Birding Tour Costa Rica Escape

Dates and Costs


11 – 19 January 2022

Spaces Available: 7

Price: US$4,315/ £3,262 / €3,758 per person sharing

Single Supplement: US$815 / £616 / €710


* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

Tour Details

Duration: 9 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Tour Start: San José
Tour End: San José

Price includes:

All accommodation
All meals
Entrance fees
Private transportation
Private tour leader
Transfers from/to the airport


Price excludes:

Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks and alcoholic drinks, personal items, phone calls, internet access, etc.
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)
Medical and trip cancellation insurance
Any activity not described in the itinerary

Costa Rica Escape Tour
January 2022


Join this short tour we have developed for you as the best excuse to leave home and the daily stress to do some great birding in one of the most fantastic birding destinations in the Neotropics.

Costa Rica Escape birding tourResplendent Quetzal is one of the main targets on this trip (photo Kevin Easley).


Costa Rica offers probably the best birding in Central America not only in terms of birds (the country holds 933 species) but also in terms of accommodation and tourist infrastructure. We are staying at the nicest and most comfortable hotels available for birders and nature lovers. If you do not have time to join our more comprehensive Costa Rica tour or just want to go back there to get a few more species that you might have missed on previous tours, this could be perfect for you. The tour is suited for both beginning birders in the Neotropics and more experienced birders trying to get a high number of species in the shortest amount of time.

Costa Rica Birding EscapeSnowcap is another gorgeous special that we will be on the lookout for.



Itinerary (9 days/8 nights) 


Day 1. Arrival at San José and transfer to the Hotel Bougainvillea

You will arrive at the San José airport (SJO), be met by your tour leader, and be transferred to the hotel. If time permits, we can do some birding around the beautiful grounds of the hotel, looking for Rufous-naped Wren, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker, Finsch’s Parakeet, Squirrel Cuckoo, Baltimore Oriole, Greyish Saltator, Yellow Warbler, Lesson’s Motmot, White-winged Dove, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Clay-colored Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Melodious Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, and with some luck White-eared Ground Sparrow.

Overnight: Hotel Bougainvillea, San José


Day 2. Irazú Volcano National Park and transfer to San Gerardo de Dota

Today we will visit the Irazú Volcano National Park. Here we will spend the day looking for one of the main targets of the trip, the most wanted Resplendent Quetzal. Other species here include Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Flame-throated Warbler, Mountain Thrush, Yellow-billed Cacique, Yellowish Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Siskin, Acorn Woodpecker, Black-cheeked Warbler, Black-faced Solitaire, White-naped Brushfinch, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Slaty Flowerpiercer, and with some luck Wrenthrush.

Then we will continue to San Gerardo de Dota and our accommodation. In the evening we will look for Dusky Nightjar and Bare-shanked Screech Owl.

Overnight: Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve and Spa, San Gerardo de Dota

Costa Rica EscapeWe can find Violet Sabrewing at Bosque del Tolomuco.


Day 3. Birding above Savegre

This morning we will explore the lush mountain forest above the lodge, looking for Spotted Wood Quail, Ruddy Treerunner, Black-capped Flycatcher, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Flame-throated Warbler, and mixed flocks with North American migratory warblers such as Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler. In addition we could find Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Collared Whitestart, Sooty-capped Brushfinch, Black Guan, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, and Black-faced Solitaire. We will also look for Finsch’s Parakeet, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Flame-collared Tanager, Acorn Woodpecker, and Red-tailed Hawk.

In the afternoon we will visit Miriam’s feeders, where we may find species such as Blue-throated Toucanet, Hairy Woodpecker, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-thighed Finch, Talamanca Hummingbird, Grey-tailed Mountaingem, and Yellow-bellied Siskin. With some luck we could also find Golden-browed Chlorospingus.

After dusk we again will look for Dusky Nightjar and Bare-shanked Screech Owl.

Overnight: Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve and Spa, San Gerardo de Dota

Coast Rica birding escapeBlack Guan can be seen at the Cinchona feeders.


Day 4. Los Quetzales National Park and Bosque del Tolomuco

Today we will climb to the high elevation of Los Quetzales National Park. During the drive we will stop at the feeders of the Paraíso Quetzal Lodge to look for the localized Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Once on the high grounds of the park we will focus on the range-restricted Volcano Junco and Timberline Wren.

