This comprehensive itinerary takes in all the highlights of Costa Rica and is designed for travellers who wish to experience the amazing natural diversity of this quite beautiful country which has both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, wetlands and rainforests, volcanoes and valleys and hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects as well as rich flora. You will not be disappointed.
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.
Drive to Turrialba in the Central Valley for two nights on full board basis at Rancho Naturalista. This Spanish colonial style hotel is set on the Caribbean slopes of the Cordillera Talamanca, a birdwatcher’s paradise with lots of species to be seen.
Guided tour of the base of the Cerro Silencio to see large flocks of tanager plus raptors, such as hawk eagles and many more, including possibly red-fronted parrotlets.
Drive up the north east Caribbean coast to the Tortuguero National Park, 770 sq.km. of rainforest, mangrove swamps, beaches and lagoons and home to myriad birds and wildlife. Afternoon culture and nature tour of Tortuguero village. Full board accommodation at Mawamba Lodge.
Morning tour of Mawamba Park, home to butterfly farms, a frog garden and river turtles. Afternoon boat excursion on Tortuguero canals to see wildlife and spectacular flora. Hope to see manatees, caimans, various monkeys and possibly, sloth and jaguar. Hundreds of bird species too.
Transfer by boat and road to Sarapiqui. Lunch at Rio Danta restaurant. Stay two nights at the Selva Verde Lodge, located in tropical gardens, deep in the rainforest. 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.
Drive to the rustic-colonial style Casa Luna Hotel, set in lush, tropical gardens, about two miles from the small town of La Fortuna. Relax and enjoy an environment rich with birds and plants, or look for nearby activities such as zip-lining riding or rafting. The area is overlooked by the currently dormant Arenal Volcano.
Take a half day tour to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a stretch of the rainforest with a series of winding trails and bridges. Walk through the canopy trail across 16 suspended bridges with a guide to point our wildlife and interpret this unique environment.
Transfer to the Rancho Humo at the Palo Verde National Park for two nights on full board basis. This is an area of great diversity, with mangroves, swamps and both saltwater and freshwater lagoons. Due to its varied topography it is thought to be home to more than 250,000 birds in the wet season and is one of the most important migratory bird sites of the Mesoamerican Pacific.
A full day to explore this incredible National Park and spot some of its varied wildlife, otherwise feel free to relax and treat yourself to a spa treatment at the lodge.
Move to the central Pacific coastal region for two nights at Santa Juana Lodge, a 40 minute drive from the town of Quepos. This eco-friendly lodge is on the edge of the Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest in Costa Rica. Apart from birds, various monkeys, sloths coatis and iguanas live here.
Guided tour of the Manuel Antonio Park, including a 3 hour walk through the rainforest spotting birds, animals and a massive variety of flora. Look out for howler, squirrel and white-faced monkeys. Full board accommodation at Santa Juano Lodge.
Move on to yet another national park, the Piedras Blancas for a last two nights at the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge on full board basis. Monkeys, toucans and iguanas are often spotted in the gardens here. Hike through the forest or go kayaking. More than 300 species of birds inhabit this area.
Transfer to the Golfito airstrip for a local flight back to San Jose International Airport.