Costa Rica Wildlife and Photography Journey

Unique perspective of wildlife in Costa Rica through a photographic perspective

Did you know that there are more bird species in Costa Rica than in the entire United States and Canada combined? Costa Rica is home to over 850 bird species and 12 different life zones (habitats) all within only 51,000 Kilometres which makes Costa Rica a prier destination for wildlife lovers. Costa Rica has described by many Ornithologists as matchless anywhere else on earth given the diversity of species vs. the density of wildlife per square kilometre. With the aim of capturing this unique diversity, we have designed our 9-Day "Birds of Costa Rica" itinerary covering some of the most famed birding destinations and providing a balanced of natural habitats, including the Rain forest, Tropical Lowland forest on the Caribbean, Transitional Pre-montane Forest on the Pacific. And the mystic Cloud Forest and Páramo forests, where begins our quest for the Resplendent Quetzal - a bird endemic to Central America, considered sacred by the ancient Mayan civilization. Also, amongst the Aztecs there was the belief that the Resplendent Quetzal was the representation of their supreme god Quetzalcóatl.



8 Nights accommodations at four star lodges
Learning Journeys Expert Guide Services
All meals ( B,L,D-excluding day of arrival)
Activities as stated in the itinerary
Hotel Taxes

Call (908) 238-9935 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13732911

Tour Operator
Learning Journeys
Offer valid through 3/31/2018
9 Days
Escorted - Yes
Day 1San JoseArrive San Jose & Transfer to your hotel
Overnight at Buena Vista Hotel or similar. (D)
Day 2La Virgen de SarapiquiSan Jose - La Virgen de Sarapiqui - La Selva Biological Station.
After breakfast, your will head north and drive into the Caribbean lowlands, making various stops which will provide us an ideal opportunity to familiarize ourselves with many of the bird families we will be encountering during our stay in Costa Rica, amongst these are: the Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Slaty Flower-piercer, Mountain Eleania, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatcher. En route, we will stop at the Valley of "La Virgen de Socorro" - a middle elevation Caribbean slope area - we will spend some time birding on the mountain slopes around La Paz before continuing to Sarapiqui. This afternoon we will explore the network of trails at La Selva Biological Station, which encompasses 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical wet forests. This reserve has four major tropical life zones - primary lowland tropical forest. Over 400 species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded in the reserve, representing almost half of Costa Rica's bird species and providing first class opportunities to observe birds. Later in the afternoon, we will continue to our next destination, Bajos del Toro. Overnight at Bosque de Paz Lodge or similar (B, L, D) (BG)
Day 3TurrialbaSarapiqui - Turrialba
An early morning birding walk at the hotel grounds will help us spot some of the common Costa Rican birds. Today we will spend our full day exploring the Bosque de Paz Biological Reserve which is part of a natural biological corridor, located in the Continental Divide, between the National Poas Volcano Park and the National Juan Castro Blanco Water Park. Here more than 331 species of birds have been recorded since July, 1997, including the Resplendent Quetzal, Scaled Antpitta, Black Guan, Emerald Toucanet, Three Wattled Bellbird, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Zeledonia, and Silvery-fronted, Tapaculo, Black-faced Solitaire, American Dipper, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, among many others, and abundant hummingbirds. Overnight at Guayabo Lodge or similar. (B, L, D) (BG)
Day 4Carara National ParkCarara National Park & Boat Safari on the Tarcoles River & Stuary
This morning you will head to the more humid Transitional Premontane forest on the Central Pacific. This afternoon you will visit Carara National Park which with an area of 12952 acres, supports one of the few areas of pristine lowland tropical forest left on the Pacific slope, hosting a very large and diverse bird life of over 360 species, including one of the America's most magnificent birds, the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), an endangered species, which is found in reduced populations and only in three locations of Costa Rica. During your visit your will explore key habitats featuring the lush evergreen forest, secondary forest, scrub, wetlands, mudflats and mangrove thickets, each of which has its own range of species. After spending some time birding on the park trails, you will head for Tarcoles dock to take a boat Safari on the Tarcoles river, home of one of largest colonies of crocodiles in Costa Rica, with specimens which length range between 10 to 23 feet. The area where the river merges with Guacalillo estuary, and then both blend into the ocean is one of the best locations to see endangered birds such as the Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Vireo and the Panama Flycatcher, although these birds tend to spend most of the day in the forest, they roost in the Mangroves. Also commonly encountered are Pelicans, Boat-billed Herons, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, White Ibis, Bare-throated Tiger-heron, American Purple Gallinule, Black Skimmer, Magnificent Frigatebird, Mangrove Warbler, Mangrove Black-hawk, Panama Flycatcher and American Pygmy-kingfisher. Overnight at Macaw Lodge or similar. (B, L, D) (BG)
Day 5Carara National ParkBirding at hotel grounds and outskits of Carara National Park.
Day exploring the hotel private grounds and the outskirts on the nor eastern part of Carara National Park. Macaw Lodge is located between two life zones, the humid tropical forest and the high humidity pre-montane forest with a record of over 350 species of migratory and resident birds that have been seen on the lower and upper regions of the Central Pacific. Of these, more than half have been identified. Nightfall comes very quickly in Costa Rica and after dark, we hope to spend some time spotlighting for night birds and mammals. During your stay and visit to the Central Pacific you can expect to amass an impressive list of birds including: the Great Curassows, Fiery Billed Aracari, Laughing Falcon, Yellow-headed Caracara, Collared Forest-falcon, Gray and Roadside Hawks, Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers and Streak-backed Oriole. Overnight at Macaw Lodge or similar. (B, L, D) (BG)
Day 6San Gerardo de DotaExplore the Lowland & Coastal Forest at Hacienda Baru - San Gerardo de Dota
After spending some time around the hotel grounds trying to spot any of the bird species that may have eluded us, we will drive southeast to the Pacific coast, a 2 ½ hour drive will take us to Hacienda Barú. As of January 2006 more than 350 species of birds have been identified at Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge. This is mostly due to the wide diversity of habitats found on the 330 hectare (815 acre) reserve. These include: primary rainforest, secondary forest, swamp forest, mangrove forest, river bank, wetlands, seashore, old cacao plantations and open pastures. The primary rainforest is an ideal location for spotting tanagers, honeycreepers, toucans, saltators, vireos and others. Near the river your chance to observe water birds. Petrels, jaegers, gulls, and others are likely to be found there, and, with a little luck, an osprey might make an appearance. From there it's on to the rookery where, during the wet season, you will observe egrets, herons, ibis and other water birds from a blind built over the water of the mangrove estuary. The final leg of the visit includes secondary forest and the beach, your best opportunities to observe shore birds such as whimbrels, plovers, phalaropes, sandpipers and sanderlings, pelicans and frigatebirds. From the beach it is a short walk back to the Guide Center, where you began, before we finally drive for 2 more hours heading to Savegre area for a two-night stay. The Parámo has a very limited and fragmented distribution in Costa Rica. There are a number of bird species inhabiting the Parámo of Costa Rica and neighbouring Panama that are found nowhere else in the world.

