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Birding Tour in Costa Rica - 12 Days

Birding Tour in Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Caribbean Jewels Birdwatching Tour

This 12-day Birding Tour Costa Rica is leisurely paced and available on request. We can offer you the opportunity to see up to 350 species with the opportunity of tailoring your trip to observe any specific bird on your list.

From your base near San Jose we visit some of the region's best locations for birding. This includes Waterfall Gardens, which is a paradise for hummingbirds and mountain species, with three endemics resident. We walk the trails in the lowland tropical rainforest around Arenal Volcano and cross the Arenal Hanging Bridges above the natural corridor that birds use to travel between North and South America. Here you can see raptors such as Swallow-tailed and Double-toothed Kites and Tiny and Bicoloured Hawks.

We also tour Caño Negro in this birding tour Costa Rica, named a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance. The day starts with a boat ride through the network of lakes and waterways, home to the Glossy and White Ibis, Black-necked Stilt, Neotropical Cormorants, American Anhingas, Northern Jacanas, Wood Storks, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Snail Kites, Roseate Spoonbills, Blue-winged Teals, Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, Spot-breasted Wrens, Jabirus, Nicaraguan Grackles, and Seed Finches and the endemic Greenish Elaenia.

While staying at Lagarto Lodge as part of this birding tour Costa Rica, we visit Laguna Lagarto, comprising 500 hectares of unspoiled tropical rainforest with its population of Great Jacamars, White-fronted Nunbirds, Red-throated Caracaras and Tawny-faced Quails. The King Vulture's nest is also a must see.

The Sarapiqui region of the Caribbean lowlands is renowned for its many national parks, private protected forests and bird sanctuaries. On this birding tour Costa Rica you'll also get exclusive access to a private estate in search of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, Gray-necked Rails, Sicklebills, White-collared Manakins and Crested Owls. Meanwhile Braulio Carrillo encompasses one of the last unspoiled foothill forests in Central America and its population of Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Purplish-backed Quail-Doves, Black-and-yellow and Blue-and-Gold Tanagers, Tawny-capped Euphonias, Yellow-eared Toucanets, Lattice-tailed Trogons and Sharpbills.

Throughout your adventure you can take advantage of the expertise of our experienced guides to ensure you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

This Birding Tour Costa Rica highlights include excursions to:

  • Waterfall Gardens and Caribbean Foothills
  • Mistico Hanging Bridges
  • Caño Negro Wetlands and Northern Caribbean Lowlands
  • Boca Tapada
  • Sarapiqui Plains andCentral Caribbean Lowlands
  • Lodge grounds and private feeders

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Bird Photography in Costa Rica Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Costa Rica Birdwatching Adventure
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

When you land at Juan Santamaria International Airport, your guide will meet you and take you back to your hotel. Depending on what time you arrive, you might also be able to watch birds on the hotel grounds. Dinner included a hotel in san Jose.

Day 2
Day 2 - Visit to Waterfall Gardens and Caribbean Foothills

The first place we go on our trip is the Waterfall Gardens, which are a paradise for hummingbirds and have some mountain species that can only be found there. Nice place for birds that live in the middle elevations, but the hummingbird garden is the best part. It has 26 known species, and three of them are endemic. A photographer's dream. The area is one of the best places in the country to watch birds, especially hummingbirds.

All meals | Arenal lodge.

Day 3
Day 3 - Mistico Hanging Bridges

Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica's most active volcano, and its perfect cone can be seen from most places in the area. If we're lucky, we'll be able to see the volcano in all its glory, and it might even erupt now and then. The Arenal Hanging Bridges are one of the most beautiful green projects in Costa Rica. They are a natural corridor that birds use to travel between North and South America. We spend the first half of the day walking the trails and bridges and watching birds in this lowland tropical rain forest. When you look at birds from above, you might see raptors like the Swallow-tailed Kite, the Double-toothed Kite, the Tiny Hawk, or the Bicolored Hawk.

All Meals | Arenal Lodge

Day 4
Day 4 - Caño Negro Wetlands | Northern Caribbean Lowlands

These amazing wetland areas are in the northern part of Costa Rica. They are home to more than 350 different kinds of birds. In 1991, Cao was named a Wildlife Area of International Importance. Under the RAMSAR convention, it was also named a Wetland of International Importance. When the dry season starts in December, millions of birds come here to spend the winter.

All Meals | Caño Negro Lodge

Day 5
Day 5 - Wildlfe Refuge and Wetlands

The day starts with a boat ride through the refuge's network of lakes and waterways. Cao Negro is home to many different kinds of birds, including the glossy Ibis, black-necked stilt, neotropical cormorants, American Anhinga, Northern Jacana, Wood Stork, White Ibis, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Snail Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, and blue-winged teal. Here, you should look for the following birds: the Lesser Yellow-headed Volture, the Spot-breasted Wren, the Jabiru, the Grey-headed Dove, the Nicaraguan Grackle, the Nicaraguan Seed Finch, and the Greenish Elaenia, which only lives in Cao Negro and other marshy areas south of Lake Nicaragua in Costa Rica.

All Meals | Caño Negro Lodge

Day 6
Day 6 - Boca Tapada Area

Lagarto Lodge is an unspoiled and almost never-visited place where birders can explore the Rain Forest at their own pace while staying in a cozy jungle hideaway. In northern Costa Rica, near Boca Tapada and the Rio San Carlos River, is a place called Laguna Lagarto. The lodge has 500 Hectares of unspoiled tropical rainforest with a huge number of different plants and animals. People have counted 350 different kinds of birds, like the Great Jacamar, White-fronted Nunbird, Red-throated Caracara, and Tawny-faced Quail.

