Toll Free: (800) 690-7887t: (604) 886-7300f: (604) 886-7301
A unique opportunity to combine Southern Costa Rica and Northern Panama.
Explore the rich bio-diversity of La Selva Tropical Forest, Brallio Carillo and Cahuita, La Armmistad and Volcan Baru National Parks. We include time on both the Caribbean and Pacific Coast visiting Bocas del Toro, an area filled with gorgeous beaches described by Lonely planet as "a biologists fantasy" and La Cusinga/Ballena Marine Park with opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and nature viewing.
NATURALIST ESCORT Federico Munoz: A Costa Rican who majored in Biology with an extensive knowledge of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants. He writes for various field guides and has been escorting groups from North America for more than 25 years to Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Venezuela, Ecuador & Patagonia. Federico is certainly one of Costa Rica's top naturalists and has always been a pleasurable addition to our past groups.
Group Departures daily December to July based on a minimum group size of 4 persons
Tour Cost: 16 Days From San Jose $ 3,925 USDSingle room supplement $ 890 USD
DAY 1: TO SAN JOSEFlight to San Jose. On arrival, clear customs and be met by your escort and transferred to your accommodation. DAY 2: SARAPIQUI COUNTRY (B,L,D)Depart in the early morning for a 2 hour drive to Sarapiqui county where the famous La Selva Biological Station is located. Check in at Gavilan Lodge, located on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. After lunch, enjoy a boat ride in the Sarapiqui River which is filled with wildlife, monkeys, parrots, egrets, are common sights here, look for the magnificent Emerald Jesus Christ Lizard. Return to the lodge and relax surrounded by the charming gardens, or continue your explorations in the 24 acres of trails. Next to the rooms there is a Jacuzzi, surrounded by exuberant nature, which gets filled up several times a day with pure refreshing well water. At night, you will hear the sounds of the rain, or perhaps be awakened by the howling of monkeys. In the early morning you will awaken to the songs of birds. 2 nights at El Gavilan Lodge.DAY 3: LA SELVA (B,L,D)Early start. After breakfast drive to La Selva for a days visit. At the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of Northern Costa Rica, La Selva comprises 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical and premontane wet forests and disturbed lands. Visit the Biological Station run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. Hike its well maintained forest trails and look for oropendolas, parrots, tanagers, woodcreepers, antbirds, manakins and so many other species of neotropical birds. Return to the lodge for dinner. In the evening we will enjoy a night walk in search of frogs, sleeping and active birds and an abundance of nocturnal life. DAY 4: COCLES - MANZANILLO (B, L, D)After breakfast depart to the Caribbean/Atlantic Coast. The road winds through plantations of Heart of Palm, Banana, Pine Apple, Beef pastures and tropical Rainforest. En route stop at farmers fruit stands to try exotic flavors and as many times as wildlife comes across our way. Lunch and continue to the Port of Limon and south to Puerto Viejo. Overnight Punta Cocles Hotel for 3 nights, a comfortable hotel immersed in the rain forest with swimming pool. The accommodation part of the hotel is across the street from a quiet and delightful beach which is part of the hotel grounds. The location of Punta Cocles is excellent for exploring nearby areas of interest. 3 nights Punta Cocles Hotel.DAY 5: CAHUITA NATIONAL PARK (B,L,D)Full day at one of the most beautiful Caribbean National Parks. Here we find a great diversity of flora and fauna. A morning hike followed by free time for swimming and snorkeling. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon an optional 4 kilometre walk in an area of the park that follows the coastline. Alternatively return to the hotel for some leisure time. DAY 6: COCLES-MANZANILLO (B)Day of leisure to enjoy hiking or swimming on your own. Your guide is however available to take the group to either the Cocles-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge to to visit Hitoy Cerer National Park whcih is a 2 hour drive. This seldom visited park is at the foot of the Talamanca Mountains. The descision for the days activities will be decided locally based on the group, weather and local conditions for travel. DAY 7: BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA (B,L,D) After breakfast, drive to the Panama border (about 1 hour) and cross into the Island Province of Bocas del Toro. It is another hours drive to Changuinola, the town where we leave our vehicle and take a small boat for 30 minutes to Colon Island where we will spend 2 nights.
Five hundred years ago, Christopher Columbus named this tropical Paradise. Here we find lush rainforest alongside coral reefs. Over 90% of the island is still covered in tropical forest where a myriad of plants, reptiles, mammals and birds make their home. The islands offer the visitor a great diversity of attractions and natural environments, uncommon to other regions of our continent: luxurious rain forests with an abundance of fauna and flora, sunny islands, beaches that compete with the Caribbean best, coral reefs in crystal clear water, mangrove islets in a lake-like scenery, Guaymi Indian villages and a national marine park that protects examples of the ecosystems and natural resources coexisting within the Archipelago boundaries. Some free time to explore. Two nights at the Bahia Hotel where you can relax in the friendly atmosphere of a beautifully restored and grand old building, full of history. The Bahia Hotel is the original turn-of-the-century HQ of the United Fruit Company and still houses a 100 year old safe that was used to hold funds for payment to the small banana producers.
