During this 15 day itinerary, you will discover the best of Costa Rica’s scenery and wildlife travelling from the central highlands to the tropical rainforests at Sarapiqui, then on to the northern wetlands and the Caribbean lowland. You will visit Pacific coastal regions and the Corcovado National Park, and everywhere encounter hundreds of bird species and other mammals, reptiles, insects and amazing flora – an unforgettable wildlife experience.
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Transfer from airport to Hotel Bougainvillea set in tropical gardens in Heredia. Spot your first birds, such as hummingbirds, tanagers, kingbirds and flycatchers in the grounds and walk amongst the lush tropical vegetation or just relax and enjoy the hotel’s varied facilities.
Transfer by boat and road to Sarapiqui. Stay two nights at the Selva Verde Lodge, located in tropical gardens, deep in the rainforest. Rooms here are on elevated platforms linked by wooden walkways. Lots of walking trails for birdwatching and to see native flora.
Guided birdwatching tour in Sapapiqui, one of the few habitats of the endangered green macaw.
Transfer to Cano Negro in the northern wetlands area to stay at Natural Lodge for two nights. The reserve is home to 150 species of birds as well as the emerald basilisk lizard, iguanas, river turtles and other wildlife.
After breakfast, take a wetlands boat tour along the many waterways and lagoons, home to colourful flora, countless bird species and many mammals including howler, white-faced and spider monkeys. Later, take a guided walk with a hotel naturalist to a location where many birds and animals congregate to feed.
Breakfast at Cano Negro and then drive to the Arenal region to stay at the Hotel Casa Luna, set in lush tropical gardens, 2 km outside La Fortuna, with views of the currently inactive volcano and the surrounding rainforest. Lots of birds and native plants to be seen right in the hotel’s own environs.
Early start this morning to drive to the base of the Arenal volcano. Here can be seen lots of species of birds, some through scopes. Look out for all sorts of Caribbean lowland species, including great blue herons and various hummingbirds. Relax in the afternoon or walk the hanging bridges of the Arenal rainforests.
Transfer this morning to Puntarenas on the Gulf of Nicoya to stay at Ensenada Lodge on a full board basis. This is a National Wildlife Refuge on the Pacific coast, with all rooms facing the sea. This is also a working farm with horse riding and other activities available.
Spend time around the lodge and within the reserve birdwatching. Look out for the many birds in the mangroves and around, including Montezuma oropendula, bellbird, white iris, great egret and the many parrots, herons and pelicans.
Drive today to Quepos with a stop at Carara National Park. This is home to the largest population of scarlet macaws in the country along with many other birds. Continue on to Santa Juana lodge for two nights on full board basis. Enjoy spectacular views from the terrace of your casita.
After breakfast, travel into the Manuel Antonio National Park for a guided, three-hour walk in the rainforest. Your guide, with his spotting scope, will point out the massive variety of flora and fauna. If you wish, go on to the Punta Catedral peninsula and maybe take a swim off one of the finest beaches in the Americas.
This morning, transfer to Sierpe and then by boat to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, described by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on earth. Here, you will stay for three nights full board at the ocean view Aguila de Osa Inn, your base for activities and relaxation.
Take a guided tour today by boat into the heart of the Corcovado National Park. From the ranger station take any of a number of trails to view many species of plants, insects, animals and birds such as scarlet macaws, Baiurd’s tapir, peccaries, sloths, iguanas and monkeys.
Make your own choices today. From the hotel you can go kayaking, sport fishing, diving, snorkelling, riding, etc., or do more birdwatching on rainforest and mangrove walks. Alternatively, on your last full day in Costa Rica, simply relax and enjoy the pristine surroundings.
After breakfast, transfer to the airfield for your local flight back to San Jose International Airport for onward or return travel.