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Costa Rica - From Coast to Cloudforest

Tour Code: CRI04

An 11-day birdwatching and wildlife tour to Costa Rica including time exploring Tortuguero National Park and the cloud forests of the Talamanca Mountains.

11 days from £3595(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2995 SRS: £450

No tour summary is currently available. Please read the detailed description or download the tour itinerary.


All included in the price except for dinners in San Jose (allow £30).


Comfortable rainforest lodges and hotels, all rooms with private facilities.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly San Jose and stay overnight.

Day 2/4 Tortuguero National Park.

Day 5/6 Sarapiqui and La Selva.

Day 7/9 Savegre and Talamanca Mountains.

Day 10 Depart San Jose.

Day 11 Arrive London.

On the 18th September 1502, on his final voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus landed on a rainforest-edged sandy beach on the shores of the Caribbean. He, and the conquistadors who came after him, were so dazzled by the gold jewellery worn by the native peoples that they christened this new land ‘Costa Rica’, Spanish for ‘rich coast’. Although these early explorers failed to find the golden cities they had dreamed of, today this beautiful Central American country offers wealth of a different kind to those who visit its shores and, for the naturalist, Costa Rica’s riches lie in its wonderful diversity of wildlife. Occupying just 0.1% of the world’s landmass, this little country contains 5% of its biodiversity! And there are good reasons for this superb richness of fauna and flora. Costa Rica lies within the tropics, the most ecologically diverse region of our planet. Furthermore, one quarter of the country has been protected within national parks and reserves (the largest percentage in the world) and its topography is incredibly varied, ranging from lush lowland rainforests on both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines to the moss-draped cloudforests and high volcanic peaks of the interior. On this new tour we will go in search of this abundance of wildlife, focusing in particular on the birdlife of the Talamanca Mountains to the south of San José and the forests, waterways and coastal mangroves of Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean lowlands. 

We begin our holiday with a flight to San José. From there, after a night spent on the edge of the city, we drive to Cano Blanco and then journey by boat into the canals and waterways of Tortuguero National Park for a 3-night stay at a lodge deep within the forest. Tortuguero National Park is a remote wildlife haven on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coastline covering over 310 square kilometres and is only accessible by water or plane. Over 370 species of bird have been recorded here, plus 57 species of amphibian, 60 species of mammal and a staggering 400 species of tree! We will explore Tortuguero by boat and on foot over the coming days in search of the abundance of birds and other wildlife that lives here, including Sungrebe, Agami Heron, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Mantled Howler Monkey, Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey, White-faced Capuchin and the vulnerable American Crocodile. 

Retracing our steps back to Cano Blanco, we will spend the next two nights at a comfortable lodge located close to the rainforest-lined Sarapiqui River. From here we visit the nearby La Selva Biological Station, a research and education centre operated by the ‘Organisation for Tropical Studies’ surrounded by an extensive tract of primary rainforest, one of the most biologically rich forests in the country. Highlights may include Great Curassow, Great Green Macaw, Bare-necked Umbrella Bird, Snowy Cotinga, Great Antshrike, Golden-hooded Tanager and the beautiful Sunbittern, plus Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Collared Peccary and perhaps even Northern Tamandua. A wide variety of hummingbirds, manakins, trogons, tanagers and ‘New World’ wood warblers live around the lodge itself, whilst the colourful Green-and-black Poison-dart Frog and Strawberry Poison-dart Frog can both be found along the river’s edge.

Moving on, we leave the Caribbean lowlands behind and climb into the cool, moss-draped cloudforests of the Talamanca Mountains for a 3-night stay at the wonderfully positioned Savegre Mountain Lodge. Here we can continue to enjoy the staggering variety of birdlife that abounds in Costa Rica. A kaleidoscope of hummingbirds such as Magnificent, Fiery-throated, Volcano and White-throated Mountain-gem zip to and fro between flowering shrubs and hummingbird feeders. Mixed tanager and warbler flocks often include such stunners as Collared Whitestart, Flame-throated Warbler and Spangle-cheeked Tanager, whilst Long-tailed Silky Flycatchers and Emerald Toucanets perch in the treetops and elegant Swallow-tailed Kites glide overhead. The Talamanca Mountains are also home to the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal, often touted as the most beautiful bird in the world!

Finally, after a last look at Savegre’s busy hummingbird feeders, we must make our way back to San José from where we leave the rainforests, beaches and mountains of Costa Rica and begin our journey home. You might like to consider extending your stay, however, with a few nights exploring Carara National Park on the Pacific coastline or perhaps time wandering the forests and beaches of Corcovado National Park in the south. Please call for and further ideas and advice.

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Tue 5th March 2019 - Fri 15th March 2019



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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: More info

Land only cost: £2995 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Costa Rica

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