Overnight at Savegre Mountain Lodge or similar. (B, L & D) (BG)

Day 7San Gerardo de DotaSavegre Reserve & Dota Region.
This morning will be spent exploring Savegre Reserve and Valley (7200 ft) with its famous oak forest and epiphyte vegetation. Here we will start our quest for the Resplendent Quetzal, along with other rare species exclusive to this region, such as the unique Silky Fly-Catcher, Coppery Headed Emerald Hummingbirds, Cerise-throated Hummingbirds and the Peg-billed Finch, all of which are endemic to this part of the world. We will return to the hotel in time for a hearty lunch. Later in the afternoon, we will continue and venture up to 11000 feet to explore the Parámo Forest which is usually covered with mist and home to the Resplendent Quetzal and other species of the Trogon family, endemic to this type of forest. Overnight at Savegre Mountain Lodge or similar (B, L, D) (BG)
Day 8San JoseSavegre Reserve & Neighboring areas - Journey back to San Jose.
(BG) Early morning, we will spend some time exploring the hotel grounds in search of any birds which may have eluded us. After lunch you will drive back to the Central Valley driving through the Cordillera de Talamanca and Cerro de la Muerte and later descending gradually from about approx 11000 feet at its highest point to 6000 feet in the Central Valley. En route, you will pass through a variety of habitats (farmland, lush Tropical Forest, Cloud Forest and Parámo) Overnight at Rodeo Country Inn (B, L & D)
Day 9Return HomeReturn Home. - B
Return Home. - B

Click Quote or call us to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
 $3,250.00* (USD) / 2018 : Low Season Rates : Min 2 persons traveling togetherQuote
 $3,485.00* (USD) / 2018 : High Season Rates : Min 2 persons traveling togetherQuote

2018 Rates:
High Season Rates
Min 2 persons traveling together: $3485 Single Supplement: $450

Low Season Rates
Min 2 persons traveling together-: $3250 Single Supplement: $380

HIGH SEASON RATES (Valid From Jan-July 2018 and November/December 2018 ) Except during Christmas, New Year and Easter Week.
LOW SEASON RATES -(Valid From August to October 2018


  • Costa Rica Wildlife and Photography Journey

    Unique perspective of wildlife in Costa Rica through a photographic perspectiveDid you know that there are more bird species in Costa Rica than in the entire United States and Canada combined?