Late November to Early May
Late September to Early October
Places to visit:
1. Monteverde Cloud Forest. Nestled in the Tilaran’ volcanic range and facing the dry forest of the Nicoya’s Peninsula, this world known paradise has been an icon for conservationists for decades. Blasted by the Caribbean trade winds at the top of its hills the evergreen forest of Monteverde/Santa Elena holds the one of the most astonishing biodiversity anywhere on earth due its geographical position. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here and its adjacent preserves on the 3 major ecosystems. Home of the all mighty Resplendent Quetzal, and the weird looking Three wattled Bellbird with its unique call. Dozens of kilometers of trails to explore. Dripping wet forest with more than 400 species of orchids and gentile blown clouds enchants everyone’s eyes. There are very few places on earth so breathtaking at first glance.
Birding Highlights: Resplendent Quetzal, Prong billed Barbets, Lesson’s Motmot, Black Guan, Highland Tinamou, Tawny throated Leaftosser, White throated Spadebill, Tufted Flycatcher, Gray breasted Wood Wren, White eared Ground Sparrow, Emerald Toucanet, Chiriqui Quail Dove, Golden Olive Woodpecker, Golden browed Chlorophonia.
2. Ensenada: This private reserve is an area that attracts thousands of birds during the migration from the north, and is truly birding to rave about! It is a fabulous area to find dry tropical forest specialities such as Thicket Tinamou, Long-tailed Manakin, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, and the rare Jabiru Stork. This seasonally flooded flatland with deciduous forest is full of possibilities for combination birding. Adjacent to mud flats, mangrove forest and coastline, this region provides the opportunity to see dozens of ducks and heron species, Kingfishers, Frigatebirds, and dozens of migratory species such as Turnstones, Sandpipers, Skimmers, Willets, and Spoonbills.
Birding Highlights: Long-tailed Manakin, Mangrove Vireo, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Thicket Tinamou, Spot-bellied Woodquail, White-throated Magpie Jay, Pacific Screech Owl, Rufous-browned Peppershrike, Yellow-faced Grassfinch, Double-striped Thicknee, Barred Wren, and Elegant Trogon.
3. Tenorio Rainforest among one of the best places to go birding in the country and definitely the best canopy birdwatching, with a net of suspended tree top bridges this rainforest is 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 a few hundred more species. The adjacent forests towards the national park it’s a interesting combination of cattle farms with dense old growth birds fly from one patch of forest to the next giving us opportunities to find them, huge trees border the roads mixed flocks, Lovely Cotingas, Central America Pygmy Owls make home out this habitats. Near the lodge a good number of open spaces birds hang around like ground doves, seedaters, tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds etc.
Birding Highlights: Tody Motmot, Rufous vented Ground Cuckoo, Black crested Coquette, Olive backed Quail Dove, Crested Eagle, Green Shrike Vireo, Black headed Antthrush, Lovely Cotinga, Spotted Antbird, Strong billed Woodcreeper.
4. Caño Negro & Los Chiles both areas apart close to each other in the north east flatlands bordering Nicaragua are one of the least visited regions for birdwatchers. Very Little known apart from day tours to Rio Frio from La Fortuna Arenal for regular sightseeing tourist, the región offers marvelous birding specially at Los Chiles, one of the few places in Costa Rica where Least bitterns, Forktailed Flycatchers, Black collared Hawk, Jabirus are found year round. To Randall Ortega our lead guide and owner of the company finds this hidden Paradise the most rewarding birding in Costa Rica by far both on rare sightings and quality of targets.
Birding highlights: Yellow throated crake, Least bittern, Jabiru, Black Collared Hawk, Nicaraguan Seed Finch, Fork tailed Flycatcher, Ruddy breasted Seedater, Lesser Yellow headed Vulture, Ocellated Poorwill, Pinnated Bittern, Spot breasted Wren, Sungrebe.
5. Arenal Volcano Area is well known for its active summit, but little is talked 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 exposed death tree trunks, hyperactive Coquettes going from flower to flower are just part of a daily birding.
Birding Highlights: 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.
What is included:
All ground, water, and air transportation (if described) depending on the group size can be an SUV 4×4 or a 17 passenger van.
All activities such as boat tours, park fees, local guides
All accommodations based on double occupancy
3 Meals per day as described. Except on arrival day
What is not included:
Personal travel insurance, gratuities to guides/hotel staff/restaurant services
Alcoholic drinks, extra meals, room services, international flight
Things to consider:
Arrival day: It flight schedule is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm; we would prefer to drive to our first destination/lodge/forest.
Arrival time between 4:00 pm – 8 pm; overnight Hotel Bouganvillea.
Arrival time after 8:00 pm; overnight Hotel Adventure Inn.
An included hotel’s airport shuttle would be arranged.