Costa Rica Wildlife Safari






San Jose – San Jose



Join us for an adventure in exotic Costa Rica, lauded as the most environmentally friendly country in the world. You can expect to see a vast array of wildlife in pristine natural habitats – Costa Rica is a paradise for lovers of the natural world!

Your Costa Rica Wildlife Safari is comfortably accommodated and fully escorted, and the flexible itinerary allows plenty of time to pursue your special interests. Just a few of the tour highlights are outlined below to whet your appetite – this is a magnificent tour not to be missed!

Savegre River

The stunning Savegre River is known as Central America’s cleanest river, and is a must-see destination for nature lovers. Lush rainforest, waterfalls and canyons surround this stretch of coastal whitewater. Many tropical birds call the rainforest home, including egrets, osprey, toucans, parrots, kingfishers and cormorants.

Cerro de la Muerte Mountain 

This magnificent mountain is part of the Cordillera de Talamanca range, which extends from eastern Costa Rica to western Panama, and is home to many endemic plants and animals.

The higher areas are páramo habitat (meaning desolate territory in Spanish). This is a Neotropical ecosystem, featuring dwarf bamboo, stunted shrubs and tree ferns, together with smaller plants like blueberry, gooseberry and lady’s slipper. In the lower areas of the mountain the natural vegetation is oak forest with a bamboo understory. This area is an excellent place to look for the brightly coloured Resplendent Quetzal.

Nearly fifty percent of the bird species recorded from Cerro de la Muerte are endemic to the Talamanca range. These include the Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Timberline Wren, Sooty Robin, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Peg-billed Finch and Volcano Junco.

Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is 25,100 acres and is part of the Arenal Huetar Norte Conservation Area. The refuge includes wetlands that host record numbers of migratory waterfowl species including storks, spoonbills, ibis, anhingas, ducks and cormorants. The forests, glasslands and marshes in the area are home to a variety of endangered species including jaguars, cougars, tapirs, ocelots, peccary and several monkey species including the White-headed Capuchin and Mantled Howler.


Day                      Activity

1                           Arrive in San Jose
On arrival in San Jose airport, your group will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel, Standard Garden View Room D

2                           San Jose
Today you will have a whole day of free time to rest after your flight. The hotel’s lush gardens are perfect for a walk to admire many of the birds that are commonly found in the Central Valley. At the hotel you can also arrange a day tour if you wish (not included).
Accommodation: Bougainvillea Hotel, Standard Garden View Room BD

3                           San Jose – Central Pacific Coast – Carara Biological Reserve
After breakfast this morning you will depart towards the Central Pacific Coast. The days highlight will be a boat trip on the Tárcoles River.The Estero de Guacalillo (Guacalillo Estuary) and the Tárcoles River, offer to the visitors the opportunity to observe one of the largest populations of American Crocodiles on the continent. Discover the mangrove swamp area with a high biodiversity, amongst which you will find a large number of aquatic birds and the red macaw Conservation Reserve. The boats will take you on the journey of a lifetime into an impressive ecosystem composed of four different mangle species, each one representing an important ecological habitat for the different bird species and fauna of the region.
Accommodation: Villa Lapas, Standard Room BL

4                           Carara Biological Reserve
Today we visit the Carara Biological Reserve. This 4700 hectare reserve is at the mouth of the Tárcoles River. The reserve is surrounded by agricultural land and provides an oasis for wildlife from the surrounding area. You will be able to spot the brilliantly patterned scarlet macaw. Other birds to watch for include guans, trogons, toucans, mot-mots and many other forest species. Monkeys, squirrels, sloths and agoutis are among the more common mammals present.
In the park there are five suspended bridges at more than 180 feet above the ground! Each of these bridges is an astonishing 300 feet in length, crossing through the very heart of the tropical rainforest. Experience the unique sensation of being surrounded by the magic of virgin, unspoiled nature.
PLEASE NOTE For safety reasons walking on these bridges is subject to an inspection of their condition. The maintenance of the bridges is the responsibility of the hotel and should the maintenance not have been carried out the bridges will not be used.
Accommodation: Villa Lapas, Standard Room B

5                           Villa Lapas – La Ensenada National Wildlife Refuge
Today you will continue to the east coast, following the Pan-American Highway on the road to Punta Morales, Coyolitos and Abangaritos. This afternoon is at your leisure and to enjoy the accommodations facilities.
La Ensenada National Wildlife Refuge is 1000 acres, located on the pacific coast in the province of Puntarenas, on the gulf of Nicoya. It is an ideal place for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The most important aspects of this ranch are their cattle, horses and the production of salt and fruit. It is also a paradise, where you’ll find the perfect point of balance between adventure and relaxation. The gulf of Nicoya, the mangroves and the salina offer those who love birds and photography many different species and variety of birds such as pelicans, herons, parrots, Montezuma oropendula, bellbird, white iris, great egret, etc.
Accommodation: La Ensenada Lodge, Standard Room BLD

6                           La Ensenada National Wildlife Refuge
Today is free time to spend at your leisure or to participate in optional activities such as horse back riding assisted by trilingual guide (English). You will become part of the typical life of Costa Rican ranch. This afternoon is free to enjoy the lush natural surrounding of our accommodation.
Accommodation: La Ensenada Lodge, Standard Room BLD

