Costa Rica Birding Journeys

    A journey in an easy pace

    9 nights - 10 days

    Destinations (3) Tapanti National Park, Pejibaye’s Rainforest, Central Pacific.

    Costa Rica Birding Journeys is passionate about sharing our natural marbles. After decades of professionally guiding worldwide travelers we can to a sense that many bird lovers were unable to travel due limited versatility to chase birds around. We explore the possibility to organize expeditions to certain areas of Costa Rica in which comfort is as good as it birds. Reaching every corner of our country for this long allowed us to find those magical places in which birding was superb yet the access to them was fairly easy and in some cases effortless. Imagine yourself sitting in a 100 meters long balcony surrounded by pristine rainforest from edge to edge, from back to front, from north to the south. Imagine a mixed flock of well over 40 species of birds jumping, creeping, hoping, flying, hoovering, gliding everywhere, or begin to imagine a lush evergreen forest by the corner of your room where Eagles perch in the hunt of a toucan or a guan. Or even better imagine to be sitting with a nice cup of coffee, your spotting scope and your binoculars observing very keen all treetops while finding a Lovely Cotinga. We have found those amazing birding destinations where birds come to you.

    ARRIVAL TO COSTA RICA. Overnight in San Jose. Pick up transfer and information meetings. Today, CRBJ staff will describe the day by day activities, the destinations, possible bird sightings, what to wear by destination and all other general information regarding the trip. No meals included

    Tapanti National Park because of its geographical position, this park is affected by constant cloud formation. The forest is lush, rich in epiphytic plants, mosses, orchids, and a dense understory. This incredibly biodiverse region houses an incredible 360+ species of birds, including Antpittas, Hummingbirds, Finches, Woodquails, Tanagers, Euphonias, Eagles, Trogons, and Owls. With a large main trail bordering both secondary and primary forest, Tapanti is the perfect place for birders who are looking for the challenge of finding those elusive species such as Sharpbills, Monklets, Antpittas, Woodquails, Quaildoves, and perhaps a beautiful soaring eagle. Randall Ortega, our lead guide and owner, an expert in behavioural birdwatching, has spent an incredible amount of time in this park and knows it better than anyone. He is sure to guide you on an incredible journey here! One of the most amazing qualities of this park are its mixed flocks, which can arrive at any moment: a true birding delight!

    Birding Highlights: Lanceolated Monklet, Azure Hooded Jay, Scaled Antpitta, Prong-billed Barbet, Black Guan, Ornate Hawk Eagle, Lance-billed Hummingbird, Ruddy Treerunner, Chiriqui Quail Dove, White-throated Robin, Black and White Becard, White-throated Spadebill

    Day 1. Chalet Orosi. Breakfast & early departure to Tapanti National Park.  

    Travel to the Orosi’s valley largely covered by coffee farms, active pasture fields, and rivers. Great habitats for hundreds of species such as orioles, spinetails, flycatchers, raptors, nightingales, wrens, etc. Birding along the road with several stops. Upon arrival at the lodge a well-deserved lunch and some resting time. The rest of the day we will visit disturbed habitats and back roads.

    Day 2. Chalet Orosi. Birding before breakfast.

    Today, we will be birding before the sun shines, finding Antpittas it will require a little sacrifice. Birding inside the national park for antpittas, woodquails, woodcreepers, tinamous, and mixed flocks. Traveling by car along the forest edges would allow us to get some amazing results, due the long distances between the park entrance and the last trail to the waterfall the best way to achieve a good number of bird species plus the opportunity to come across several times mixed flocks. All day birding at the park trails and forest edges.

    Day 3. Chalet Orosi. Breakfast to go, early birding at the forest trails, Tapanti is full of surprises, there are few places in Costa Rica where you might get to be all by yourselves birding. Species as Green fronted Lancebill, Prong billed Barbet, Highland Tinamou, Azure hooded Jay, Golden bellied Flycatcher and many opportunities to find mixed flocks are many on a daily basis. All day at the park trails searching for tanagers, oropendolas, owls, euphonias, etc.

