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turquoise browed motmot on a brance

Turquoise-browed Motmot

Contact lead guide Steve Eshbaugh at (406) 570-2428 for more info.

Price: $4,800 Double Occupancy

Single supplement: $600

Deposit: $1,000

Maximum size 8

Spaces remaining: 6

What's included in the price?

  • All trip materials, including detailed daily itinerary, list of what to bring, recommended field guides and pre-trip reading materials, checklist of likely birds & other wildlife.All meals from the start of the trip to the last night's farewell dinner.

  • All services of leaders/guides.

  • Tips of local guides, servers, drivers.

  • All in-country transportation, including taxi rides to and from the airport to the first night's lodging.

What isn't included in the price?

  • Drinks, snacks during the trip

  • International plane fare

  • Baggage fees

  • Phone calls

  • Room Service

  • Arrival taxes

Deposits are refundable minus a $250 processing fee. Any trip canceled due to COVID-19 is fully refunded.

Costa-Rica-Dark- Mandibled-Toucan

Birding the Road Less Taken, Costa Rica
February 8-21, 2025: From $4,700

The options for Costa Rica are almost limitless. Remarkably, a country no larger than West Virginia can offer stunning biodiversity. About 4% of the world's bird species and 10% of butterfly species call Costa Rica home.

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​Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination for more than just birds. Ticos (their self-appointed name) treat you like family. Though some guidebooks label Costa Rican food as bland, the meals are generally delicious and use only locally sourced foods. You will feel better without highly processed foods consumed for two weeks. Most tourists choose to adopt Ticos' more laid-back attitude. "Pura Vida" is more than a saying. It's a very desirable outlook on life.

​​This trip offers visits to a lowland tropical rainforest, high-elevation cloud forests, and mid-elevation forests. The varied habitat increases the chances of seeing more birds. Our timing is perfect for a day of pelagic birding off the Nicoya Peninsula, and you’ll see many rarities on that trip alone.

 

​In the cloud forests, you’ll have outstanding opportunities for excellent looks at what many consider the world's most beautiful bird, the Resplendent Quetzal. You’ll also bird above 8,000 feet, picking up rarities like Timberline Wren, Volcano Junco, and Talamanca Hummingbird.

Costa Rica has preserved over a quarter of its total landmass. We are likely to see many other animals besides birds. Howler monkeys are a common sighting, and spotting a white-collared peccary, agouti, and a host of other mammals is not only a possibility but likely. 

​This trip starts at a hotel outside San Jose that includes two birds with small ranges, the Hoffman's Woodpecker and Cabins's Ground Sparrow, among over 300 other species. Not many cities can claim a hotel that offers such excellent birding, but it's a nice introduction to Costa Rica that hints just a little bit at what's to come.

Itinerary at a Glance

February 8: Overnight, Hotel Bougainvillea

February 9: Drive to San Gerado de Dota, overnight at Gema del Bosque

February 10: All-day exploring San Gerado, overnight Gema del Bosque

February 11:: Drive to San Isido del General, overnight Talamanca Lodge

February 12: Explore the mountains around San Isidro, overnight Talamanca Lodge

​February 13:Transfer to San Vito, overnight Cabanas Green 

February 14: Explore Wilson Botanical Gardens and southern Cosa Rica

February 15: Drive to Piedras Blancas area, overnight Esquinas Rainforest Lodge

February 16: Explore Piedras Blancas National ParkE, overnight squinas Rainforest Lodge

February 17: Drive to Tarcoles area, overnight Tarcoles Birding Lodge

February 18: Bird Carara National Park and Tarcoles River, overnight Tarcoles Birding Lodge

February 19: Drive to Nicoya Peninsula, overnight near Montezuma

February 20: Pelagic birding on the Atlantic Ocean

February 21: Drive to Heredia area, overnight Pibi Boreal

February 22: Fly home

Email esh at esh@merlinbirding.com for a detailed itinerary.

Three-wattled Bellbird

Violet Sabrewing

Arenal Volcano

Northern Emerald Toucanet

Snowcap

Resplendent Quetzal

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