Costa Rica 2018: A Tropical Wonderland!

January 13 - 28, 2018
Tour Length: 14 days Est. Spaces Left: 4

Costa Rica remains the classic Central American birding destination, packing a diverse avifauna (more than 800 species) into a country smaller than the state of West Virginia. Add to that friendly people, great food, ever changing vistas, and comfortable accommodations and it quickly becomes obvious why many visitors return year after year.

TOUR OVERVIEW

Extensions:
No Tour Extensions Listed.
Future Departures:
January 13, 2018
Tour Leaders:
Max # Birders:
8 (1 HLBT, 1 local leader)
Focus:
Birds; Mammals; Photography;
Pace:
Easy to Moderate ; Relaxed with comfortable accommodations, two longer drives, and moderate walks.
Double Accommodation:
$ 4600
[per person]
Single Supplement:
+ $ 675
Deposit:
$500 [per person]

This tour will explore the best Costa Rica has on offer in terms of birds and landscapes, starting in the steaming lowlands and foothills of the Caribbean slope, before moving to the diverse and geologically active Arenal Volcano area. The bird diversity here and the active lava flows will be one of the highlights of the trip. Heading north the tour will visit the vast wetlands of Cano Negro which are best explored by boat, offering leisurely birding and unsurpassed photographic opportunities.

From Cano Negro a short transfer returns us to the steaming Caribbean lowlands, which in Costa Rica still harbor extensive stretches of primary forest, especially in the large La Selva reserve and nearby foothills. We will bird here for two productive days. After thoroughly birding the Caribbean slope a transfer to the Pacific slope and the world-famous Carara National Park will offer a completely new set of birds with many near-endemic species reaching their northern range limits here. Another boat tour here on the Rio Tarcoles will add many water birds and crocodiles.

During a short but productive morning we will explore the relatively arid area of Guanacaste which holds several bird specialties that are restricted to the northwestern corner of Costa Rica, before climbing into the cloud forest at 12,000 feet in the Cordillera Central for a final two days and a grand finish with one of the country’s most beautiful and emblematic birds, the Resplendent Quetzal.

In summary, the Caribbean slope will overwhelm with the high diversity of tanagers, antbirds, and typical neotropical birds like toucans and trogons, among the cooler highlands we will search for some of Costa Rica’s most famous birds, including the breathtaking Three-wattled Bellbird.

This tour offers the perfect cross section of this diverse and beautiful country and in addition to a great introduction to Neotropical birding also offers chances to see many of the regional endemics (with more than two dozen species shared only with Panama). We will also encounter a fine selection of neotropical mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

There is of course more to Costa Rica than the multitude of birds and we make sure we take in as much in terms of landscapes as possibly as we travel from remote wetlands, to active volcanoes, through magical cloud forest, and into pristine lowland rainforest.

MORE TRIP INFORMATION

  • Meeting Location

    San Jose, Costa Rica

    Accomodations

    Comfortable with private baths

    Included

    Excluded

  • Top Birds

    Top Mammals
    Habitats Covered
    Expected Climate
  • Other Attractions
    Suggested Clothing & Gear
    • Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
    • Credit cards / cash
    • Binoculars
    • Scope and tripod (optional)
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen
    • Water bottle
    • Small umbrella
    • Small day pack / fanny pack
    • Small flashlight
    • Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
    • Itch relief cream
    • Lip screen/balm
    • Prescription drugs - carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
    • OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
    • Toiletries
    • Hair Dryer
    • Small alarm clock
    • Field guides
    • Hiking Boots/Shoes
    • Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals
    • Light-weight long pants
    • Light-weight long-sleeved shirts
    • Hat with brim/visor
    • Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
    • Rain jacket/wind breaker
    • Shorts
    • T-shirts
    • Swimsuit
    • Rain hat
    • PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping
    • Moleskin for blisters
    Recommended Reading
    • A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica by F. Gary Stiles, Alexander F. Skutch


    • A Neotropical Companion (second edition)

      John Kricher (1997)
      Princeton University Press

     


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