DAY 8: ESPADILLA ISLAND (B,L,D) A boat trip to the remarkable and pristine Espadilla Island with swimming and snorkeling. Overnight at the Bahia Hotel.DAY 9: BARU NATIONAL PARK (B,L,D)Depart the island by boat (45 minutes) and drive around Laguna Chiriqui and up the Talamanca mountains. Enjoy the drive through different ecosystems from coastal forest to cloud forests. We cross the Continental Divide and arrive at the quaint town of Volcan. Three nights at Los Quetzales Hotel, tucked away in the highland cloud forest of the Volcan Baru National Park located 7260 feet above sea level.DAY 10/11: BARU NATIONAL PARK/LA ARMISTAD (B,L,D) Two full days to explore the misty forests that slope down the Talamanca Mountains. We have an opportunity to see the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, Black-faced Solitaire, Volcano Hummingbird, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher and Prong-billed Barbet in their cool habitat of orchids, bromeliads and wild avocados. Shared with neighboring Costa Rica and recognized in 1982 as a Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Amistad is located at a point on the Central American land bridge where flora and fauna from North and South America reach their maximum species mix, with great ranges in altitude, precipitation, soils and temperature. We spend the morning hiking and exploring La Amistad in the area of El Reto?o in search of Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Barred Becard and many other western highland species. After lunch at a local restaurant we drive to Baru Volcano National Park located along the Talamanca mountain range and also being the highest point of the country (3,475 meters above sea level). The Baru Volcano and La Amistad parks are part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Here we will search for Buffy Tuftedcheek, Resplendent Quetzal, Ochraceous Pewee, Silvery-throated Jay, different hummingbirds and other highland species. Overnights at the Los Quetzales Hotel.DAY 12: RETURN TO COSTA RICA/LA CUSINGA (B,L,D)After breakfast, drive to the Costa Rica border. Continue our drive along the southern coast and check-in at La Cusinga Hotel. Cabins have a great ocean view with a private terrace and private bath with hot water. Enjoy birds galore, mammals, reptiles, fungi, flowers, even 1,000-year-old Ajo trees. In the afternoon take a small walk through the rainforest and end up at the Playa Arco, a very secluded and safe beach, and for years one of the best-kept secrets in Costa Rica. Three nights at La Cusinga Lodge.DAY 13: BALLENA NATIONAL MARINE PARK (B,L,D)A day trip by boat to Ballena National Marine Park where we hope to see whales and dolphins in the offshore waters. Overnight La Cusinga Hotel.DAY 14: LA CUSINGA (B,L,D)Day to relax. DAY 15: LA CUSINGA/SAN JOSE (B,L,D)We will depart for San Jose with a stop enroute at Cerro de la Muerte, a mountain top close to 12,000 ft. Some time in the morning to explore the fragile and unique ecosystem called Paramo, a treeless habitat with dwarfed bamboos, home of the Sooty Robin, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Large-footed Finch, among others. Continue on to San Jose. Overnight at the Quetzales Lodge.DAY 16: SAN JOSE DEPARTURE (B)Morning at leisure. Departure to San Jose airport for our flight home.
Your tour does not include:
Customized natural history tours are available for individuals and groups to Costa Rica at any time. We also have promotional air rates from major cities in north America to San Jose. Ask us for details.
"As usual your trip to Costa Rica was a 10+ vacation. Your trips are special because of the amount of time & effort you put into them." K. Cutler, Ontario"We drove to the Rio Sarapiqui and got into a riverboat captained by "Eagle Eye Juan," who spoke no English but man, could he point. Within seconds the sightings began. Big fat iguanas lying in stupor along tree branches, legs dangling. Birds of all descriptions: honey creepers, tanagers, kingfishers, kiskidees, herons, jaconas, antbirds, manakins, parrots, wrens, blackbirds, doves, woodpeckers, toucans. Toucans! Proboscis bats. Sloths. A caiman posed on the sandy river bank, looking like a slightly amused concrete garden ornament. Never moved, never blinked. I thought I had seen all the wonders of Costa Rica in two hours." C. & I. Finlayson, British Columbia"Not only did we see many rare birds and other wild animlas, we also experienced several climate zones, ranging from steaming rainforests along the two coasts to the high altitude Parama. We spent the hottest part of the days with a cool drink, just reading or doing nothing, while listening to the Howler monkeys; at night we were lulled to sleep by the chirping of cicadas and frogs, and we were woken up at sunrise by singing birds." H. & I, Jaeger, Ontario
Toll Free: (800) 690-7887(604) 886-7300 Fax: (604) 886-7301
1114 Cartwright RoadGibsons, BCV0N 1V1Canada