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A message to our customers:

In these extraordinary times, I would like to reassure all 2by2 customers who are due to travel shortly that we are in the process of contacting you individually, once you are within 30 days of travel. Depending on Foreign Office advice at the time and your insurance arrangements, we will assist you in either postponing or cancelling your trip. We are also looking after customers who are still abroad and ensuring they return home safely. If you are concerned about a family member currently travelling do get in touch. I would like to thank each of our customers who have already been contacted for your kindness and understanding in these difficult times. Our brilliant team will continue to support you throughout this crisis, as we are set up to work remotely. May I take this opportunity to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented circumstances.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director

Bird Watching in Costa Rica: Lowlands + Arenal + Pacific

Birding: Caribbean + Arenal + Tenorio + Pacific
RPC16S
15 NIGHTS
FROM £4,395
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica Guide Sarapiqui Caribbean Pacific

Enquire about this wonderful bird watching holiday in Costa Rica, travelling with your own birding guide from Sarapiqui in the Caribbean lowlands, to Arenal Volcano & Carara National Park on the Pacific coast.  Visit Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Boca Tapada, Tenoria Volcano, Abangaritos & Tarcoles. All transfers, birding & park fees included.

Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica Guide Sarapiqui Caribbean Pacific
• 
Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica
• 
Sarapiqui & Braulio Carrillo
• 
Caribbean Lowlands
• 
Boca Tapada
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges
• 
Tenorio Volcano
• 
Carara National Park
• 
Birding Guide
• 
Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica
• 
Sarapiqui & Braulio Carrillo
• 
Caribbean Lowlands
• 
Boca Tapada
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Hanging Bridges
• 
Tenorio Volcano
• 
Carara National Park
• 
Birding Guide
Day 1
You will be met at San Jose Airport by your birding guide and transferred to your hotel in this capital city in the Central Valley, surrounded by the Talamanca Mountains to the south and the volcanoes of Poas, Irazu and Turrialba.
 
Time permitting, enjoy some birding in the hotel grounds before an included dinner.
Day 2
Today we leave San Jose and travel 1-hour northwards towards our lodge situated near Braulio Carrillo National Park.
 
This dense and pristine lowland rainforest is virtually inaccessible, but a number of trails provide access for birders - such as the Quebrada Ranger Station trail, which we shall walk. The Braulio Carrillo region is one of the finest and most productive birding regions in all of Costa Rica.
Day 3
Today we visit the Tapir Hummingbird Station, a privately owned forest reserve adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park.
 
This open area is usually visited by some of the hardest hummeingbirds to spot, such as the Black-crested coquette and Snowcap. Usual birds in this area include the Great tinamou, Sunbittern, Buff-fronted quail-dove, Chiriqui quail-dove, Bronzy hermit, Band-tail barbthroat, Southern mealy amazon, Ocellated antbird, Bicolored antbird, Chestnut-backed antbird, Rufous piha, Ruddy-tailed flycatcher, Paltry tyrannulet, Sooty-capped bush tanager, Carmiol’s tanager, Emerald tanager and Tawny-crested tanager.
Day 4
Today we drive 1-hour from Braulio Carrillo to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, situated in the Caribbean Lowlands.
 
This region is renowned for its high bird diversity, number of national parks, private protected forests and bird sanctuaries. There is also a huge raptor and hawk migration that passes through here every year.
 
A pair of Sunbitterns occupies a territory along the Sarapiqui River and are regularly seen from the suspension bridge across the river. Another key target bird is the highly endangered Great green macaw. Along the river we also hope to find the Great egret, Little blue heron, Snowy egret, Bare-throated tiger heron, Fasciated tiger heron, Green ibis, Keel-billed toucan and Yellow-throated toucan.
Day 5
Today enjoy an early morning guided hike to the La Selva Biological Station situated in a protected lowland tropical rainforest.
 
Owned and managed by the Organisation for Tropical Studies, a consortium of universities dedicated to rainforest research, each year hundreds of scientists visit this internationally renowned research station bordering Braulio Carrillo National Park, to study its tropical ecology. With over 435 species of birds, more than 1,900 species of plants and over 330 tree species, its diversity is spectacular.
 
