Bird watching in Costa Rica is one of the most common activities for tourists. In fact, Costa Rica is in the top 5 places for bird watching in the world, mainly due to the high biodiversity and the accessibility of the best birding spots and birding destinations. Travel with Elemento Natural and discover our wildlife, especially our bird species, resident, endemic or migratory, in this birding tour that will take you to the highlands, rain forest of the Pacific, of the Caribbean, dry forest, and mangroves of the country.
Bilingual Tour Guide
Our guide will meet you at the port and welcomes you. He will give you a little briefing, while escorting you to the hotel, and help you check-in. You will also enjoy a welcome dinner at night. With your bird guide in hand, get ready for our best birding travel package
Night: San José
Twenty minutes after leaving San José towards the Caribbean lowlands, you will drive into the Braulio Carrillo National Park, one of the largest and most diverse parks in the country. After approximately 30 minutes, you will descend into the lowlands, and you’ll be able to see the transition between the Cloud and the Rain Forest
Breakfast will be taken in a restaurant on the way
At mid morning you’ll arrive to the port where you’ll get on a river boat. Your vacation begins in Tortuguero, as today’s destination is the north coast with the fascinating canals of the Tortuguero National Park, considered the Costa Rican Amazon. Your boat will take you up to this national park, with its extensive system of canals, and to the lodge where you will spend the night
Your guide will give you detailed explanations of this complex Eco-system. Miles of untouched Caribbean beaches also offer the opportunity to see (when in season) the green sea turtle nesting, the world’s second largest sea turtle
You will visit the little town of Tortuguero and the museum of the green turtle, during the afternoon
Another full day to explore the Tortuguero area: a floating trip on the canals is a great opportunity to see a big variety of birds, reptiles, monkeys, and butterflies. some of the emblematic bird species you will find here are the green ibis, the mottled owl, the black hawk-eagle, the agami heron, the montezuma oropendola, the white hawk or the keel-billed toucan, just to name a few.
When in season there is an optional night tour to see the green turtle laying eggs on the beach
As your birding journey continues, you will transfer today to the northern plains of Costa Rica! You will arrive at your eco-lodge early in the afternoon; it offers you 1250 Acres (500 Hectares) of virgin tropical rainforest with an incredible variety of fauna and flora.
However you will make a stop in Sarapiquí for a bird watching hike at Selva Verde: toucans, great green macaws, wood thrushes, grey-necked wood rails, sun bitterns, the rufous motmot and violet crowned woodnymphs are just a few of the birds that inhabit the Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve
Night: Boca Tapada
Although it will be hard to leave the breakfast area, because of the continuous traffic of toucans, honeycreepers, aracaris, curassows…all watchable from just a few feet away, you will eventually walk the trails of the hotel to search for more birds or other wildlife that is abundant in the rainforest and the river close to the lodge.
You could even decide to jump in the boat for a very nice ride on the river to watch crocs and other aquatic wildlife! Over 350 bird species have been counted in this area
Night: Boca Tapada
Transfer day to Upala and Río Celeste, on the outskirts of Tenorio National Park! Enjoy the scenery as you travel through Costa Rica!
Night: Río Celeste
After breakfast, you will hike Tenorio Volcano National Park, best known for the beautiful Río Celeste, whose light blue waters are caused by the emanation of sulfur and the precipitation of calcium carbonates.
Primary cloud forest and rainforest covers the park, which abounds with flora and fauna species in multiple life zones, many rivers, waterfalls and thermal hot springs. In the park you can explore all the natural attractions in a 2.6km hike, and of course seek for all those birds that live in the park, since this is another one of the best bird watching trips in Costa Rica
Night: Río Celeste
Caño Negro has an extension of 9960 hectares and it is one of the most important biological areas of the country and it is in the top four of the most important wetlands area in the world, hence it is also a RAMSAR site. It is made up of the Caño Negro Lagoon and the Río Frio.
