The Costa Rica Experience

December 10-17, 2022
This exciting tour will focus on the Osa Peninsula, the most biodiverse region in Costa Rica! Partnering with Osa Birds, we will get unique access to an active bird banding project where we will see dazzling tropical species up close. Combining that with birding destinations on the way to and from the Osa, we will end up with a wonderfully diverse mix of species, habitats, and communities!

Cost: $2,400 USD
Dates: December 10-17, 2022
Length: 8 days
Group size: 8
Activity level: moderate

What makes this Experience unique

Our goal when designing this Experience was to showcase the incredible country of Costa Rica – one of the most popular birding destinations in the world – in a unique way that brought us closer to the communities we visit. What better place to do that than the endemic-rich and incredibly diverse Osa Peninsula? 

We’re focusing our trip on a deep dive of the Osa, where we’ll spend plenty of time exploring and birding. But what really makes this experience unique is that we’ll be at Osa Bird’s MoSI banding station for a hands-on experience in conservation with local biologists. 

 

Why you’ll love the Costa Rica Experience

You’re going to be immersed in the Osa experience, seeing tropical and endemic birds and wildlife up close—and even in the hand at the MoSI station. 

You’ll also get to meet the Osa Birds crew and be guided by Diego Quesada, a renowned Costa Rican guide with decades of guiding experience and the founder of Caracara Costa Rica (and Co-op member!). 

We’ve also taken care to design an itinerary that covers multiple habitats along the way to the Osa Peninsula, yet is paced to allow time to thoroughly enjoy every stop and the Osa itself.  

 

And yes, there will be birds!

We’ll be targeting the Osa Peninsula’s incredible specialty birds, including Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Yellow-billed Cotinga, and Mangrove Hummingbird. We’ll rack up an impressive species list of birds while we deep-dive alongside Osa Birds for three days. 

But that’s not all! We’re taking a circular route to and from the Osa and heading through the Talamanca Mountains on our way down. We’ll be targeting middle- and high-elevation species such as Black-bellied Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Back-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Volcano Junco, and Timberline Wren, and even the iconic Resplendent Quetzal. 

On our return route, we’ll travel up the Pacific coast and target birds such as Turquoise-browed Motmot, Yellow-naped and White-fronted Parrots, White-necked Puffbird, Great Tinamou, Black-faced Antthrush, Streak-chested Antpitta, Blue Dacnis, and Orange-collared and Red-capped Manakins.

Even birding the Central Valley at the beginning and end of our trip will lead to great species such as Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow. 

We’ll also have many opportunities for incredible species such as Scarlet Macaw, King Vulture, Southern Lapwing, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, and Laughing Falcon. 

Many of the species we see are endangered or threatened, and during the Experience, we’ll be sharing information on various conservation efforts.

The Details

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to San Jose and shuttle to Hotel, birding locally.

Day 2: After breakfast, drive to the highlands, en route birding at Paraiso de Quetzales. Afternoon arrival to our lodge in San Gerardo de Dota

Day 3: Birding day at San Gerardo Valley for Resplendent Quetzal and highland endemics. Drive towards Osa Penisula

Day 4: Full day of exploring the Osa Peninsula with Osa Birds, optional night walk for birds and herps

Day 5: Full day of exploring the Osa Peninsula with Osa Birds and visiting the MoSI banding station, optional night walk for birds and herps

Day 6: Drive to Carara birding en route. Arrive at lodging and bird the area.

Day 7: Birding at Carara National Park and surroundings, drive towards San Jose, arrive at hotel in the afternoon. Enjoy a leisurely evening and dinner.

Day 8: Say our goodbyes and head home.

 

Cost

The cost of this trip is $2,400 based on double occupancy. A single supplement is $265. We will be following our pay-what-you-can method with an optional additional donation to The Birding Co-op. The costs of this trip help support Osa Birds, Birding Experiences, and many locally-owned accommodations, restaurants, and guides along the way.

The cost covers:

  • All lodging in twin/double or single occupancy
  • Premier guide services from day 1 through day 7
  • Private transportation in a spacious, comfortable vehicle with A/C
  • All meals from dinner on day 1 through breakfast on day 8
  • Shuttles in and out of San Jose International Airport
  • Entrance Fees to nature reserves.
  • Costa Rica Bird Checklist

These things will not be included:

  • International Airfare
  • Tips for hotel staff, waiters, guides, and drivers during the trip.
  • Items of personal use, toiletries
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical expenses, prescription drugs and other items of personal use
  • Additional services offered in hotels (Spa, massage, etc.)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry
  • Souvenirs
  • Any other expense or extra tours not listed as included above

 

Accommodations

We will be staying in comfortable local accommodations throughout this trip that all offer fantastic birding opportunities right outside the door. Some locations are cabins that may have shared bathrooms between two or three units. Pricing is based on double occupancy, sometimes with two twin beds, and a single supplement is available.