Costa Rica: Birding Highlights Tour (2018)

Customized for groups of 2 – 12 persons
Days: 10

Few countries in the world offer the chance to see over 900 different species of birds. With its fantastic climate and diverse ecological systems, Costa Rica is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and especially bird watchers. This wonderful package takes guests from highlands to the lowlands, and tropical jungles to dry forests exploring the awesome variety of flora and fauna and of course, checking off all the most wanted bird species in the country.

Costa Rica Birding Highlights tour 2018


The Costa Rica Focus Touch: 

Private meet and greet at the Juan Santa Maria (San Jose) International Airport.
Services of your private naturalist guide, Rudy Zamora (35+ years of birding in Central America) 24/7 in-country assistance.
 Birding checklist and target list customized to each location.
 Daily recap every day with your guide to update your birding checklist.
 1 group leader travels for free with 12 full fare guests.

Overview: Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: Arrive San Jose Costa Rica, Hotel Bougainvillea.
  • Day 2: Tortuguero | Canals & Kingfishers.
  • Day 3: Tortuguero | Caribbean coast.
  • Day 4: Arenal Volcano Area | Lowland Rainforest.
  • Day 5: Arenal Volcano Area | Lowland rainforest.
  • Day 6: Monteverde | Monteverde Cloud Forest.
  • Day 7: Monteverde | Bajos del Toro.
  • Day 8: Central Pacific | Tarcoles River.
  • Day 9: Central Pacific | Carara National Park.
  • Day 10: Return Home


Day 1: Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive in San Jose, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your tour begins with an afternoon walk through the exquisite gardens of the Hotel Bougainvillea. The gardens stretch over 10-acres with pathways, benches, and viewing areas. There are 50 species of bromeliad, native trees, orchids, herbs, cactus and much more. The gardens are a haven for several hard to see bird species including the white-eared ground sparrow and the Prevost ground sparrow. The hotel is decorated with local pottery and hosts an impressive collection of rocks and minerals found throughout Costa Rica. Dine tonight at the hotel restaurant.

Hotel Bougainvillea / Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Tortuguero | Canals & Kingfishers

You will depart today, very early, and travel through the massive Braulio Carillo National Park, heading to the Caribbean coast. Once through the rainforest, you’ll pass through typical Tico towns, pineapple plantations, and groves and groves of bananas. If time allows, you’ll stop for a few minutes to see the banana picking and processing in action. You will have breakfast along the way and reach the port of either Cano Blanco or Pavones to board your boat and continue your journey to Tortuguero. You will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. That afternoon you will take your first journey into the canals for some fantastic wildlife viewing and birding.

Rana Roja Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Tortuguero | Canals & Kingfishers

Activities vary in Tortuguero, depending on the time of year you visit. Today, first thing in the morning, you will embark back into the canals. The early mornings are alive with bird and animal activity. The afternoon you may visit Tortuguero town and the turtle museum and/or return to the canals for more birding. If you are visiting between June and October, plan on arranging the optional turtle nesting tour for the evening.

Savegre Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Arenal Volcano Area | Arenal Observatory Lodge

After breakfast today, you will board your boat transfer and return to Pavones or Cano Blanco to continue your journey. You will make a stop for lunch enroute and then continue to the town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano area. The drive is only about 2.5 hours and you will bird along the way as you pass through fields, farms, and rolling hills. You will arrive at the lovely Arenal Observatory lodge with time for birding the grounds. The Observatory Lodge has a huge observation deck overlooking the Arenal Volcano and an expansive garden. There is a total of 870 acres of forest and an excellent trail system. This is the premier bird watching location in the Arenal area.

 Arenal Observatory Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Arenal Volcano Area | Arenal Observatory Lodge

Today you will spend the full day around the trails at the Observatory Lodge. More than 500 species have been registered on the grounds and forest of the lodge. Keep watch for the black-crested coquette, yellow-eared toucanet, great curassow and many more. The diverse habitat provides a true paradise for bird watchers.

Arenal Observatory Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Cloud Forest | Hotel de Montana Monteverde

After breakfast at the Observatory Lodge, you will make a stop at the trails of Sky Trek. This is a great stop for birders as it gives you a chance to see the canopy at eye level. Look for the blue and gold tanager, and large mixed flocks. After the Sky Trek trails, travel around Lake Arenal to the lush cloud forests of Monteverde.

Hotel del Montana Monteverde / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Cloud Forest | Hotel de Montana Monteverde

You will spend the day today in the rich, exuberant Cloud Forest at the Monteverde Reserve. Monteverde is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. 10% of its flora is endemic. A wonderful network of trails covers more than 13-kilometers. Marvel at the huge tree ferns, bromeliads, and orchids. The reserve is home to the three-wattled bellbird, quetzals, tawny-throated leaf-tosser, lineated foliage-gleaner and many more fantastic species.

 Hotel del Montana Monteverde / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8: Central Pacific | Macaw Lodge

Time to move from the cool mountains of Monteverde to the warmth of the Pacific Coast. Enroute, stop for a float trip on the Tarcoles River. This trip is a great place to see shorebirds, marsh species, and of course the gigantic Central American Crocodiles. You will arrive at your hotel late afternoon for check-in.

Stay In Costa Rica / Meals: breakfast

Day 9: Central Pacific | Macaw Lodge

Few places in Costa Rica boast the diversity and grandeur of Carara National Park. Its key location as a wildlife corridor between northern and southern Costa Rica creates a sanctuary for a huge variety of animals and birds. More than 400 species are possible in this region. The fertile Tarcoles river, famous for its massive crocodiles flows through the region bringing in shorebirds and seabirds as well. Keep watch for tinamous, manakins, and puffbirds (just to name a few).

Stay In Costa Rica / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10: San Jose | Time to return home

The birding adventure comes to a close. Return to the San Jose Airport for your flight home.

Meals: breakfast

Our tours are customized to fit your needs. This tour can be booked on all dates, space is simply subject to availability.


Prices depend on the time of year you wish to travel and the amount of people you are traveling with. Please contact us for the pricing of your customized trip.

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Expedition Details:

  • This trip is suitable for guests 12 years +
  • The physical requirements are intermediate. There will be walking and hiking in temperatures between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Guests should be able to maneuver inclines and declines, some up & down, and unpaved trails and pathways.

Terms & Conditions:

Deposit & Balance payments:

For reservations made outside 60 days prior to arrival, a deposit payment of 25% is required to secure your package. Your balance payment is due 60 days prior to your arrival.

For reservations made within 60 days prior to arrival, a 100% payment is due to secure your package.


Changes may be made up to 30 days prior to arrival without fees from Costa Rica Focus; however, any fees or penalties charged by the providers in your package (hotels, transport, activities, tours, meals) will be the responsibility of the travelers. These penalties will be added to your package price.

Changes made within 30 days of your arrival will carry a change fee from Costa Rica Focus of $300 plus any fees or penalties charged by the providers in your package. (hotels, transport, activities, tours, meals).

Changes requested while in the country are at the discretion of the provider’s (hotels, transport, activities, tours, meals) in your package. Any penalties or fees associated with the changes are the responsibility of the traveler.


Cancellations may be made up until 30 days prior to arrival. Cancellation penalty up to 30 days prior to arrival is 50% of your deposit amount.

Cancellations made within 30 days of arrival carry a penalty of 100%.

Important Note:

Costa Rica Focus highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance to protect your vacation investment.