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Costa Rica trip advice wanted for July/August (1 Viewer)

frasermc

New member
I am planning a 14 day trip to Costa Rica for end of July/August 2021 (Covid allowing!). I have never been to Costa Rica before and was wanting to see as many of the endemics/regional specialties as possible. My thoughts re the route are
2 nights Rancho Naturalista
2 Nights Cerro de la Muerte/Cordillera de Talamanca area
2 Nights Esquinas Lodge
1 night Carara reserve
2 nights Santa Elena/Monteverde
1 night Volcan Arenal
3 nights La Selva

I would be grateful for any comments if this seems a reasonable trip or if there are any areas I should definitely visit at this time of year.
I am not bothered about seeing the shorebirds/waterbirds as saw most of them in Venezuela many years ago.
Any advice would be much appreciated
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
My advice is the same as it was for another, recent thread on Costa Rica. I'd leave out the Pacific on such a short trip (assuming you're flying in to San Jose), you'll effectively lose two days to driving. If it's just endemics you're after it makes more sense but you'll miss a lot more birds this way.

Off the top of my head, the only endemic down there is Mangrove Hummingbird and there's Black-cheeked Ant Tanager which is shared with Panama which is probably why you're going to Esquinas?
 

frasermc

New member
Thanks Andy yes I was going to Esquinas for the Black-cheeked Ant-tanager , I wasn't aware it was in Panama, the books imply it is a Costa Rican endemic. I was just targeting the endemics and regional endemics
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Thanks Andy yes I was going to Esquinas for the Black-cheeked Ant-tanager , I wasn't aware it was in Panama, the books imply it is a Costa Rican endemic. I was just targeting the endemics and regional endemics
It's barely a border species, that is best seen as a Costa Rican endemic in the same way that Veraguan Mango is mostly a Panama endemic that only recently it's expanding the border. Main difference however is that the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager prefers pristine habitat which is hard to find in the lowlands of Western Panama (to the point that the species report map on eBird stops just shy of the Panama border with most of the sighting being in the Osa Peninsula).
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
It's barely a border species, that is best seen as a Costa Rican endemic in the same way that Veraguan Mango is mostly a Panama endemic that only recently it's expanding the border. Main difference however is that the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager prefers pristine habitat which is hard to find in the lowlands of Western Panama (to the point that the species report map on eBird stops just shy of the Panama border with most of the sighting being in the Osa Peninsula).
We had it easily at Esquinas in just a few hours visit, good site for Blue Ground Dove too.
 

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lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
We had it easily at Esquinas in just a few hours visit, good site for Blue Ground Dove too.
Beautiful shots! And not saying they aren't found outside of Osa, just going by the eBird reports, the bird is most easily reported in the peninsula but it's range is limited in every field guide I've seen to the Southeastern section of Costa Rica.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
If you're dead set on doing Carara, I'd limit Esquinas to one full day birding so you can do Rincon Bridges for the Cotinga and try for Mangrove Hummingbird and whilst La Selva is superb, I'd take a day off that too for the same reason. I'd also recommend Curi-Cancha whilst at Monteverde. Tapanti would be on my list too, the guards are very approachable and will let you in early if pre-organised, we offered a tip for this which they wouldn't take.

Ideally though, with just 14 days, I'd just bird the North and no further South than Santa Elaena with the remaining sites done on a future trip but hey, it's your trip! I can't figure out from your itinerary, if you're going for Cabanis's Ground Sparrow which is endemic. I presume that you're up to date with all recent changes to the Costa Rican list?

This page provides a simple summary of recent changes.


If you pm an email address, I can send you our report from a month long trip in 2017 if you want it.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I would support Andy's statement that transportation in CR took longer than I expected when I was there and that you are likely to miss a lot by having such a large number of sites in such a short period.

Niels
 

Hamhed

Well-known member
Since spring travel to CR seems unlikely for obvious reasons, we are considering a mid-summer trip also, after a five year hiatus. I will add to the voices that say you are likely going to spend as much time on the road as birding if you stick to the proposed schedule. IMHO, break down the "endemics/regional specialties" into a actual list of desired species, use eBird to find out which locales serve that list best and cut the ones out that don't produce the higher numbers. Easy to say but tough if you've never been and everywhere has seemingly fabulous potential. The only real way to get enough birding time in CR is to pull a Patrick O'Donnell and move there!

Steve
 

kthomp44

New member
United States
I am planning a 14 day trip to Costa Rica for end of July/August 2021 (Covid allowing!). I have never been to Costa Rica before and was wanting to see as many of the endemics/regional specialties as possible. My thoughts re the route are
2 nights Rancho Naturalista
2 Nights Cerro de la Muerte/Cordillera de Talamanca area
2 Nights Esquinas Lodge
1 night Carara reserve
2 nights Santa Elena/Monteverde
1 night Volcan Arenal
3 nights La Selva

I would be grateful for any comments if this seems a reasonable trip or if there are any areas I should definitely visit at this time of year.
I am not bothered about seeing the shorebirds/waterbirds as saw most of them in Venezuela many years ago.
Any advice would be much appreciated
I would be interested to know if you made the trip. Covid has made us hesitant to travel yet. I would recommend visiting less places and spending more time at the others. We think three nights at each spot is the minimum. You will be spending a lot of time traveling rather than getting the most out of each site.

Kim
 

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