On this unique trip we will explore both coasts, from Dominical to the Caribbean, as well as the high mountains of the Talamanca Cordillera and the bird-rich Central Valley and Caribbean lowlands. We’ll visit pristine rainforests, estuary and mangroves on the beautiful Pacific Coast where we’ll seek out colorful specialties like Orange-collared Manakin, Black-hooded Antshrike, Scarlet Macaw, and Chestnut-backed Antbird. We’ll visit mid-elevation fields and forests where warblers, tanagers, motmots and a tremendous diversity of hummingbirds abound, and we’ll hike the lowland rainforest at the famous La Selva Biological Station in search of mixed-species flocks including cotingas, saltators, antshrikes and woodcreepers, as well as the impressive Great Green Macaw.
In Tortuguero, “the Amazon of Costa Rica,” we’ll float past many exotic kingfishers, grebes, herons and egrets while parrots fly overhead and sloths and monkeys laze in the canopy. We’ll also visit the temperate high mountains of the Talamanca Cordillera, where highland specialties like Volcano Junco, Flame-throated Warbler and Timberline Wren are found, among numerous endemics and an impressive diversity of colorful flycatchers. One of the trip highlights will be our search for the Resplendent Quetzal, considered by many to be the most beautiful bird in the world.
We could see up to 300 species of birds on this trip, along with a good number of amazing mammals, colorful butterﬂies, and bizarre reptiles.
We will often begin our days before the sun rises to take advantage of the most active birding hours, so be prepared for some early morning outings! Most days, we will do a fair amount of walking (1-4 miles), often on somewhat uneven paths. Expect some hot and humid days in the lowlands and some cool evenings in the highlands. We will stay two nights in the mountains (9000’ elevation), which will also present the steepest terrain, but we’ll take it slow—we are birders after all! We will also be birding by (small, quiet, electric-motored) boat in Tortuguero, a delightful and relaxing experience like no other.