GRAND BIRDING TOUR
|Duration:||15 days, 14 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
Our Grand Costa Rica Tour covers the best birding sites in northern, central, and southern Costa Rica. The itinerary is carefully designed to cover middle elevation sites on both sides of the northern Continental Divide, the middle elevation Caribbean slope around La Selva, the central highlands, the subtropical south, and the Pacific lowlands, enabling us to maximize the diversity of birds possible during the tour. The best time to take this tour is early dry season from December-February before the south gets too hot. Accommodations are excellent or superior throughout the tour.
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. Next 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. The following day transfer to the far south with stops en route, arriving on Osa Peninsula before dark. Two full days will be devoted to birding lowland rainforest around the lodge looking for endemics and local specialties only possible there. The tour continues north with a stop near Rincon to look for the highly endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga, now protected by a sanctuary in that area. After a morning looking for the cotinga and Mangrove Hummingbird, continue north to the Tarcoles area for a two night stay and birding around Carara National Park. After birding Carara, continue north to Monteverde to bird two forest preserves looking for middle elevation specialties of the north Pacific slopes, most notably Three-wattled Bellbird at Santuario Ecologica. The tour ends back at Alajuela.