Surcos Tours - Birding by Locals


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Surcos Tours

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    Tour Details

    While this is a bird conservation trip, we will spend our time learning, exploring, and observing all we encounter while walking through the various habitats. Nito (Dionisio Paniagua Castro) is our personal guide for this journey and his expertise as a naturalist always makes the trip superior. We will visit numerous locations, covering biologically important areas, maximizing the opportunities to be immersed in “the most biologically intense place on Earth.” (National Geographic, 2016)

    Departure & Return Location

    Juan Santamaría International Airport, San José, Costa Rica (Google Map)

    Operated By

    Surcos Tours
    What to Expect
    • Highlights:
    • Activities: Birding and short walks
    • Difficulty:Low
    • Holiday Type: Set Departure - Bird Conservation Trip
    • You will visit:Costa Rica
    • Trip style:Couples and small groups - Set Departure
    • Comfort level: From basic to luxury
    • Transportation: Minibus
    • Physical demand: Low
    • Group size:
    • Price:

    Day 1February 25th, 2021

    Nito will provide a welcome and tour overview once all guests have arrived. The Hotel Bougainvillea has absolutely fabulous grounds to get in some great tropical birdwatching. We can expect to see Plain Wrens, Rufous-naped, Hoffman’s woodpecker, Whitewinged Dove, Crimson-Fronted Parakeets, grayish Saltators, Red-billed Pigeons, Brown Jays, as well as Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds.

    Overnight Hotel Bougainvillea.

    Day 2February 26th, 2021

    Next we travel to Verdesana Lodge which is located in the foothill of the Talamanca Mountain region. On the way we stop at Orchid Lancaster Garden to see one of the largest orchid collection of Costa Rica, Verdesana lodge has beautiful garden where we will have the chance to see species that are only from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

    Overnight Hotel Verdesana.

    Day 3February 27th, 2021

    Today we explore more of the Talamanca Mountain. We will travel to higher elevation to the Montane rainforest of San Gerardo one of the rainiest places in Costa Rica, this montane rainforest provide a great amount of endemic species like: Quetzels, Emerald Toucanets, Long-Tailed Silky Flycatcher, Band-tailed Pigeon, the Volcano Hummingbird, and the Stripe-tailed Hummingbird. This area is a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The grounds have lovely gardens and the lodge is run by a local family promoting sustainable tourism. Lunch provided in the area which will be followed by more exploring of this amazing property.

    Overnight Los Sueños del Bosque.

    Day 4February 28th, 2021

    More birding in the mountain, Los Sueños del Bosque Lodge has beautiful gardens, With some luck, hopefully, Silvery fronted Tapaculo, Wrenthrush, Spotted Wood- Quail, tufted flycatcher, Yellow-and-black Silky-Flycatcher, Black-billed Nightingalethrus.

    Overnight Los Sueños del Bosque.

    Day 5February 29th, 2021

    Early AM travel to Bosque del Tolomuco. The hotel is located on the Pacific side of the Talamanca Mountains. The habitat hosts a number of endemic species. Here we can expect 10 species of hummingbirds, Brush-finches, Red-headed Barbet, and many tanagers. It would be just a brief stop on the way to the Wilson Botanical Garden.

    The Wilson Botanical Gardens; also known as the Las Cruces Biological Station. This property consists of 625 acres of protected forest—most of which is primary forest. Here we will find an incredible botanical collection which includes a palm collection of over 700 species. It is considered one of the most important tropical botanical gardens in the world. Potential species here will be numerous parrots, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush, Scaled Pigeon, and Collared Trogon. This is a heavy travel day, but we will be stopping along the way for some fabulous birding. Overnight at Wilson Botanical Gardens or nearby hotel.

    Special Note: On Day 5 we will stop at one of the Indian reserves seldom visited by tourists. The Gnobes people will have a lunch prepared, we will share a meal and they will share handcrafted items made by local Gnobes that will be available to purchase, please bring cash for your purchases.

    Day 6March 1st, 2021

    Explore more of Wilson Botanical Gardens or surrounding areas…Nito will take us to wherever the birds are! There are many possibilities for migrants, spinetails, and seedeaters.

    Overnight at Wilson Botanical Garden.

    Day 7March 2nd, 2021

    Explore more of Wilson Botanical Gardens or surrounding areas…Nito will take us to wherever the birds are! There are many possibilities for migrants, spinetails, and seedeaters.

    Overnight at Wilson Botanical Garden.

    Day 8March 3rd, 2021

    This morning we travel to the Terraba-Sierpe National Wetlands, an internationally recognized RAMSAR site to the town of Sierpe located along the Sierpe River. On the way we will stop to look for Savanna Hawk, Brown-throated Parakeet, Forktailed flycatcher on a rice plantation.

    Overnight at Oleaje Sereno Hotel .

    Day 9March 4th, 2021

    We will travel by boat down the scenic Sierpe River through part of the largest expanse of mangroves in all of Central America. At the end of the river, we reach the Pacific Ocean where we cross over to the Corcovado National Park Ranger Station at La Sirena. There are 13 distinct vegetation types which explain the amazing flora and fauna found within the Park. For several hours we will hike inside the park looking for tapirs, monkeys, birds, and other wildlife. Amenities in the Park are quite nice…showers, toilets, and sleeping areas with mosquito netting. We will spend one night in the Park which will provide us with many opportunities to see wildlife such Collared Peccaries, Baird’s Tapir, White-faced Cappuchin, Squirrel, Howler, and Spider monkeys.

    Overnight at La Sirena, Corcovado National Park.

    Day 10March 5th, 2021

    Getting up early, we’ll explore the Park throughout the day. With a little luck, we’ll find tapirs walking on the beach or bathing in the stream, as well as monkeys, myriad of birdlife, and various reptiles. Corcovado National Park provides excellent viewing of animals as they are at ease around visitors at La Sirena. Protocols in the Park will be followed—which includes no smoking and staying on the trails. Overnight at La Sirena, Corcovado National Park.

    Day 11March 6th, 2021

    In the morning, we’ll head back to Drake Bay, where our driver will pick us up to drive us to the Arboretum where we will meet Juan Jose, then Osa Lodge. We will spend the afternoon birding around the lodge.

    Overnight at Osa Lodge Hotel.

    Day 12March 7th, 2021

    Today will be a slightly more restful chocolaty kind of day as we tour the local and very famously delicious Finca Kobo Chocolate Farm. Here you will see a large handful of honeycreepers and migratory songbirds and enjoy some amazing and never ending chocolate fondue, after the tour we will visit Sandalo beach for seeking species like Mangrove hummingbird, shorebird species, and learn about the several types of mangroves and their importance to the shoreline. Potential species include various shorebirds such as Ruddy Turnstone, Whimbrel, Semi-Palmated Plover, Willet, and Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, Mangrove Hummingbird and Common Potoo. Overnight at Osa Lodge Hotel.

    Note: In the afternoon we will have a Osa Bird presantation with Karen Leavelle.

    Day 13March 8th, 2021

    We will participate in the bird festival. After spending the morning birding, we will return to join the celebrations of the bird activities.

    Overnight at Osa Lodge Hotel.

    Day 14March 9th, 2021

    Depart for Puerto Jimenez airport early in the AM for the flight to San Jose, heading home with wonderful pictures, fond memories, and new friends.

    Overnight at Terrazas del Golfo.

    Day 15March 10th, 2021

    Fly home!


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