Costa Rica sits astride a ridge of mountains that divide central America in half, giving this jungle paradise an amazing array of fantastic neotropical birds.

11 Days / 10 Nights


Costa Rica sits astride a ridge of mountains that divide central America in half, giving this jungle paradise an amazing array of fantastic neotropical birds.

11 Days / 10 Nights

San Jose-Sarapiquí-Los Chiles-Bajos del Toro-Carara-Alajuela

Discover the most amazing birds in Costa Rica

Do you call yourself a birder, a bird watching enthusiast, a nature and bird photographer, or just curiosity seeker hoping to see the resplendent Quetzal on a cloud forest hiking trail? Do you do your bird watching alone, with friends, like to take a tour, or just keep your eyes and ears open while you enjoy nature, looking for monkeys or other wildlife? In Costa Rica, it really doesn’t matter how you do your birding, because if you want to see and photograph birds, you are in one of the best bird watching locations in the world. Costa Rica boasts having over 870 bird species, according to the Costa Rican Ornithological Association Scientific Committee. The benefit to coming to Costa Rica for your bird watching experiences and tours is the fact that there is such a wide variety of species, as Costa Rica’s altitude varies between sea level and 3,800 meters (12,540 feet). Within that wide zone of temperature and climate conditions, you will find everything from the tropical Toucans and Scarlet Macaws to Quetzals and Trogons.
Day 01
Arrival to San José

Welcome to Costa Rica! For your added comfort, once you have passed immigration and customs and stepped out of the airport doors, you will have one of our representatives waiting for you outside with a sign with your name on it. He will drive you to your hotel.

The Hotel Bougainvillea is nestled within an award-winning tropical botanical garden that attracts many of the birds and butterflies that Costa Rica is famous for. We are confident you will long remember your time spent in this ten acre gem that is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful gardens in the country.

Private Transfer from International Airport to Bougainvillea

Hotel: Bougainvillea Hotel (1 Night)
Room Type: Garden View Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 02

Sarapiqui is not a popular tourist destination yet, but boasts an amazing amount of biodiversity and should be on every nature lover’s list. A great place to enjoy Costa Rica’s amazing natural beauty, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is perfect for those who enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, white water rafting, or kayaking. A great way to spend a day here would be to take an optional rafting trip down the Sarapiqui River, one of the most important trade routes between this region and the Caribbean coast. Around the rivers in this area is a mixture of farmland and protected tropical forest. It’s in these vast swaths of humid jungle that a lot of environmental research takes place. We recommend to visit Tirimbina, ( not included ) a biological reserve, research centre. Enjoy an easy-to-access network of trails, as well as a massive hanging bridge. The bridge is impressive, stretching about 200 meters (650 feet) over the raging Sarapiqui River, and has a spiral staircase halfway across that leads down to a small jungle-covered island.

Keel-billed Toucans, Great Green Macaws, Wood Thrushes, Grey-necked Wood Rails, Sun bitterns and Violet Crowned Woodnymphs are just a few of the birds that inhabit the Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve. For decades, Selva Verde has been a birding hotspot – captivating beginner and expert alike.

Hotel: Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve (2 Nights)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 03
Early Morning Bird Walks at Selva Verde

Grab your binoculars and join our naturalist guide for an early morning bird walk on the grounds of Selva Verde. The morning is a very active time for the birds which is why you can count on sighting several of the stunning tropical species that inhabit Selva Verde. Every morning is different but they are all exciting! Your guide has a keen eye and a high-powered scope, so you can get close up views of birds you might not have noticed otherwise. You may see toucans, honeycreepers, hummingbirds, trogons, parrots, great green macaws and more.

Day 04
Los Chiles / Caño Negro

Seventy kilometers north of Muelle on a smooth, paved road through the sugarcane, and just 6km south of the Nicaraguan border, lies the sweltering farming and fishing town of Los Chiles.  The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is considered one of the top spots for bird watching in the entire continent. Besides an abundance of birds, Caño Negro also serves as a safe haven to many other animal species such as sloths, three types of monkeys, caimans, lizards, bats, and the native wetland flora. Caño Negro also serves as a safe haven to many other animal species such as sloths, three types of monkeys, caimans, lizards, bats, and the native wetland flora.

Hotel: Caño Negro Natural Lodge (2 Nights)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 05
Canoeing Caño Negro

Explore by canoe the beauty of the Caño Negro Wetlands.  One of the most outstanding Mesoamerican areas on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. To the rhythm of the paddles you will glide through lowlands, seasonal floodplains, lakes and swamps. We will guide you on an amazing adventure to a sanctuary that houses 350 species of birds and around 78 species of mammals as well as 96 different types of reptiles. On this tour we will also head downstream into smaller channels that lead to remote lakes and visit spots that can’t be reached even by motor boat.

