On this eight-day trip, travel through four different life-zones, from the Caribbean Lowlands through the Highlands and Middle Elevations and ending in the Southern Pacific Lowlands. Costa Rica’s vast biodiversity will be revealed through mangrove boat rides and cloud forest hikes, and you’ll gain first-hand insight into efforts being made to conserve it. 

Starting at: $5,580 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Male Crowned Woodnymph Hummingbird  The Resplendent Quetzal  The elusive Resplendent Quetzel  Red macaw  Emerald Toucanet  Banding Station   The luscious cloud forest from the forest floor  Colorful orchid  Colorful Heliconia   Coffee field

Costa Rica: Nature’s Laboratory

8 days from $5,580

On this eight-day trip, travel through four different life-zones, from the Caribbean Lowlands through the Highlands and Middle Elevations and ending in the Southern Pacific Lowlands. Costa Rica’s vast biodiversity will be revealed through mangrove boat rides and cloud forest hikes, and you’ll gain first-hand insight into efforts being made to conserve it. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

 Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active 

Travelers should be in relatively good shape to fully enjoy this trip.  They should be steady on their feet and be able to keep pace with a full day of activity.  They should be agile enough to get in and out of motorboat, and able to walk & stand for two hours at a time, as there are few places to sit and rest on the trails.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the US for San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive into San Jose and transfer to the hotel. Those who arrive on morning flights will enjoy an excursion to the Doka Estate to learn how the use of shade trees, organic fertilizers and natural pesticides can maintain a healthy environment for the coffee crop. Return to the hotel for a late afternoon guided bird walk in the hotel’s award-winning gardens, followed by a welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)

Day 2 — Tortuguero, Sea Turtle Conservancy

Depart the hotel early this morning on a colorful ride through the Costa Rican countryside toward the Caribbean coast and the village of Tortuguero. Stop along the way for a typical breakfast and to see how a banana plantation has made the fruit ripening process more sustainable in recent years. Since there is no road access to Tortuguero, you’ll take a boat ride through the canals, which offers ample opportunity for wildlife sightings, including crocodiles, lizards, and a variety of birds. Check in to the hotel and enjoy lunch before venturing into town for a walking tour and visit to the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), the world’s oldest sea turtle research organization. Learn about STC’s research findings and its efforts to protect the endangered green sea turtles which nest on Tortuguero’s sandy beaches. Return to the hotel for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Tortuguero, Costa Rican Bird Observatory and Tortuguero National Park

Rise with the sun early this morning for a visit to the Costa Rican Bird Observatory’s (CRBO) field station in Tortuguero where data on bird populations – both local and migratory -- has been collected for more than 25 years. Observe the mist netting and banding of various bird species and watch as Costa Rican biologists record scientific measurements. Return to the hotel for lunch before setting out on a boat tour through Tortuguero National Park. Be on the lookout for monkeys, sloths, parrots, toucans and amphibians. Later this evening, venture into the rainforest again on a guided hike to see and hear the nocturnal creatures that emerge under cover of darkness. Return to the hotel for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Coopesantos Wind Power Project and Gerardo de Dota Valley

After breakfast, take a private charter flight* back to San Jose. On clear days, the flight offers stunning views of Costa Rica’s active Turrialba volcano. From San Jose, continue to Gerardo de Dota Valley in the highlands by motor coach, stopping at the Coopesantos Wind Power Project to learn about Costa Rica’s effort to become carbon neutral by 2050. Lunch will be on your own before continuing on to Trogon Lodge. (B,D)

*Internal flights on this tour use two-engine prop planes.

Day 5 — Quetzal Education Research Center Complex

Take a short drive this morning to CRBO’s Madre Selva Research Station. Observe Costa Rican scientists’ mist-netting operations as they collect data on high-altitude bird species. Enjoy lunch on your own at a local restaurant. Visit the Quetzal Education Research Center Complex (QERC) and hear from their resident faculty about current projects aimed at protecting this most spectacular bird. Enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon for independent exploration, followed by dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 6 — Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary and Las Cruces Research Station

Start today with a guided bird walk in search of the magnificent quetzal before departing for San Vito. Drive through acres of pineapple plantations and hear why large-scale pineapple farming is particularly harmful to the environment. Along the way, stop at Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary and museum, former home of one of the world’s greatest ornithologists, Alexander Skutch. Enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the indigenous village of Rey Curre. Continue to the Las Cruces Biological Station, located within the Wilson Botanical Gardens. Attend a presentation on the scientific research taking place at the research station followed by a hearty, family-style dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — San Vito: Wilson Botanical Garden and “Bird Detectives” Conservation Program

Today will begin with a naturalist-led walk through the world-renown botanical garden with its amazing collections of heliconia, bromeliad, and palm. Then, visit with members of the local San Vito Bird Club to learn about the “Detectivos de Pajaros” conservation program, which teaches school children the importance of birds in maintaining a balanced environment. Spend time on your own in the small town of San Vito for lunch and independent exploration. Later this evening, celebrate the trip’s conclusion at a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 8 — Depart for the US

After breakfast, depart on an early-morning private charter flight to San Jose for flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)