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Costa Rica 9-Day Birding

Costa Rica Costa RicaCosta Rica has quickly become a popular birding destination. The abundance of birds and other wildlife in Costa Rica is due to the incredible habitat diversity, and its location as part of the land-bridge between North and South America. Over 800 species of birds have been recorded within Costa Rica’s borders.

From the mangroves, marshes, rivers and dry forest of the Pacific coast to the mid-elevation rainforest of the Caribbean foothills and high into the elfin cloud forests and paramo of Cerro de la Muerte, our search for new species will be fun and exciting.

Visiting these three diverse habitats, we hope to find Bay-headed Tanager, Rufous Motmot, Snowcap, Black-crested Coquet, Fiery-throated Hummingbird and, of course, the revered Resplendent Quetzal.


  • Tour Cost
  • 2019 Cost

    $2700 from San Jose


    Cost is per person double occupancy. If a single room is preferred, or a roommate is not available, a single supplement fee of $500 will be assessed.


    Financial Requirements
    Deposit of $500 required to reserve space. Final payment due 120 day prior to trip departure.


    Tour costs NOT included
    Flight costs are not included nor are trip insurance costs, alcoholic beverages, optional tips, phone calls, laundry or items of a purely personal nature.


    Travel Insurance
    We highly recommend purchasing travel Insurance. In the event that you need to cancel your trip due to medical or other reasons, this insurance will protect you.

  • Itinerary
  • Brief Itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrival - Night in San Jose (Hotel Bougainvillea)

    Days 2/3/4 - Savegre Mountain Lodge (7200 feet in the mountains)

    Days 5/6/7 - Rancho Naturalista (Caribbean Foothills)

    Day 8 - Return to Hotel Bougainvillea

    Day 9 - Flights Home


    Detailed Itinerary


    Day 1 Arrival - San Jose

    The tour begins with a welcome dinner and a brief orientation to our trip.


    Day 2 - 4 Central Mountains

    Set at 7,200 feet above sea level on a family farm with a clear trout stream running through it, our lodge is surrounded by one of the finest examples of highland pine-oak cloud forest on the planet. The exhilarating ride into the valley is spectacular as the road winds along high cliffs and through the forest!


    The surrounding private nature reserve is the best place in the world to see the Resplendent Quetzal—one of the most beautiful birds in the Americas. Other “hot” finds here may include Flame-colored Tanager, Volcano Junco, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, and Flame-throated Warbler.


    The lodge offers comfortable rooms—with heaters—as it gets very cool at night at this elevation. The restaurant offers buffet dining that always includes fresh trout and wonderful desserts.


    Day 5 - 7 Caribbean Foothills

    “The best place to see the Snowcap Hummingbird” is a quote heard often when people speak of Rancho Naturalista. This privately owned reserve is set at around 3000 ft. in the foothills of the Caribbean slope. The many trails on the property will keep us occupied searching for the 400 or so species found here. Even a lazy afternoon on the balcony can offer magnificent birding! This 125 acre ranch lies in pre-mountain rain forest in the Caribbean zone at 3000’. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded by guests locally. over 200 of them from the balcony alone!


    Hummingbirds such as the Snowcap and Violet-crowned Woodnymph, as well as many passerines are regular visitors to the evening ‘baths,’ a small stream that tumbles through rocky pools where we can quietly observe them from benches above.


    The flower-surrounded lodge and two cottages look 22 miles across the valley to Volcanoes Irazu and Turrialba. Delicious meals are served family style in the dining room, which has a view of the valley. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are provided year-round.


    Day 8 San Jose

    Today’s drive will offer more spectacular views and some good birding stops as we return to San Jose for a good night’s sleep before returning to the USA.


    Day 9 - Return to USA

    Departure to USA

  • Accommodations
  • Hotel Bougainvillea

    Hotel Bougainvillea lies 45 minutes north of San Jose in the “suburb” of Heredia. A typical hotel large hotel, the Bougainvillea offers all the expected amenities. However, the hotel is well known for its lush gardens which are well kept and home to many birds! This stop makes a great first and/or last night for any birding trip.


    Savegre Mountain Lodge

    Savegre Mountain Lodge sits at 7200 feet on the side of Cerro de la Muerto, surrounded by cloud forest. The lodge offers comfortable rooms with heaters, which are needed at this elevation! From the dining area, hummingbirds can be seen taking advantage of the many feeders around the lodge. Keep a rain jacket handy however, as you are in the clouds!


    Rancho Naturalista

    Rancho Naturalista lies in the Caribbean foothills in the rain shadow. Its lush forest offers great birding opportunities along its many muddy trails. The deck of the main house has witnessed over 260 bird species.

  • Additional Info
  • Birds of Costa RicaRecommended Field Guide:

    The Birds of Costa Rica

    (2007, Cornell University Press)

    by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean