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Calle la Barca, Puntarenas Province, Tarcoles, 61102
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10 days

Rainforest Jungles

Tour description:

Day 1: Arrival to Costa Rica – Juan Santamaria´s International Airport

Day 2, 3 & 4: Sarapiquí

Day 5 & 6:  Bajos del Toro

Day 7 & 8: Boca Tapada, San Carlos.

Day 9 & 10: Arenal Volcano area

Locations

Overview

Sarapiqui is a real rainforest experience with vast areas to cover, primary rainforest, active and no active pasture fields, river edges, canopy bridges, thick understory, etc. Cotingas, macaws, oropendolas, guans, eagles, toucans are some of the many species to find. At La Selva Biological Station daily birds to spot are Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Jacamars, Tanagers, Orioles,Woodpeckers, Tityras, etc. Botanical gardens nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always brings good surprises as Little Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and much more. The Braulio Carrillo National Park is a real rainforest experience with the largest mixed flocks ever including favorites such as Sharpbills and Umbrellabirds.

Sea level 50 meters

Temperature 29 – 34°C

Humidity 85% +

Bajos del Toro: Nestled in the intermountain valleys between Poas and Platanar Volcanoes is found in the forest of peace. A private preserve with an enormous biodiversity and one of the few accessible wet forests found in the Caribbean mid elevations. Serenity, exclusiveness for those seeking out a true connection with nature. 11 species of hummingbirds are found within its forests and surroundings. Also home to the always breathtaking Resplendent Quetzal; Bosque de Paz gives you the intimacy and comfort we all have at home. The high extinct volcanoes, waterfalls, mystical cloud forests make this place enchanting beyond words. Here we will learn the principles of birds of flight, all techniques need it to capture award winning images. Dozens of trails are also part of the attraction for those with a Huxley’s best need of exploring by their own. Flowering bushes, fruit trees, streams and gardens are a magnet for bird life.

(1:45 hrs) 60KM

Sea level 1900 meters

Temperature 12 – 24°C

Humidity 80% +

Arenal Volcano: If there ever was a Jurasic Park Arenal should be the one, tangled vines, large canopy trees, damp forest floor, roaring rivers, dozens of kilometers of forested back roads, lush primary, secondary forests are some of the many habitats yet to explore. We have never had a dull day at this fantastic piece of paradise. Bellbirds, Umbrellabirds, Antbirds, Cotingas, Eagles, Curassows, Antpittas, Tanagers, Toucans, are some of the many families of birds found without ever leaving the lodge premises. A short drive out the 400+ hectares of rainforest own by the Observatory is found the Arenal Lake, a partially human made hydro-electrical dam has an enormous diversity of avifauna in every single patch of vegetation, from semi-cultivated lands to tall natural grasses and pristine wet forest. Species such as Keel billed Motmot, White fronted Nunbird, Black Hawk Eagle, Great Antshrike, are a tiny list of the colors, shapes and sounds.

Sea level 500-660 meters

Temperature 21 – 34°C

Humidity 80% +

Boca Tapada – Maquenque: If there is a place that deserves a merit for conservation and restoring natural habitats is this hidden gem near Nicaragua’s rainforest. Very little known Maquenque Mixed Reserve which is a buffer zone for La Selva- San Juan Biological corridor and covers over 50 thousand hectares. This forgotten corner of Costa Rica is by far one of the most successful destinations for bird photographers. The small lodge has been established less than two decades and their achievement in establishing a sanctuary where pastures and deforestation were disappearing the existing rainforests.

(1:45 hrs) 55KM

Sea level 50 meters

Temperature 24-34°C

Humidity 80% +


DAY BY DAY ITINERARY.

Day 1. Arrival in Costa Rica. Pick up by NGCR staff, transfer to San Jose’s overnight hotel. Briefing about the tour. Overnight at the most convenient hotel according to the flight’s arrival time.. Dinner not included. 

