CLASSIC HOTSPOTS BIRDING TOUR
|Duration:||9 days, 8 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
Our Costa Rica Hotspots Tour features three of the best birding locales in Costa Rica, Carara National Park in the Pacific lowlands, the central highlands of the Talamanca Cordillera, and the middle elevation Caribbean slope. The tour has the potential of recording over 300 species in a week. The best time to take this tour is during dry season from December-April or during the mini-dry season of July. Spring is when most birds are in full breeding plumage and summer is an interesting time when non-breeding dispersal occurs and rarities show up at places like La Selva. Accommodations are very good throughout the tour.
The tour begins with a transfer from Alajuela near the international airport to the Pacific lowlands. A first stop near Orotina to join a local guide features stakeouts of Lesser Ground-Cuckoo and several owls followed by some birding near the coast before arriving at the lodge. The afternoon will feature a boat trip on the Tarcoles River where tiger herons and other species are likely. The river mouth features a few species not likely elsewhere such as Panama Flycatcher. Late afternoon offers viewing of Scarlet Macaws and other birds around the lodge. The next day will be devoted to birding Carara National Park. The park features transitional forest where the ranges of many northern and southern specialties overlap. For this reason, Carara offers some of the best birding in Costa Rica. A transfer to the Talamanca highlands follows, with a stop for several high elevation species at Cerro de la Muerte en route. A full day will be spent birding the valley of San Gerardo de Dota and the nearby highlands, where Resplendent Quetzals are to be found along with many other highland specialties. While quetzals can sometimes be seen, often from a distance, near the lodge, they are best seen much closer on nearby fincas in the highlands. The tour then continues to the Caribbean side for two nights stay near famed La Selva Biological Station. The next morning will be spent visiting a local guide who has conditioned Thicket Antpitta to appear at a feeding site on a private farm. That will be followed by birding some trails with Braulio Carrillo before returning to the lodge for lunch. The afternoon will be devoted to birding other sites around Puerto Viejo.The final morning will be devoted birding within La Selva Biological Reserve. The tour transfers back to Alajuela in the afternoon, with an optional stop at La Paz Waterfall Gardens en route where some 25 species of hummingbirds have been recorded visiting the feeders there. Tour ends following morning with transfer to the airport.