Grand Costa Rica: Jul 07—21, 2014

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Price: $5,395
Departs: San Jose, Costa Rica
Tour Limit: 7
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (136.4 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Jeri Langham

Jeri M. Langham has a Ph.D. in plant ecology from Washington State University, and afte...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Keel-billed Toucan

Keel-billed Toucan— Photo: Kevin Zimmer

A superb transect of this country’s ecosystems from Pacific and Caribbean lowland rainforests to highland specialties at Volcan Poás, Cerro de la Muerte, and the legendary Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Two nights with potential views of a sometimes active Volcan Arenal. Perhaps the best time of year to see Three-wattled Bellbird, Resplendent Quetzal, and Snowcap.

Costa Rica is often called the “Switzerland of Central America.” It is a small, stable country with a prosperous middle class, fine educational system, and spectacular highland terrain. For its size, it boasts one of the richest avifaunas in the world.

Our Grand Costa Rica tour was originally conceived to make it possible for teachers to experience this great birding paradise. Although the rainy season begins in May, a two-week break in the rainy season in mid-July (a veranillo, or little summer) provides a window of opportunity. Generally, only one brief rainfall occurs each afternoon followed by bird activity that rivals dawn. Temperatures average 5-10 degrees cooler than February and March when most birders visit Costa Rica. Rarely encountering other birding groups is also a bonus.

VIDEO: Grand Costa Rica 2013, by David Ascanio

In summer, we have a much better chance at three altitudinal migrants: Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, and the beautiful Snowcap. In addition, we will search for many of Central America’s most spectacular birds including Black Guan; Scarlet and Great Green macaws; over 30 species of hummingbirds; 10 species of trogons; Yellow-eared Toucanet; 5 species of motmots; Yellow-billed and Snowy cotingas; manakins, woodcreepers, and furnariids galore; Azure-hooded Jay; Long-tailed and Black-and-yellow silky-flycatchers; and nearly 40 members of the tanager family.

Good to excellent accommodations; a superb bus driver who enjoys spotlighting outings after dinner; generally, only one brief rainfall each afternoon, followed by bird activity almost as good as at dawn.