Classic Costa Rica February 2022

Straddling the narrow neck of land that links the North and South American continents, the tiny Republic of Costa Rica is blessed with coastlines on both the Pacific and Caribbean and a range of volcanic mountains which run down the centre of the country. This remarkable chance of geography has given rise to an outstandingly varied flora and fauna, allowing us to sample the enormous wealth of tropical American birds without the need to travel great distances.

Upwards of 400 species are possible on our two-week birdwatching tour and previous highlights have included Sunbittern, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Crested Owl, Resplendent Quetzal, Scarlet Macaw, Brown-billed Scythebill and Zeledonia; not to mention 30 or more species of hummingbirds, a whole rainbow of exotically coloured tanagers and fascinating forest mammals.


From the capital San José, we travel to the lush rainforests of Costa Rica’s Caribbean lowlands which should ensure we start our trip in style with Great Green Macaw, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmots, Yellow-throated and Keel-billed Toucans and Snowy Cotinga being amongst a host of possibilities here.


Next, we head to the Talamanca Mountains where the views from our lodge are superb and its network of forest trails and busy feeders are the realm of the extraordinary Montezuma Oropendola, as well as Tawny-throated Leaftossers, the enchanting Snowcap (hummingbird) and the highly prized Sunbittern.


We will then continue on to the lush pre-montane forests of Tapanti National Park where a two-night stay should see us watching mixed feeding flocks that can hold Collared Trogon, Prong-billed and Red-headed Barbets and the dazzling Spangle-cheeked Tanager.


Climbing higher, we spend a morning on Irazu Volcano seeking Resplendent Quetzal and the reclusive Zeledonia, as well as taking in the Crater of Irazu which is truly spectacular. We spend the next two nights in the highlands of the Savegre Valley which is home to some of Costa Rica’s most stunning species, including Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Flame-throated Warbler and more chances of the iconic Resplendent Quetzal.


After pausing in the high elevation paramo to try for the localised Volcano Junco and Timberline Wren, we begin our descent into the lowland forests of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Our stay should provide many special memories from the raucous bellowing of Mantled Howlers at dawn to the evening roost flights of Scarlet Macaws. We will also take in the special birds of Costa Rica’s dry northwest, known as the Guanacaste, and enjoy a boat trip along the mangrove-lined channels of the Rio Tarcoles.


Limosa has been operating birding tours to Costa Rica for well over 20 years now and our 2022 trip will be with guide Gary Elton who will be making another visit to Costa Rica.


Combining breath-taking birding and scenery with accommodation at some of the country’s best wildlife lodges, our Classic Costa Rica tour is definitely one Neotropical experience not to be missed!


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