotel. The early bird catches the worm”, today we will visit one of the best birding sites in Central America, Carara nt. Park is a combination of ecosystems, that alouds 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. All meals included.

Day 4. January 8. Breakfast on the go! Arenal Pacifico Hotel. We are still going to visit the amazing Carara, but daily targets are going to be antpittas, tinamous, uncommon quaildoves, flycatchers, woodcreepers, becards and hopefully more than glimpse of Three Wattled Bellbird and King Vultures. 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, herons, egrets, lapwings, anis,ducks,that are not longer found at the national park due their habitats dissapearance etc.. All meals included.

Day 5. January 9. . Breakfast at the lodge and leisure departure to Sarapiqui Lowlands ( 3 hours ). 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, 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 6. January 10. All day at the morning at the lodge grounds. At Gavilan 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. All meals included.

Day 7. January 11.  . Early start to Tirimbina Rainforest Preserve. Gavilan Lodge. A most to visit for birders of all levels. A complex net of canopy bridges, forested trails & nearby rivers are some of the great habitats to explore. Great place for Black crested Coquette, Yellow eard Toucanet, Great Tinamou, Keel billed Motmot among other good birds. Lunch at a local restaurant follow to some resting time to continue birding after on several open fields for Snowy Cotingas, Aracaries and more. All meals included.

Day 8. January 12. Breakfast at the lodge, follow to departure to La Fortuna. Arenal Lodge. 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 9. January 13.   Full day birding at the hotel grounds. Arenal Lodge. Exploring its primary, secondary forests and its Macadamia nuts farm. 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 ) All meals included.

Day 10. January 14.Breakfast at the lodge and departure to Laguna Lagarto Lodge ( 2 1/2 hours ); perhaps the least explore birding area in the country and the best place to find the endangered Great Green Macaw, simply amazing views for toucans, aracaries, parrots, oropendulas, kingfishers, etc. Also a possibility to find one of the rare birds of Costa Rica Tawny faced Woodquail. All meals included.

Day 11. January 15... Full day at the lodge grounds, forests and lakes. Laguna Lagarto Lodge Today we will take a short kayak tour to find Agami Heron the most beautiful heron in the world!!! Also possible 5 species of kingfishers including American Pygmy Kingfisher. The rest of the journeys we will spend it searching for woodcreepers, antbirds and some other forest specialities as Olive backed Woodquail. All meals included.

Day 12. January 16.. Breakfast at the lodge, follow to departure to Bajos del Toro’s town. Bosque de Paz Lodge. 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 to explore, 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. All meals included.

Day 13. January 17. .Full day birding at the hotel grounds. Bosque de Paz Lodge. Exploring its primary, secondary forests and a short drive to the highest point of the area in search of Black Hawk Eagle, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Solitary Eagle, Great Black Hawk and several other great raptors. The rest of the day visit some local spots for new species and forested trails within the lodge property. All meals included

Day 14. January 18. .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. After exploring the forest trails and hummingbird gardens we will return to the lodge for more forest birds. All meals included.

Day 15. January 19. .Relax breakfast and good bye paradise, transfer to the international airport!! Breakfast Included.

Why to book with us?

If you are planning to visit our country, the answer is simple.

We are dedicated Costa Rican birders, we were raised with these birds as little kids in our gardens, rivers and forests. The understanding of its natural life has become part of our daily living, before as simply observers, today as professional birders & ornithologist seeking for new information, exciting new discoveries and more importantly committed to save them by contributing with important methods of preservation and by sharing with you their uncover beauty.

CRBJ pro-birders in the past years has added very important new discoveries to science and the natural history of Costa Rican avifauna. We had found several new nests, new distribution range for species never registered before and many other important aspects of the secret life of birds. Proudly, some of our most recent findings have been posted by very important sites such as www.birdsofcostarica.org & soon we will be adding more...

Our desire to share Costa Rican birds with you can only be matched to our desire to go birding ourselves, we will be as excited to find the birds as much as you are.

Very Important, when we mean small groups, we do not refer to 10 participants or plus. Unlike other “birding” companies CRBJ will not exceed more than 6 participants per group.

" If the bird matters, quality matters"
meaning pro birder, destination, comfort, breath taking settings


Price per participant
4 pax with 4x4 $2550 ( double accommodation )
5 pax with minivan + plus driver $2650 ( double accommodation )
6 pax with minivan + plus driver $2500 ( double accommodation )
**Single supplement add $300 u.s**

  1. All lodging
  2. All meals except arrival day.
  3. All ground transportation
  4. All park fees
  5. Mangrove Boat Tour
  6. Pro-birder guiding the entire trip
  7. Costa Rica Bird Check lists

Non included                                                                      

  1. Airfare
  2. Gratuities
  3. Travel Insurance
  4. Alcoholic drinks


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*Photography by Randall Ortega ©2007.