    Check Route Map Here

    Pejibaye’s Mid-Elevation Rainforest this is without a doubt the most exciting birding destination in Central America! Lying beneath the Caribbean slope of the Talamanca Mountains near Tapanti National Park, its unique geographical position provides the area with an exuberant forest cover, inter-mountain valleys, river gorges and very little human presence, lending to incredible birding opportunities. The lower forest nearest the lodge is a magnet for Tanagers, Orioles, Shrike Vireos, Oropendolas, Toucans and Hummingbirds. Its understory of even vegetation is fantastic for Manakins, Spinetails, Finches, Wrens, Sparrows and even Tinamous. In a single mixed flock over 40 species can be found, including Songwrens, Anthrushes, and Antpittas. Meanwhile, look up into the canopy and you will find Grosbeaks, Woodcreepers, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Grosbeaks, and up to 17 species of Tanagers. Perhaps you will even see the rare Yellow-eared Toucanets gilding from branch to branch! Pejibaye’s Rainforest is the best place to find Snowcaps anywhere, and the unrivalled privacy of this lodge, along with excellent hotel staff, make this location a birdwatching delight.

    Birding Highlights: Ashy-throated Bush Tanager, Rufous-Browed Tyrannulet, Snowcap, Northern Schiffornis, Lovely Cotinga, Black-headed Anthrush, Grey-headed Kite, Brown-billed Scythebill, White-crowned Manakin, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Tawny-faced Gnatwren.

    Day 1. Copal Lodge. Leisurely take a breakfast pack and get ready for intense birding at Pejibaye’s Rainforestbirding along roadside, farms, cattle fields, etc. Once at the lodge explore the surrounding forests, birdwatch on site. Around the lodge in the middle of the day large eagles and other raptors are present, mixed flocks are very abundant and near the lodge forests, snowcaps, spinetalis, forest sparrows are also spotted.

    Day 2. Copal Lodge. Early rising, search for antbirds, leaftossers, woodcreepers return for breakfast and spend all day birding at the lodge grounds and nearby trails.The small loop trails at the Copal are very rewarding, insect eating birds such as Song Wrens, Tawny faced Gnatwrens, Brown billed Scythebills, Schiffornis and many others are some of the most active, its dense forest also is very good for rarities like Highland Tinamou, Yellow eared Toucanet and Lovely Cotinga, which in fact is the best month to find it.  

    Day 3. Copal Lodge. Get up with the sounds of the forest, birdwatch from the lodge deck, breakfast & continue searching for birds inside the forest since the list its large we will concentrate on species not found the previous days and also better looks to some of the pretty tanagers like Emerald Tanager, Black and Yellow and Rufous winged.

    Check Route Map Here

    Carara National Park the greatest birding destination 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.

    Day 1. Cerro Lodge. The fascinating climatic changes due its geological development makes Costa Rica one of the most biological rich countries in the face of the earth and Pacific Lowland Forest is one of its best representations. Upon arrival a great meal by the sea and hotel check in. Around 15:00 hours we will depart to open fields in search of lapwings, thicknees, seedaters, ground doves, grosbeaks, raptors, parrots and alike.

    Day 2. Cerro Lodge. 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 3 hrs 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. Cerro Lodge. Breakfast and get going! 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 430 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.

    Overnight at Hotel Bouganvillea: Last day of the journey: International flight dates, times, pick up & drop off based on your flight Schedule.

    A 2 by 2 journey

    9 nights - 10 days

    Destinations (3) San Gerardo de Dota, Carara National Park, La Selva Biological Station.

    A journey to the best birding destinations for limited mobility birders. Costa Rica Birding Journeys believes that all bird lovers deserve the very best of our country. We are proud to announce the venture into a new line of services with special needs. Carefully selected destinations with staggering numbers of species, natural beauty and unforgettable times.

    Birding on wheels represents what we have practice since day one, Sit & Wait; since watching our feathery friends in the rainforest does not requires necessarily long, steep and challenging hikes. After more than 3 decades of chasing birds all over the nation, we have always been the most successful on a standing or reduce distances. Therefore, suppling unique experiences to those on wheelies is not out of our comfort zone.

    ARRIVAL TO COSTA RICA. Overnight in San Jose. Pick up transfer and information meetings. Today, CRBJ staff will describe the day by day activities, the destinations, possible bird sightings, what to wear by destination and all other general information regarding the trip. No meals included. 

    Talamanaca Highlands there is not destination in Costa Rica more fulfilling for endemic birds, although the number of species in the highlands in the country are far less than rainforest lowlands, the exceptional number of endemics far exceeds those ones in areas as Corcovado National Park or La Selva. Hummingbirds, flycatchers, vireos, trogons, wrens, are some the families that had been isolated for millions of years; creating specialization of species. Among some of the most beautiful birds are found the Resplendent Quetzal and perhaps the only place in which can be found all year long. Giant oaks, misty mornings and crispy air are among many of the wonderful things that make this destination a favorite among us…. Birders!

    Birding highlights

    Spotted Woodquail, Resplendet 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

    Day 1. Savegre Lodge. Early departure to the Savegre Valley; birding along the road for endemics such as Timberline Wren, Junco Volcano, Volcano Hummingbird, Flame throated Warbler, etc. Upon arrival lunch and garden birding.

    • Garden birding: Savegre Lodge has one of the most lavish gardens of all hotels in Costa Rica, fill with permanent flowering bushes, trees, and plants which attract a large number of hummingbirds amongst many other species of nectar feeders. Also due is proximity to natural forest, woodpeckers, flycatchers, hawks, vireos, warblers, wrens, parakeets, and even the emblematic Quetzals has nested nearby the rooms. All adjacent areas to the main lodge are accessible for wheelchairs.
    • Road and Riverside edges: The amazing location of Savegre Mountain Lodge offers lots of terrain to cover, specially by the forested edges near the roaring river. Three species of iconic mountain streams birds can be found. Torrent Tyrannulet, American Dipper and Black Phone these last two occur in North America but colorations and vocalizations are quite different. 
    • Oak forest: Within the premises of the lodge an ancient forest rises up tall as high as 60 meters, some of those giant tropical oaks might well have thousands of years. A large number of colorful bird species inhabit such vegetation. Commonly mixed flocks are found throughout the day; Ruddy Treerunner, Costa Rican Warbler, Acorn Woodpecker, Foliage gleaners, Golden browed Chrolophonia, Spotted Woodquails & many more.

    Day 2. Savegre Lodge. Birding before breakfast. In Search of Resplendent Quetzal.
Early birding in search for always elusive Zeledonia, Tapaculo and Resplendent Quetzal. All day birding at the lodge grounds roadsides, gardens and river edges & the upper parts of Cerro de la Muerte at Paramo forest.

    • Garden and hotel grounds birding
    • Drive up to the upper lands at 3500 meters above sea level. Birding by car

    Day 3. Savegre Lodge. Birding after breakfast to oak forest, were dozens of birds are found in the dense understory or high in the canopy. Redstars, silky flycatchers, woodcreepers, woodquails, becards and some eagles are among others to search for. In the late afternoon we will visit several local spots for endemic warblers.

    Check Route Map

    Carara National Park is by far one the best birding place all year long in Costa Rica and perhaps in the all Central America. Within the national park protects the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws, easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges. There are very few places in the country where more than hundred species can be found in one trail. Meandrica & Quebrada Bonita trail it has become an icon for quality birding, tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, antshrikes are among the most common birds in the forest. The nearby forested edges give as a good number of open field birds, jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, owls are among many of the avifauna found in these habitats. The mangroves at Rio Grande de Tarcoles are very rewarding on a good day along the river edges 5 species of kingfishers can be spotted, more than a couple dozens of shorebirds, herons, egrets are also easy to find but the most remarkable species are the ones with a restricted range or to the mangroves such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, the elusive Rufous necked woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic 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, Great Tinamou, Northern Royal Flycatcher.

    Day 1. Cerro Lodge. Birding before heading into the opposite side of Caribbean lowland forest, this drive would make us drive thru the continental divide to reach the Pacific Lowland Forest which in many ways is similar but due is difference in precipitation and soil composition its flora varies along with its wildlife and above all bird species. The fascinating climatic changes due its geological development makes Costa Rica one of the most biological rich countries in the face of the earth. Upon arrival a great meal by the sea and hotel check in. Around 15:00 hours we will depart to open fields in search for lapwings, thicknees, seedaters, ground doves, grosbeaks, raptors, parrots and alike.

