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Birding the Hot Spots of Costa Rica

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Road Scholar
Program #12848RJ

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13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Terry from Port Townsend, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/12/16 - 01/24/16
We found ‘Birding the Hot Spots of Costa Rica’ a very enjoyable and enlightening trip. Our Guide, Gilbreth (Chito) Molina, went above and beyond to find and identify the birds (300+) and to make sure we all got to see them. His ability to mimic the calls of many of the birds was amazing! Besides providing expert birding and flora/fauna info, he also introduced us to the wonderful culture and food of Costa Rica by stopping at several excellent roadside restaurants (called Sodas). He also gave us lots of information on the history, geography, climate of beautiful Costa Rica. His dedication to making sure we all had the best trip possible was much appreciated (including his karaoke performances during our long bus rides)! --Terry LeLievre & Janine Anderson, Port Townsend, WA

Richard from Doylestown, PA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/12/16 - 01/24/16
If you love seeing new and astounding birds every day in a variety of interesting habitats, you'll love this trip. Our leader, Chito Molina, is a birder of extraordinary skill who made sure everyone saw what we discovered. He is also a very personable and warm human being who enthusiastically shared his love for birding and Costa Rica. The food and accommodations were excellent, as was our transportation and driver, Omar. All-in-all, a trip we will long remember and can enthusiastically recommend. Richard and Vicky Myers Doylestown, PA

Kristina from Oak Grove, OR Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/06/15 - 11/18/15
I did the Birding the Hotspots of Costa Rica trip in November of 2015. It exceeded my expectations! The choice of locations and the birding activities were wonderful, resulting in seeing over 250 distinct species. Our knowledgeable guide, Gilberth Molina, is true scholar of the birds and animals of his country. We marveled at his ability to mimic bird calls to draw them out. He and our driver, Alberto, were warm and welcoming and my fellow travelers were great too! We had a lot of rain but it didn't interfere much with our planned activities. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes birding in the tropics!

Donna from Stony Plain, AB Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/16/15 - 03/28/15
Birding the hotspots was beyond dreams. The perfect birding experience because of Chito, our guide, William, the steadfast driver and our amazing group of birders. Donna & Ken

Trennie from Pinnacle, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/16/15 - 03/28/15
This program is to die for. We had a wonderful guide in Gilberth Molina, he is absolutly the most amazing person. He can call 200 birds with his voice alone, we saw some many endemic birds, as well as beautiful migrants. Our group was 7 and I believe that added to our experience. I highly recommend that if you are a birder, nature lover or just want to experience Costa Rica first hand that you consider this program.

John from Mission Hills, KS Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/16/15 - 03/28/15
If you want to see all that Costa Rica has to offer, then you need to take a Road Scholar trip.

Sharon from Mission Hills, KS Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/16/15 - 03/28/15
A fabulous experience. Saw well over 300 bird species with an amazing naturalist with an expansive knowledge of the area. Could not be more pleased with this program.

Marcia from Charlotte, NC Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 02/23/15 - 03/07/15
Great introduction to birding in the tropics.

Shirley from Wheatley, ON Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 02/26/15 - 03/10/15
Great trip, great companions, a very knowledgable and accommodating guide in Roger, as well as professional driving from Raffe. We enjoyed the different habitats, birds, flora and fauna in all five areas. A wonderful experience, thoroughly enjoyed. Shirley Getty, Al Ascott

Ian from North York, ON Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 02/26/15 - 03/10/15
Our group observed over 300 birds in our 11 day trip. Nearly all of these were seen by almost all of the group. It was the best birding experience of my life (to date!). The expertise of our guide Roger, with his amazing ears and eyes made the trip the success that it was. Yes, we saw the Resplendent Quetzal on this trip!

Barbara from Oakland, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/26/15 - 02/07/15
I loved every minute of this trip! Arriving at the first HotSpot, I thought THAT surely this is the Grand Finale...but the glorious settings, magnificent flora and fauna kept unfolding with each successive day. The excellent accommodations, the safe transport, and the lectures never disappointed. Our guide was delightful, caring, knowledgeable and devoted teacher. He worked tirelessly to be sure every single one of us had the BEST possible experience.

Karen from Springfield, OH Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 01/26/15 - 02/07/15
This was my second on this same program and, if possible, it was even better than the first time. The beauty of Costa Rica and its wonderful birds, other animals and flowers is not to be beaten. Our guide, Chito Molina, is a fantastic leader, who continues to impress me with his immense knowledge of birds, his charming manner with people and his infectious love of his country. All accommodations are great, the food is plentiful and delicious. It's a 5 star program for sure!

Kate from Port Orchard, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/26/15 - 02/07/15
This birding trip was beyond my expectations, and the best trip of my life. It uncovered a passion in me for birding, and for Costa Rica as well. Our guide, Gilbreth, was the very best and taught us so much along the way. I'll probably do this tour again, and I highly recommend it.

