Costa Rica Birding Journeys
San Gerardo

7 nights Amazing southern birdwatching

7 nights Amazing southern birdwatching
Overview

Things to consider:

Arrival day: It flight schedule is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm; we would prefer to drive to our first destination/lodge/forest.

Arrival time after 4:00 pm; overnight Hotel Bouganvillea.

Arrival time after 8:00 pm; overnight Hotel Adventure Inn. An included hotel’s airport shuttle would be arranged.

https://www.hb.co.cr

https://www.adventure-inn.com

 

What is included:

All ground, water, and air transportation (if described) depending on the group size can be an SUV 4×4 or a 17 passenger van.

All activities such as boat tours, park fees, local guides

All accommodations based on double occupancy 

3 Meals per day as described. Except on arrival day

 

What is not included:

Personal travel insurance, gratuities to guides/hotel staff/restaurant services

Alcoholic drinks, extra meals, room services, international flight

 

Paraiso de Quetzales

Activities: Unlimited access to all forest trails and property

www.paraisoquetzal.com

Savegre Lodge

Activities: Unlimited access to all forest trails and property

www.savegre.com

Carara National Park Area

Activities: Carara National Park, Mangrove boat tour, Carara Garden

www.cerrolodge.com

www.mangrovebirdingjourneys.com

www.cararagarden.com

 

Daily Itinerary by destination:

Talamanaca Highlands : There is no better destination in the country for endemic birds than the Cerro de la Muerte! Although the diversity of species here is less than in lowlands, the highlands far exceed any other area in endemic species. Hummingbirds, Flycatchers, Vireos, Trogons, and Wrens are some of the families that have been isolated here for millions of years, creating unique specialization of species. Imagine a crisp, misty morning among the giant oaks where you spot the beautiful Resplendent Quetzal! This is one of the few places you can find them all year round, and these treasured moments are what make this deep green location so special to us birders!

Birding Highlights: Black Ear Woodquail, Resplendent Quetzal, Silvery-throated Jay, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Dusky Nightjar, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Buffy Tuftedcheck, Flame-throated Warbler, Blue-throated Toucanet, Maroon-chested Ground Dove, Fiery-throated Hummingbird.

Talamanca Highlands – Savegre Lodge or Paraiso del Quetzal

Day 1: We will depart early for the Savegre Valley, birding along the way on the roadside for endemics such as Timberline Wren, Junco Volcano, Volcano Hummingbird, Flame-throated Warbler, etc. Upon arrival we will enjoy lunch, followed by garden birding.

Day 2: An early start and birding before breakfast in search of Resplendent Quetzals. We will also search for the elusive Zeledonia and Tapaculo. All day birding on the roadsides of the lodge grounds, gardens, and river’s edge.

Day 3: Birding after breakfast in the oak forest, where dozens of birds are found in the dense understory and high in the canopy. Redstars, Silky Flycatchers, Woodcreepers, Woodquails, Becards and some eagles are among the many species you can spot here. In the afternoon we will visit several spots in search of endemic Warblers.

Piedras Blancas Rainforest: Located in the small community of La Gamba, Esquinas Rainforest has become an icon of sustainable tourism, employing local people, and conserving its natural habitat. This piece of paradise has truly become a dream for bird seekers: Trogons, Hummingbirds, Flycatchers, Woodcreepers, and Arcaries are plentiful. On its trails and riverbeds new species are found daily, and this is truly an incredible destination for target birds such as Manakins, Potoos, Cotingas, rare foliage gleaners,

Hummingbirds and Tanagers. The Osa is like no place on earth! This is the last pristine lowland rainforest of Central America, boasting some of the most amazing birding anywhere; thousands of hectares of mangroves, old pasture fields, and giant canopy primary forest hold more than 430 recorded species, a true birdwatcher’s dream. You can find White-crested Coquettes, Uniform Crake, Yellow-billed Cotinga, Ornate Hawk Eagle, and Black-checked Ant Tanager, all found within easy reach of the lodge. If you enjoy longer hikes you will find unlimited birding in this serene environment of lush tropical rainforest.

