COVID Protocols
Thank you for your interest! This journey is either underway or complete, but we do have many other tour options for you to choose from.

Few places rival Costa Rica’s ecological diversity. Over a quarter of the country is protected lands, boasting 850 bird species and 200+ mammals. Why July? Resident birds are just fledging their young, and rains bring life to so many life forms. Afternoon clouds cool down temperatures and we spend time in the mountains!

We visit a wonderful mix of habitats, giving you the chance to see numerous species. Explore the lush Monteverde cloudforest in search of the dazzling Resplendent Quetzal, lovely Long-tailed Manakin, and bizarre Three-wattled Bellbird. Immerse yourself in tropical wonder at Arenal Observatory with a volcano in view and Monteverde Mountain Lodge with birdy and accessible trails. Finally, spend time at Carara National Park near Tarcoles.

Explore both sides of the Continental Divide on this fun summer Costa Rica birding tour—what a great way to immerse yourself in Costa Rica’s stunning biodiversity and observe an exciting list of birds and other wildlife.

Tour Highlights

  • Relax at the beautiful Hotel Bougainvillea upon your arrival; bird their 10-acre award winning botanical garden where birds and beautiful sculptures mingle
  • Search for hummingbirds, trogons, and mammals too, from Monteverde Mountain Lodge, nestled in lush cloud forest
  • View the Arenal Volcano right from your balcony!
  • Admire lowland primary rainforest at La Selva Biological Station
  • Stay cool up in the mountains—explore Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves in search of Resplendent Quetzal, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Collared Redstart, and Azure-hooded Jay
  • Visit famous Carara National Park to see stunning Scarlet Macaw and secretive antbirds

"Our guide was absolutely outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable - great spotter!, kind, generous, funny. He knows the birds, the country, the field trips, the locations. He had many surprise destinations for us with beautiful scenery and lots of birds." — 2023 Traveler

"The trip met my expectations exactly. I wanted to see lots of interesting birds and take some pictures, both of which I was able to do...It was extremely well organized and there were no logistical problems at all." — Jim Majure, 2023 Traveler

"Magical - trip of a lifetime! An amazing exploration of beautiful places that one doesn't often hear about in CR. An abundance and diversity of birds and wildlife." — 2023 Traveler

"Amazing! If I’d seen a fraction of the birds we saw I would’ve been thrilled..." — 2023 Traveler

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Fri., July 21 : Arrivals in San Jose | Hotel Bougainvillea

Bienvenido a Costa Rica! Please plan to arrive today in San José by 5:00 PM so you can join our welcome dinner and orientation. You are met at the airport for a transfer to our hotel in the hills of the historic suburb of Heredia. The Bougainvillea hotel is a family-owned and operated hotel with a welcoming atmosphere; fresh-cut flowers from the 10-acre garden, and original paintings and sculptures by leading local artists adorn the interior. Massive beamed ceilings, wood paneling, and a fireplace all contribute to the warm feeling of a country inn. And, there are always great birds to greet you as you stroll trails through the garden.

Tonight we gather to enjoy a welcome dinner and the chance to meet your guides and travel companions.
Accommodations at the Hotel Bougainvillea (D)

Sat., July 22 – Mon., July 24 : La Selva Biological Station | Arenal Observatory Lodge | La Fortuna

We leave early today to head to the lowlands of Sarapiqui, on our way to Arenal—well worth a stop. Enjoy a visit to one of the world’s premier biological stations as we seek out some extraordinary birds. We’ve even seen Great Tinamou nesting here!

We then travel west to La Fortuna. At an elevation of about one thousand feet, we settle in to awesome digs at Arenal Observatory Lodge and and enjoy visits to the nearby town of La Fortuna feature Caribbean foothill rainforest. Due to the perpetually mild and wet climate, this habitat is particularly rich in fruit-eating birds such as toucans, oropendolas, and tanagers. Ant swarms are also a big feature. Most of Costa Rica's obligate antbirds inhabit the understory of this rainforest.

