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!
On 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!
On 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 Mirador de Quetzales 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.
As your stay comes to an end in San Gerardo, look forward to the next part of the trip: A two-night stay at Hotel Lookout Playa Tortuga and a wonderful tour the Rainforest Pacific Aerial Tram. The tram ride will let you see all the amazing sights from the tropical rainforest canopy. The famous tram travels slowly enough that you’ll be able to capture beautiful shots so don’t leave your camera behind! Look for Scarlet Macaws, Aracaris, Trogons and Green Parrots!
Your 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.
Next, 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!
After 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 fasinating 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!