Costa Rica Birdwatching

14 days

Indicative cost incl. flights:


£6,415 per person

staying in well-appointed lodges for bird watching, travelling mid-season


(Based on two people travelling. Low season can be a lot cheaper, and peak season or 5* hotels can be substantially more expensive.)


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Day 1
Fly to San Jose today. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the night.
Day 2
Travel to the Arenal today, with the afternoon to begin exploring or perhaps relax in some hot springs in preparation for your early start tomorrow.
Day 3
Today you will head out on a superb full-day tour to the Caño Negro Wildlife refuge, close to the Nicaragua border. The flooded forest, mangroves and waterways here attract a huge variety of migratory and endemic birds.
Day 4
Continue your journey to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, home to some of the last sections of lowland primary rainforest in Costa Rica.
Day 5
Set out early for your birding tour along the rainforest trails of the renowned OTS La Selva tropical research station. Free afternoon to relax or arrange other activities in the region.
Day 6
Leave Sarapiqui today for the verdant region of Turrialba and your stay at Rancho Naturalista, a bird watching paradise.
Day 7
Free day for bird watching at Rancho Naturalista. Over 450 species have been recorded in the forests here, and you can hire one of the lodge's specialist guides to help you locate some of the prize spots such as of the White-crowned manakin. In between excursions, the bird watching balcony is a great place to relax (and over 200 species of bird have been spotted from here alone).
Day 8
Head south from Turrialba today to the tranquil cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota.
Day 9
We have included a morning bird watching tour today with the option to give this a specific focus on spotting the Resplendent Quetzal if you wish. The rest of the day is free to relax or perhaps arrange some hiking or horse riding.
Day 10
Travel overland today to the southern pacific and your lodge in the magnificent Osa Peninsula.
Day 11
Free time to arrange activities in the Osa Peninsula - bird watching tours can be booked through all lodges here, and the lush rainforest surrounding your lodge means you rarely have to venture too far to see a wide range of bird and mammal species.
Day 12
Further time in the Osa Peninsula - in addition to wildlife tours you could take a surfing lession, go horse riding, bird watching or kayaking.
Day 13
Travel to San Jose by light aircraft in time for your onward flight back to the UK.
Day 14
Arrive home today.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect holiday exclusively for you.

Despite its small size, Costa Rica is one of the best destinations in the world for a birdwatching holiday – with over 850 recorded species, this tiny isthmus boasts a greater variety of birds than all of North America and Canada combined. We have designed this itinerary with bird lovers in mind, combining a range of natural habitats, some world-renowned reserves and expert-run lodges and excursions. In Turrialba, where over half the country’s entire species have been recorded, you will stay in an acclaimed birding lodge where truly passionate guides will do all possible to get you glimpses of more unusual species such as the snowy cotinga hummingbird. In the rainforest trails of La Selva Tropical Research Station, researchers travel from all over the world to study the conditions here and spot some of the 448 recorded species of bird. Next stop is Arenal; though a busy place to visit, we recommend this as the most convenient base for a day trip to the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge, a seasonally-flooded reserve where an astonishing number of migratory and endemic birds can be seen. Continue on to the cool cloud forest climes of San Gerardo de Dota, home to hundreds of species of highland birds, and where the prize here is usually to see the Resplendent Quetzal in its natural habitat. Your final stop is the pristine and wild Osa Peninsula – the diversity of flora and fauna here is staggering, and bird watchers can take advantage of tours led by some the country’s best guides, and the chance to spot endemic species that can only be found in some remarkably small areas.

1 night San Jose – 2 nights Arenal – 2 nights Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui – 2 nights Turrialba  – 2 nights San Gerardo de Dota – 3 nights Osa Peninsula            

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