Arenal Observatory Lodge is a particularly comfortable lodge from which to explore this habitat. There is a beautiful terrace that looks upon the currently dormant Arenal Volcano and an elaborate set of fruit feeders. Collared Aracari, Yellow-throated Toucan, Montezuma Oropendola, and Black-cheeked Woodpecker all squabble over the tasty morsels of papaya, banana, and other fruit on offer. Once the larger birds have had their fill, tanagers such as Crimson-collared, Emerald, and Bay-headed often make a pass at the fruit.

On the forest floor, there is often Gray-chested Dove, Black-striped Sparrow, and Great Curassow picking off the scraps from above. The lodge grounds also feature lovely flower gardens and thoughtfully placed fruiting trees (mostly Ficus), which attract many birds from the surrounding forest. Row upon row of flowering blue porterweed attract Black-crested Coquette, Brown Violetear, Green Thorntail, Violet-headed Hummingbird, and Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer. Wide, carefully maintained, and gently sloping forest trails offer fantastic birding opportunities. Every day is different—even every hour is different! Some of the birds that regularly make an appearance include Dull-mantled Antbird, Thicket Antpitta, Broad-billed Motmot, Semiplumbeous Hawk, and Black-and-yellow Tanager. For those that happen upon an ant swarm, antbird species such as Bicolored, Spotted, and Ocellated Antbird are possible.

During our days here, we explore both in and around the lodge grounds and take local, off-site field trips too. Outside the grounds of Arenal Observatory Lodge, the entrance road and nearby national park offer great birding. White-faced Nunbird, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Rufous Mourner, and Long-tailed Tyrant are all regular along the 'peninsula road.' The more open pastures can have the spectacular White-throated Magpie-Jay, a species usually associated with the dry forests of the Guanacaste region. The small river that crosses underneath the road often has Black Phoebe and (for those who are lucky) Bare-throated Tiger-Heron.

Down at La Fortuna, Sendero Bogarin features secondary growth forest crisscrossed by streams. The birds here are similar but different from those found at Arenal Observatory Lodge. Uniform Crake, White-throated Crake, and Russet-naped Wood-Rail are all common here, although they are not always easy to see. The brushy thickets hold several territories of Black-throated Wren, Fasciated Antshrike, Keel-billed Motmot, and Rufous-tailed Jacamar. Among flocks of tanagers, one sometimes finds the tiny Olivaceous Piculet, the smallest woodpecker in North America. The owner of the property often has a staked out Black-and-white Owl roost, as well as multiple spots to look for both Brown-throated Three-toed and Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloths. After birding here, there is a nice chocolate shop in town with locally sourced chocolate, coffee, and fresh baked goods!

We also enjoy some prized feet-up on the balcony of your room time, looking off to the volcano ….
Accommodations at Arenal Observatory Lodge (B,L,D)

Tues., July 25 : Higher into the Mountains | Monteverde | Children’s Eternal Rainforest

We leave Arenal this morning for another fabled Costa Rican destination. Traveling up a gradient of elevation allows us to bird in varied habitats—great fun!

Monteverde is a treasured location in Costa Rica where many birders get their first feel for birding lush montane forests. Remote, Monteverde has retained its charm despite its popularity and is still an excellent place for birding. We stay three nights to access several reserves. Plus, we have great birding right outside our door on the lodge grounds!

Our hotel, the Monteverde Mountain Hotel, sits amongst 15 acres of private forest at 4,500 feet above sea level. This mountain hotel has cozy rooms set in nicely kept grounds and features hummingbird feeders at the veranda.

This afternoon, we enjoy birding the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, a special place. We may see Rufous-capped Warbler, Rufous-and-white Wren, and with some luck more elusive species like Northern Barred-Woodcreeper and Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush.

Watch for Swallow-tailed Kite on the move overhead in the late afternoon. Our dinner is well-prepared local Costa Rican food at the hotel.
Accommodations at the Monteverde Mountain Hotel (B,L,D)

Wed., July 26 : Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve | Curicancha Reserve

This morning we visit the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the best places to find Resplendent Quetzal. Other lush highland forest species include Black Guan, Gray-breasted Wood Wren, Black-faced Solitaire, and with luck Silvery-fronted Tapaculo. Monteverde is a great place to spy a mixed flock, with Spotted Barbtail, Buffy Tuftedcheek, and Ruddy Treerunner probing bromeliads and mossy tree limbs while Spangle-cheeked Tanager search for fruit in the canopy. This place is also wonderland for botany fans.

