The Amazing South Costa Rica

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March 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 March, plan with us for the time of your convenience.

Enjoy comfortable lodges, and great food.

Tour Type

Birding & Nature

Group Size

Min. 2 People

Dates

16th - 28th March 2023

Activity Level - Easy to Moderate

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March 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 exploring the coastal region with a complete new set of birds and coming in close contact with some of the special birds of the south. La Cusinga rain forest will provide us with some of the amazing birds of the area. As we move closer to the border of Panama, we will have the chance to encounter many species they are considered near endemic that are found only in Costa Rica and Panama. We will spend two 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 complete new set of wetland birds as well as transitional rain forest birds in Carara National Park.

  • One space available on single occupancy – Book now!

 

Tour Price based on 4 to 5 participants:

Double Occupancy: $ 3.500 per person

Single: $ 3.800

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 & 10.

San Gerardo de Dota, San José Province

Days 2 & 3.

Rivas, San José Province

Day 4 & 5.

Uvita, Puntarenas Province

Days 6 & 7.

Punta Leona, Herradura

Days 8 & 9.

Arrival in San Jose International airport and transfer to hotel.

Overnight: Country Inn or similar

Meals: Welcome dinner

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, Lunch and Dinner

 

Overview: Alexander Skutch, is a birding jewel in southwest Costa Rica. Receiving no more than a thousand visitors a year, the approximately 175-acre bird sanctuary is seldom on birding tour itineraries. Yet with its many birds and historical
significance, Los Cusingos—the popular name for the endemic fiery-billed araçari-- should not be overlooked. Now owned by the Tropical Science Center in San José, Los Cusingos remembers Dr. Skutch (1904-2004) with commemorative activities on his May 20 birthdate. Although a botanist by training, he was perhaps the most important Neotropical ornithologist of the last century, judged by the enormous quantity of ornithological knowledge he produced.
He concentrated on the life histories of birds. But he also wrote much philosophy. His bibliography lists more than thirty books and over 260 articles. At Los Cusingos, a farm he acquired in 1941, he studied birds and plants, and lived very frugally, even without electricity or indoor plumbing during most of the 63 years he lived there.

The beautiful forest of Los Cusingos can produce spectacular birds, such as Blue crowned Manakin, Red capped Manakin, Rufous Piha, Tawny winged Wood Creeper, Northern barred Wood Creeper, Scaled Antpitta, Mistletoe Tyrannulet, Olive striped Flycatcher, Slaty capped Flycatcher among others.

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

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 Honey Creeper 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, lunch, and dinner
Type of room: Standard
www.esquinaslodge.com

Early morning exploration of Esquinas RainForest 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

Early mornig bird walk in search of some new species in the surroundings of the Lodge to leave around midday to La Cusinga in the Central Pacific area of Costa Rica.

Lodging: Cusinga Lodge or similar
Type of room: Standard
Meals: Breakfast
www.lacusingalodge.com

Early morning bird walk to head after breakfast to Cusinga rainforest property , we will be looking for; Great Curassow, Gray headed Tanager, Olivaceous Piculet, Pale billed Woodpecker, Black hooded Ant Shrike, Chestnut backed Ant bird, White crowned
Parrot, Boat billed Flycatcher, Streak Flycatcher, Black crowned Tityra, Golden naped Woodpecker, River side Wren and if we are lucky White necked Puffbird.

La Cusinga offers great chances on tropical rain forest mammals as well such as Collared peccaries, White face capuchin monkeys, Howler monkeys, Agoutis, Iguanas and much more.

Lodging: La Cusinga
Meals: Breakfast

Surrounded by pristine forest La Cusinga will produce spectacual birds such as, Dot winged Antwren, Riverside Wren, (endemic) Black cheeked Ant Tanager, (endemic) , Yellow crowned Euphonia, White vented Euphonia, Spot crowned Euphonia, Blue black Grossbeak, Black stripe Sparrow, Blue throated Golden Tail, Rudy breasted Seedeater, Charming Hummingbird , Yellow throated Toucan, we will explore the grounds until lunch time.

After lunch we head towards Punta Leona Hotel on the Central Pacifc coast, this will be a long drive2 hours approximately, this will give us plenty of time to review the bird list and enjoy the landscapes of the area. Here and there we will stop for birds we spot along the road.

Lodging: Punta Leona
Type of room: Selvamar Standard
Meals: Breakfast
www.hotelpuntaleona.com

Visit to Carara National Park in search of some of the representative species of the area, we hope to find; Baird´s Trogon (endemic), Mealy Amazon, Northern barred Woodcreeper, Royal Flycatcher, Bright rumped Attila, Orange collared Manakin, Red and Blue crowned Manakin, Black throated Trogon, White whiskered Puffbird, Turquoise browed Motmot, Slate headed tody Flycatcher, Yellow olive flycatcher, Streak chested Antpitta, Slaty Antwren, Plain Antvireo, Dusky Antbird, Spotted Woodcreeper, Ruddy Woodcreeper, Plain Xenops, Yellow throated Toucan and of course Scarlet Macaw. One of the largest populations of these magnificent birds is found in Carara.

Afternoon Safari in the Tarcoles river to explore the mangrove forest in search of some of the unique birds of the ecosystem; Mangrove Hummingbird (endemic)Mangrove Warbler, Mangrove Vireo are high in our list, variety of water birds can be found in the river such as, Roseate Spoonbill, Bare throated tiger Heron, Anhinga, Neotropical Cormorant among others Osprey , Brown Pelican, Yellow and black crowned night Heron can also be spotted, Mangrove Hawk and Yellow headed Caracara are there too. Here and there we will find American Crocodiles since the Tarcoles river harbors the largest population of Central America.

Lodging: Punta Leona
Meals: Breakfast

Morning to explore Punta Leona Private preserve in search of some birds we may have missed in Carara, on last look at Scarlet Macaws, after a couple of hours after breakfast we will start packing to have lunch at the hotel and head to the capital city. Tonight, our farewell at the hotel to wrap up our fantastic expedition in the South of Costa Rica.

Lodging: Country Inn or similar
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Type of room: Standard

Transfer to the airport for your international fly home.

Have Any Question?
Do not hesitate to contact us.  We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.