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
11 days
Starts at
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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 http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Leonardo Garrigues
Leonardo Garrigues began birding at the age of six and has been studying natural history ever since. Leo studied biology and forest engineering at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica before beginning his guiding career leading educational excursions to Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. Leo has been involved in various projects on the Osa Peninsula, including projects monitoring jaguars and white-lipped peccaries, and he is currently part of a team that records bird calls and other animal vocalizations in the Osa area. Leo has also worked as a local expert at Ranch Naturalista in Costa Rica as well as Tandayapa Birding Lodge and Wild Sumaco in Ecuador. In addition to his passion for birds and wildlife, Leo loves sharing his knowledge about Costa Rican history and culture with travelers.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Leonardo Garrigues
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