Costa Rica: Wildlife Experience

Discover the Top Ecosystems for wildlife in Costa Rica, home of the 5% of the biodiversity of the world. Visit cloud forest, rainforest, dry forest, mangrove, and the most iconic national Parks of the country looking for the most amazing animals from mammals, birds, amphibians & reptiles and the most amazing flora.

Recommended itinerary

Day 1     Santo Domingo | Central Valley

Upon arrival in Costa Rica you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Located in Santo Domingo de Heredia and only 15 minutes from the airport, this suburban hotel is surrounded by 10 acres of tropical gardens and provides an atmosphere typical of the Costa Rican lifestyle and hospitality. The hotel is in a convenient location with easy access to the cities of San José and Heredia. Overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea.

Day 2     La Ensenada Wildlife Refuge |Gulf of Nicoya | Palo Verde | Dry Forest

This morning visit the Bougainvillea Botanical Garden. After breakfast, depart for your accommodations in the Pacific Northwest of Costa Rica, La Ensenada Lodge and Wildlife Refuge. The eco-lodge is located on the Tempisque River, along the coast of the Gulf of Nicoya in Puntarenas. The area is comprised of three types of wet environments: mangrove, sweet freshwater, and part of the Nicoya Gulf shoreline. These ecosystems are very important for many resident and migratory bird species such as ibises, herons, and pelicans, as well as reptiles and mammals. Check-in and eat lunch at the reserve. In the afternoon take a boat safari on the gulf to look for birds and other wildlife around the Palo Verde National Park. Overnight at La Ensenada Lodge.

Day 3     La Ensenada Wildlife Refuge | Gulf of Nicoya | Dry Forest

After breakfast discover the secrets of La Ensenada Wildlife Refuge, this area includes some of the best patches of dry forest remaining in Central America, The reserve is also a principal wintering ground for many Neotropical migrant birds. Return to the lodge to settle in and lunch. This afternoon take a tractor ride to the lagoons and salt ponds for birding and an opportunity to explore the farm, which is dedicated to cattle, horses, and salt production. Overnight at La Ensenada Lodge.

La Ensenada Lodge

Day 4     Macaw Reserve | Central Pacific | Premontane Forest

Begin the day with early morning bird watching followed by breakfast. Check out of La Ensenada Lodge and transfer to Macaw Lodge, following the Coastal Highway to the Central Pacific region. Macaw Lodge and Reserve is located between two life zones, the humid tropical forest and the high humidity pre-montane forest. It is nestled between mature and secondary forests, expanses of rural roads, pastures, and organic farming plots. These bioclimatic, ecological, and geographic conditions make it possible for an abundance of resident and migratory wildlife to inhabit the lower and upper regions of the Central Pacific. Enjoy the view and the colorful flowers while having lunch in Macaw Reserve. Check in and get ready for nature hike in the afternoon, including a visit to a waterfall. Overnight at Macaw Lodge.

Day 5     Macaw Reserve | Carara National Park | Central Pacific

After a delicious breakfast, journey to Carara National Park for a full-day field trip, including lunch in the nearby area and a visit to the Crocodile Bridge. The word “Carara” is an indigenous term meaning “river of crocodiles.” Located between the dry forests of the north and the humid forests of the south, the park is considered an “ecotone” or transitional area, and as a result is rich in biodiversity. There are trails passing through both zones where you can appreciate the forest’s abundance and spot some of the animal species here including the amazing Scarlet Macaws. Overnight at Macaw Lodge.

Macaw Lodge

Day 6     Savegre Nature Reserve | San Gerardo Valley | Cloud Forest

Early birding in the gardens of Macaw Lodge, then eat breakfast and depart for your next destination, San Gerardo de Dota. Make a stop for lunch en route at Valle de El General. Upon arrival at the lodge check in and then take a guided walk along local trails in the cloud forest. Overnight at Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa.

