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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
2,479
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
475
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.
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,479
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
475
Program No. 20616 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
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climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Hotel
Details
Accommodation Details
Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.
Nov 4 - Nov 14, 2021
Hotel 2,549
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with Oct. 25 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Jan 16 - Jan 26, 2022
Hotel 2,629
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Jan. 6 & Jan.26 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Mar 14 - Mar 24, 2022
Hotel 2,629
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Mar. 4 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

May 13 - May 23, 2022
Hotel 2,479
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited. Please call for details.

Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the May 3 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Dec 11 - Dec 21, 2022
Hotel 2,579
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Dec 1 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

DATES & PRICES

Hotel
Details
Accommodation Details
Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.
Nov 4 - Nov 14, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,949
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with Oct. 25 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Jan 16 - Jan 26, 2022
Hotel 3,029
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Jan. 6 & Jan.26 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Mar 14 - Mar 24, 2022
Hotel 3,029
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Mar. 4 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

May 13 - May 23, 2022
Hotel 2,479
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited. Please call for details.

Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the May 3 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

Dec 11 - Dec 21, 2022
Hotel 2,979
Itinerary Note

This departure can be combined with the Dec 1 date of Program #22443- Birding in Northern Costa Rica: Tanagers to Toucans.

At a Glance

In this small-group adventure, go off-the-beaten path to explore some of the less-visited birding hot spots in Costa Rica. In a range of habitats — Pacific lowland rainforest, dry deciduous forest, primary premontane forest, oak woodlands, cloud forests and more — spot myriad rare and vibrant species. Each unique and beautiful location offers the chance to identify numerous intriguing endemic and migratory birds in one of the world’s great birding destinations.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Daily early morning birding activities. Walking up to three miles daily over varied terrain in tropical conditions and long periods standing. Elevations up to 11,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Observe brilliantly colored Resplendent Quetzals while they feed on the fruit of the aguacatillo tree.
  • Spot nocturnal birds and mammals, including owls, on nighttime hikes.
  • Look for water birds and shore birds during a boat ride along the mangrove-lined banks of the Tarcoles River.

General Notes

Maximum group size for this program is 12. All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at www.aba.org/ethics.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Costa Rica Adventure Map
by National Geographic
A double-sided map at a scale of 1:500,000.
Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide
by L.H. Emmons
Compact enough to slip into your daypack, this field guide to the mammals of Central and South American features 29 color plates of more than 200 species.
Wild Costa Rica
by Adrian Hepworth
This beautiful, informative survey of the habitats, wildlife and protected areas of Costa Rica features 200 color photographs and chapters on natural history and conservation.
The Monkey's Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America
by David Rains Wallace
Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace often weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.
Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics
by Steven Palmer (Editor), Ivan Molina (Editor)
A lively, literate sourcebook on the politics, economy and society of Costa Rica
The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide
by Twan Leenders, Robert Dean, Jim Zook, Fiona Reid
This guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter. Each has exquisite full-color illustrations.
Culture Smart! Costa Rica
by Jane Koutnik
History, religion, daily life, food, health and safety are all covered in this accessible pocket guide to Costa Rican customs, etiquette and culture.
Green Phoenix, Restoring Tropical Forests of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
by William Allen
The vivid tale of the creation of the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Northwest Costa Rica
A Bird-Finding Guide to Costa Rica
by Barrett Lawson
With bird lists, directions, descriptions and lodges for 53 sites in Costa Rica.
Tropical Nature
by Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata
Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests.
National Geographic Costa Rica
by Christopher P. Baker
This stylish and informative travel resource features 200 photographs, many maps and good information on the country's history, nature and culture.
Costa Rican Wildlife
by Pocket Naturalist
Put it in your pocket! This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles. We also carry plastic cards for Costa Rica Birds (Item CRC56) and Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths (Item CRC57), $5.95 each.
Costa Rica, A Journey Through Nature
by Adrian Hepworth
Dividing the book by ecosystem and geographic area, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Hepworth's color photographs showcase the diversity of Costa Rica's wildlife and habitats.
Costa Rica, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Barbara Ras
These 26 well-chosen stories by Costa Rican writers introduce the people, culture and land.
Costa Rican Spanish
by Lonely Planet
A pocket guide to understanding idioms, slang and Spanish as it is spoken by the Ticos.
Nature of the Rainforest, Costa Rica and Beyond
by Adrian Forsyth, E.O. Wilson (Introduction), Michael Fogden (Photographer)
Our favorite biologist-writer returns to the Neotropics in this beautifully illustrated, oversized overview of the rainforest. With chapters on Monteverde and Guanacaste, plants, frogs and snakes, birds, monkeys and jaguars, the sloth, peculiar insects and biodioversity; A marvelous, anecdotal introduction to ecology, evolution and conservation.
A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica
by F. Gary Stiles, Alexander Skutch, Dana Gardner (Illustrator)
A masterfully researched and comprehensive field guide to the birds of Costa Rica, including an overview of geography, habitats and avifauna. Covers 800 species and features 52 color plates.
Costa Rica Butterflies & Moths
by James Kavanagh
A handy, laminated fold-up card with color illustrations of Costa Rica’s more visible species of butterflies and moths. Includes the distinguishing markings or behaviors of each species.
Costa Rica Birds
by James Kavanagh
A handy, laminated fold-up card with full-color illustrations of birds commonly found in Costa Rica. Great for kids, too.
The Birds of Costa Rica
by Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)
This new edition covers 903 species of birds with hundreds of new, supplemental or revised color illustrations by Robert Dean and revised color-coded range maps.
29 Reviews
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5 Average
(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.

(5)

Well done!

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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

(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!!!

(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!

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

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.

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.

(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.

(5)

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

(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).

(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.

(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.

(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.

(5)

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

(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.

(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.

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.

(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!

(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.

(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.






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