On this trip we visit the main areas for bird watching in the central and southern parts of Costa Rica. We start at Carara National Park, part of the central Pacific, and go south all the way to Corcovado National Park.
On this trip there is the chance to see different types of forest and ecosystems. We visit rivers, forest, and mangrove, as well see the transition from Tropical Dry Forest to Tropical Rainforest in Carara and move to the south to the special ecosystem of the Osa Peninsula.
We pick you up at the airport and move to a near-by hotel to spend the first night. There CostaRicaBirdwatching.org staff will give an explanation of the trip plan, the areas that will be visited, as well as the possible birds at each one. If time permits we will do some birding in the hotel’s surroundings, where we may find Grayish Saltator, Crimson-Fronted Parakeet, Yellow-Bellied Elaenia, Hoffmann's Woodpecker, Blue-Crowned Motmot, White-Naped Brush-Finch, Prevost's Ground-Sparrow and Steely-Vented Hummingbird.
On the second day we do some early morning birding in the hotel gardens, then go to the Central Pacific to do a bird watching tour at the Tarcoles River, where we can see Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Cuckoo, the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Warbler, Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Panama Flycatcher, American Pygmy-Kingfisher, Double-striped Thick-Knee, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Lapwing, and Black-necked Stilt to just mention a few.
We spend all day birding at Carara National Park and get the most of this unique region of the country. This park is a great bird watching area. Some of the birds we may see here are Scarlet Macaw, Baird's Trogon, Fiery-billed Aracari, Streak-chested Antpitta, Black-bellied Wren, Orange-collared Manakin and Long-tailed Manakin.
On the fourth day we travel south to the Osa Peninsula. To get there it is necessary to take a boat on the Sierpe River, and briefly on the Pacific Ocean. Sierpe River is another excellent birding destination, and so we will take advantage of that, and do some birding as we go. This site offers mangrove forest and nice sandbanks. Some of the birds that can be seen on this river trip can be: Magnificent Frigatebird, Tricolored Heron, Southern Lapwing, Mangrove Cuckoo, Common Potoo, American Pygmy Kingfisher, and Yellow-billed Cotinga, just to mention a few. In the afternoon the plan is to do some bird watching in the hotel garden and surroundings.
We will visit one of the best places in Costa Rica for wildlife and bird observation, Osa Peninsula. We spend most of the day at the hotel to get the best of this unique place. The area is a great place to see mammals, which is quite uncommon. Some of the birds we may find on this area are: Great Tinamou, Double-toothed Kite, Collared Forest-Falcon, Great Curassow, White-whiskered Puffbird, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Blue-crowned Manakin, Red-capped Manakin and the very endemic Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, just to mention a few.
This day we have the option to go to some open areas for bird watching. The side is totally different, offering the chance to go into open agriculture and cattle fields before we enter the forest in the afternoon. It is a great location for birds like: Red-lored Parrot, Mealy Parrot, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Barred Antshrike, Masked Tityra, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Orange-billed Sparrow, Streak Saltator, Spot-crowned Euphonia and with some luck a Turquoise Cotinga, and many others.
On this day we travel to the foothills of the southern limit of Costa Rica to the area of San Vito. On the way we may stop for birding involving a short walk at a near-by forest, or maybe a rice field, to try to find Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Uniform Crake, White-crested Coquette, Blue-headed Parrot, Slate-colored Seedeater, and Red-breasted Blackbird, among others. After that we go straight to San Vito.
We spend this day bird watching around San Vito, our destination has a nice area of secondary and primary forest as well as majestic gardens. This location is great for some unique birds that can be seen only here, some of the birds of the area are: Spotted Wood-Quail, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Crested Oropendola, Thick-billed Euphonia, and more.
We use this day to return to San Jose from San Vito and spend the last night in the capital. As well we may stop for some birding on the way.