La Selva is great for 'big birds' and we have the chance of seeing species such as Great currasow, Grey-headed chachalaca, Semiplumbeous hawk, Tiny hawk, White-crowned parrot, Red-lored parrot and Mealy parrot. Toucans, hummingbirds and trogons are also frequently seen.
 
The long list of birds you can find here includes the Great tinamou, Scaled pigeon, Common potoo, Bronzy hermit, Black-crested coquette, Band-tailed barbthroat, Bronze-tailed plumeleteer, Blue-throated goldentail, Green ibis, Spectacled owl, Pied puffbird, Rufous-winged woodpecker, Mealy amazon, Crimson-fronted parakeet, Bicolored antbird, Spotted antbird, Chestnut-backed antbird, Black-faced antthrush, Rufous piha, Snowy cotinga, Ruddy-tailed flycatcher, Black-capped pygmy tyrant, Paltry tyrannulet, White-ringed flycatcher, Black-throated wren, Stripe-breasted wren, Canebrake wren, Song wren, Golden-browed chlorophonia and Shining honeycreeper.
 
You can also see sloths, monkeys, peccaries, agoutis, coatis and many species of rainforest butterflies and frogs.
Day 6
Day 7
Today we travel 2-hours from Sarapiqui, travelling through pineapple plantations to Boca Tapada that is situated in the Caribbean Lowlands, near the San Carlos River and the Nicaraguan border.
 
On arrival enjoy birding in the 1,250 acres of virgin tropical rainforest surrounding your lodge. With a bird count of over 350 different species, there is a wide diversity of rainforest birdlife - as well as an incredible variety of fauna and flora.
Day 8
First thing this morning we wait for the birds to visit the feeders. After breakfast at our lodge, we visit a hide especially built to observe the King vulture - the most beautiful of all vultures.
 
We then visit a private property which is fantastic for photography and bird observation. Here you can hope for very close views of the Red-legged honeycreeper, Shiny honeycreeper, Blue dacnis, Chestnut- headed oropendola, White-necked jacobin, Bronze- tailed plumeleteer and Crowned woodnymph amongst others. Also keep an eye out for the Great jacamar, White-fronted nunbird and Tawny-faced quail.
Day 9
Today we leave Sarapiqui and travel 2-hours towards the magnificent Arenal Volcano - one of the most active in Central America, with a perfect cone that on a clear day is visible from almost anywhere in the area.
 
Check into your hotel in La Fortuna, where you can relax surrounded by rainforests, waterfalls and thermal hot springs. Birding here is particularly productive along the roads, around Lake Arenal and on trails around Observatory Lodge.
Day 10
Rise early today to enjoy privately guided birding on the Arenal Hanging Bridges - a series of 9 fixed and 6 suspension bridges located in a natural corridor followed by migratory birds travelling between North and South America, offeringing wonderful views of the lake and volcano. This 2-mile (3 km) trail will allow you to enjoy the great diversity of flora and fauna inside this mountainous zone, as well as outstanding bird watching.
 
More than 500 different species (i.e. half of all the birds found in Costa Rica) have been recorded in and around Arenal National Park, whose diverse habitats include tropical lowland rainforest, pre-montane forest of the Caribbean foothills and agricultural pastures. Birds you can hope to see here include the Yellow-throated toucan, Crested guan, Grey-headed chachalaca, Baltimore oriole, Clay-coloured thrush, Red-throated ant tanager, Lovely cotinga, Black-crested coquette, Yellow-eared toucanet, Bare-necked umbrellabird, Emerald tanager, Great curassow, Thicket antpitta, Ornate hawk-eagle and Fasciated tiger heron.
 
Other birds commonly reported in these forests include the Buff-fronted quail dove, Chiriqui quail dove, Bronzy hermit, Band-tailed barbthroat, White-throated crake, Uniform crake, Spectacled owl, Rufous-winged woodpecker, Mealy amazon, Checker-throated antwren, Bicolored antbird, Spotted antbird, Chestnut-backed antbird, Dull-mantled antbird, Rufous piha, Ruddy-tailed flycatcher, Olive-striped flycatcher, Paltry tyrannulet, White-ringed flycatcher, Stripe-breasted wren, Song wren, Black-faced solitaire, Tawny-capped euphonia and Sootycapped bush tanager, amongst others. Also keep an eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coati, racoons and other rainforest wildlife.
 
