Christmas Holiday in Costa Rica: Dec 22—29, 2007

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: San Jose, Costa Rica
Tour Limit: 14
Download Itinerary: PDF (92.5 KB)

Tour Leaders

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Steve Hilty

Steve Hilty is the senior author of A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, and author of Birds of...


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Relax on this holiday birding getaway that stays in only two locations, and offers an easy pace and a profusion of exotic birds in lush tropical surroundings.

Costa Rica has become one of the premier birding destinations in the world, and no part of this small and friendly country has more to offer than the Caribbean lowlands and nearby foothills. The sheer abundance of tropical birds in this region is stunning, not to mention their beauty and diversity, or the backdrop of spectacular scenery and lush vegetation. This compact tour, weekend through weekend inclusive, offers an action-packed introduction to Neotropical birding, yet has enough specialties to attract the well-traveled birder. We are offering it over the Christmas holidays, a time when many travelers would prefer birds and relaxation to the stress of the holidays. During this relatively short trip we will have six days of exciting birding, the first four days on the Caribbean slope and lowlands, and a final two days on the Pacific coast.

Such perennial favorites as parrots, hummingbirds, trogons, toucans, and tanagers should be numerous and easy to see on this trip. Amidst this diversity of birds are regional specialties like the Lattice-tailed Trogon, Snowy Cotinga, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, and Black-throated and Stripe-breasted wrens. These are the richest areas of avian biodiversity in the country. In order to maximize our birding time, we will stay at only two lodges during our week of birding, and from there range out to sample nearby habitats in both the Caribbean and Pacific lowlands.

In the Sarapiqui area our field trips will include two days in the tropical lowlands at the world-famous La Selva Field Station of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), and a chance to enter primary forest on excellent trails, plus time to explore the more open habitats near the lodge. Two days will be spent in foothill and lower mountain elevations, which are home to numerous species that do not occur in the lowlands.

Richard K. Walton’s DVD, The New World Tropics, An Introduction for Naturalists, includes visits to several of the finest lodges and field stations in Belize, Costa Rica, and Trinidad. If you would like to receive a free copy of this excellent, hour-long presentation, please contact the VENT office.