This afternoon we visit Curicancha Reserve, a small reserve (200 acres) but a true gem. Here, we get another chance to see Resplendent Quetzal, alongside Three-wattled Bellbird, Collared Trogon, Gray-throated Leaftosser, and other species. At hummingbird feeders, we may add Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Green-crowned Brilliant, Violet Sabrewing, and Magenta-throated Woodstar. With luck we could find mammals, too: Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth, Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, or Kinkajou.
Accommodations at the Monteverde Mountain Hotel (B,L,D)

Thurs., July 27 : Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

This morning, we visit a reserve that is less well-known than Monteverde but has equally stunning and diverse forests. Encompassing approximately 730 acres, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve was established in 1992 through the combined initiatives of the Santa Elena Community High School and Canadian-based Youth Challenge International.

During our time in this verdant reserve, we scan the moss-laden trees for regional endemics such as Collared Redstart, Black Guan, and Collared Trogon, while also paying close attention to the trail ahead of us for secretive ground-dwelling species such as Buff-fronted Quail-Dove and Black-breasted Wood-Quail. However, the true stars of this forest are the incomparably beautiful Resplendent Quetzal, a contender for most beautiful bird of the world, and the bizarre Three-wattled Bellbird, the source of a call that rings throughout the cloud forest during this time of the year. Both should have fledgling young at this time and are rewarding to find and watch.

Other species we hope to see include Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Prong-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, Costa Rican Warbler, and Golden-browed Chlorophonia. Be sure to watch for Orange-kneed Tarantula!

Best of all, in addition to trails, there are feeders, where Green Hermit, Green-crowned Brilliant, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Magenta-throated Woodstar, Violet Sabrewing, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, and Coppery-headed Emerald all put on a show.

Enjoy the afternoon to check out the local butterfly gardens, or some may wish to see artisan shops in the town of Monteverde. Dinner tonight is at the lodge.
Accommodations at the Monteverde Mountain Hotel (B,L,D)

Fri., July 28 : Central Pacific Coast | Tarcoles River Boat Trip

This morning we pack up and continue on our way to the Central Pacific area, where we stay in a lovely valley with a rushing river near the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy sampling the countryside as the morning is largely spent in travel. We arrive in time for lunch.

This afternoon we take a mangrove boat trip on the Tarcoles River. Gliding along we find a good mix of new species. If time permits, especially if we have not seen macaws on our boat trip, we also stop on a high bridge with expansive views. Though busy with traffic, this is the best place in Costa Rica to watch for Scarlet Macaw returning to roost sites. Their calls alert us and, as we wait to see their dazzling colors, we find a host of other species such as Mealy Parrot and, close-at-hand, noisy Rufous-naped Wren.
Accommodations at Hotel Cerro Lodge or similar (B,L,D)

Sat., July 29 : Carara National Park

This morning we have an early start to enjoy a full morning of birding at Carara National Park, a place many consider to be one of the top ten birding spots in Central America. Here we witness birds and wildlife of a transition forest, walking trails and searching for birds, butterflies, and mammals. This park can claim almost unparalleled diversity along the Central American Pacific Coast, as many species here are at the edge of their range. This is the northern reach of species at home in Pacific Rainforest, and the southern reach for those associated with Pacific Dry Forests.

The open nature of Carara’s transitional forests lends itself well to finding birds that are normally difficult to observe elsewhere, such as Great Tinamou, Collared Forest-Falcon, and Streak-chested Antpitta. It’s also an excellent place to observe an army ant swarm and its attendant antbirds, including sometimes secretive Black-hooded Antshrike, Bicolored Antbird, Dusky Antbird, and Chestnut-backed Antbird. We may also find Scaly-breasted Hummingbird or Blue-throated Goldentail. Vegetation is impressive in this important ecological reserve.

