Birding photography Costa Rica

14 nights

From 2575 $USD

Everyone

Why choosing this trip ?

  • Tortuguero canals and it´s natural beauty
  • The perfect shape of Arenal Volcano
  • The amaing beaches at Uvita & Dominical
  • Corcovado National Park
  • The magic that surrounds the cloud forest

This circuit offers a diversity of breathtaking landscapes. It also offers the opportunity for non-photographers to enjoy the many natural treasures that Costa Rica offers.

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Let's create together the journey of your dreams in Costa Rica

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Your itinerary

Detailled Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival at San José

Your will arrive at the international exit and one of our representatives will be waiting for your to take you to your hotel. Once you do your check in, our representative will provide you your roadbook with all details for your trip and contact information.

If your arrival time is early, you can take a walk in San José downtown and you might be able to visit our National Theater, National Museum, Gold Museum, etc.

Day 2 : Land and boat transfer to  Tortuguero

You will be picked up at the hotel around 6:30 am to begin your adventure at Tortuguero, known as the “little Amazon.” This name honnors the impressive vegetation that borders the canals and the Tortuguero lagoon. This National Park is know for hosting in the Northern Hemisphere the green turtle. Green Turtle nesting season Starts in July and ends in October. During this season you will have the opportunity to observe this amazing and wonderful phenomenon.

You will enter Tortuguero by boat and arrive at your lodge at the beginning of the afternoon

Day 3: Tortuguero National Park Visit

During the morning or the afternoon, depending on the weather and tour logistic, you will enjoy a boat tour along the national park canals. The canals are surrounded by green lush and are home to different species like caimans, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, toucans, iguanas, esmerald basilisc, and a huge variety of colorful bird species.

At the end of the afternoon, you can just relax, walk along the beach or enjoy one of the hotel optional tours for an additional cost.

National Par fee costs $15 + tax per person and must be paid in cash at Park entrance

Day 4 & 5 : Enjoy Boca Tapada

Boca Tapada region is one of the main nesting sites of the green macaw, which is in danger of extinction.

This region is also the area where the Almond tree (Dipteryx panamensis) is a dominant spiece. In addition, this region is the habitat of several endangered species such as the jaguar, the manatee of the West India and the green macaw. However, deforestation and the loss of wetlands seriously threaten the habitat connectivity in the region.

Maquenque Biological Corridor extends between San Juan and La Selva. A National Wildlife Refuge that was created by the government in 2005, and that protects more than 123,500 acres (50,000 hectares) of tropical forest in the north of Costa Rica. This law places restrictions on the development of the region to maintain wildlife habitat, but allows people to continue using some of the land to work and live.

The refuge protects diverse and fragile ecosystems such as wetlands, lagoons,and rivers. Researchers are developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development and working to ensure that these sites are declared as Ramsar Wetlands, sites of international importance.

Day 6: On the way to Chachagua

Chachahua is a small community, near Fortuna, maybe twelve kilometers away. To get there, you just have to follow one of the routes and do not give up: at some point, after crossing one or another colorful soda-restaurant and avoiding being distracted by the birds that appear and disappear from nowhere, you can see the small town.

Day 7: Day off to explore Arenal area

At Arenal Volcano National Park, you can see the “lava flows of 1992”, it will be very close to the volcano and you will enjoy the view of the lake and the Tilaran mountain range. Enjoy a free day in La Fortuna where you can choose from several options of activities: explore the majestic waterfall of La Fortuna, enjoy a walk on the hanging bridges, take an adventure tour or visit a biological garden …

Suggested activities:

  • Hotsprings visit
  • Horseback Riding
  • Boat tour at Caño Negro
  • Río Celeste National Park

( 2 hrs away aprox.)

Day 8: Driving to the South Pacific Uvita

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then start your journey driving to the South Pacific.

On your way make sure you stop by the Tárcoles River, where you can take a view from the bridge to the biggest american cocodrile population in the country.

If you have the chance we recommend you to take a boat trip along the mangroove or enjot the hike at Carara National Park.