Day 2. Sarapiqui.  Drive after breakfast into the heart of the most well studied rainforest on

earth in order to explore more possibilities out of the lodge on nearby back roads and forest edges.

  • Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00) out of the lodge, continue seeking for larger birds such as Eagles Hawks, Falcons, etc.
  • Return time at 17:30
  • Dinner at 18:00 

 

Photography workshop Subject: White spots, odd angles, lowlight and black backgrounds

Day 3. Sarapiqui. Early breakfast and trail exploration until lunch. Visit to Dave & Dave’s

Photography Garden.

  • Morning at La Selva
  • Dave & Dave’s Photography Garden 15:00
  • Dinner 18:30

Day 4. Sarapiqui. Early breakfast and let’s explore the rainforest.

  • Venture into the heart of the tropical rainforest. All day long exploring all forested trails at the biological station.
  • Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
  • Return time at 17:30
  • Dinner at 18:00 

Photography workshop Subject: Black and White; The Art of no color.

Day 5. Bajos del Toro. Breakfast at the Lodge follows the departure to Bajos del Toro’s town. The lodge has dozens of trail systems for exploring its avian biodiversity, we will spend all day at the lodge grounds. This forest is an amazing place to find highland endemics such as Azure hooded Jay, Prong billed Barbet, Grey- breasted Woodwren, etc. 

  • Departure Sarapiquí 9:30 am
  • Lunch 13:00
  • Hummingbird garden photography
  • Dinner 19:00

Photography workshop Subject: How to capture American Dipper

Day 6. Bajos del Toro. Early birding at the forest trails. Looking for Resplendent Quetzal, Red-headed Barbet, leaftossers, woodhunters, woodcreepers , Highland tinamous, etc. After a well-deserved breakfast, we will travel a few minutes down the road to another great hummingbird garden at Bajos del Toro’s waterfall some other great birds are found such as Prevost’s Ground Sparrow, Purplish backed Quaildove, Black-breasted Woodquail, etc. After exploring the forest trails and hummingbird gardens we will return to the lodge for lunch with more forest birds. 

  • Early garden photography
  • Breakfast 8:30 am
  • Departure to Bajos del Toro’s Waterfall
  • Trail exploration
  • Dinner 19:00

 

Day 7. Boca Tapada. Departure after breakfast toone of the most isolated north eastern regions of Costa Rica; virtually unknown to the general public this area provides some of the finest bird photography opportunities in the country.

  • Exploring gardens until lunch. Setting up for water birds, toucans and waterbirds and lots more.
  • Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
  • Meeting back at 14:30 to continue exploring trails, gardens and lagoons
  • Dinner at 18:30

Photography workshop Subject: Framing, focus, high speed, and questions (19:00-20:30)

 

Day 8.Boca Tapada. Early morning photography, playing with lowlight birds and ambient

  • Exploring forest edges until lunch.
  • Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00) leisure time until 14:30
  • Meeting back at 14:30 to continue exploring trails, gardens and lagoons
  • Dinner at 18:30

Day 9. Arenal Volcano area. Boat tour to Caño Negro before sunrise, we will start at 5:00 am heading to the dock for an early birding, as we all know is our most successful time (3 + hour boat tour, breakfast to go). After the boat tour we will concentrate on getting some species more related to pasture fields such as raptors, seedaters, finches, etc . By the end of the day our journey will not end with owl searching and other night birds such as Potoos, Poorwills at the hotel.

  • Caño Negro Boat Tour 5:00 am
  • Road edges exploration
  • Drive to Arenal 10:30 am
  • Lunch along the road
  • Hotel grounds exploration

Day 10. Arenal Volcano area.  

Exploring gardens until lunch. Possible scenarios: plenty of birdlife to capture, the use of tripods or monopods is a must. Carry your super telephoto lens.

Last day of the journey: International flight dates, times, pick up, drop off and other activities based on your flight schedule.