20616
Costa Rica

Birding in Southern Costa Rica: Motmots to Quetzals

Go where the birds are, not where the birders are, as you spot Scarlet Macaws at Carara, the Resplendent Quetzal in San Gerardo de Dota, Motmots in San Vito and much more.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20616RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,449
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
460
31 Reviews
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5 Average
Katherine
(5)

A fabulous program from start to finish. Group size of 12 (plus wonderful guide Erick and fabulous driver Enrique) is perfect. Accommodations are generally excellent, beautiful, and the food is healthy and delicious. Tarcoles River trip and all walks were wonderful. And the birds! The birds! I was overwhelmed by their variety and beauty. This trip far exceeded expectations.

Steven
(5)

Well done!

Edward
(5)

The tour was excellent. Our guide Chito was the best, he maintained his interest and enthusiasm from beginning to end. I think he has the eyes of an eagle, ears of a bat, memory of a dolphin, sings like a nightingale, maybe sometimes walk like a tapir. His knowledge on birds was amazing, although it was my wife's first birding trip, she thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. We saw 275 bird species out of a total of around 980. Overall the accommodations were good, we particularly enjoyed the Trogon Lodge, the pristine environment was very relaxing and enjoyable. Meals were generally good, both Trogon Lodge and Esquinas Rainforest Lodge provided the best meal experience. The birding activities were just right, we just had to adjust to wake up at five for the early morning bird walk - noon time was just too hot for such activity. The daily birding checklist was a good exercise, although the checklist printing was sub-par with mismatched lines across.

Ricky
(5)

This is a great birding expedition. You will see hundreds of bird species (we saw over 250 distinct ones) in at least 4 different habitats from coastal to cloud forest. The guide was terrific and every where we went, he showed us birds we would never have seen without his expert help.

Geoff
(5)

The Road Scholar Birding Southern Costa Rica trip was absolutely wonderful in every way. Our guide was highly capable, professional and personable. The itineray, accomodations, transportation and meals were perfect. This was our third Road Scholar experience and we plan on many more.

Steve
(5)

Road Scholar's attention to details was impressive, from being met at the airport to every transportation and accommodation detail. As experienced birders, we appreciated Roger's expertise and the time actually spent birding in the field. He is a world-class birder in a world-class location.

Richard
(5)

The Program was amazing! The birds numerous and varied; the guide was unbelievably good; the food and accommodations were appropriate at every location; the logistics perfect. The activity level "Keep the Pace" is appropriate.

Denis
(5)

If you love bird-watching and want to discover a country that is devoting itself to supporting outdoor adventure and ecotourism, Costa Rica has to be at the top of your list. I could not have been happier with my choice of the trip; Birding in Southern Costa Rica: Motmots to Quetzals

Judy
(5)

We did the Southern tour as the second part of our Costa Rican back-to-back birding tours. Loved both of the tours. This South tour had more extremes in temperature - from unbearable heat and humidity to very cool mountain weather. You definitely need to bring clothes to accommodate both extremes plus bug spray and sunscreen. We saw some great birds, had interesting lodging, and good food. Our guide, Leo, was extremely knowledgeable and an excellent guide. Our tour had 4 non-birders (mostly photographers) and he tried to make the trip as interesting for them as he could. However, I would recommend only birders take the tour!!!

Jeannine
(5)

I would highly recommend this program to other birders. Leo was a phenomenal guide and I ended up with 153 life birds! (AND I'd been to Costa Rica twice before...) Also, the places we stayed were amazing and the food was FANTASTIC!

Dean
(5)

This program excelled in almost every aspect: great guide (warm and funny too); enthusiastic participants; varied terrain with an incredible diversity of birds and plants; delicious, fresh food; even a bus driver with a nice pace and a gentle touch. I was completely satisfied with this course and recommend it without hesitation.

Monica
(5)

Ask about each unique event or each stop, vs. lumping by lodging - some stops between lodges were very good or were not so good, but we didn't get asked about them.

Wayne
(5)

What a great trip. Of the 265 bird species located on our trip about 140 were life birds. A great trip to a wonderful new part of our fragile and beautiful planet.

Jane
(5)

Great opportunity to walk in a wide range of ecosystems from sea level to cloud forest and see associated birds. Choose "birding in northern Costa Rica" instead if you are more interested in marine birds. Accommodates people new to birding as well as people interested in bird, butterfly, and or flower photography as long as they can keep up with the group. Saw 28% of the 921 bird species in Costa Rica.

Walter
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This trip and the one I took last year (digital photography) were excellent. Our Group leaders and drivers were very knowledgeable and efficient. I highly recommend both trips and I'm looking forward to more in the future. Last year Pedro and Alberto were great and this year Chito, Gilberth Molina, was amazing in his knowledge of where and when to look for birds. I'm thoroughly pleased. They deserve the highest rating.

Hugh
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

We were so fortunate to have Gilberth Molina as our guide. He is a fantastic birder with comprehensive knowledge of where the difficult to find species are. He also is a great group leader and made sure we had a really enjoyable and educational experience. Serious birders will enjoy this trip. Our group identified over 300 species including antbirds, anthrushes, and great looks at the Resplendent Quetzal.

Elizabeth
(5)

This is first and foremost a birding trip. You will enjoy it the most if you have good binoculars, are patient and quiet, physically fit, can walk on forest trails and roads, and are willing to wake up early and spend hours outside looking for and listening to birds and other wildlife. Under the guidance of our superb group leader, Leonardo Garrigues, I saw about as many bird species in ten days as I have in a lifetime of birding. This is a great trip for folks who go on eco-touring bird trips. Costa Rica is an amazing country that values its wild lands and wildlife, and its people are kind and live simply. How nice it was to see that it is possible to live more gently on the land without sacrificing comfort. The food and accommodations were simple but quite comfortable, and the diversity of habitats - from rivers to rain forests to mountain tops and cloud forests - was dazzling. What a privilege to be welcomed so warmly in Costa Rica and to get to know a small part of the country so intimately.

