Los Santos – Turrialba – San José

Great for:

Bird Watchers, Nature Lovers

Min. Age

12 Years old

Activity Level

Moderate

Rates from:

$2218 (Double Occupancy)

$1718 (Triple Occupancy)

Itinerary

Costa Rica is a birdwatchers’ paradise & this birding off-the-beaten-path destinations are extraordinary hidden gems for the bird watching enthusiast wanting to avoid the crowds, view some of Costa Rica’s more elusive species and learn about the local knowledge of the Costa Rican people

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica!

Arrival in San Jose and travel to Los Santos Area in locally owned Quetzal paradise Lodge.

Lodging at Quetzal Paradise (-/-/D)

Day 2

Quetzal Sighting

Early morning birding tour to see the beautiful Resplendent Quetzal. In the afternoon, go birding in the extensive oak forests of Los Quetzales National Park.

Lodging at Quetzal Paradise (B/L/D)

Day 3

El Copal Reserve

Travel to El Copal Reserve near Turrialba and Tapantí National Park. After a hearty campesino lunch, go birding in the El Copal Reserve.. At dinner, learn about El Copal’s conservation association.

Lodging at El Copal Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 4

El Copal Reserve

After a tall canopy forest hike with your guide, you’ll have breakfast prepared by Dona Patricia and continue birding in the areas surrounding the restaurant. Lunch at midday and back into the forest. Optional trip: that afternoon head to Guayabo National Monument, site of small pre-Columbian ruins (entrance fee not included).

Lodging at El Copal Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 5

Heading to the southern Caribbean

Travel day to Laguna Madre de Dios, one of the only Costa Rican nesting sites of the Agami Agami, a beautiful heron. Continue on to Casa Calateas on the Caribbean coast, where you might be able to observe the spring raptor migration (October – December).

Lodging in Casa Calateas Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 6

The Birds of Talamanca

Birding and wildlife observation in Cahuita National Park. Also, enjoy the beach and if you are up for it, take a snorkeling tour.

Lodging in Casa Calateas Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 7

Heading to the southern Caribbean

Travel back to San Jose and take a stroll around the capital. For our goodbye dinner, we’ll try some of the specialties of REGIONES, which specializes in authentic regional Costa Rican dishes (dinner in Regiones based on availability).

Lodging in the Hotel Rosa del Paseo or similar (B/-/D)

Day 8

Heading Home

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Highlights of the program

Some of the possible targets are:

Los Santos Area:  Flame-colored Tanager, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Collared Redstar, Large-footed Finch, Black-cheeked Warbler, Black-faced Solitaire.

Turrialba Targets: Snowcap, Lovely Cotinga, Scale Antpitta, White-collared Manakin, Green-breasted Mango, Brown Violet-ear, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-necked Jacobin, Green Hermit, and Bronzed-tailed Plumeleteer.

 

 

This program includes:

  • Meet & greet upon arrival
  • Accommodation as detailed
  • Ground Transfers
  • Tours as described
  • Meals as specified (B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner)
  • All taxes
  • Does not include optional activities

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Costa Rica!

Your Camino Travel expert birding guide and your driver will meet you at the International Airport in San José and take you to the locally-owned Quetzal Paradise Lodge in the mountains of the Los Santos region, surrounded by abundant cloud forest and enormous, ancient oaks – making this the best place in the country to see the Resplendent Quetzal, with its iridescent green wings and glowing red chest..

Lodging at Quetzal Paradise (-/-/D)

Day 2

Quetzal Sighting

Take an early morning birding tour to see the beautiful Resplendent Quetzal, considered to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world. These birds nest in the nearby cloud forest, where they can be seen year-round, but are more frequently sighted April-May. In addition to the Quetzal, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and many other species can be seen here, making this area famous for bird watching. In the afternoon, go birding in the extensive oak forests of Los Quetzales National Park.

Lodging at Quetzal Paradise (B/L/D)

Day 3

El Copal Reserve

Your guide and driver will take you to El Copal Reserve near Turrialba and Tapantí National Park. According to the Ornithologist Association, this is truly one of the best spots in the country for birdwatching! Over 380 bird species have been identified in the forest of El Copal Reserve, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. It is part of a biological corridor between Tapantí-Macizo de la Muerte National Park and La Amistad International Park. The community shares their traditional activities like sugar cane cultivation, cattle raising and making “tapa de dulce”, the native hard brown sugar. After a hearty campesino lunch, go birding in the El Copal Reserve. Amazingly beautiful and rare species are frequently spotted in this area, such as Snowcap, Lovely Cotinga, Scale Antpitta, White-collared Manakin. At dinner, learn about El Copal’s conservation association.

Lodging at El Copal Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 4

El Copal Reserve

The sun is out by 5:00am and some birds are active even earlier. After a tall canopy forest hike with your guide, you’ll have breakfast prepared by Dona Patricia and continue birding in the areas surrounding the restaurant. Lunch at midday and back into the forest. Breakfast & lunch included. Optional trip: that afternoon head to Guayabo National Monument, site of small pre-Columbian ruins (entrance fee not included).

Lodging at El Copal Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 5

Heading to the southern Caribbean

Your guide and driver will take you to Laguna Madre de Dios, one of the only Costa Rican nesting sites of the Agami Agami, a beautiful heron. Continue on to Casa Calateas on the Caribbean coast, where you might be able to observe the spring raptor migration (October – December).

Lodging in Casa Calateas Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 6

The Birds of Talamanca

Birding and wildlife observation in Cahuita National Park. This visit also allows you the chance to get to know some of Talamanca’s favorite birds: Toucans, parrots, hawks, mannequins, tanagers, hummingbirds, magpies, woodpeckers, as well as birds endemic to Talamanca and so much more. Also, enjoy the beach and if you are up for it, take a snorkeling tour.

Lodging in Casa Calateas Rural Inn (B/L/D)

Day 7

Heading to the southern Caribbean

In the early morning head out to the Casa Calateas Reserve before heading back to San Jose and take a stroll around the capital. For our goodbye dinner, we’ll try some of the specialties of “Regiones”, which specializes in authentic regional Costa Rican dishes (dinner in Regiones based on availability).

Lodging in the Hotel Rosa del Paseo or similar (B/-/D)

Day 8

Heading Home

Whenever it’s convenient, you’ll be taken to the Juan Santamaria International Airport to catch your flight back home, having experienced some of the best Costa Rica has to offer and enjoyed some incredible bird sightings across the country!

*Private Transfers Alternative: A private driver will pick up the clients directly at the hotel and will take them to the next destination. The schedules can be flexible (unless they have to connect with other transfers or be in a certain place at a specific moment) and they do not have to wait for other clients, since this is a private service.

**Rental Car Alternative:  Renting a car is a convenient way to move around the country as it gives you the freedom to explore at will.  Our preferred car rental companies offer a complete list of services, including a modern fleet of vehicles and pick-up and drop-off services in San José as well as in the main tourist destinations. We would recommend a 4WD whenever possible and depending on the places you wish to visit, as they are more robust vehicles and a more reliable option for difficult roads. The rate provided does not include the Mandatory Insurance (USD 19.00 per day of rent). Clients will pick up the vehicle a SUV Intermediate on Day 05 and return it on Day 11.