Dancing with Quetzals

Come see the incredible Resplendent Quetzal!

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Dancing with Quetzals: Birding Costa Rica Vacation Itinerary

Costa Rica is an incredible country in Central America that is perfect for bird watching, birding vacations and birding tours. From lowlands, highlands and wetlands, tropical dry forest to cloud forest and mangrove swamps to rushing rivers, Costa Rica offers a variety of habitats that make birding in Costa Rica truly unforgettable. Enjoy trogons to Keel-billed Toucans to the Mangrove Hummingbird to the Resplendent Quetzal. Costa Rica has some of the most amazing tropical bird species in the world. On this Costa Rica Birding Vacation, you’ll travel from San Gerardo de Dota to Arenal to Sarapiqui to see hundreds of bird species, including the famous Resplendent Quetzal. Get ready for some unforgettable birding tours in the lush Costa Rica flora and fauna! 

Day 1

Hotel Bougainvillea Costa Rica gardensOn day one of your Dancing with Quetzals tour, you will fly into to San Jose Airport (SJO). You will be staying at the Hotel Bougainvillea. This is a great way to start the trip as the capital includes many fine dining and different varieties of restaurants. Relax in the beautiful gardens, swimming pool and tennis court at your hotel and get ready for almost two weeks of birdwatching in Costa Rica!

Day 2-3

San-Gerardo-De-Dota-QuetzalsOn days two and three you’ll head to one of the best (and least-known) areas in Costa Rica: San Gerardo de Dota. You will be staying at Trogon Lodge located in San Gerardo de Dota. My Costa Rica will transfer for you to this amazing region of Costa Rica. It features a cooler atmosphere than the coast and is lively with many different animal and bird species. The San Gerardo de Dota area is one of the best places in Central America to see the Resplendent Quetzal. An expert local guide will take you on two different birding tours, the Quetzal Bird Tour and then the Birding Tour in San Gerardo de Dota. In addition to the Resplendent Quetzal, look out for other species of birds including the Colibri Hummingbird, the Swallow-tailed Kite and Sharp Skinned Hawk.

 Day 4-5

Scarlet Macaw in Costa RicaAs your stay comes to an end in San Gerardo, look forward to the next part of the trip: A two-night stay at Hacienda Baru Lodge at Dominical. Here you will be taking the Lowland Birding tour and spot birds in the forest as well as beach area.

Day 6-8

Mot Mot in CararaYour three-night stay at the Hotel Punta Leona is about to begin! This region is located just north of Uvita and offers some of the most beautiful views and overlooks in the world. It is also famous for Scarlet Macaws, so listen for their call and keep your eyes on the trees. You will have the chance to go to birding hotspots like the Carara National Park and the Tarcoles River. Your stay in this area includes a unique river tour called the Tarcoles Mangrove Birding Tour. Watch out for crocodiles, birds and hundreds of other tropical species.

Day 9-10

Cano Negro BirdNext, My Costa Rica will transfer you to the Arenal Observatory Lodge. The Arenal Volcano area is one Costa Rica’s most famous destinations. It’s famous not only for the volcano, but the giant man-made lake, Lake Arenal and the town of La Fortuna. Your stay here includes the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour Rio Frio and the Arenal Birding Tour. Let an expert birding guide point out all the jaw-dropping birds of Costa Rica soaring above you. Perhaps you’ll spot a Trogon, Cotinga or more Quetzals!

Day 11-12

Selva Verde Lodge BirdingAfter your stay at the Arenal Observatory you’ll head to la Selva Verde Lodge in Sarapiqui for your last few days in Costa Rica. Your last birding tour will be from la Selva Verde Lodge, where you’ll get one last chance to see a fascinating variety of birds. After your stay, My Costa Rica will transfer you back to the San Jose airport. We hope you had an incredible trip you visit Costa Rica again soon!

Costa Rica Vacations Signature Collection

Interests Birding
Ideal for Nature Lovers, Seniors, Groups

Destinations Visited

Click to Enlarge Costa Rica Map

Vacation At a Glance

Hotel accommodation

  • 1-night at Hotel Bougainvillea
  • 2-nights at Trogon Lodge
  • 2-nights at Lookout Playa Tortuga
  • 2-nights at Punta Leona
  • 2-nights at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • 2-nights at Selva Verde Lodge
  • 1-night at Hotel Bougainvillea

Tour packages

  • Quetzal Bird Tour
  • Bird Watching Tour in San Gerardo de Dota
  • Birding Tour Lookout Playa Tortuga
  • Rainforest Pacific Aerial Tram
  • Carara National Park
  • Tarcoles Mangrove Birding Tour
  • Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour Rio Frio
  • Arenal Birding Tour
  • Birding Tour at Selva Verde Lodge

Domestic transportation

  • Private Shuttle 

All applicable taxes included, perks noted where applicable.

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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
Trogon Lodge Lake

Trogon Lodge

San Gerardo. Favorite. Birding, Boutique, Nature Restaurant, Shop. Hair Dryer. Concierge.
From: Under $125
View from restaurant at the Lookout

Lookout Playa Tortuga

Dominical. Pool, Restaurant, Shop. TV. Concierge.
From: Under $125
Hotel Punta Leona Area View

Hotel Punta Leona

Jaco, Punta Leona. Favorite. Birding Spa, Pool, Beach Club, Restaurant, Shop, Business Center, Tennis. TV, Phone, Safe Box, Hair Dryer. Laundry Service, Concierge.
From: Under $125
Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Arenal. Favorite. Birding Pool, Jacuzzi, Restaurant. Safe Box. Laundry Service, Concierge.
From: Under $125
Selva Verde Lodge Exterior

Selva Verde Lodge

Sarapiqui. Favorite. Birding, Nature, Students Groups
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

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* 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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