The Amazing South Costa Rica

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April is one of the most beautiful months of the year to visit the South of Costa Rica, stable weather and incredible bird activity allow the visitor to enjoy the best birding scenarios of the country. This birding expedition has been planned for the dry season, but it can be done any time of the year. If you can not visit in April, plan with us for a time of your convenience.

Enjoy comfortable lodges, and great food.

Tour Type

Birding & Nature

Group Size

Max.6 participants

Dates

April 6th - April 19th 2025

Activity Level - Easy to Moderate

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April is one of the most beautiful months of the year to visit the south of Costa Rica, stable weather and incredible bird activity allow the visitor to enjoy access to areas otherwise impossible in the wet season. Because there are almost unlimited birding opportunities, our schedule is design to take advantage of our precious time in each area we visit. We repeat overnights in many lodges to look for species we may have missed the day before or even have better viewing opportunities and perhaps that photo you miss the day before. Our journey will start at Cerro de La Muerte, an oak dominated forest in the higher elevations of Costa Rica, they are providing the largest number of endemic birds of Southern Central America. These high mountains with cool weather are home of the Resplendent Quetzal, revered by Aztecs and Mayans and considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world. We spend two nights in Talari Mountain Lodge to explore the foothills near San Isidro with very unique species of birds. Then we spend three nights exploring the mountains in San Vito with a complete new set of birds and coming in close contact with some of the special birds of the south. We will spend three nights near Piedras Blancas National Park. Lastly, we return to the Central Pacific part of the country where we will have the chance to see the mangrove forest with a completely new set of wetland birds as well as transitional Rain Forest birds in Carara National Park.

Note: *To organize a private tour for your convenience any time of the year, please get in touch with us!

We will be more than happy to help you!

San José Province

Days 1 & 12.

San Gerardo de Dota, San José Province

Days 2 & 3.

Las Cruces Research Station

Day 4, 5 & 6

Esquinas Rainforest

Days  7 & 8

Villa Lapas

Days 9, 10 & 11

Arrival in San Jose International airport and transfer to hotel.


Lodging: Bougainvillea Hotel

Type of room: Standard

Meals: welcome dinner

www.hb.co.cr

Costa Rica has four principal mountain ranges known as “Cordilleras.” Our tour began in the Central Cordillera and today we head towards the Savegre-Cerro de la Muerte highland forest in the mountains of the Talamanca Cordillera. The highlands of Costa Rica and far western Panama are the only significant mountains between Guatemala and the Colombian Andes.

Because of this isolation, a surprising number of endemic birds are found here, many of them quite distinctive. As one goes up-slope, the percentage of species unique to this region increases, and such birds are found in the scrub and grassy openings at the highest elevations. Our first stop will be to visit the Paraiso Quetzal cabin complex owned and operated by the Serrano family. This beautiful property, surrounded by majestic Costa Rican Oak Trees (Quercus copeyensis), has walking paths and hummingbird feeders and supports a diverse population of high-altitude bird species.

What to look for: Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Acorn Woodpecker, Rufus-collared Sparrow, Mountain Thrush, Large-footed Finch, Flame-colored Tanager, Slaty Flowerpiercer and the Sooty-capped Chlorospingus. Volcano, Fiery-throated and Talamanca Hummingbirds. Blue vented hummingbird, hard to see because is an altitudinal migrant.

Overview: Leaving the Paraiso Quetzal, we will continue in the Savegre highlands to arrive at our destination, the Sueños del Bosque Lodge, with grounds surrounded by oak forest, affording us another chance to increase our list of highland species that afternoon. Scintillant Hummingbird.

What to look for: Resplendent Quetzal, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Yellow-winged Vireo, Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Spotted Wood-Quail. Hummer Patrol, Scintillant Hummingbird, Gray-tailed Mountain-gem (endemic to Costa Rica) and Lesser violet ear.

Overnight: Sueños del Bosque (Sueños del Bosque = “Woodland Dreams” - the name says it all)

Meals: Breakfast, and Dinner

Today we continue exploring the Savegre-Cerro de la Muerte highlands oak forest and other high-altitude habitats within this remarkable region. In the tall oak forests of the main slopes, the birds typically roam in mixed flocks, providing an excellent opportunity to view several different species simultaneously. The dense forests and bamboo thickets just below the tops of the ridges are optimal habitat for several unique or endemic birds of this high-elevation eco-system.

What to look for: Black-capped Flycatcher, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Black-cheeked Warbler, Sooty Thrush, Volcano Junco, Ruddy Treerunner, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Ochraceous Wren, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart, and Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager. Most of the preceding are endemic to these highlands but we should also find some familiar birds at the southern end of their range, including the Red-tailed Hawk (Costa Rican subspecies), Band-tailed Pigeon, Hairy Woodpecker (Costa Rican subspecies), and wintering wood warblers. Several much scarcer mountain birds also occur here, and with luck we may find the Timberline Wren, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Ochraceous Pewee, Streaked Saltator or the Wrenthrush. Striped tailed hummingbird.

