Spectacular Fauna & Flora
La Selva Biological Station
Arenal & Monteverde
Discover Costa Rica's Natural Wonders on this 9-Day Breathtaking Birding & Culture Tour
Join us on this exciting multi-day adventure through the luscious rainforests and lively ecosystems of Costa Rica! This all-inclusive tour offered in conjunction with Holbrook Travel is a perfect blend of birdwatching, nature walks, cultural experiences, and relaxation. You’ll start your journey in San Jose at the charming Hotel Bougainvillea before heading to Sarapiquí’s Selva Verde Lodge, where you’ll explore the rainforest and meet some of the fascinating wildlife of this beautiful country. We’ll also give you the opportunity to learn about cocoa processing while supporting local sustainable tourism.
From venturing to the famous La Selva Biological Station to exploring the grounds of the Arenal Observatory Lodge, you’ll be amazed by over 400 bird species and other mesmerizing wildlife here in this amazing country. You will also visit Hanging Bridges and unwind in soothing local hot springs before continuing your exciting adventure to Monteverde, where you’ll explore the diverse Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserves. The tour also includes an intriguing experience at the Bat Jungle, where you will learn about their importance in nature. Your journey will wrap up with a delightful coffee plantation tour at Café Monteverde and a heartwarming farewell dinner in San Jose. So, get ready to embrace the magic of Costa Rica’s natural wonders – book your unforgettable adventure with us today!
Begin your birding Costa Rica adventure by exploring botanical gardens and enjoy a welcome dinner in San Jose
Experience the rich biodiversity of Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve in Sarapiquí
See the world-renowned La Selva Biological Station and observe hundreds of bird species
Discover Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only eco-lodge within Arenal National Park
Marvel at the hanging bridges of Arenal and relax in local hot springs
Cruise across Lake Arenal and ascend to the highlands of Monteverde
Visit a bat jungle and observe them feeding, flying, and socializing through glass windows and listen to their vocalizations via special microphones
Learn about coffee farming at Café Monteverde and enjoy a farewell dinner in San Jose
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$2795/person (double occupancy); $500 single supplement
Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica
Usually offered during winter or early spring
April 20-28, 2024
One spot left
9 days, 8 nights
Flights to and from Costa Rica, alcoholic beverages and extra drinks, laundry service, souvenirs and trip insurance.
What to bring
A packing list will be provided after registration.
About your guide
Expert Costa Rican birding guide and driver that will both travel with the group from beginning to end. David travels along as tour coordinator and assistant guide.
What You'll See & Do
Day 1. Welcome to Costa Rica – Airport to Hotel Bougainvillea
We’ll meet you at the airport in San José, before proceeding to Hotel Bougainvillea, a charming hotel situated on a sprawling 10-acre property adorned with botanical gardens that offer stunning city views. These gardens host more than 600 plant species, such as 22 varieties of bromeliads, and serve as an excellent spot for observing hummingbirds, motmots, tanagers, and other fascinating creatures. Later, we’ll come together with the group for an enjoyable welcome dinner.
Day 2. Sarapiqui & Selva Verde Lodge
After meeting for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we’ll check out and head to Sarapiquí and Selva Verde Lodge. En route, we’ll stop at a café in Cinchona known for its many hummingbird feeders. Upon arrival at Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve you will check in and then enjoy lunch. After lunch, we’ll take a guided hike in Selva Verde’s reserve which offers many covered walks, birding trails, and lookout points, with opportunities to see species such as the Keel-billed Toucan, Great Green Macaw, White-winged Becard, Sunbittern, Acadian Flycatcher, and Wood Thrush. After dinner you can join an optional walk to discover nocturnal frogs and insects.
Day 3. Sarapiqui & Selva Verde Lodge
We’ll begin our day with early morning birdwatching. After enjoying breakfast, we’ll set out to explore the reserve once more, this time on a different trail. The Selva Verde Reserve is home to one of the largest almond trees in all of Central America, providing a habitat for the endangered Great Green Macaw. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Best Chocolate to learn about the history of cocoa and its journey from fruit to the final product. This authentic experience also helps support a family-owned sustainable tourism initiative within the community. We’ll relax with a meal in the evening ahead of a busy day 4!
Day 4.Arenal & Arenal Observatory
After breakfast, we’ll head to La Selva Biological Station, a leading research center for rainforest ecosystems since 1968. Once there, we’ll watch for various bird species such as Snowy Cotinga and Spectacled Owl. After lunch, we’ll proceed to Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only eco-lodge inside Arenal National Park, located between Lake Arenal and Arenal volcano. The lodge offers seven miles of trails across 800 acres, with elevations between 1,650 and 2,950 feet. Home to over 400 bird species, including Three Wattled Bellbird and Keel billed Toucan, it’s a Costa Rica birdwatching paradise. We may also spot monkeys and other wildlife. We’ll enjoy birding at feeders and trails upon arrival. In the evening we’ll chat about our amazing day together over a nice meal.
Day 5. Arenal & Arenal Observatory
In the morning, we’ll spot birds on the lodge trails before breakfast and then head to La Fortuna to explore Bogarin Trails, where we will have the chance to see various bird species. After lunch in town, we will visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, offering unique views of the forest canopy from 15 bridges of varying lengths, and marvel at the biodiversity found in this transitional vegetation strip. This evening, we will unwind at a local hot spring, enjoying thermal waters sourced from the Arenal Volcano before heading back to camp to refuel.
Day 6. Monteverde & Montana Monteverde
After one last bird walk around Arenal Observatory, we depart for Monteverde. We’ll start with a boat ride across Lake Arenal to Tilaran and then we will continue the last two hours up the mountain by bus. Upon arrival, we’ll check in at Montana Monteverde Hotel and settle down for lunch and a quick rest. The hotel is located adjacent to a 37 acre private forest. On a clear day there are views of the Nicoya Peninsula. After checking in and enjoying lunch, we’ll visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve for a guided hike. The reserve is managed by the local public high school’s Board of Directors. The 765-acre reserve, founded in 1992, is located along the Caribbean slope, which offers a large variety of flora and fauna. We’ll spend the evening talking about our action-packed day and enjoying a bite to eat.
Day 7. Monteverde & Montana Monteverde
After breakfast, we’ll visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Established in 1972, this 10,193-acre reserve is home to around 50% of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and features eight life zones. The cool and wet environment receives over three meters of rain each year and boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, including 2,500 plant species, 300 orchids, and 200 ferns. We’ll also visit the Bat Jungle, which houses over 90 bats from eight species in a recreated cloud forest. We’ll be lucky enough to observe them feeding, flying, and socializing through glass windows and listen to their vocalizations via special microphones. Informative exhibits emphasize the importance of bat conservation.
Day 8. Wyndham Herradura
Enjoy an early-morning bird walk around the hotel. After breakfast, depart for San Jose with a stop en route at Cafe Monteverde for a coffee plantation tour. The tour covers every state of coffee farming and processing, from seed to cup. There is also a coffee shop for those that want to take delicious Costa Rican coffee home. Upon arrival into San Jose later in the afternoon, check in to the Wyndham Herradura before enjoying a farewell dinner.
Day 9. Farewell to Costa Rica
It is time to say goodbye! After one last breakfast together, we’ll head to the airport for our trip home.