Later we will drive to the Pacific slope to visit Bosque del Tolomuco, where the feeders attract Violet Sabrewing, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, White-tailed Emerald, and with luck the striking White-crested Coquette. Other birds that are seen at Bosque del Tolomuco are Red-headed Barbet, Golden-hooded Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Elegant Euphonia, and with luck Speckled Tanager.

After a nice feeder session we will return to Savegre, where we might do some night birding again.

Overnight: Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve and Spa, San Gerardo de Dota


Day 5. Caribbean slope, Cinchona feeders, transfer to Sarapiquí

Today we will leave the lush mountains of Savegre and head to the Caribbean slope. We will visit the Cinchona feeders, where we can spend time watching and photographing birds like Violet Sabrewing, the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, Black Guan, Red-headed Barbet, Prong-billed Barbet, Silver-throated Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, and Blue-grey Tanager. Then we will transfer to Sarapiquí.

Overnight: La Quinta Sarapiquí Country Inn, Sarapiquí

Costa Rica EscapeCoppery-headed Emeralds often visit the feeders at Cinchona.


Day 6. La Selva Biological Station

We will have an early start to explore the famous La Selva Biological Station, where we have chances to find Short-billed Pigeon, Scaled Pigeon, Brown-hooded Parrot, Great Green Macaw, Snowy Cotinga, White-ringed Flycatcher, Fasciated Antshrike, White-collared Manakin, Crested Guan, Great Antshrike, Red-lored Amazon, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, and Montezuma Oropendola. In addition we’ll look for Semiplumbeous Hawk, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Buff-rumped Warbler, Great Tinamou, Vermiculated Screech Owl, Great Curassow, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Keel-billed Toucan, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, and perhaps even Slaty-breasted Tinamou.

Overnight: La Quinta Sarapiquí Country Inn, Sarapiquí


Day 7. Río San José, El Tapir, Cope Wildlife Reserve

We’ll have a full day for exploring the buffer zone of the Braulio Carrillo National Park, where we will start with birding along the San José River to look for the uncommon Spot-fronted Swift, Fasciated Tiger Heron, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, and Chestnut-colored Woodpecker.

Then we will move to the El Tapir hummingbird hotspot (a.k.a. the old butterfly garden), where we will look for the most wanted Snowcap, Black-crested Coquette, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Green Thorntail, and Black-and-yellow Tanager.

Costa Rica EscapeThe large and brightly colored Keel-billed Toucan.


At the Cope Wildlife Reserve we will have excellent opportunities to photograph birds visiting its amazing feeders, which might yield Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Crowned Woodnymph, White-necked Jacobin, Montezuma Oropendola, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Shining Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, and Crimson-collared Tanager. We will also explore some territories near the reserve to look for potential roosting trees for Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl, and Black-and-white Owl, as well as Great Potoo.

Overnight: La Quinta Sarapiquí Country Inn, Sarapiquí

Costa Rica EscapeCrested Owl is one of a number of owl species we hope to encounter on this tour.


Day 8. Virgen del Socorro and La Paz Waterfall, transfer to San José

We again will have an early start to explore the Virgen del Socorro forest, looking for Zeledon Antbird, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Black-thighed Grosbeak, Olive-backed Euphonia, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Spotted Barbtail, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Emerald Tanager, Bay Wren, Golden-winged Warbler, White-crowned Parrot, Bat Falcon, and American Dipper.

Then we will visit La Paz Waterfall, where we should get good views of species such as the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, Purple-throated Mountaingem, Black-bellied Hummingbird, Red-faced Spinetail, Prong-billed Barbet, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty-capped Finch, Northern Tufted Flycatcher, Ochraceous Wren, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Slate-throated Whitestart, Slaty Antwren, and Torrent Tyrannulet.

We finally will transfer to our hotel in a suburb of San José close to the airport.

Overnight: Trapp Family Country Inn, Alajuela


Day 9. Transfer to the airport, departure

You will be transferred to the international airport to connect with your flight home.



Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors.

Download Itinerary


This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

The Costa Rica Escape tour was my second trip with Birding Ecotours, after Brazil. It was a great winter break and also a teaser trip to the country, leaving us wanting to see more. Any trip with a Resplendent Quetzal has to be a good one, but the variety of birds we saw at the various stops was amazing. One of the highlight memories for me was when Eduardo and the local guide were off the trail, listening for an owl, and a Great Tinamou walked right up to their feet without them realizing it. As a guide, Eduardo is professional, knowledgeable and personable. I’m already planning my third trip with the company!

Tracy Marr — Ohio, USA

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