The Costa Rica Birding Trail will take you to
the birding hotspots around the country,
staying in nature-oriented lodgings
Day 1 - Arrival in San José. Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Bougainvillea
Day 2 - (B, D) After breakfast, transfer to the Turrialba Valley. Balance of the day to explore the surroundings. Rancho Naturalista
Day 3 - (B, L, D) Early morning bird watching tour included. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the surroundings. Rancho Naturalista
Day 4 - (B, L, D) Early in the morning, you will travel by bus through the mountains and rainforests of the Braulio Carrillo National Park until the village of Siquirres on the Caribbean lowlands. Once there, you will board the boat and continue along the canals that run parallel to the Caribbean Coast. Tortuguero National Park will be your final destination. During the afternoon visit to the Turtle Museum and the picturesque Tortuguero village. Laguna Lodge
The lodge has 90 rooms, and is divided into 3 buildings. Each room has a private tiled bathroom, ceiling fan, and a small front terrace with chairs. Hotel facilities include a bar, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and restaurant (unusual in that part of it is situated over the canals), hammocks in the rest-huts located in the gardens, a dock on the canals, and laundry service. The new building closest to the Lodge houses the conference room, souvenir shop and reception.
There are no roads leading to the lodge; therefore, access is by boat or by airplane from San José. Some of the optional activities include swimming in a natural pool, hiking, fishing, boat tours, and turtle watching tours (July - late October). Very convenient location, with direct access to the beach. Suitable for those who prefer remote, uncrowded accommodation in natural surroundings. There is no television in the rooms as it caters to people interested in nature observation and a peaceful atmosphere.
Day 5 - (B, L, D) After breakfast travel along the Tortuguero Canals which are ideal to spot the wildlife of the area. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the private trails of the lodge, a boat through the canals or just relax by the swimming pool. Laguna Lodge
Day 6 - (B, L) After breakfast, you will return by boat to Caño Blanco, from where you will be transferred by land to the Arenal Volcano area in the northern lowlands (4 hours drive). Arenal Observatory Lodge.
The lodge has a total of 42 rooms. 5 of them are fully equipped for disabled travelers, including rooms, bathrooms, hallways, parking areas and a swimming pool designed accordingly. 4 Smithsonian rooms feature one king size bed, modern private bath w/hot water and over-sized windows. 10 Smithsonian rooms are accessible via a 134-foot suspension bridge through a small patch of rainforest. These rooms have two queen size beds, huge walls and two sitting chairs on the porch. The new 15 standard rooms include twoqueen size beds, private bath w/hot water and a porch with view of the volcano or lake Arenal.
For those seeking more spacious accommodations the lodge offers 6 junior suites furnished with two king size beds, living room, coffee-maker, mini-fridge, and panoramic views of the volcano. For large groups or families La Casona and White Hawk Villa are ideal options. Originally a family farmhouse, La Casona features a large common sitting room with a fireplace, a spacious front porch with volcano view, two full bathrooms and five rooms with either queen-sized beds or bunk beds. White Hawk Villa located approximately 800 meters from the lodge, is a big house with a spectacular view of the volcano and the lake, with a capacity for 8 guests. The two individual rooms "Trogon" and "Toucan” have one double bed and a cradle-bed each and their own bathroom w/hot water. The villa also has a living room with a sofa bed, a dining room and an equipped kitchen.
Among the facilities the hotel offers 270 acres of primary rainforest with well-marked trails, 400 acres of reforestation projects, and 200 acres of working farmlands, one bar and one restaurant, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, safety box, laundry service, give shop, parking, and transportation if required. Some of the activities this area has to offer include: exploring the lava flow trail, taking night tours to marvel at the fluorescent live lava flows, horseback riding through the varied terrain and immense natural beauty of the region, taking a tour to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, canoeing on Cerro Chato Lake in the crater of an extinct volcano or soaking in the nearby hot springs.
Ideal for clients looking for a comfortable, pleasant hotel. Very good choice for nature lovers or bird watchers.
Day 7 - (B) Day at leisure to explore the surroundings and enjoy the hotel facilities. Optional activities such as guided excursions to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, and La Fortuna Waterfall are available (at additional cost). Arenal Observatory Lodge
Day 8 - (B) After breakfast, transfer to the Carara National Park area. Check in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Villa Lapas
The hotel offers a spacious restaurant adjacent to the river running through the property. The restaurant has a beautiful view and excellent ventilation, as it is open to allow for a greater appreciation of the landscape. There is also a bar, swimming pool, 2 Jacuzzis, souvenir shop, spa services, internet at the lobby and 2 conference rooms that cater for up to 30 people each. The hotel's location allows for a wide range of activities that can be coordinated on the premises. Visitors may tour the Carara Biological Reserve or take a ride on horseback to an amazing waterfall 5km away. However, there are also entertainment options at the hotel such as: mini golf, the butterfly farm, Canopy Tour and the Sky Way made up of 5 hanging bridges ranging from 27 to 45 meters high (89’ - 147'), and an eight-platform canopy.
Given this hotel’s proximity to Carara, it is ideal for bird watchers or nature lovers looking for easy access to the reserve. It is also a good option for families wishing to relax in a warm climate close to San José, with the necessary modern conveniences.
Day 9 - (B) Day at leisure to explore the surroundings. The Carara National Park lies precisely in this transition zone, at the apex of the Amazonian and Mesoamerican ecosystems, and is a meeting place for species from both. Carara protects evergreen forest of great complexity and density, abundant wildlife including the American crocodile, spider monkeys and frogs, and is also one of the best birding localities in all of Costa Rica, especially because of its colony of scarlet macaws. Villa Lapas
Day 10 - (B) Morning at leisure. Early afternoon to Manuel Antonio, where you will have the opportunity to walk along the trails, observe the abundant wildlife and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Playa Espadilla
The hotel offers 16 rooms (10 Standards, 4 Efficiency, 1 Junior Suite, and 1 suite equipped for guests with disabilities) with air conditioning, hot water, safety deposit box (no additional cost), beds with orthopedic mattresses, and some have an equipped kitchen and refrigerator. Other services include: swimming pool with hydro massage, tropical bar by the pool, laundry and fax services, local and international phone service, internet at the reception, souvenir shop, parking lot and a private reserve with trails. The tours available include white water rafting, horseback riding, boat rides, sea kayaking, and sports fishing.
Day 11 - (B) Day at leisure at the Manuel Antonio National Park area. Optional tours such as rafting trips and guided walks are suggested. Playa Espadilla
Day 12 - (B, D) After breakfast, transfer to the Savegre Valley. This cloud forest has been acclaimed by birdwatchers as the best place in the country to see the quetzal all year round, while in other forests in Costa Rica the quetzal is seen on a seasonal basis. Also, there are more than 200 species of birds, hiking trails that lead you into the interesting vegetation and a quite amazing variety of epiphytes growing over the trees. Savegre Lodge
The lodge has 41 rooms, 21 standard rooms and 20 Junior Suites all equipped with private bathroom, hot water, hair dryer, telephone, heating system, and safety deposit box. The Junior Suites have an additional fireplace. There are no televisions in the rooms. Other facilities include a restaurant serving homemade Costa Rican and International meals, Bar & Lounge, meeting room for up to 50 persons, internet service at the lobby and restaurant, laundry service and currency exchange. Some activities in the area include horseback riding, guided bird watching tours, fishing, and walking along the forest trails that are located in a 600 hectares PrivateNature Reserve. Birds such as quetzals and trogons are common in the area besides other 170 recorded species of bird makes the place a birdwatchers paradise.
Ideal for birdwatchers, and naturalists that enjoy wilderness, as well as the cold, misty, and rustic atmosphere of the mountains.
Day 13 - (B, L, D) Day at leisure to explore the surroundings. Savegre Lodge
Day 14 - (B) Private transfer to the international airport (estimated driving time: 3 hours)
Rates per person based on double occupancy in US$ dollars:
|High Season - 01/Nov/11-30/Apr/12
|Low Season - 01/May/12 -31/Oct/12
The program includes:
• Meet & greet upon arrival
• Accommodation as described above (excellent properties for bird watching)
• Ground Transfers or Rental Car
• Tours as described above
• Meals as specified each day: B, L or D
• Map and information kit
• All taxes
Does not include optional activities
* 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 18.00 per day of rent). Clients will pick up the vehicle (Daihatsu Bego 4x4) on Day 03 and return it on Day 09. This alternative does not include the Horseback Riding Tour Fortuna-Monteverde.