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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

Birding in Costa Rica: Lowlands + Highlands + Pacific

Costa Rica Birding: Caribbean + Highlands + Pacific
RPB11S
11 NIGHTS
FROM £3,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica Birding Guide Quetzal La Selva Carara

On this specialist bird watching holiday in Costa Rica, you will travel with your own expert birding guide to all the key birding regions. Search for the iconic Resplendent Quetzal in the highlands of the Central Valley; visit Boca Tapada, Sarapiqui & La Selva Biological Station in the Caribbean lowlands; Abangaritos on the Pacific coast & Carara National Park. All transfers, birding, meals & park fees included.

Bird Watching Holiday Costa Rica Birding Guide Quetzal La Selva Carara
• 
Bird Watching Holiday
• 
Costa Rica
• 
Boca Tapada
• 
Sarapiqui
• 
La Selva Biological Station
• 
San Gerardo de Dota
• 
Resplendent Quetzal
• 
Abangaritos
• 
Carara National Park
• 
Birding Guide
• 
Bird Watching Holiday
• 
Costa Rica
• 
Boca Tapada
• 
Sarapiqui
• 
La Selva Biological Station
• 
San Gerardo de Dota
• 
Resplendent Quetzal
• 
Abangaritos
• 
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
This morning we leave San Jose and drive 3.5-hours northwards, travelling through the active volcanic zone to Boca Tapada situated in the Caribbean Lowlands, near the San Carlos River and the Nicaraguan border.
 
Along the way we stop at Waterfall Garden, one of the best spots for hummingbirds and other middle elevation birds, with some endemic mountain species not seen anywhere else in the world. Every day hummingbirds found here include the small endemic Coppery-headed emerald, Black bellied hummingbird, White-bellied mountaingem, Purple-throated mountaingem, Brown violetear and Green hermit.
 
You can also see the Ochraceous wren, Crimson-collared tanager, Emerald tanager, Silver-throated tanager, White hawk, Prong-billed barbet, Red-headed barbet, American dipper, Silvery-fronted tapaculo, Paltry tyrannulet, Golden-bellied flycatcher, Golden-browed chlorophonia, Tawny-capped euphonia, Sooty-faced finch, Collared whitestart, Scarlet-thighed dacnis, Slaty flowerpiercer, Spangle-cheeked tanager and Torrent tyrannulet. This is also the best place to see the Emerald toucanet.
 
On arrival in Boca Tapada 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 3
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 4
Today we travel 2-hours from Boca Tapada to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, also 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
This morning we drive 4-hours from Sarapiqui to San Gerardo de Doto, a small high-altitude community nestled in a pristine steeply walled mountain valley, high in the Talamanca Mountains at 7,200 ft (2,200 m).
 
The cloud forests of Los Quetzales National Park are filled with massive oaks and other native highland species and this is the best birding spot in the country for regional endemics, with more that 50 found in the central highlands of Savegre. This area is also part of the Los Santos Forest Reserve, a biological corridor for a large number of wildlife - some in danger of extinction. It is a haven for both bird watchers and walkers.
 
Before reaching our lodging, enjoy birding along the road at around 9,000 ft (2,700 ft). This is your first opportunity to identify a some of the regional endemics found in these mountains, including fancy species such as the Volcano hummingbird, Long-tailed silky-flycatcher, Black-billed nightingale-thrush, Yellow-thighed finch and Large-footed finch.
Day 7
This region is famous for its large population of Resplendent Quetzal - a bird that is sacred to the indigenous people and is one of the most beautiful birds in the Americas. We start the day looking for this bird, but over 175 other birds have also been identified in this small town.
 
While seeing a quetzal will be our main goal, this valley is also an excellent place to see all the specialty birds of the region. Some of the regional highland endemics we are likely to see include the Highland tinamou, Red-tailed hawk, Black guan, Sulphur-winged parakeet, Ruddy treerunner, Silvery-fronted tapaculo, Sooty robin, Ruddy pigeon, Scintillant hummingbird, White-throated mountaingem, Purple-throated mountaingem and many other hummingbirds,  flycatchers, trogons, tanagers and sparrows.
 
As you are at a fairly high high altitude, remember to walk at a slow pace.
Day 8
We leave San Gerardo de Dota today and travel 4.5-hours to Abangaritos on the northwest Pacific Coast.
 
This region contains some of the last remnants of endangered tropical lowland dry forest. Its large salt pans offer birding opportunities for shore birds, locals and migrants - with target birds including the rare Jabiru stork (one of the trip favorites) and the handsome Three-wattled bellbird.
 
This is our chance to spot rare endemics and local dry forest specialties, especially birds that are not readily seen further south such as the Spot-bellied bobwhite, Lesser ground cuckoo, Spotted-breasted oriole, Streak-backed oriole, Snail kite, Roseate spoonbill, Double-striped thick-knee, Yellow-naped parrot, Mangrove hummingbird, Banded wren, White-lored gnatcatcher, Limpkin (crying bird), Scrub euphonia and White-throated magpie-jay.
Day 9
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 10
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 11
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 12
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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