Day 06

Bosque de Paz, a lush jungle paradise, surrounded by magnificent cloud and rainy forests, is a natural biological corridor, located in the Continental Divide, between the National Poas Volcano Park and the National Juan Castro Blanco Park. Live the experience of being able to breathe the pure air of the mountains, while resting or walking through the jungle. At Bosque de Paz, they have recorded more than 331 species of birds,\, including Resplendent Quetzal, Scaled Antpitta, Black Guan, Emerald Toucanet, Three Wattled Bellbird, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Zeledonia, and Silvery-fronted, Tapaculo, Black–faced Solitaire, American Dipper, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, among many others, and abundant hummingbirds.

Bajos del Toro, Bosque de Paz Lodge

Hotel: Bosque de Paz Lodge (2 Nights)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 07
Birdwatching Tour near Bosque de la Paz

Walking  along our various natural trails, you will be able to admire the fabulous biodiversity up in the centenarian trees loaded with orchids, bromeliads, moss and ferns, set in an unforgettable landscape and surrounded by impressive mountains, valleys, rivers and imposing waterfalls. The gardens are a haven for wildlife and the bird feeders attract large numbers of hummingbirds and other species. There are 22 kms of nature trails in the grounds, made up of 5 main trails: the botanic trail, the gallery trail, valley trail, Jaluares trails and the waterfall trail, letting you experience different aspect of the rainforest. On all your walks witness varied vegetation and a great many birds.

Day 08

The Carara National Park, has the only transition forest in Central Pacific, resulting in diversity of flora and fauna, where typical species of dry and humid forests converge. The park protects a total of 4,700 hectares of rainforest and river habitats, famous for having the largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica, well known for their distinguished plumage. It is of high interest for nature lovers as it protects the river basin of the Tárcoles River, primary and secondary forests as well as lakes and waterfalls which make Carara the perfect habitat for birds, monkeys and giant crocodiles living in the Tárcoles river. Its unique position creates a distinguished flora and fauna unique to this place, making it perfect for a hike on its two major trails. It is the first national park in having a universal access trail, where also people with a handicap can enjoy the wonders of the rainforest.

Villa Lapas Jungle Village is a place that feels fully connected to the jungle, where you experience the sheer splendor of Costa Rica at every moment. The myriad array of native species ranges from birdlife like scarlet macaws, toucans, parrots, aracaris, kingfishers and herons, to white-face capuchin monkeys, peccaries, anteaters, poison-arrow frogs and the crocodiles of the Tárcoles River. Located adjacent to the park and five minutes from the river, Villa Lapas Jungle Village is one of the best hotels for exploring this stunning landscape in Costa Rica.

Hotel: Villa Lapas Hotel Rainforest Eco Resort (2 Nights)
Room Type: Standard Room
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 09
Birdwatching Tour at Carara National Park

This is one of the best places to see the spectacular Scarlet Macaws. You will go on a guided hike to Parque Nacional Carara. Your local naturalist guide will help you identify and spot the many birds that can be found here…  Apart from what we already mentioned, here in the warmth of the lowland tropics we’ll have our first encounters with members of several neotropical bird families such as puffbirds, antbirds, and manakins. Also, a number of species endemic to the southern Pacific half of Costa Rica and adjacent western Panama reach their northern limit here, including Costa Rican Swift, Baird’s Trogon, Fiery-billed Araçari, Riverside Wren, and Spot-crowned Euphonia. Overnight at Hotel Villa Lapas.

Villa Lapas Sky Way
Day 10
Self Drive to Alajuela 

Within 2.5-acres of magnificently manicured grounds, hidden in the midst of a coffee plantation, Buena Vista boasts a relaxed colonial Spanish-style architecture chic hotel with two stories and five villas, all nestling along the colorful lush flora, more than 100 species of birds, and easy hiking pathways at 4200ft above sea level.

Hotel: Buena Vista Hotel (1 Night)
Room Type: Deluxe Standard
Meals Plan: Breakfast

Day 11
Departure from Alajuela to the International Airport

After an amazing time of absolute highlights in our beautiful Costa Rica, it is time to return home.

Private Transfer from Buena Vista to International Airport

·       All services indicated in the itinerary above.

·       Personalized information, complete voucher list.