Overnight: Sueños del Bosque

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Overview: Morning drive to Wilson ́s Botanic Garden. Stop in route at "El Peje " Nature Preserve. This private property can produce excelent birds, hard to get in other areas such as Zeledon ́s Antbid, Plain Antvireo, Rufous and white Wren, Rufous browed Peppershrike and much more.
Afternoon to explore the grounds and enjoy the feeders on premises.

Lodging: Las Cruces Research Station

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Type of room: Standard

www.tropicalstudies.org

Overview: This morning we explore Las Cruces research Station better known as the Wilsons Botanical Garden in one of the premier Organization of Tropical Studies network of private preserves and a must see detination for birds in the south of Costa Rica. Surrounded by lush vegetation and with nice trails that will allow us to search for. Laughing Falcon, Costa Rican brush Finch, White crested Coquette, Blue ground Dove, White crowned Parrot, Green breasted Mango, Olivaceous Piculet, Orange collared Manakin, Golden hooded Tanager, Speckled Tanager, Streak Saltator, Yellow face Grassquit, Yellow crowned Euphonia and it we are lucky Turquoise Cotinga.


Lodging: Las Cruces Research Station
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Explore the area near Las Cruces in search of some of the special southern species.


Lodging: Las Cruces Research Station

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast we will explore the surroundings of the Lodge in search or more interesting bird species, Scarlet rumped Tanager, Lessons Motmot, Crimson collared Tanager, Violet Sabrewing, Green crowned Brilliant, Snowy bellied Hummingbird, White tailed Emerald, Red crowned Woodpecker, Silver throated Tanager Gray headed Chachalaca, Red legged , and Green Honeycreeper and if we are lucky Red headed Barbet. After lunch our journey continues to the coast to arrive late afternoon to our lodge Esquinas Rainforest.


Lodging: Esquinas Rainforest

Meals: Breakfast, and dinner

Type of room: Standard

www.esquinaslodge.com

Early morning exploration of Esquinas Rain Forest Lodge property, in search of some of the most representative birds of the area, among others we will be looking for: King Volture, White tipped Sicklebill, Bronzy Hermit, Purple crowned Fairy, Hooked billed Kite, Gray lined Hawk, Red rumped Woodpecker, Bat Falcon, Brown throated Parakeet, Russet Antshrike, Black face Antthrush, Pale breasted Spinetail, Ruddy tailed Flycatcher, Yellow margined Flycatcher and White browed Gnatcatcher among others. Esquinas rain forest is adjacent to Piedras Blancas National Park.


Lodging: Esquinas Rainforest

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Drive to the Central Pacific Slope arrival to Villa Lapas and explore the property in search of some special birds of the area. We break our drive this morning to explore the Sierpe River on a river Safari boat ride, adjacent to the Corcovado National Park in search of very special birds of the area.


Great Tinamou, King Volture, Hook-billed Kite, White Hawk, Inca Dove, Red-lored Parrot, Purple crowned Fairy, Black headed Trogon, Dusky Antbird, Cinnamon Becard, Masked Tityra, Social Flycatcher, Northern Bentbill, Lesser Greenlet, Bay-headed Tanager and much more.

Lodging: Villa Lapas

Meals: Breakfast

Type of room: Standard

www.villalapas.com

Day to explore Carara National Park in search of some of the Central Pacific specialties. White whiskered Puffbird, Tawny crowned Greenlet, Orange collared Manakin, Dotted winged Antwren, Tawny winged Woodcreeper, Slaty tailed Trogon, Rose throated Becard, Rufous and white Wren, Black hooded Antshrike, Mealy Parrot, Yellow billed Cotinga, Turquoise browed Motmot, Pale billed Woodpecker and much more.


Lodging: Villa Lapas

Meals: Breakfast

Day to explore Tarcoles River on a river Safari boat tour.
Great opportunity to increase the list with many Mangrove forest specialties. Also many species of Kingfishers, Herons, and Raptors can be added to the list.

Lodging: Villa Lapas

Meals: Breakfast

Overview: Today we head back to the capital city, San José.


Lodging: Country Inn or Similar

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Departure for home: The tour ends this morning with a transfer to the San José airport for flights departing to the USA or other countries. When booking your return flight please keep in mind that transfers will depart from the hotel three hours before the scheduled departing flight time. In other words, if you have scheduled an early morning flight, your departure from the hotel will be very early.

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