This Wildlife Refuge is perhaps the best location to see the endangered Jabiru, and it is one of Costa Rica´s best birding hotspots. Other common birds for this marshes and grassy areas are the lesser yellow-headed vulture, limpkin, black-collared hawk, the glossy ibis, kingfishers, or the yellow-tailed oriole
Night: Río Celeste
Transfer day, one of the longer transfers of about 4 hours, as you move from the northern plains to the dry forest area of the north pacific. Your destination is the north of Liberia, the main city of the Guanacaste province. This province holds the only tropical dry forest we have in Costa Rica, so this is a unique opportunity for birding in this habitat!
The Santa Rosa National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most interesting protected areas since it is of great historical and natural significance.
The most famous feature is Hacienda Santa Rosa–better known as La Casona–the nation’s most cherished historic monument. The old hacienda-turned-museum alone is well worth the visit. However there are several trails available for hiking, and there you can spot dry forest bird species, like the white-throated magpie jay, the turquoise motmot (Nicaragua´s national bird), the yellow naped parrot, the elegant trogon, the laughing falcon among others!
Your journey in Costa Rica continues as you start moving from the north to the central pacific, when you will transfer to Ensenada Wildlife Refuge. The property is a private refuge, and the lodge is family run and has also a couple of economic activities such as salt production and agro: it became one of the most visited birding lodges of Costa Rica. Precisely, thanks to the refuge the mangrove and coastal area has recovered much of the forest, and that makes this site an excellent location for nature lovers and especially bird watchers
Mangroves are an important part of marine ecosystems and serve as nurseries for marine species and as water purifiers. The wildlife present in this ecosystem is unique and interesting. You will board your boat that will carry you on a two-hour island and mangrove tour to see roseate spoonbills, hawks, black-bellied whistling ducks, and egrets, along with crocodiles and howler monkeys
Time to transfer again down south to the Central Pacific: this is a transition area between the tropical dry forest and the rainforest of the south, so it becomes a unique and very interesting ecosystem.
On the way you make a stop at the Tárcoles River for a river safari, to get up-close with american crocodiles of all sizes, and observe an abundance of beautiful aquatic birds! Enjoy spectacular rainforest scenery and cruise through dense mangrove forest canals. Then you finally reach the lodge near Carara. The most common that you will likely find in your walk on the trails near the lodge are the scarlet macaw, fiery-billed aracari, the black-mandibled toucan, the orange-collared manaquin, the sunbittern, the purple gallinule, the northern jacana, amazon kingfisher, the muscovy duck and the great tinamou
No visit to Costa Rica for a birding tour is complete without going to San Gerardo de Dota, but before you transfer there, you will make a stop in Barú, a wildlife refuge, which encompasses 330-hectare of land along the Pacific, offers spectacular bird and wildlife viewing.
Here you can hike seven kilometers of trails through primary and secondary forest, mangrove, grassland, and even beach. In this variable landscape lives hundreds of types of birds and animals, including sloths, monkeys, peccaries, and toucans. You will see from tinamous to herons, egrets, hawks, woodpeckers, over 300 bird species have been spotted here! You will then continue to the cloud forest of Dota
Night: San Gerardo de Dota
San Gerardo is one of Costa Rica´s favorite bird watching spots! Birdwatchers come all over the world to see the extraordinary Resplendent Quetzal! This is a lovely village huddled up against the roaring Talamanca Mountain Range and nested in the Savegre River Valley; over 170 species have been recorded in San Gerardo de Dota oak tropical cloud forest and nearby Sub-Alpine Rain Paramo covered peaks. This is a good site for highland tinamou, spotted wood quail, sulfur-winged parakeets, long tail silky flycather, ornate hawk-eagle, flame-colored tanager, golden-crowned warbler, spotted barbtail, black thighed grosbeak, collared trogon
Night: San Gerardo de Dota
YOU HAVE TO FLY BACK HOME AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT YOUR AMAZING TRIP TO COSTA RICA AND THE BIRD WATCHING EXPERIENCE WITH ELEMENTO NATURAL
This is the end of your birding holiday in Costa Rica! Transfer out to Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, say good bye to your new friends, and…. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!! HAVE A GOOD FLIGHT HOME!!!