Costa Rica Classic Birding


Costa Rica, one of the smallest Latin American countries, is rich in biodiversity as it is home to 10% of the world’s avian species in its rainforests. Embedded in the coastal waters of the Pacific, the country is a wildlife paradise, with volcanoes and waterfalls scattered around the vibrant land.


Costa Rica tours offer opportunities to explore and spot over 800 species of birds in its dense canopied forests. Costa Rica birding tours are a bird watcher’s dream come true. Majestic birds of Costa Rica include Thrushes, Cuckoos, Owls, Raptors, Jacamars, Cotingas, Motmots, and Antbirds. The vast landscape of Costa Rica is divided into four zones, namely the highlands, Caribbean lowlands, Southern Pacific lowlands, and the Dry Northwest.

Trip Highlights
  • Visit the wetlands of Cano Negro
  • Go bird watching around the jungles of the Arenal Volcano Park
  • Hike around the rivers of Tenorio National Park
  • Spot over 800 different species of birds
  • Spot the famous scarlet Macaw in the cloud rainforests of Costa Rica
  • Enjoy the scenic waterfalls and rugged landscape
  • Taste the famous gourmet coffee at the organic plantations

Day 1

Arrival in Costa Rica

A local representative will host your arrival in the land of Pura Vida, Costa Rica, in San Jose. You can have the day off and explore the city at leisure. San Jose, known as the "city of flowers," has beautiful gardens and sceneries.

You can go on your first birding walk around the tropical oasis of your hotel and experience the tranquil weather of Costa Rica.

Day 2

Transfer to Carara

After your early morning walk, we head west towards Carrara. The Carrara National Park is the boundary between the tropical dry forest in the North and the tropical wet forests in the south.

You can spot some extraordinary species of birds like the Yellow-naped Parrot, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Scrub Euphonia, and more!

Days 3 - 4

Birdtouring in Carrara

Carara National Park is a great destination for bird touring in the tropical evergreen forests. Spot an array of birds like woodpeckers, flycatchers, antbirds, and antpittas. If you are lucky enough, you might behold the American Pygmy Kingfisher, Boat-billed Heron, or a Long-billed Gnatwren in the park.


Enjoy a boat trip down the Rio Tarcoles to look for more exotic birds like the Costa hummingbirds, shorebirds, the Mangrove Black hawk- and many more. You can also spot American crocodiles resting at the banks of the river.

Day 5

Enroute San Isidro El General

On our way to San Isidro El General, we will make several stops in between to catch a sight of more specialties of birds such as the Snowy-bellied Hummingbird and Fiery-billed Aracari; we could encounter species such as Red-crowned Woodpecker, Pearl Kite, and more.

While driving inland to San Isidro El General, encounter the Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Lesser Elaenia, Cherrie’s Tanager and Streaked Saltator, and the beautiful Turquoise Cotinga.

Day 6

Exploring the South Pacific

For our day in the South Pacific, explore the Alexander Skutch farm. The possible birds we can find here include Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-striped Sparrows singing their bouncing ball song, Orange-billed Sparrows foraging in brush piles, Charming Hummingbird, White-crested Coquette, Bright-rumped Attila, Riverside Wrens, and Golden-crowned Spadebill.


After a quick lunch, explore the specialties around the South Pacific, namely the flocks of swifts. You can spot the Olivaceous Piculets forage on thin branches. The Gray-headed Chachalaca, White-crowned Parrot, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Greenish, and Yellow-bellied Elaenia are other mesmerizing sights to behold.

Day 7

Transfering to the Talamanca Highlands

After exploring the Southwest, we depart to the cloud forest and paramo of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Capture the White-tailed Emerald, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, and Red-headed Barbet along the ride. Visit the Volcano Junco and Timberline Wren.

Day 8

Day in Cordillera de Talamanca

During your birding tour, explore the new species of birds such as Buffy Tufted Cheek, Black-capped Flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Collared Redstart, Large-footed Finch, with luck Silvery-throated Jay. Our target is to spot the most beautiful bird in the world, the Resplendent Quetzal.

Day 9

Migrating to Orosi

After leaving the highlands, we travel to Orosi. On our way, we stop at the town of Paraiso to have a taste of organic coffee and a quick tour of the farm. We may spot the beautiful Crimson-collared Tanager, Buff-throated, Black-headed and Greyish Saltators, White-naped Brush-Finch, White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Orange-billed Nightingale

Day 10

Tapantí National Park to the Caribbean lowlands

The reserve is an elevated Caribbean forest. Here we are on a hunt for Black Guan, Brown-billed Scythebill, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Flycatcher, Common Bush-Tanager, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Slate-throated Redstart.


Towards the afternoon, we travel to Carrillo National Park, looking for more specialties like Trogon, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Black-and-yellow Tanager, and several antbirds and answers.

Day 11

Diving into the Caribbean lowlands

The Caribbean lowlands of wetland rainforest are where we can easily spot around 400 species of birds. The type of fauna found in this region is tinamous, motmots, puffbirds, cotingas, trogons, toucans, chachalacas, maybe ant-followers. If lucky, the endangered Great Green Macaw can also be spotted. The great green macaw is an impressive species to behold.

Day 12

Transferring to Cano Negro

After the final day of your birding tour, you are headed north towards the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near Costa Rica’s northern border. We will make several stops during the journey to spot more species of birds on our way to the hotel. The dry season and the wetlands are recognized internationally as the perfect bird-watching scenario.

Day 13

Caño Negro to Arenal

You will start the day with a boating tour of the river and wetlands of the area. The possibilities of species that you can spot include Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, several herons and egrets, up to five species of Kingfishers, and the massive Jabiru stork. Other specialties of this region are the Nicaraguan Grackle and Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture.

Days 14 - 15

Exploring the Arenal Area

The rainforest surrounding the base of the Arenal volcano is home to the beautiful Rufous-tailed Jacamars. There are many mammals found in this region too, which include the Three-toed Sloth and Spider Monkey.


Spend the rest of your time at Arenal, exploring the woodlands of the area. Here we encounter Antwerpen, woodcreepers, White-necked Puffbirds, and Long-tailed Tyrants.

Day 16

Arenal to San Jose

Now from Arenal, we travel down the Caribbean slope and across the lowlands over to the Central Valley.

We make several stops to capture the last flock of birds on our trip back home.

Day 17

Time to depart

Our tour through this beautiful country concludes, and we arrive back in San Jose.

Reminisce the beauty of Costa Rica while enjoying the last day in the land of rainforests.