We return to bird the grounds of our lodge, have time to relax a bit and join together for a special evening sharing highlights of our journey.
Accommodations at Hotel Cerro Lodge (B,L,D)

Sun., July 30 : Departures

After breakfast this morning we say goodbye and transfer back to San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport to take your flights back home. This is an hour+ drive, so in order not to rush this morning, please plan to make flights out after 2:00 PM. (B)

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Cost of the Journey

Cost of the journey is $3790 DBL /  $4425 SGL, based on double occupancy, from San José, Costa Rica. Cost includes nine nights’ accommodations, all meals as noted in the itinerary, airport transfers, ground transportation, professional guide services, park and other entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses. Not included is round-trip airfare to and from San José, personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, drinks from the bar, and gratuities for luggage handling or other services. Guide gratuities are at your discretion.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Please plan to arrive at Juan Santamaría International (SJO) no later than 5:00 PM on July 21. Please plan departure flights after 2:00 PM on July 30.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.

Costa Rica




  • Robert Gallardo

    A California native who moved to Honduras in 1993 for the Peace Corps, Robert stayed to make a life there, diving headfirst into the world of tropical birds. He is now considered the country's leading authority on both avifauna and butterflies – a double expert on beautiful flying things. He leads tours for Naturalist Journeys to Panama, Honduras, Texas and Trinidad & Tobago. Robert is the current President of the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation, a small non-profit which promotes nature-based sustainable tourism and environmental education. He is also the co-founder of the Honduran Ornithological Society. He has authored two editions of the "Guide to the Birds of Honduras." He and his partner Olivia hope to publish the "Guide to the Butterflies of Honduras" sometime in 2022. The couple lives in Emerald Valley where they protect 50 acres of rich mid-elevation rainforest and are working to install a nature center with their foundation.

    Other trips with Robert Gallardo

Map for Summer in Costa Rica

Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.


Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.


As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, agent number 176098, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.


Packing List +

Please pack light! Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid Read more

Please pack light!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage.  Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle.  It is our hope that you can pack in one checked suitcase that does not exceed 45 pounds.  Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

In general, the weather during your stay should be warm to hot (75-85°F) in the lowlands and on the coast, and cool in the mountains, 60’s-70’s°F in the mountain’s daytime, 40’s-50’s°F early morning and night. Dress is comfortable and informal throughout the trip. Dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun and vegetation.  But if you like to wear them, by all means bring some shorts.  Also, choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy and things that are comfortable and easy.  A light jacket should be enough in the cooler evenings and on boat rides. Costa Rica’s rainy or “green season” is May to mid-November, so raingear and an umbrella are on the list.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors, though camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent; two options are Craghoppers Insect Shield and Exofficio’s Bugs Away collections. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing and Gear

______Lightweight long pants, 2-3 pair

______Lightweight long-sleeved shirts – 2 or 3

______Shorts (optional, not generally recommended)

______T-shirts or equivalent (1 per day or every other day recommended – Remember that you may be buying some there anyway!)

______Long-sleeve shirt for layering or cooler days when at higher elevation

______Personal underclothing

______Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry

______Comfortable but sturdy walking/hiking shoes such as tennis shoes and lightweight hiking boots.  Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – bring shoes with good support and firm grip tread

______Walking stick – we find that many travelers appreciate a walking stick on trails, sporting goods stores carry collapsible models that pack easily in your suitcase (optional)

______Sandals for evenings, travel days and for wearing on boats (optional, TEVA style are great)

______Lightweight raincoat or poncho

______Lightweight jacket, fleece fabric is ideal, very important as it can be cool in the mountains

______Light gloves, hat and scarf for mountains

______Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes or a skirt, sun dress, etc.)

______Bathing suit (optional)

______Hat with broad brim

______Bandanna (optional, great for cooling off when you are hot and sweaty.  They even make them with a gel inside for several hours of cooling)

Equipment and Miscellaneous 

______E-ticket verification

______Passport with 6 months remaining after date of departure from Costa Rica, and a photocopy of your passport ID page to be kept in a separate location

______Money pouch, or someplace to carry your money and passport with you at all times


______Umbrella, compact and not brightly colored (this is great when it rains, you can continue using          

              your binoculars!)

