Tour Overview



Duration:11 days, 10 nights
Group Size:2-8
Anytime Price:$3695
Group Price:$3350
Single Suppl:$350
Est #Species:325-350
* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.

Passerini's Tanager - © Laura L Fellows and Exotic Birding ToursOur Costa Rica Central Circuit Tour covers the best birding sites in central Costa Rica. The itinerary is carefully designed to cover the middle elevation Caribbean slope, the central highlands, a portion of the south, and the Pacific lowlands, enabling us to see a wonderful diversity of birds during the tour. 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 excellent throughout the tour except at Talari Mountain Lodge where they are comfortable but more basic.

The tour begins with a transfer from Alajuela near the international airport to Arenal Volcano National Park in northern Costa Rica. Afternoon birding in the gardens should produce several species of hummingbirds and tanagers coming to lodge feeders. Next morning bird trails through foothill primary forest looking for a variety of antbirds including the stunning Ocellated Antbird. Then travel south to Sarapiqui on the Caribbean slope for two days of birding. One morning will be spent at La Selva Biological Station where over 450 species have been recorded. That same afternoon visit fabulous Sarapiqui Eco-Observatory for viewing of Caribbean slope hummingbirds, tanagers, and other species from an elevated observation deck. Continue to Tapanti National Park for a morning of birding around the ranger station and along the road to seek out the secretive Silvery-fronted Tapaculo and Wrenthrush in particular along with other rainforest species. After lunch in Cartago transfer continue into the Talamanca Mountains, arriving in the valley of San Gerardo de Dota by late afternoon. This valley is the best place to see the extraordinary Resplendent Quetzal. Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher - © Laura L Fellows and Exotic Birding ToursNext morning will be devoted the seeking out quetzals and other highland specialties found in the valley. After lunch drive to the highlands above treeline to look for higher elevation specialties such as Volcano Junco. After early birding the following morning, transfer south with stops en route, arriving at Talari mid-afternoon. Afternoon birding around lodge grounds after check-in. Next morning bird Los Cusingos, Alexander Skutch's old homestead, looking for more subtropical species. After early lunch transfer west to the Pacific coast and up the coast to the Carara area where the ranges of northern and southern species overlap in a zone of transitional forest. After a day and a half birding that area, return to Alajuela where tour ends.