You will spend the night at Barú Wildlife Refuge, where bird watchers have sighted over 365 species on the refuge.

¡Sunset in the area is amazing!

 

Day 9: Day off to explore Marino Bahía Ballena National Park & Dominical

Breakfast at your hotel.

This national park is the favorite site for humpback whales and several types of dolphins, seasonally in a natural setting you can witness this nature spectacle.

The humpback whales arrive every year (from July to October) to carry out their breeding cycle; They arrive at the point of the Park where there is a rock and sand formation that looks lie the tail of a whale. This curiosity is the main attraction of the place.

In addition to the humpback whale, species such as spotted dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, stingrays, hammer head shark, parrot fish and mackerels can be found in its waters.

Day 10: Corcovado National Park

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Sierpe where you will par your car and then take the boat transfer to the lodge. The lodge is inmerse in the beautiful jungle surrounded by nature and the beauty of the ocean.

During the afternoon you can rest and enjoy the hotel trails and beach area.

Osa Península and Corcovado National Park was considered as “no man’s wild land” until it was discovered in 1960´s.

Corcovado National Park is the last sustainable reserve with tropical rainforest in the Lowlands of Central America, located in Osa Península at Southwest area of Costa Rica.

This natural refuge host 13 different ecosystems, each of them with it´s own specific flora, fauna and topography.

This national park protects over a thousand species of trees and over 400 species of birds.

Day 11:National Park Hike at La Sirena Station

“La Sirena” range station is located in the heart of the forest. This is the main and biggest station of the national park. The Jaguar, spider monkeys and Grey great herons are some of the species you can probably watch while walking in the magnificient trails of the forest.

To arrive to the range station we will take an hour boat ride, while you arrive there you will start walking in the “Guanacaste” trail for about 2 kms until you get to “Patos” trail. After a short walk in “Patos” you can return by Espaveles trail with a lenght of 2,5 kms.

Along the way your local tourguide will be showing you different species along the forest.

You will take a rest in the ranger station where you will enjoy a picnic lunch to continuo the “Rio Claro” trail, where at the end you will catch the boat back to the lodge.

We highly recommend you bring your rubber boots because at the beginning of the trail usually is more humid and some areas can be muddy plus you might need to cross like rivers specially at high tide.

Rubber boots as well will protect you from insects and forest animals.

Day 12: Isla del Caño boat tour and snorkeling

Isla del Caño is located 1 kms away from Osa Península, an ideal place to enjoy a wonderful day. While snorkeling, you will be fascinated observing the marine life in the virgin blue waters and then you can explore the paradisiacal beaches and the forest of the island. During your boat trip to Isla del Caño, you will have the opportunity to observe dolphins playing in the high sea water and if you are lucky you may encounter one of the humpback whales during their migration season, which goes from July to February. The females come to these warm tropical waters to give birth and breastfeed their little ones. When you get to Isla del Caño, you will have the opportunity to snorkel. The island is surrounded by five platforms of coral reefs, where more than 12 species of coral grow in abundance. The reefs are home to several species of lobsters, colorful fish and giant shells. The abundance of marine life makes snorkeling excellent and divers can enjoy the underwater landscape, cliffs and canyons.

After the water activities, you will enjoy a delicious lunch under the trees of another beach located near the Island and then you will return to your hotel feeling as if you had a small piece of heaven on earth.

Day 13 & 14: Looking for the magnificient Quetzal

After experiencing one of the best an unique adventure of your life in the South Pacific you will drive to the primary forest where you can rest and start preparing yourself to go back home.

San Gerardo de Dota is the ideal place to enjoy nature and breath fresh mountain air. Is the favorite place for the magnificient quetzal.

The hotel offers different trails that you can walk at your own pace.

Don´t forget your cameras and binoculars, because you will be able to admire different bird species..

Enjoy the great view while warming yourself with a hot chocolate mug next to the chimeny.

Day 15: Car rental return & flight home.

Beakfast at hotel. This last day you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then you will drive to the car rental office close to the airport to return your car. At their office you will take a shuttle that will bring you to the airport to take your international flight back home.

