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Keel-billed Toucan by Steve BirdCOSTA RICA

March 16 - 23, 2024

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Costa Rica! If the mere mention of Costa Rica elicits images of brightly colored birds in warm tropical climes, this tour is for you! As a complement to our ever popular Quetzal & Hummingbird Special>, we've designed this tour to highlight Costa Rica's stunning toucans and tanagers. Join us to explore the habitats of these avian gems of the tropics as we seek them out in Costa Rica's Central Mountain Range and the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica.

Red-legged Honeycreeper by Gina Nichol.Emerald Tanager by Steve Bird.Our itinerary features a two night stay at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge with its 400 species of birds and 1,250 Acres of virgin tropical rainforest. The lodge's trails, flower-filled gardens, and very active feeders offer excellent birding and photography opportunities. We'll also spend two nights at the famed, family-owned Arenal Observatory Lodge situated in a private nature reserve with primary and secondary rainforests, waterfalls, and sparkling rivers. The lodge's observation deck offers spectacular views of Arenal volcano and Lake Arenal and its beautiful gardens and trails support a wide variety of plants, animals, and more than 500 species of birds. Of course, there will be much more than toucans and tanagers to see. Join us for this special foray into the rainforests of northern Costa Rica.

Photos: Keel-billed Toucan by Steve Bird; Red-legged Honeycreeper by Gina Nichol; Emerald Tanager by Steve Bird.


For more spectacular birding, combine this tour with our
Costa Rica Quetzal & Hummingbird Special, March 22-29, 2024>

Yellow-throated Toucan by Gina Nichol.ITINERARY

Plan to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (Airport code: SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica any time today. Our hotel will have your airline, arrival time, and flight number and will monitor the arrival of you flight. Giving you time to clear immigration, the hotel transfer will be at the airport 40-45 minutes after your landing time and pick up our clients in front of the Malinche Deli/Restaurant just outside of the airport. Note that the hotel transfer schedule is from 5 am to 11 pm. Outside of those hours, you'll need to take a taxi to the hotel which is 10 minutes from the airport. Settle in to your lovely room and join our group for dinner in the evening. (D) Photo: Yellow-throated Toucan by Gina Nichol


Fiery-billed Aracari (Photo: Gina Nichol)

Our first full day of birding will be at the Carara National Park, one of the best birding sites in Central Pacific Costa Rica. Today we'll have an early depart with box-breakfast and drive just one hour to this spectacular protected area.

Sightings today may include a wide variety of species like White-shouldered Tanager, Dusky Antbird, Dot-winged Antwren, Long-tailed Manakin, White-whiskered Puffbird, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Scarlet Macaw and up to 5 species of Trogons!

Also, we have the chance for some very special near-endemic species like Black-hooded Antshrike, Orange-collared Manakin and the beautiful Fiery-billed Aracari (Photo: Gina Nichol)! Other highlight of the day could include White Ibis, Rose-throated Becard, Lesson´s Motmot, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Rufous-and-white & Rufous-breasted Wrens, Pale-billed Woodpecker and many more! Lunch will be in a local restaurant.




Northern Emerald Toucanet (Photo: Gina Nichol)Day 3: CINCHONA to LAGUNA DEL LAGARTO
Today after breakfast, we’ll travel to the Caribbean lowlands driving across the continental divide of the Central Mountain Range. On the way, we’ll explore the Caribbean foothill countryside of the Poás Volcano and Cinchona looking for many special birds like Northern Emerald Toucanet (Photo: Gina Nichol), Common Chlorospingus, Volcano Hummingbird (Poas-Barva), Silver-throated Tanager, Palm Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Prong-billed Barbet, Red-headed Barbet, Ochraceous Wren, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Coppery-headed Emerald, Green Hermit, Black Guan, Summer
Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Violet Sabrewing and many more! In the afternoon, we will arrive and check-in at wonderful Laguna del Lagarto Lodge. (B-L-D)


Today we have a full day to explore Laguna del Lagarto and the Boca Tapada area. The lodge offers excellent observation and photo opportunities for birds like Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Collared Aracari, Golden-hooded Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager, Plain-colored Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Shining Honeycreeper. Yes this is toucan and tanager heaven! But that's not all, around the trails and feeders we can see Olive-backed Euphonia, Black-cowled Oriole, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Montezuma Oropendola, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Brown-hooded Parrot and more!

As we explore the area, we’ll also be looking for the uncommon Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Pied Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, the magnificent King Vulture, and the endangered Scarlet Macaw and the massive Great Green Macaw! (B-L-D)


Today we will bird the grounds of Laguna Del Lagarto before breakfast and then head to La Fortuna and the Arenal area. On the way to Arenal, we will visit the Bogarin Trail looking for the elusive White-throated Crake and Boat-billed Heron in their small wetland. The trails can offer us Gray-headed Chachalaca, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Yellow-throated Toucan, a sloth or tow, perhaps a Laughing Falcon, and a maybe even a roosting Black-and-White Owl. We'll be listening for the forest sounds and follow the popping sounds in the under story with the hopes of seeing the small, but charismatic White-collared Manakin and we'll search out a good variety of woodpeckers like the Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Rufouswinged Woodpecker, and the tiny Olivaceous Piculet! In the afternoon, we will head for Arenal Volcano
(Photo: Gina Nichol), with its almost perfectly shaped cone, which soars 1,633 meters (5,500 ft) above sea level and viewable from our perfectly situated Arenal Observatory Lodge. (B-L-D)

Crimson-collared Tanager by Steve Bird.Day 6: ARENAL OBSERVATORY LODGE
Although the main attraction in this region is the volcano, the area offers fantastic bird watching opportunities on forest trails, along tumbling streams and around Lake Arenal. The gardens abound with birds and feeders and flowers attract a wealth of birds. A nearby stream often holds Fasciated Tiger-Heron and occasionally Sunbittern, while forest edges could treat us to Green Honeycreeper by Gina Nichol.Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Collared Aracari, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Crimson-collared Tanager (Photo: Steve Bird), Keel-billed Toucan, Slaty Spinetail, Bright-rumped Attila, and possibly Keel-billed Motmot.

