Best of Birding in Costa Rica’s Caribbean

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Best of Birding in Costa Rica’s Caribbean Day to Day Itinerary

CaribbeanPearly blue waters, piercing white sand, palm trees decorating streets and beaches alike, welcome to the Caribbean! The avid birders will be able to spot a many bird species near the Caribbean Coast. This country is probably the best place to spot birds in the whole of Central America, about 850 different species of birds are registered in this country. There are a couple of places where you have the biggest chance to spot the most beautiful ones in their natural habitats. Spot species like scarlet macaws, the great green macaw, keel-billed toucans, the blue-crowned motmot, trogon, the resplendent quetzal, the great potoo, the roseate spoonbill, keel-billed motmot, several species of hummingbirds and many more! Bird watchers will regale in the vast array of flora and fauna and can spot some other species along the way such as sea turtles, sloths, howler monkeys and many more. Spot them at the beaches, in the tropical dry forest, in the mangroves, in the cloud forest, tropical rainforest, during rainy season as well as dry season… 

Ready for the best of tropical birding in the Caribbean? Let’s go!

Day 1:

Hotel Bougainvillea Costa Rica gardensWe will meet you personally at the airport and give you a guide to help with anything you need on you fantastic Best of birding trip in Cost Rica. They will get you to your transportation and your birding journey in Costa Rica will begin. A private transfer will take you to your room at the Hotel Bougainvillea. You’ll quickly forget that you’re so close to downtown or the airport in San José. This hotel has extensive gardens dominated by mature trees and brightened by tropical flowers. Enjoy!

Day 2 – 3:

Tortuguero BirdOn day two a Van and Boat Transfer will take you through Braulio Carrillo National Park, before arriving at Guapiles. You’ll then take a van ride to Pavona where you will board the boat. Getting to the Laguna Lodge is a lot of fun as you enjoy a boat ride on the Rio Suerte. At the Lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing cocktail and fresh towel. Then after lunch, you will have a tour of Tortuguero. Tortuguero is known as an amazing place to spot sea turtles but also a large variety of water birds! On day three a Boat and Van Transfer Depart Laguna Lodge and then change buses after lunch and head off to your next destination!

Day 4:

stripe tailed hummingbirdA Rav4 will be waiting for you and you will drive from Guapiles to Turrialba. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. Arrive at Rancho Naturalista located in the Caribbean 1⁄2 an hour away from the small town of Turrialba. The lodge is placed on 125 acres of untouched and protected Caribbean slope rainforest. There are plenty of trails to get lost in the beauty of nature. The forest contains two favorite parts for bird watching, Hummingbird Feeders, and Hummingbird Pools, giving you spectacular close-up views of the signature bird the Snowcap.

Day 5:

Rufous Winged TanagerToday on the Rio Tuis Valley Birding Tour you can hike the trail into the vast forest reserve. Next to the wide variety of bird species waiting to be scratched off birding bucket list, it is also the most reliable area in the country to try your luck at spotting the enigmatic Lanceolated Monklet.

Day 6:

Ornate Hawk EagleExperience the base of Cerro El Silencio on this Birding tour and whole day hike. Spot tanager flocks, possible Red-fronted Parrotlets, raptors such as both Hawk-Eagles and a host of other birds that are easier to spot here than at Rancho due to the higher altitude. Now drive from Turrialba to Cahuita or Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Enjoy the beautiful scenes of the route going through the mountainous region until you hit the coast. There you will stay at the Shawandha Lodge. It is simply unique with wilderness plays, ecological options, and adventure activities. Have a great time at the lodge without crowded ours so you can have a better birding experience.

Day 7 – 8:

Costa Rica Caribbean Side -slothEnjoy a fantastic tour of the unique Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, one of the most beautiful protected areas in the country, where you will see many wild inhabitants of the rainforest including toucans, monkeys, sloths, caimans and many others. You will be picked up in the morning at your hotel in Puerto Viejo or Cahuita. You will be brought to Manzanillo where you will meet your guide who will take you on an about 4 hours jungle adventure. There you will spot a variety of vegetation as well as plenty of birds like macaws such as the green macaw and scarlet macaw.

Day 9:

Braulio Carrillo BirdToday you leave the Caribbean area to go to the city of Alajuela. On the way, you drive through the Braulio Carrillo National Park and part of the capital city. Enjoy the ride! Once there stay at the Courtyard by Marriott it offers style, convenience, and value close to downtown. Located just 5 minutes from the Juan Santamaria San Jose Airport Costa Rica. Relax after a busy trip and look at all your beautiful birding pictures.

Day 10:

Although it is the last day, it doesn’t have to be the last trip! There are more types of Costa Rica Vacations to enjoy and more birding locations to travel to. Visit us again soon!


Costa Rica Vacations Signature Collection

Interests Birding
Ideal for Nature Lovers, Couples, Seniors

Destinations Visited

Click to Enlarge Costa Rica Map

Vacation At a Glance

Hotel accommodation

  • 1-night at Hotel Bougainvillea
  • 2-nights at Mawamba Lodge
  • 2-nights at Rancho Naturalista
  • 3-nghts at Shawanda Lodge
  • 1-night at Hampton Inn

Tour packages

  • Rio Tuis Valley Birding Tour
  • Cerro El Silencio Birding tour
  • Gandoca-Manzanillo 

Domestic transportation

  • Private Shuttle 
  • Rental Car

All applicable taxes included, perks noted where applicable.

Hotels Included

Hotel Bougainvillea Entrance

Hotel Bougainvillea

Heredia. Favorite. Pool, Fitness Room / Gym, Restaurant, Shop, Tennis. TV, Safe Box, Hair Dryer. Laundry Service, Concierge, Room Service.
From: Under $125
Mawamba Lodge Aerial View

Mawamba Lodge

Tortuguero. Favorite. Nature Pool, Jacuzzi, Restaurant, Bar / Lounge, Shop, Walking / Hiking Trails. Internet access / Wi Fi, Safe Box, Hair Dryer. Laundry Service.
From: $125 - $200
Rancho Naturalista Exterior

Rancho Naturalista

Turrialba. Birding, Boutique, Nature Restaurant. . .
From: Under $125
Shawandha Lodge Bungalow

Shawandha Lodge

Puerto Viejo. Favorite. Boutique Pool, Restaurant. Hair Dryer. Concierge.
From: Under $125
Hotel Bougainvillea Entrance

Hotel Bougainvillea

Heredia. Favorite. Pool, Fitness Room / Gym, Restaurant, Shop, Tennis. TV, Safe Box, Hair Dryer. Laundry Service, Concierge, Room Service.
From: Under $125

Tour Options

Wildlife Refuge Sloth

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Day Tour

Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo. Favorite. Nature Guide.
From: $50 - $75

Free Quote!

* The prices listed are subject to change at any time, you will receive a 100% exact price at the time of the quote. The rates listed here are per person of double occupancy and include taxes, domestic transportation, tours and hotels as described. The price DOES NOT include international air tickets or any other service not mentioned, includes the optional travel insurance.
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