Note: If your flight departs before 3:00pm, you will need to spend your last night in San Jose.

Details
of your trip

Price includes:

– 14 nights in the recommended establishments or equivalent with hotel taxes included.

– 11 days car rental with basic insurance, GPS, roadside assistance and unlimited kilometers

– All breakfasts in the selected hotels and 11 additional meals (6 lunches + 5 dinners see the description of the itinerary.)

– Town visit and boat tour at Tortuguero with local guide

– Guided hike at Corcovado National Park with entrance fee included.

– Isla del Caño snorkeling tour

– Travel Assistance by  Morpho Evasions 24h / 7d.

– Transfers from the airport to the hotel at your arrival (with travel documents)

 

Price do not includes :

 – Services not mentioned in “your trip includes”

– International flights

– Departure tax of Costa Rica ($ 29 / per) or of any country of origin of the client

– Meals and drinks not mentioned above

– Any additional service proposed “as optional” or as a suggestion

– Personal purchases and souvenirs.

– Transport taxes or temporary entrances (Entrance for private property, for example).

– Tips to guides or drivers.

– National parks or natural reserves entrances not indicated as included.

– The fuel or tolls of the rental vehicle.

Lodging
Food

Accommodation

The hotels selected for this tour are of higher category. 

Food

The water is drinkable throughout the country except in some areas of the country or Tortuguero where hotels are meticulous at your disposal drinking water at will. Other options are offered at the continental breakfast (hot drink, pastries, side dishes and cold drinks). The vast majority of Costa Rican dishes are rice and black beans. It’s called the “casado” (married man), whether it’s two other foods, cooked bananas, salad and choice of chicken, meat or fish. Feel free to try the local dishes they are delicious.

 

Practicals
Infos

PASSPORT / VISA

US nationals do not require an entry visa to Costa Rica. However, they must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to exit Costa Rica within 90 days. (Either to return to your country or to go to another country). US passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day you enter Costa Rica. As a tourist US nationals cannot stay more than 90 days. For a stay longer than 90 days a residence permit must be established.

 

TRANSPORT

To rent a vehicle you will need a credit card (valid for at least six months) with the driver’s name + a passport + a valid driver's license (not necessarily an international permit). A deposit (often around $ 1000) will be blocked on the card. The basic insurance is always included in the daily rate of the rental, if you want the "full" insurance or other complementary services, you can subscribe when taking possession of the vehicle. Attention, you are not allowed to leave the country with a rented car.

Costa Rica has a quite well-developed road network. The country counts two "highways", the Caldera which connects the capital San Jose to Tarcoles (Pacific) and the "Panamericana", which crosses the country from north to south. One-lane national highways connect the rest of the country. In general, except for the two main roads, the national roads are often damaged (potholes, pavements that need repairing, bridges, etc.). Secondary roads are for the most part dirt or stone. In times of heavy rain these roads are more difficult to access. This is why a 4WD (4 Wheel Drive) is often recommended on this kind of road,

Long live the adventure! Those roads are sometimes responsible for the long duration of certain trips. To get an idea of the distance between two points, do not hesitate to contact us.

The Road rules are identical to the French ones although the signaling system is less developed. There are not often signs indicating the arrival in a village, but to know where you are, find landmarks, churches, above the bus stops, the name of sodas (typical restaurants) or sometimes the school’s names.

Important, buses always have priority, in the capital, they have a priority lane and in the rest of the country, they have the right to stop anywhere to pick up passengers. So be careful when you follow a bus! We advise you to avoid driving at night due to lack of lighting on the secondary roads.

Parking is fairly easy in Costa Rica, almost all hotels have parking and in towns and villages you will find paid, supervised car parks. Most of the time, it as a single day fare that remains cheap. If you park in the street, guards wearing a fluorescent vest monitor your vehicle in exchange of a tip. You can give what you want, usually 100 to 500 colones (about 0.50 €) depending on the duration of parking. Be careful when it comes to tourist areas where the price of parking can vary from single to double only 500m away.