    • 3 hrs drive to the Pacific Ocean
    • Hotel check in
    • Visit local birding sites
    • Dinner out

    Day 2. Cerro Lodge. Breakfast at a local restaurant after a boat trip to the mangroves. Traveling for half hour to birdwatch about 3 hrs boat tour to Tarcoles River Mangroves in which a combination of deforested areas, river edges, mangrove forest and river mouths are impressive. Herons, egrets, vireos, hummingbirds, frigatebirds, shore birds, waders, cuckoos, macaws, parrots, hawks, also looking for White throated Magpie Jay, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Black headed Trogon and much more are among the common groups of birds sighted; although the boat tour main goal is to find the mangrove specialities such Mangrove Hummingbird, Cuckoo, Vireo, Warbler, Rufous necked Woodrail, Panama & Scrub Flycatchers & American Pygmy Kingfisher. On the afternoon we will visit open farm lands, forest patches, river edges and more pasture fields; the goal here is to find seedaters, raptors, parakeets, flycatchers, lapwings, anis, ducks, species that are no longer found at the national park due their habitats disappearance or restoring habitats.

    • Mangrove Boat tour (3 hours)
    • Bijagual Road trip
    • Typical lunch at a local restaurant
    • Monkey River swamp
    • Dinner out

    Day 3. Cerro Lodge. Breakfast on the go! “The early bird catches the worm” today we will visit one of the best birding sites in Central America, Carara National Park is a combination of ecosystems, that aloud an amazing number of endemics, birds with restricted ranges and many other beauties with more than 430 species recorded antbirds, macaws, hummingbirds, euphonias, tanagers, flycatchers, cotingas, wrens, manakins and dozen more families are daily sightings. All day at the park, lunch at a local restaurant & dinner at Jaco Beach. All meals included

    • Full day at Carara National Park and adjacent forests
    • Lunch nearby the park
    • Sunset birding & Dinner at Carara lookout point

    Check Route Map

    Sarapiqui is a real rainforest experience with vast areas to cover, primary rainforest, active and no active pasture fields, river edges, canopy bridges, thick understory, etc. Cotingas, macaws, oropendolas, guans, eagles, toucans are some of the many species to find. La Selva Biological Station daily birds to spot are Green Ibis , Jacamars, Tanagers, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Tityras, etc. Botanical gardens nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always bring good surprises as Little Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and much more.

    Birding Highlights 

    Great green Macaw, Green Ibis, Snowy Cotinga, Slaty breasted Tinamou, Shiny Cowbird, White collared Manakin, Short tailed Nighthawk, Spectacled Owl, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Collared Aracari.

    Day 1. La Selva Biological Station. Traveling to the Braulio Carrillo is breathtaking, its 95% of the forests has never been altered by human hands, dozens of small waterfalls, evergreen vegetation makes this little piece of jungle one of the best places in Costa Rica to visit. More than 400 species had even recorded within the park area & adjacent villages. Our first visit is to a local farm in search of euphonias, toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers and the least goes on!! Lunch at the biological station followed by check in. On our first day at the marvelous lowland rainforest would be focused on exploring the adjacent trails to the main lodge area.

    • Visit to private land for birding
    • Exploration of biological station grounds

    Day 2. La Selva Biological Station. La Selva is some of the best birding in the world with large forested areas combined with secondary vegetation and gardens. Dozens of birds are found upon arrival, guans, tanagers, motmots, toucans, becards, euphonias, etc. Several hours at La Selva and continue to explore close by grounds for Great Green Macaw, Bat Falcon, etc.

    • 15 km of paved trails to explore
    • Drive and seek birds outside the lodge
    • Presentation about rainforest conservation (problematic & solutions)

    Overnight at Hotel Bouganvillea: Last day of the journey: International flight dates, times, pick up & drop off based on your flight Schedule.

    Check Route Map

    Drop me a line

      (506) 8417 9015
      CRBJOURNEYS@GMAIL.COM
      PLAYA JACO, GARABITO, PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA