Classic Costa Rica
On the last leg of our trip, we bird the caribbean lowlands (Sarapiquí).A very important region of Costa Rica with abundance of agricultural aereas, amazing rivers and tropical rain forest.
Here, we can find the stunning Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Keel-billed and Chestnut Mandibled Toucans, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Rufous Motmot and the noisy Montezuma Oropendola.The weather is humid and usually we have very hot days. We often will have a very active morning and the activity slows down by mid day to only start again in the late afternoon.
La Selva Biological Reserve: when birding the entrance of the station, the habitat is basically grasslands and second-growth forest. Crimson-collared Tanager, Snowy Cotinga, Nicaraguan Seed-finch, Pied Puffbird, Fasciated and Great Antshrikes. While on the trails, the birds we expect to see are: Great and Slaty-breasted Tinamous, Cinnamon and Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Black-striped Woodcreeper and a diversity of Wrens and Tanagers.
We should mention that aside from the great bird opportunities, at La Selva reserve, mammal and reptile life is abundant with opportunities for Two and Three toed Sloths, Howler and Spider Monkeys, Agouties, Collared Peccaries and others.
Day 1: Arrival transfer to 4 star hotel
Day 2: 6 am pick up to a birding drive until we reach Rancho Naturalista lodge.
Day 3: Day spent birding Rancho Naturalista
Day 4: Day spent birding at the Rancho Naturalista.
Day 5: Birding drive to Wilson Botanical Garden. This drive will take us through three different habitats until we reach our lodge.
Day 6: Full day spent birding Las Cruces Botanical Garden, night (Wilson Botanical Garden) in gallery forest.
Day 7: We bird the surroundings of the Gardens and the área of the great birding zone of the town of San Vito for grassland and pasture habitat.
Day 8: Early drive to Carara Biological Reserve. A full day of birding the way on rivers, dry forest and grassland. Overnight Villa Lapas.
Day 9: FD Carara Biological Reserve, night spent Villa Lapas
Day 10: Full day birding the road that leads up to Montevede Cloud Forest Reserve.
Day 11: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, night (Monteverde)
Day 12: Early departure to the lowlands of Sarapiquí. We drop from the highlands of the cloudforest into the lowland rainforest on the Caribean side. Overnight Selva Verde Lodge.
Day 13: Full day enjoying the Caribean specialties at La Selva Biological Station, Overnight Selva Verde.
Day 14: Full day spent at La Selva BS. Selva Verde
Day 15: Morning spent birding our last time at La Selva, afternoon birding drive to San Jose. San José, night (hotel in San José) or pm flight home.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE TRIP
Arrival, our personnel stationed in San Jose will greet you on arrival and transfer you to your hotel of choice. Night in San José. Rancho Naturalista: Before reaching this wonderful cloudforest, we will drive through the central área of San José looking for Snowcap, Bay-headed Tanager, Bat Falcon, At the Rancho Naturalista we will be looking for Purplish-backed Quail Dove, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Crimson-collared Tanager, eight different species of hummingbirds and many more.
The highway which connects the high mountains of Cerro de la Muerte with the south Pacific valleys will give us the opportunity to find highland specialties such as Timberland Wren, Flame-throated Warbler, Black-capped Flycatcher, Mountain Robin, Fiery-throated Hummingbird and others.
Las Cruces Botanical Garden (Wilson BG) With enough time in a comfortable lodge, nice trails plus good habitas, some of our target birds are Streaked Saltator, Fiery-billed Aracari, Blue-crowned Manakin and Turquois Cotinga. In time we will be exploring the areas near San Vito. In this small town we will search for Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Band-rumped Swift, Spot-crowned Euphonia.
On the road to Carara, we may encounter Brown-throated Parakeet, Scrub Greenlet, Yellow-headed and Crested Caracaras, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Blue-headed Parrot. We will try to reach the grasslands and rivers of Villa Lapas in the afternoon to explore them in daylight.
Carara Biological Reserve: we have a chance to see the wonderful Scarlet Macaw, now only found on the Pacific slopes of Costa Rica.In adition, there are a good number of new birds for the trip including; Baird's and Black-headed Trogons, Black-bellied and Riverside Wrens, Mangrove-black Hawk, Long-tailed Manakin, the elusive Streaked-chested Antpitta and Royal Flycatcher.In the afternoon we visit to the mouth of the Tarcoles River searching for Mangrove Vireo, Black-tailed Flycatcher and a variety of Shorebirds.
On our way from the Pacific lowlands to the highlands of Monteverde, with innumerable altitudinals habitats along the road, we will stop at different points for Banded Wren, Turquois-browed Motmot and Yellow-throated Euphonia.
Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve: we have a good possibility for the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald! The best montane species of the área may be found here in Monteverde: Collared Trogon and Red-headed Barbet, Emerald Toucanet, Speckled, Blue and Gold and Black and Yellow Tanagers, Golden-browed Chlorophonia and a variety of hummingbirds including Violet Sabrewing, Green Violetear, Mountain-Gems and others.Remember, Monteverde is home for the wonderful Resplendent Quetzal..