7                           La Ensenada – La Anita Rainforest
Today you will be transferred to the northern mountains and volcanic area of Guanacaste province, where you will be staying at the La Anita Rainforest Lodge. The lodge is surrounded by lush vegetation in a flat area between three volcanoes, the Miravalles, Rincon de La Vieja and Santa María.
In the heart of this remarkable rainforest locals grow and harvest macadamia nuts, cacao (chocolate), heart of palm, taro, cardamom, organic tropical fruits and vegetables, medicinal herbs, together with thousands of tropical flowers. The ranch is part of La Colonia Libertad town, where 55 families work in agriculture to support themselves. The ranch is also committed to working in harmony with the environment and the local community.
Accommodation: La Anita Rainforest Lodge, Standard Room B

8                           La Anita Rainforest
Today is free time to spend at your leisure or to participate in optional activities. Enjoy the local volcano hikes, hot springs, and canopy tours—or just relax in the porch hammock and watch the sunset over the volcanoes.
Accommodation: La Anita Rainforest Lodge, Standard Room B

9                           La Anita Rainforest Lodge – Caño Negro
Today the group will then head to the northern plains, bound for the Caño Negro area.
Caño Negro is mainly formed by the Caño Negro Lagoon and the Rio Frio. It is one of the most important biological areas in the country and is one of the four most important wetland areas in the world.
The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge was declared a wildlife area of international importance in 1991. This ecological treasure is the natural habitat of more than 350 species of bird, as well as the Emerald Basilisk, iguanas, River Turtles, caimans and jaguars.
Accommodation: Caño Negro Natural Lodge, Deluxe Room BLD

10                         Caño Negro Wetland Tour
Today you will enjoy a boat ride through the channels and lagoons which make up this beautiful area. The scenery is very impressive, as is the flora and fauna. The channel systems are also very beautiful. This refuge is home to more than 350 bird species such as the Jabiru, Roseate Spoonbill, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Wood Stork, Tricolored Heron, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Sungrebe and the Black-bellied Whistling Duck.
Accommodation: Caño Negro Natural Lodge, Deluxe Room BLD

11                         Caño Negro – Sarapiqui
Today we’ll continue to the Caribbean lowlands. In Sarapiqui you will find several protected areas: Braulio Carrillo National Park, La Selva Biological Station and the Sarapiqui Protected Area. Visiting these areas will show you different types of tropical rainforests.
In the late afternoon you’ll enjoy a shared night walk (La Tirimbina). Your naturalist guide will escort you on a walk by the light of the moon to discover the wonders of the night-time rainforest, when most wildlife species are active.
Accommodation: Selva Verde Hotel, River View Room BLD

12                         Sarapiqui
Day at leisure for birdwatching on hotel grounds or just relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Accommodation: Selva Verde Hotel, River View Room BLD

13                         Sarapiqui – Turrialba
Today the group will be transferred to the central valley east lowlands, where you’ll notice a big change in weather and bird species within a short distance.
Accommodation: Rancho Naturalista, Standard Room BLD

14                         Turrialba
Today is at leisure for Bird watching or just to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Accommodation: Rancho Naturalista, Standard Room BLD

15                         Turrialba – San Gerardo de Dota
After breakfast your naturalist guide will escort you to the Cerro de La Muerte Mountain Range.
This afternoon you will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful Savegre Waterfall surrounded by a dense cloud forest. Your guide will take you through the forest and show you the gorgeous flora and fauna that spreads alongside the crystal waters of the Savegre River, until the point where it turns into an amazing white veil, the Savegre River Waterfall is definitely one more reason to fall in love with San Gerardo de Dota.
San Gerardo de Dota is a tiny community in the Talamanca Mountains, settled in the fresh mist of a mountain valley, surrounded by deep cloud forests and filled with massive tropical trees. It is also a paradise for birdwatchers as it’s home to more than 170 bird species, including some of the most rare and endangered bird
species in Central America. It is a special place for watching the Resplendent Quetzal bird, one of the most ornate birds in the wild.
Various migratory species arrive in different seasons, joining the native species to add to the colourful views for birdwatchers. Among the visitors are the Orioles, Warblers, Tennessee’s and Raptors. Their native hosts include the Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Yellow-winged Vireo, the Flame-throated Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, Yellowish Flycatcher, Barred Becard, Tufted Flycatcher, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Zeledonia, Torrent Tyrannulet, Collared Trogon, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Fiery-throated Hummingbird and Spotted Wood-Quail.
Accommodation: Savegre Lodge, Junior Suite Room BLD

16                         San Gerardo de Dota – San Jose
This morning there will be a guided bird watching tour at the hotel reserve before being transferred to San Jose for the last night in Costa Rica.
Accommodation: El Rodeo, Standard Room BD

17                         San Jose – Home
Today marks the end of your Costa Rican experience. Your guide will transfer you to the international airport for you flight home. B

NB: The above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.

23rd October – 8th November 2018

  • Fully escorted tour
  • Meals as per itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Porterage on arrival
  • Guided arrival transfer
  • 17 days of naturalist guide
  • 17 days of private transportation (Coaster Bus)
  • Tipping of our Naturalist Guide and Driver only
  • Bottled water daily
  • Carara National Park
  • Tarcoles River Boat safari tour
  • Sky Way Villa Lapas hanging bridges and entrance fees
  • Entrance fees to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
  • Night Walk art La Tirimbina
  • Savegre Waterfall Hike
  • Carara National Park entrance fees
  • Porterage on departure
  • Hotel Taxes

…Well we are back, what a splendid time we had, I thank you sooooo much for everything. A great time was had by all I’m sure, we certainly did. We worked out the tipping thing. Jheudy and Ramon (our driver) were just sensational. We learnt so much about Costa Rica’s history, wildlife and so much more from them both. We have only praise for them both. Jheudy’s professionalism, knowledge – especially about birds – and help was excellent.
Zoe & Jeff Inman

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