Birding Highlights: Black-check Tanager, Charming Hummingbird, Little Tinamou, Three-wattled Bellbird, Ruddy Woodcreeper, Yellow-bellied Seedater, Uniform Crake, Brown-throated Parakeet, Savanna Hawk, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Seedater, Tiny Hawk.

Piedras Blanca’s Rainforest – Esquinas Lodge

Day 1: Breakfast en route to Piedras Blanca National Park. Upon arrival, we will take a short drive to the Esquinas Lodge where the journey will begin! We will explore gardens and the adjacent forests, and are likely to encounter Trogons, Wrens, Toucans, Raptors, Hummingbirds and even Motmots.

Day 2: Our day begins early in search of Antbirds, Leaftossers, and Woodcreepers. We will return for breakfast and spend all day birding the lodge grounds and nearby trails. We will have a night hike in search of Potoos, Owls and Paraques.

Day 3: Arising to the beautiful sounds of the jungle, we will begin birdwatching on forest trails in search of Black-cheeked Ant-tanager, a south Pacific endemic of Costa Rica. After a delicious breakfast we will take a short walk along the roadside for more open field species such as hawks, falcons, seedeaters, endemic woodpeckers, etc. After a well-deserved lunch we will drive to Golfito town for a mangrove boat tour on Coto’s River. Today’s highlights are mangrove specialties such as American Pygmy Kingfisher, Mangrove Hummingbird, Scrub Flycatcher and Yellow-billed Cotinga.

Carara National Park : The greatest birding destinations in the country, this incredible park boasts the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica! With easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges, this destination is friendly for all ages and fitness levels. There are very few places where more than a hundred species can be found on one trail, but the Meandrica trail is infamous for just that. It has become a treasured birding icon where you can seek tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, and antshrikes, among others. The nearby forested edges house many open field birds, such as jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, and owls. The mangroves of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles can reward the birder with up to five species of kingfishers, as well as many other shorebirds such as herons and egrets. The most remarkable of this area are the restricted range birds of the mangroves, such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, and even the elusive Rufous Necked Woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic, the Mangrove Hummingbird.

Birding Highlights: Scarlet Macaws, Orange Collared Manakin, Fiery-Billed Aracari, Baird’s Trogon, Riverside Wren, Crane Hawk, Red-breasted Blackbird, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Hummingbird, Scrub Greenlet, Cherrie’s Tanager, Great Tinamou, Northern Royal Flycatcher.

Carara National Park: South Beach Hotel

Day 1: Pick-up transfer and information meeting. Today CRBJ staff will describe the day by day activities, destinations, possible bird sightings, what to wear by destination and all other general information regarding the trip.

Day 2: The day will begin with a boat trip to the mangroves followed by breakfast at a local restaurant. A half hour of travel will bring us to the Tarcoles River Mangroves where we will embark on a three hours tour of river edges, deforested areas, mangrove forest and river mouths. We will find Herons, Egrets, Vireos, Hummingbirds, Frigatebirds, shore birds, Waders, Cuckoos, Macaws, parrots, hawks and search for White-throated Magpie Jay, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, and the Black-headed Trogon. The boat tour’s main goal is to find the mangrove specialties such as Mangrove Hummingbird, Cuckoos, Vireos, Warblers, Rufous-necked Woodrail, Panama and Scrub Flycatchers, and American Pygmy Kingfisher. In the afternoon we will visit open farm lands, forest patches, river edges and more pasture fields; the goal here is to find Seedeaters, Raptors, Parakeets, Flycatchers, Lapwings, Anis, ducks and species that are no longer found at the national park due to habitat destruction.

Day 3: Breakfast on the go! As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm so we will have an early start to visit one of the best birding sites in Central America, Carara National Park. The park holds a combination of ecosystems that allow an amazing number of endemics, birds with restricted ranges, and other rare beauties to thrive. More than 400 species have been recorded here, including Antbirds, Macaws, Hummingbirds, Euphonias, Tanagers, Flycatchers, Cotingas, Wrens, Manakins and a dozen other families. We will spend all day at the park, have lunch at a local restaurant, and dinner in Jaco Beach town.