·       Local Travel Program Support, 24-hour emergency service.

·       Airport transfers upon arrival and departure.

·       10 nights of accommodation in hotels specified in the proposal.

·       Breakfast at all hotels and taxes included.

·     09 days car rental. Suzuki Vitara 4×4 

Free mileage.

1st additional driver free of charges.

Free wifi

Coverages included: CDW-TP-TPL: collision damage waiver-theft protection-third party liability

·      Excursions included (shared):

·      Early Morning Bird Walks at Selva Verde. Included: Bilingual Guide and entrance fee.

·      Canoeing Caño Negro (3hrs). Included: Bilingual Guide and entrance fee.

·      Birdwatching Tour-Bosque de Paz. Included: Bilingual Guide and entrance fee.

·      Birdwatching Tour at Carara National Park. Included: Bilingual Guide and entrance fee.


    • National Park Entrance fees.
    • Airport taxes (US$ 29.00 per person not included).

The most important things to bring are your travel documents: a valid passport, flight and hotel information, health insurance card and driver’s license, as well as a valid credit card. We advise you to make three copies of these documents. Put one copy in your carry-on bag, one copy in your suitcase and leave one copy at home.

Basic Tropical forests, colorful wildlife and spectacular beaches are part of daily life in Costa Rica. The climate varies depending on where you are, so pack accordingly.

  1. Prepare for hot, humid summers. Shorts, T-shirts, sundresses, skirts and tank tops in lightweight fabrics should keep you cool. Take a sweater for evenings at a higher elevation. Bring plenty of sunblock. Also include insect repellent, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a swimsuit.
  2. Take rubber-soled sandals or hiking boots for journeys into the rain forests. Flip-flops and sandals are great for resorts and hanging out by the beach. Pack separate clothes for evenings. Simple dresses are great for women, while men will do well in long shorts and a button-down shirt.
  3. Prepare for cool winters, particularly in the northern regions and at higher elevations. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are a must, while a fleece jacket or a sweater is advisable.
  4. Take an umbrella if you plan to travel between May and November – Costa Rica’s wettest period.
  5. A rain slicker will come in handy while hiking.
  6. Bring an electric converter and adapter.

A Basic Bird-Watching Equipment Checklist


Perhaps the most useful piece of equipment a birder should have is a pair of binoculars. Without binoculars, a beautiful bird sitting high in a tree could remain nothing more than a small speck in the distance. To avoid such frustration, it’s important to invest in a quality pair of binoculars with magnification capabilities. Bring WATERPROOF binoculars. With the wonderful advent of a variety of quality, mid-priced binocs, most birders coming to Costa Rica have optics that are waterproof and therefore will not fog up in humid conditions.

Journal and pen

If you’re an avid bird-watcher, you may want to document your findings. Keeping a journal will help you remember what birds looked like, the noises they made, and other important details so that you can identify them when you get back from your birding expedition.

Smart phone

Smart phones have revolutionized birdwatching. It’s like having a field guide in your phone, except it’s better. Like a field guide, it provides illustrations and range maps. Plus, some birding apps have programs that allow you to filter characteristics to help you identify your bird.

Spotting scope

Binoculars may help you get a better view of birds in your general area, but if you’re trying to see a bird that’s extremely far off in the distance, you’ll likely need the aid of a spotting scope. In addition, spotting scopes are useful for getting a more detailed look at birds so that you can better identify them.


Many birders enjoy bringing cameras along with them on their bird-watching excursions. Snapping a few photos of the birds can be beneficial for identifying them later. Plus, you’ll likely end up with some incredible photographs due to the artistic and graceful nature of birds.

Zip lock bags

Use those ziplock bags as an extra measure of security for the stuff we would rather keep dry such as cameras, ipods, digital recorders, batteries, medicine, socks, and other articles of clothing.


Earth-toned clothing is best. Birds have a highly-developed sensitivity to color, as evidenced by females choosing brightly-colored mates. This means that brightly-colored clothes are visible to birds. Shoes should be comfortable, closed-toed, and waterproof depending on your conditions.

Field guide

Looking at beautiful birds in their natural habitat is fun on its own, but having the ability to identify the different birds can enrich your experience. By bringing a field guide with you, you’ll be able to classify birds based on the guide’s illustrations and descriptions. Garrigues and Dean is perfectly sized for travel and is an excellent field guide for Costa Rica. The classic Stiles and Skutch tome is also a great guide and is chock full of information but its size is somewhat prohibitive for travel.

The Birds of Costa Rica, written by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean