Trip report: Costa Rica, Short Introtour (Sept. 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Phil Chaon. This was a set departure tour.

Costa Rica is famous for many things – beautiful beaches, mist-shrouded mountains, and some of the best coffee in the Western Hemisphere. For decades now, the country has also been synonymous with the best birding in Central America and it truly lives up to this reputation. Packing over 900 species of birds in an area smaller than West Virginia, Costa Rica provides an unparalleled birding experience in a setting that is both comfortable and accessible. Good roads, high quality hotels, and wide availability of modern comforts provide an easy transition for first time international travelers. On this inaugural Short Introtour we managed to see nearly 400 species of birds in only six and a half days of birding. Despite the high species list accumulated there was relatively little driving and an overall relaxed approach to our birding days. Visiting the central highlands and both the Pacific and Caribbean slopes we sampled a good cross-section of the
spectacular array of habitats and bird communities present in the country. On the Caribbean slope we saw everything from the tiny jewel-like Snowcap to the massive, mohawked Great Curassow. In the highlands we tracked down sought-after endemics like Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Volcano Junco and the legendary Resplendent Quetzal (a top pick for “World’s Most Beautiful Bird”). Finally, we explored the steamy forests of the Pacific lowlands, encountering American Pygmy Kingfisher, Scarlet Macaw, and innumerable other treasures.

Read the full TROPICAL BIRDING Costa Rica Short Introtour 2019 Trip Report (PDF format; 1.9 MB size file).