Buck from Cheney, WA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/24/15
This program was the best if you are a bird lover this program is the one for you.Buck Domitrovich.

Sandra from Cheney, WA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/24/15
This was the most wonderful birding trip I've ever been on. Our guide, Gilberth Molina, was the best guide I've ever seen. He not only knew all the birds, plants and animal, but could mimick the birds and on many occasions, he called them right in for us to see. He also knew all the plants, trees, birds, but would know the common name and scientific name and could spell them for you. A most talented guide, Road Scholar is very fortunate to have him.

Susan from Coral Gables, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/24/15
If you love birds than this trip is a MUST for you. We had a terrific leader,Gilberth, and I would recommend him to anyone. The country is truly beautiful and the number of birds amazing. We saw 308 species in the various areas we birded. The bus trips from area to area were very special as Gilberth told us about the birds and people in that area and we often stopped to bird on the way. It also afforded us the chance to see much of the beauty of the country and the changes as we went from dry forest to wet forest to rain forest to seashore....extremely interesting! We had a very compatible group and I think they all felt the same. GREAT trip....go, you won't be disappointed!!!

Melissa from Touchet, WA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/24/15
I had a terrific time on this trip. Our guide was excellent, the arrangements good and everything went very smoothly. I really enjoyed seeing so many parts of the country.

Joanne from Ferryville, WI Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 01/12/15 - 01/24/15
We have just returned from Birding the Hot Spots of Costa Rica. This program was absolutely awesome in every way! We traveled to 5 different areas of the country, and we were able to document 308 species of birds--most of them were Life Birds for my husband and me. We had a group of 7 wonderful, welcoming, interesting, and fun people in our group. Our leader was Gilberth, and his knowledge of the birds, the plants, the areas, and the creatures who inhabit each one was truly amazing. We learned SO much and had such a wonderful time! The bus trips between lodges were a wonderful part of the experience because we were able to see many areas of the country, and we found new birds all along the way. This program was just so amazing and was life changing for me in its beauty and in my new learning.

Carol from Pottstown, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/09/14 - 03/21/14
This was our first Road Scholar trip and it was fabulous! Our guide was phenominal, not only in his birding skills, but in his ability to help all members of the group see the birds. We saw over 280 species. Our group consisted of some very experienced birders as well as some beginners, but everyone was able to see as much as they could. The lodges were all remote and beautiful, and the pace of each day was just right - lots of time for birding but also some down time in between. Our guide Fito was an expert in natural history as well as bird ID - and we learned a lot about CR from him. We loved the trip and are planning to take the other birding trip RS offers to CR to see the places we didn't get to.

Cathy from Virginia Beach, VA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/15/14 - 03/27/14
Great adventure - marvelous birding, great diversity of habitat & spectacular views of endemic species & counryside. Roger is a phenomenal birder who knows how to locate species and shares his expertise & enthusiasm with the entire group. Not to be missed! Cathy Williamson

Charlyn from Sebastopol, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/15/14 - 03/27/14
Excellent guide, intuitive and knowledgeable. Sited over 370 bird species. Wonderful group of new birding friends. Close access to birds thru several boat trips along shores of Costa Rica Rivers. Don't miss it!

Jean from Burlingame, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 03/09/14 - 03/21/14
We saw many, many new species of birds in a variety of beautiful locations. Our leader was terrific and the other participants were delightful.

Larry from Miami, FL Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 02/10/14 - 02/22/14
This was our 3rd Birding trip with Road Scholar, the 2nd time on Birding the Hot Spots. It is truly a wonderful trip!

Doug from Henrico, VA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/15/14 - 02/27/14
Outstanding trip - saw some of the birds I had hoped to see and many more that I hadn't counted on. Fascinating country and hitting the hot spots made it even more so.

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Uploaded By: Katherine
Uploaded By: Katherine

"Turquise-browed Motmot" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Three-toed Sloth" Uploaded By: Melissa

"La Ensenada" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Gartered Trogon" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Emerald Toucanette" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Cano Negro Wetlands" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Double Striped Thick Knee" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Chestnut Mandibled Toucan" Uploaded By: Melissa

"Bare Throated Tiger Heron" Uploaded By: Melissa

"The elusive Resplendant Quetzal!" Uploaded By: Charlyn

"Anhinga - Photo by Jennifer Shea Moses" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Roadside Hawk" Uploaded By: Raymond

"one of the many great places we stayed!" Uploaded By: Diane

"The Gorgeous Green Violet-ear" Uploaded By: Carol

"Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Charles Hildebrand" Uploaded By: Carol

"Morning Mist, Rio Frio " Uploaded By: Raymond Attended: 01/30/10 - 02/11/10

"Collared Redstart" Uploaded By: Raymond Attended: 01/30/10 - 02/11/10

"Ringed Kingfisher" Uploaded By: Raymond Attended: 01/30/10 - 02/11/10

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
34 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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