Costa Rica

Costa Rica Birds & Wildlife


Neotropical birds of Savegre Valley - Sarapiqui - Tortuguero - Monteverde - Tenorio - Palo Verde - Carara - Corcovado


Outline Itinerary

1. Depart UK. Arrive San Jose, to Los Quetzales.
2. Guided birding walk.
3. Guided birding walk.
4. To Sarapiqui.
5. Morning guided birding walk.
6. To Tortuguero.
7. Nature activities.
8. Fly to San Jose, to Monteverde. Night time nature walk.
9. Guided birding in the reserve. Afternoon visit to Hanging Bridges.
10. Guided birding in another reserve.
11. To Tenorio.
12. At leisure.
13. To Palo Verde & guided birdwatching.
14. Guided birdwatching.
15. To Carara, afternoon guided birding walk.
16. Fly down to Osa Peninsula.
17. Nature activities.
18. Nature activities.
19. Return to San Jose.
20. Depart Costa Rica.
21. Arrive UK.


This suggested itinerary is just an example of possibilities available for trips to this area. Price is dependant on season, standard of accommodation and length of stay. Please contact us for prices.

Departure Dates

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There is plenty of other wildlife to be seen on this extended nature itinerary. Neotropical birds are at the heart of this wildlife holiday but depending on when you travel you are likely to find a good number of migrant species from either North America or South America as Costa Rica is a meeting place between the continents.

This tour of Costa Rica's wildlife hotspots starts dramatically in the high mountains of Los Quetzales National Park where the Savegre River cuts a deep valley through the cloudforest. Using Dantica, by far our favourite lodge in the valley, you can sit on your balcony and count many of the 130 species in the local area. Further down near the hamlet of San Gerrado Resplendent Quetzal can be seen as they occur here in good numbers. But the cloudforest has it all from guans to hawks, parakeets and toucanets; mixed flocks in the canopy which you accommodation overlooks to hummingbirds, ground dwelling species such as spotted wood-quail.

Next, you will descend to Sarpiqui on the Caribbean slope. Here you can spend a couple of days exploring the rainforest in search of wildlife. This is a popular destination on any birding itinerary too. So too is Tortuguero and its backwater canals rich in a variety of mammals, reptiles and birds from howler and white-faced monkeys picking fruit in the trees to 3 species of turtles on the beaches and a plethora of bird species including many herons, roseate spoonbills plus of course tanagers and many other passerines. The guides here are very good naturalists and many are excellent birders.

A flight out of Tortuguero brings you back to San Jose for a transfer up to famous Monteverde where you can take a guided walk to discover the nocturnal wildlife. The following morning enter the reserve with a private guide to find some new species for your holiday. The nearby Hanging Bridges also offer the opportunity for birding among the canopy layer of the forest.

Your next destination is off the beaten track through Costa Rica, but nevertheless likely to be one of the highlights. This upland area of rainforest has few tourists but good trails and again good levels of wildlife plus over 100 species of birds can be seen regularly in a day of concentrated birdwatching. Over 300 species in total have been recorded here.

Another birding hotspot is Palo Verde in the more arid Guanacaste province. This lowland has a variety of habitats and in particular the Rio Tempisque estuarine river providing good numbers of wading birds. With luck you may find endangered Jabiru stork, a number of ibis species and roseate spoonbill if you were unlucky not to find these stunning birds at Tortuguero. There are also some great opportunities for seeing grassland and woodland species.

Carara close to the mid-Pacific Coast is biologically important as it the meeting place for species from both the northern and southern Americas. The diverse is consequently high and it is a good location for finding scarlet macaws, the sign of a healthy mature ecosystem.

The final destination on this long tour is the Osa Peninsula which any true naturalist cannot afford to miss. One of the world's truly great biodiversity gems this southerly Costa Rican peninsula holds Corcovado National Park. Whilst you will be extremely lucky to see jaguar, ocelot and other big cats there are many other species here that will delight.

Inspired? To read more about this itinerary, or for us to design your own unique holiday contact us …

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