All Meals | Lagarto Lodge

Day 7
Day 7 - Lodge Grounds and Private Feeders

The first thing I do in the morning is watch the feeders for birds. After breakfast, the group goes to a private property that is great for taking pictures and watching birds. The Red-legged Honeycreeper, the Shiny Honeycreeper, the Blue Dacnis, the Chestnut-headed Oropendola, the White-necked Jacobin, the Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, and the Crowned Woodnymph could all be seen up close. In the afternoon, birding lodge grounds. The King Vulture's nest is one of the most interesting things about this place.

All Meals | Lagarto Lodge

Day 8
Day 8 - Sarapiqui Plains | Central Caribbean Lowlands

The Sarapiqui area is in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. It is known for its many National Parks, private protected forests, and bird sanctuaries, as well as the large migration of raptors and hawks that passes through the area every year. In Sarapiqui, the Great Green Macaw and Sunbittern are the birds that people are trying to save. Birdwatchers can see the Great Egret, the Little Blue Heron, the Snowy Egret, the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, the Fasciated Tiger-Heron, the Green Ibis, and the Keel-billed Tucans along the Sarapiqui River.

All Meals | Selva Verde Lodge

Day 9
Day 9 - La Selva Biological Reserve

The Organization for Tropical Studies, a group of universities that studies rain forests, owns and runs the La Selva Biological Reserve and leads a hike there early in the morning. On the Caribbean slope of northwest Costa Rica, La Selva is a large area of lowland rainforest. La Selva is a great place to see "big birds." We might see the Great Currasow, the Gray-headed Chachalaca, the Semiplumbeous Hawk, the Tiny Hawk, the White-crowned, Red-lored Parrot, or the Rufous winged Woodpecker.

All Meals | Selva Verde Lodge

Day 10
Day 10 - Cope´s Private Property – Owls and Hummingbirds

Before breakfast, birding on the lodge trails. You will spend most of the day on the property of Cope, a local birder. Is the best place in the country to see the Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Gray-necked Rail, Sicklebill, White-collared Manakin, and Crested Owl up close. Fasciated Tiger Heron, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, and Green Ibis can be seen along the way.

All Meals | Tapirus Lodge

Day 11
Day 11 - Braulio Carrillo National Park

At Braulio Carrillo, the lowland rainforest is a dense, untouched rain forest where most of the park is almost impossible to get to. This park protects one of the last unspoiled areas of Caribbean foothill forest in Central America. It is a great place to see many Caribbean foothill specialties, such as the Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Blue-and-Gold Tanager, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Lattice-tailed Trogon, Sharpbill, Black.

All Meals | Tapirus Lodge

Day 12
Day 12 - Lodge Trails and Departure Day

The first thing you do in the morning is a birding walk along the lodge trails to see the last birds of the trip. You leave for the international airport after breakfast. It's a short trip that takes about 1.5 hours.

Breakfast included

Wildlife species expected to see:

Northern Tamandua, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Hoffman´s Two-toed Sloth, Nine-banded Long- nosed Armadillo, Long- nosed Bat White- throated Capuchin Monkey, Mantled Howler Monkey, Central American Spider Monkey, Central American Squirrel Monkey, Variegated Squirrel, Red- tailed Squirrel, Mexican Hairy Porcupine, Central American Agouti, Gray Fox, Northern Racoon, White-nosed Coati, Kinkajou, Tayra, Neotropical River Otter, Long- tailed Weasel, Collared Peccari, White- tailed Deer, Frogs and Lizards, Blue jeans Dart Frog, Green and – black Dart Frog, Red- eyed Tree Frog, Green Iguana, Spiny Tail Lizard, Basilisc, American Crocodile, Spectacled Caiman Black River Turtle

What is included?

  • Full time bi-lingual bird/ naturalist guide throughout your tour
  • Extra local birding guides
  • Air-conditioned 4x4
  • Shuttle service for airport arrival and airport departure
  • Fine estandar accommodations en-suite on a twin/double basis
  • 32 meals, alcoholic drinks, water
  • One Costa Rica Deluxe birdchecklist per person,boat trip
  • Waterfall Gardens- hummingbirds observatory, Cope´s Garden- owls quest
  • Mistico Hanging Bridges tour
  • All taxes on meals, lodging, and transport

What is not included?

  • International Plane Fair
  • Visa Fees
  • Tips to local staff,
  • Items of personal nature
  • Airport tax
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is inlcuded"

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Why should I book with Wildbird Tours?

Wildbird Tours has more than 25 years of experience in Ecotourism. We are in the top 175 best Birding Touroperators in the world according to Birdwatching Magazine. We are commited to excellence in service, environmental sustainability and the lowest prices in the market.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Our guide will be with you throughout yor tour 24/7. He will pick you up at the airport at the first day of your trip, and take you to international airport at the very last day.

When is the best time to travel and why?

Birding in Costa Rica is very productive all year round. However, every October we have around 200 species of migrant birds visiting our country from North America, and they leave in March. That is probably the best time to visit us

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

The pace of this tour is easy. There are early morning options and pre-breakfast excursions, followed by morning and afternoon sessions. Sometimes even have night walks. Most of the birding will be done from along roads, and well-maintained and marked forest trails.

What will be the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this tour?

All of the lodges we use have wifi access, in public areas or in your room

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

All the lodges and restaurants we use can cater your requirements for food no matter if is for religion, diet, medical conditions or whatever needs you have

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

12 Days

Price & Availability

USD2,415 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 535
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Wildbird Tours

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Tour Facts

  • Costa Rica
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 2 to 8 people
  • 12 Days
  • +10 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Juan Santamaría International Airport or Contact Us Know
  • Juan Santamaría International Airport or Contact Us Know