SOUTHERN COSTA RICA 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 Southern Costa Rica Tour features a superb combination of subtropical and highland birding locales, including Carara National Park, Osa Peninsula, and the central highlands of the Talamanca Cordillera. The tour has the potential of recording over 300 species in a week. The best time to take this tour is during early dry season from January-February because Osa gets very hot later in the spring. During this time birds are in full breeding plumage and are most active. Accommodations are excellent near Carara and in the highlands but more basic yet comfortable on Osa Peninsula.
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 be devoted to birding Carara National Park or taking a boat trip on the Rio Tarcoles (participants' choice). The park features transitional forest where the ranges of many northern and southern specialties overlap, thus offering some of the most fruitful birding in Costa Rica. 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. Next morning will be spent birding in Carara National Park, followed by a transfer to Osa Peninsula. En route a birding stop near Quepos will target some localized swifts not likely elsewhere. During two full days on Osa, numerous southern specialties including the endemic Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager will provide highlights of the tour. After early departure the last morning, a stop at a reliable site for Yellow-billed Cotinga at the Rincon River should offer good views of this very rare species. The rest of the morning will be spent driving to the Talamanca Mountains. A stop at Cerro de la Muerte should produce several high elevation species during the transfer. The next day will be spent birding the valley of San Gerardo de Dota and nearby highlands, where Resplendent Quetzals are to be found along with many other specialties including several species of highland hummingbirds. Following a final morning birding the highlands. Afternoon transfer back to Alajuela. Tour ends following morning with transfer to the airport.