Bruce
(5)

This program must be at the top of the to do before i die list for every birder.

Charles
(5)

Although I do not consider myself a serious birder, you need to have some interest in birds or you might get bored at times waiting for that special bird to show itself. Myself, I enjoyed the wide variety of ecosystems in this program, different plants, animals, etc as well as the birds. I did not bring a camera other than my cell phone, and there were only a couple of times I wished I had been able to photograph something. For others on the trip, photos were more important. You do need a good pair of binoculars and some practice seeing something with your eyes and then getting the binoculars to the right spot (and the right depth of focus).

Michael
(5)

Outstanding trip. Excellent food. Accommodations were as described so no surprises. Group leader Jorge went above and beyond. Even the bus driver Maura was integral to making this a great trip.

Christine
(5)

This trip was fantastic! Our guide Jorge Monges could not have been better. Our fellow participants were all kind and sharing. The trip was not as aerobic as we were led to believe by the rating. There is a lot of time on our feet, but no heavy duty uphill hiking. We paused often to view birds. We brought hiking poles that we did not use. We did see an immense variety of birds, helped along by luck with good weather.

Joyce
(5)

Birding is a great love of my partner, that I have learned to enjoy with him. It was his choice to go on the Road Scholar Bird Tour of Southern Costa Rica so I got to accompany him. I found that my experience accompanying someone who has a passion for birding was also surprisingly a great treat for me.

Richard
(5)

Birds are whereyou find them, and this program give you plenty ofopportunity to find them and in many different environment. Highly Recommended

Larry
(5)

This is a wonderful birding opportunity to experience a large number of species, including some stunning birds that will stay in your memory for ever. Lodging and structure of the trip was great, and overall the beauty of Costa Rica is captivating. Road Scholar does a great job and our guide, Erick was spectacular.

Paul
(5)

This program was amazing, we loved every minute of it. The guide, Erick Castro, was astonishing. He brought 26 years of experience in the field to our program. He found 307 species for us, 266 of which are lifers for me. He hears everything in the forest, and will track a bird through the jungle and make sure we all get to see it. He even called to the Quetzals, and they came! All of the locations were fantastic, and completely different from each other. Five distinct eco systems, each incredibly beautiful. The bus was very comfortable, and our driver Oldemar was incredible. We also stopped often to see amazing birds on the way, and they were very accommodating if anyone needed a pit stop. Each of the lodges or hotels were very nice, and food was generally quite good.

Brian
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was an amazing trip. The local guide Gilberth was very knowledgeable, and extremely friendly. This was a special occasion for my wife and I, and Gilberth arranged a wonderful dinner for us by the river. We will never forget this trip, and will treasure the memories.

Paula
(5)

Our Costa Rican birding trip was wonderful! We were a congenial group and our guide, Gilbert couldn’t have been more knowledgeable! I learned a lot about Costa Rico and saw and photographed over 200 species of birds. Our driver, Oldemar, was masterful at navigating the winding roads safely. The accommodations were excellent. This trip exceeded our expectations!

Gary
(5)

This South Costa Rica Birding adventure was simply outstanding. Not only did we get to see over 235 unique birds thanks to our excellent and very experienced guide (Luis Vargas) but the lodges we stayed at were all very eco-friendly in very quiet and remote locations were we could observe all kinds of wildlife, flora and fauna. This was our 3rd Road Scholar trip (2nd time to Costa Rica, one to Ecuador) and should not be missed if you are interested in birding in some of the best natural preserves/parks and remote locations that southern Costa Rica has to offer.

Brian
(5)

First of all this was my first trip with RS and it was special. I just loved it! Second our guide and leader Leo Garrigues was fantastic. He was a tenacious birder and I was driven by his passion and knowledge of his great country. He knew where to go and what we were going to see. I would do this trip again just because of him period. The Hotels and places we stayed were great I really loved the Villa Lapas and the Wilson Botanical Gardens. Both were wonderful places and the rooms were just perfect to relax and be in nature and get how wonderful the country of Costa Rica is. The talks were all informative and gave us a good understanding of each location and the passion of the local people who let us into their world. Leo's passion for his country and the birds made this trip a real pleasure. Seeing the a Motmot was a lifer for me and that made this trip something that i will never forget . To see a male Resplendent Quetzal flying across the valley was an amazing experience to see. I give this trip an A+10. Thanks RS for a Great Experience.

Carrie
(5)

This was my first Road Scholar trip and I was not disappointed. The leader, driver, accommodations, food, lectures and field trips all exceeded my expectations. I am a novice birder but was made to feel welcome by the leader and by much more experienced birders on the trip. As a result of my experiences on this trip my interest in birding has increased ten-fold. I have a new interest and appreciation for the birds in my home geographic area but I would also like to go on more birding trips in the future. I went on the trip as much to see Costa Rica and to get a feel for the history, culture and ecology of the country as to see the birds and my goal was fulfilled. Thank you to everyone in the "background" and on the trip who made such a wonderful experience possible!

Rhonda
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This birding trip was fantastic. We saw over 200 birds and visited great eco lodges. The food at Savegre Hotel was 5 star. All accommodations were as described. It rained but our trip time was between wettest and less wet time. Leader Erick Guzman knows his birds and used his scope to make every bird seen.






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