Day 7     Savegre Nature Reserve | San Gerardo Valley | Cloud Forest

After breakfast, take a hike along the upper trails of a local oak forest in the Savegre Reserve. Hiking this trail takes you to trees more than 700 years old and up to 197 feet tall. The San Gerardo Valley, at approximately 7,000 ft. above sea level, combines highland oak and cloud forests with open grasslands and forest edges, attracting a variety of birds including large numbers of Resplendent Quetzals and other wildlife. Return to the lodge for lunch, and then enjoy a trek along the lodge’s scenic waterfall trail. Overnight at Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa.

Toucanet

Day 8     Selva Verde Reserve | Caribbean Lowlands

This morning after breakfast, depart for Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapiquí Caribbean lowland rainforest, passing Braulio Carrillo National Park along the way. Protecting 500 acres of primary and secondary rainforest, Selva Verde Lodge is home to more than 370 species of birds, 100 species of amphibians and reptiles, and over 50 species of mammals. Selva Verde provides opportunities to see a large variety of wildlife species such as the Keel-billed Toucan, Great Green Macaw, Sunbittern, Red-eyed Tree Frogs, poison dart frogs, howler monkeys, sloths, kinkajous, and more. After lunch enjoy whitewater rafting in the fresh waters of the Sarapiquí River. Keep an eye out for the diversity of wildlife along the river’s edge as you navigate the Class I-III rapids. Tonight after dinner, discover the secrets of the rainforest at night. This tropical forest hosts the highest biodiversity of species in the world. The guide has eagle eyes, looking for mimic insects, bats, glass frogs, red eyed tree frogs, kinkajous, and nocturnal birds. Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge.

Day 9     Selva Verde Reserve |Cinco Ceibas Reserve| Caribbean Lowlands

This morning watch birds while having breakfast in the Selva Verde restaurant. After breakfast transfer to Cinco Ceibas Reserve in Finca Pangola for a full day of wildlife and adventure including lunch. Cinco Ceibas is one of the largest members of the Costa Rican Bird Route and the only site in Central America where the jungle is accessible by means of an elevated boardwalk. The name Cinco Ceibas was derived from five giant kapok trees which can be observed during your trip. The walk is through a lowland flood zone tropical rainforest that hosts a tremendous amount of biodiversity. After lunch you can choose one of three additional activities of Cinco Ceibas: a guided flat water kayak tour down the Rio Cuarto River, a horseback ride through protected rainforest and secondary reforestation, or an Oxen Cart Tour to admire tropical flowers while learning about the history of the local area. Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge.

Day 10  Selva Verde Reserve | Caribbean Lowlands

After breakfast, grab your binoculars to spot birds and wildlife during a relaxing boat ride on the Sarapiquí River. You’ll pass both forested and agricultural lands to observe the activities of the people and animals whose lives are influenced by the flow of the waters. Keep your eyes peeled for Giant Green Iguanas, caimans, crocodiles, kingfishers, Green Ibis, and otters. Return to the lodge for a typical Costa Rican lunch, and then get ready to enjoy the thrill of soaring your way through the canopy of the rainforest! The canopy adventure consists of 12 zip lines crisscrossing tropical rainforest, ornamental gardens, and the magnificent Rio Sarapiquí. This evening settle in at the lodge and gather for a lecture on “Natural History and Conservation” by a resident naturalist guide. Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge.

Suspension bridge selva verde lodge

Day 11  Sarapiquí | Poás Volcano | Santo Domingo

Breakfast and check out. Depart to Poas Volcano with lunch at a coffee plantation to discover the lives of the Costa Rican coffee producers. Learn how the coffee fields are produced in harmony with nature, as well as the stages of plantation, from when the seed initiates its germination, goes on to the state of a small plant with two false leaves, and then to the final phase of harvest. You can experience a taste of the final product while enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, cappuccino, or espresso. After lunch, enjoy the magnificent view of Poás Volcano, which has one of the largest craters in the world and is one of the active and most amazing volcanoes in the country. Farewell dinner at the hotel. Overnight Hotel Bougainvillea.

Day 12  Departure or extension

Breakfast and transfer to the international airport for your return flight.

 

This program can be customized to fit with your needs. Ask for  extensions to Tortuguero, South Pacific, Arenal Volcano or other destinations. Send us an e mail wildtravelcentralamerica@gmail.com for pricing or customize your tour.