In the afternoon there is the option to relax at the magnificent Tabacon Hot Springs, with its many natural waterfalls and pools, as well as a large swimming pool with swim-up bar (pay locally).
 
Note: The hanging bridges trail is not suitable if you have a fear of heights. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring binoculars & raingear. Also sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, swimwear and water shoes.
Day 11
Today we travel 2-hours hours from La Fortuna to the small town of Bijagua de Upala, situated on the 'Continental Divide' at an altitude of 1,640 ft (500 m) and between two magnificent volcanoes, Tenorio and Miravalles.
 
Bijagua is located at the junction of several major ecosystems - the dry forests of the Pacific Slope, the rain forests of the Caribbean Slope and lowland habitats that change into cloud forest. This combination of different overlapping habitats results in a huge biodiversity of over 400 different bird species.
Day 12
Day 13
We spend this morning birding in the area around our lodge.
 
In the afternoon we visit the private San Joaquin Wetlands reserve, located on a working cattle ranch adjacent to the Palo Verde Wildlife Refuge. This seasonal floodplain is inhabited by thousands of birds during their migration from the north. With its dry forest and evergreen riparian vegetation, it is also a great place to find dry tropical forest specialities such as the Thicket tinamou, Long-tailed manakin, Lesser ground cuckoo and Jabiru stork.
 
At the end of the day enjoy a spectacular sunset, with the wetlands painted in orange.
Day 14
Today we travel 2-hours from Abangaritos to the small town of Tarcoles situated on the Gulf of Nicoya, near Carara National Park.
 
The Central Pacific coast consists of transitional lowland forest, with the more humid forests of the southern Pacific blending and overlapping with the drier forests of the northern Pacific. As the ranges of many birds found to the north extend to here, but not much beyond, it is no surprise that the bird list for this area exceeds 300 species. The result is a unique zone of overlap, where both northern and southern species can be seen in the same place.
 
In the afternoon we take a boat ride along the Tarcoles River to the Guacalillo Mangrove Estuary, which has the largest population of American crocodiles in Central America, with some up to fifteen feet long. You will see many of them sunning themselves on the sandbanks, as well as Jesus Christ lizards. With many different bird species, this is also a great opportunity to spot resident and migrant freshwater birds, waders and shorebirds, as well as the rare scarlet macaw.
Day 15
Carara National Park is considered by many to be one of the best birding locations in Costa Rica.
 
This national park is famous for its population of Scarlet macaws and we are certain to see many here, particularly at dusk. There are also great opportunity for raptors and scavengers such as the Yellow-headed caracara, Hook-billed kite, Laughing falcon, King vulture, Ferruginous pygmy owl, Striped owl and Northern crested caracara.
 
The excellent birdlife found here includes the Rufous-tailed jacamar, Royal flycatcher, Grey-necked wood rail, Elegant tern, Tawny-winged woodcreeper, Smooth-billed ani, Scaled pigeon, Costa Rican swift, Panama flycatcher and some rarities like the endemic Mangrove hummingbird, Mangrove vireo, Mangrove warbler and Rufous-necked wood rail. You can also hope to see the Great tinamou, Bronzy hermit, Band-tailed barbthroat, Blue-throated goldentail, Baird’s trogon, Fiery-billed aracari, Hoffmann’s woodpecker, Yellow-naped amazon, Mealy amazon, Blackhooded antshrike, Chestnut-backed antbird, Streak-chested antpitta, Black-faced antthrush, Orange-collared manakin, Rufous piha, Yellow-billed cotinga, Ruddy-tailed flycatcher, Black-tailed flycatcher and Riverside wren.
Day 16
Enjoy a final early morning birding walk along one of the lodge trails this morning.
 
Afterwards transfer 1.5-hours to San Jose Airport for your flight home.

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