Costa Rica: Birding “Intro to Costa Rica” (2018)

Customized for groups of 2 – 12 persons
Days: 10

For first-time visitors to Costa Rica that want to do the “must see” destination and add many new species to their life lists, our “Intro to Costa Rica” birding package is the perfect choice. In ten days guests will cover 4 distinct areas; all boasting a huge array of bird species. This journey also introduces guests to some of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica as they travel from the Talamanca Mountains to the Caribbean lowlands, and the Arenal Volcano to the lush cloud forest of Monteverde.

intro costa rica birding 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, transfer to Savegre.
  • Day 2: San Gerardo de Dota | Quetzal Country.
  • Day 3: Caribbean Lowlands | Great Green Macaws.
  • Day 4: Caribbean Lowlands | La Selva Biological Station.
  • Day 5: Central Mountains | Arenal Volcano area.
  • Day 6: Central Mountains | Lowland rainforest.
  • Day 7: Mountain Cloud Forest | Monteverde.
  • Day 8: Mountain Cloud Forest | Bajos del Toro.
  • Day 9: San Jose | Farewell dinner.
  • 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. You will make your way out of the city limits and travel approximately 2.5 hours through the highest peaks of the Talamanca Mountains. The towering Talamanca Mountains are not only home to the highest peak in Costa Rica (Chirripo) but also unique areas of sub alpine paramo and lush white oak forests. You will reach your first destination, The Savegre Lodge, and have time to check in and enjoy the surrounding gardens.

Savegre Lodge / Meals:lunch & dinner*
*Lunch is provided depending upon your arrival time to the lodge.

Day 2: San Gerardo de Dota | Savegre Lodge

Have your binoculars handy as this area is rich with almost 200 bird species. The resplendent quetzal, flame-throated warbler, volcano junco and the silvery-throated jays are just a few of the many birds that inhabit the area. Enjoy the cool temperatures, clear mountain streams and the magnificent forests of San Gerardo de Dota. Enjoy a full day of bird watching surrounding the lodge.

Savegre Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Caribbean Lowlands | Selva Verde Lodge

After breakfast you will depart the cool highlands for the sultry jungles of the Caribbean Lowlands. Your drive is about 3.5 hours. Selva Verde is a great location to spy the Great Green Macaw, and the spectacular Sun Bittern. It is also home to many species of tree frogs, so keep your eyes peeled as you maneuver the trails The rustic cabins are set right in the rainforest to give you a true immersion into nature.

Selva Verde Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Caribbean Lowlands | Selva Verde Lodge

Today it’s an early breakfast and then off to the La Selva Biological Station. La Selva is comprised of 3900 acres of tropical forest nestled between two rivers. (Rio Puerto Viejo and Rio Sarapiqui) La Selva was established in 1954 as a farm dedicated to natural resource management. In 1968, it became a private reserve and research station owned and operated by the O.T.S. More than 250 scientific papers are published yearly with research and study done and completed at La Selva. You will enjoy the entire morning and early afternoon at La Selva, then return to Selva Verde for lunch. That afternoon you will explore the trails around Selva Verde.

Selva Verde Lodge / Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Central Mountains| Arenal Observatory Lodge

Enjoy the morning at Selva Verde, have lunch and then depart for 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 6: Central Mountains| 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Central Pacific | Stay-In Costa Rica

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, lunch, dinner

Day 10: San Jose | Lush Gardens

Arrive in San Jose, and check into your hotel, The Hotel Bougainvillea. Enjoy an afternoon walk through the exquisite gardens of the Hotel. 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: Farewell Dinner

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.