The addresses in Costa Rica are based on a geographical orientation system, neither numbering nor street name, your hotel will be for example 100m north of the Church and 150m west of San Juan College.

BUDGET AND EXCHANGE

 

National currency: the colon (1 $ USD= 570 colones). For your everyday purchases (eg drinks, food, souvenirs, etc.); we recommend paying in Colones. Colones can be picked up on arrival at the airport, at currency exchange offices or at ATMs (Visa / MasterCard) in major cities across the country.

The US Dollar remains a reference currency and we advise you to bring Dollars in small denominations with you.

When you leave the country, you will have to pay an airport tax (US $ 29).

For meals, plan between $5 and $15 per person for a typical hot meal.

 

TIPS

This is a usual and not mandatory practice. Depending on your satisfaction, at the end of a service or at the end of your trip, it is customary to tip your guide and the local team. It must be adapted to the standard of living of the country and the duration of your stay. It is your gesture of appreciation in relation to the service received.

On the other hand, in some establishments, prices do not include taxes (13%) or service (10%).

 

ELECTRICITY

110V, 60 Hz, American style flat plugs.

 

CLIMATE

Tropical, usually humid and warm. The average temperature is 23 ° C in San José, 31 ° C on the coast and north, only slightly cooler at night and this all year round. At altitude, the temperature drops quickly: at 3000m, it is 5 to 15 ° C. There are two distinct seasons in Costa Rica: winter, humid from May to November (short but torrential rain), summer, from December to April (sun and clear sky).

You can travel to Costa Rica all year long, because it never rains the whole day.

Each period of the year has its advantages:

- From January to April: sun, wind and drought on the Pacific side. Beware, the dry season is less marked on the Caribbean side.

- In April-May: it’s spring, the rainy season starts at the end of May.

- In June-July: it's the "veranillo", the little summer! Rainfall is decreasing throughout the country.

- From August to October: Beautiful sunny periods on the Caribbean coast.

- October to December: sunny periods interrupted by showers. December, the return of the dry season announced by trade winds on the Pacific.

 

BAGGAGE

We advise you to take light luggage, especially as it is easy to wash clothes on site. As a precaution, remember to bring in your cabin luggage, your basic requirements for a couple of days in case your luggage does not arrive at the same time as you!

We propose to you a short packing list meant only as a guideline:

- Light cotton clothing

- Canvas trousers

- Long sleeve shirts against mosquitoes

- A vest / sweater

- A waterproof windproof jacket

- Rain cover or umbrella

- Shorts and t-shirts

- Swimsuit

- Chapeau / cap

- Solar cream

- Mosquito repellent

- Sunglasses

- Flash light

- Closed walking shoes

- Camera

- Adapter

- A light backpack for excursions

- An alarm clock

Avoid bringing valuable jewellery, leather clothing or bags, and bulky, solid suitcases that are less convenient to carry than soft bags during tours.

 

FOOD - WATER

The water is drinkable all over the country except in some remote areas such as Corcovado or Tortuguero where the hotels will provide you with drinking water.

If you eat fruits bought by roadside, remember to wash them with drinking water.

The majority of Costa Rican dishes are rice and black beans. The most popular dish is called "casado" (married man) which includes in addition to these two foods, cooked bananas, salad and choice of chicken, meat or fish

The most famous fish is called Tilapia and is most frequently eaten fried. Other dishes such as chicharones "fried beef" or chifrijo "beans, rice, tomato, avocado, cooked beef, are eaten as tapas in bars.

HEALTH

Make yourself a basic first aid kit (Analgesic, anti-diarrheal, laxative, antacid, disinfectant, bandages, sterilized compresses ...)

Recommendations:

Dengue: The risk of contagion by mosquito bites is low. It is advisable to protect yourself by applying repellent cream or spray. We do not encourage the use of preventive treatments when they are not needed.

No vaccine is required to enter Costa Rica.

If you are traveling through a country in South America (Colombia, Panama,), check that the airline does not recommend you to take the yellow fever vaccine to enter Costa Rica.

YOUR FREE QUOTE

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