______Small day pack or fanny pack for carrying your field gear

______Small flashlight with fresh batteries.  Please note that if you like to read at night, lighting in other countries is often poor in the rooms, and you may want to bring a book light, headlamp, or flashlight for this purpose

______Alarm clock, or use your cell phone

______Sunscreen/Chapstick or equivalent (at least 30 SPF recommended)

______Sunglasses with neck strap

______Insect repellent (something containing 20% or more DEET, and sulfur powder or other for chiggers if you can find it – typically available in the garden section of stores)

______Toilet articles

______Spotting scope and tripod (optional)

______Camera and extra batteries, film, lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual (optional)

______Water bottle

______Notebook or journal and pen (optional)

______Spanish phrase dictionary (optional)

______Field guides (optional)

______Sink plug (often not available, a flat universal one is easiest to use)

______Washcloth (again, available some places and not at others)

______Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing

______Earplugs – in urban and even rural areas barking dogs and traffic noise can be annoying.  In general Costa Rica is noisier than the US

______ Rechargeable power bank (optional)

WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical and First Aid Supplies 

______Copy of Covid-19 vaccination card

______Personal medication

______Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van, drives, etc.

______Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, etc.)

______Copy of eyeglass prescription, copy of medical prescriptions, and any medical alerts

______Insurance information

______Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts

______Band-aids, moleskin to protect against blisters

______Hand Sanitizer

Travel Insurance

Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends that you purchase travel insurance. You can link to Allianz Travel Insurance through our website.

Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Costa Rica; the following are a few that Read more

There are many titles of interest for Costa Rica; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide

Merlin App – Costa Rica Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Costa Rica.

General Reading

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Tropics

The New Neotropical Companion

Costa Rica: A Journey through Nature

Nature of the Rainforest: Costa Rica and Beyond

The New Key to Costa Rica

Costa Rica: The Complete Guide: Ecotourism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s National Parks and Preserves, a Visitor’s Guide

Field Guides

A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica

Birds of Central America

The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide

Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico

Collin’s Guide to Tropical Plants

Butterflies of Costa Rica

Butterflies of the Golfo Dulce Region, Costa Rica. Free PDF

Wildlife & Nature

Nature Travel Guide: Birds and Mammals of Costa Rica

Birds of Tropical America: A Watcher's Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity

Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate: Exotica and Unseen Costa Rica

Traveler’s Wildlife Guide Costa Rica

Natural History

The Natural History of Costa Rican Mammals

Costa Rican Natural History

The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy

Life Above the Jungle Floor

History & Culture

Chilies to Chocolate: Foods the Americas Gave the World

The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica

Costa Rica: The Last Country Gods Made

There is a good selection of books available for sale at visitors’ centers, and your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.

Photo credits: Banner: Black-cheeked Woodpecker by Greg Smith (GS); Lizard by Sandy Sorkin; Monteverde Suspension bridge; Squirrel Cuckoo by Sandy Sorkin; Keel-billed Toucan by Doug Greenberg (DG); Black Howler Monkey by Peg Abbott (PA); Gallery: Collared Aracari; Arenal Volcano; Black-and-white Owl; Giant Anteater, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Purple Gallinule, Tom Dove; Purple-throated Mountain Gem, GS; Savegre Bromeliads, GS; Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, SS. Primary Thumbnail: Birding, Karen Holmen; Montezuma Oropendola, Anindya Sen; Golden-hooded Tanager, White-faced Capuchin, John Trezise Secondary: Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, Emerald Toucanet, Scarlet Macaw, Rainforest Northern Barred Woodcreeper Phil Yates, courtesy Operador Latino; Black Guan, DG; Lesson's Motmot, Mike Boyce; Central American Squirrel Monkey, PA; View from Celeste Mountain Lodge,; Collared Aracari, James Adams; Red-legged Honeycreeper, GS; Great Curassow, SS;


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