Today we’ll be exploring the amazing grounds, trails and roads at the lodge looking for Green Honeycreeper (Photo: Gina Nichol), Emerald Tanager, Hepatic Tanager, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Bay-headed Tanager, Black-and-Yellow Tanager, White-ruffed Manakin, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Great-Curassow, Spotted Antbird, Dull-mantled Antbird, Thicket Antpitta, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Collared Aracari, Broadbilled Motmot and many more! This wonderful place is also home of the very elusive and uncommon Yellow-eared Toucanet!

In the evening, if the weather conditions make it possible, we’ll go looking for owls and frogs! (B-L-D)

Today we will work our way back toward San Jose with some wonderful stops along the way. At the San Luis Park, nestled in the cloud forests of Costa Rica's Central Valley, you'll be blown away by the incredibly close views of tanagers at the feeders. If we can tear ourselves away from the feeder show, we’ll walk the trail loop crossing its five hanging bridges and explore the grounds looking for Speckled Tanager
(Photo: Gina Nichol), Emerald Tanager, Black-and-Yellow Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager (Photo: Gina Nichol), Crimson-collared Tanager, Common Chlorospingus, Silver-throated Tanager (Photo: Gina Nichol), Tufted Flycatcher and even the rare Blue-and-Gold Tanager! Late in the day, we will arrive in our lovely hotel outside the city and enjoy our farewell dinner. (B-L-D)

Bay-headed Tanager by Gina Nichol Speckled Tanager by Gina Nichol Silver-throated Tanager by Gina Nichol.


Departures can be anytime today from Juan Santamaria International Airport (Airport code: SJO). Note that the hotel transfer schedule is from 5 am to 11 pm. Outside of those hours, you'll need to take a taxi to airport which is 10 minutes from the Hotel. (B)


LEADER: Jose Pablo Castillo

Black-and-white Owl by Gina NicholCOSTA RICA
March 16 - 23, 2024
Registration Form>

TOUR PRICE:  US$ 2795.00 per person based on double occupancy from San Jose, Costa Rica (Airport code: SJO).

Deposit:  US$750.00 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by check or credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise [email protected] when you have made payment.

US$ 525.00 per person. Note that single accommodation may not be available on this tour due to availability at the lodges.  Please inquire. 

Included in cost: Cost is based on double occupancy and a minimum of 8 passengers and includes private transportation during the tour, all accommodations, meals from dinner on Day 1 (for those arriving in time) until breakfast on Day 8 during the tour, professional guide services, local guides, local park and reserve entrance fees.

Not included:  International flight, airport departure tax (currently $29 per person, subject to change), airport transfer on arrival by the hotel (the regular hotel transfer is included during the hours stated, a taxi transfer is not included), insurance, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature such as: laundry, telephone, beverages, gratuities for porterage, guides, or personal services.   Also, any and all costs arising from pandemic or Covid-19 related issues are not included in the tour cost and are the sole responsibility of the traveler. These include, among others, the costs of Covid treatment, hospitalization, medical fees, transport, meals and accommodation in case of illness or quarantine, and the costs of any Covid tests needed before, during and after the tour.

Photo: Black-and-white Owl at Arenal Observatory Lodge by Gina Nichol.


RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour:

1) Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected] to confirm availability and hold your place.

2) Review the Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)>

3) Complete the Registration & Release Form (pdf)> and mail it with your deposit of US$750.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC within two weeks to secure your place. 

>Download & print the Registration Form (pdf download).
Instructions are on the form.

Reservations are held with a paid deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.

Final payment is due November 16, 2023. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees).  Please inquire.

Flights:  Once we have reached the subscription level, we will confirm the tour and send out confirmations with specific timings so that you can book your flights for this tour. Please do NOT book your flights until you have received the official confirmation letter from us with the flight schedule.  There is a flight agent who can help you and we will provide their contact information in the confirmation letter.

Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators, estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, and fuel costs can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount. Note, we have rarely had to do this but we need to be clear what could happen due to changing costs.

Cancellations and Refunds:
Please review our Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)> prior to registering for this tour. All cancellations must be made in writing. Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.

There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

Sunrise Birding LLC strongly recommends that you consider purchasing a travel protection plan to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected in case of delay, injury or illness prior to or during a tour. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss and Delay, Emergency Medical Transportation, Pre-existing Conditions, and more. Get started here>



  • Insurance policy requirements vary and the timing of your purchase can affect coverage. Some insurance providers require that for coverage of pre-existing conditions, a policy must be purchased within 7-14 days of booking. Others, like CSA, offer policies that cover pre-existing conditions as long as the policy is purchased prior to making your final payment for the tour.

  • Trip insurance policy premiums may be non-refundable, but they may be able to be amended or transferred. Check with your insurer. It is important to be sure that the tour is sufficiently subscribed to operate before you purchase trip insurance.

  • Pay attention to coverages provided by your policy. Be aware of the requirements of country or destination can change, so check often. Some policies are now offering Covid related coverages so check with your insurer.

  • US medical insurance plans (including Medicare) often do not provide coverage outside the US. The US State Department strongly advises Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Consult with your insurer prior to your trip to ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider directly or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Be sure to get and keep all documentation of any expenses incurred.


Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at 
Phone: 203.453.6724