Costa Rica's Northern Wildlife Hotspots (September 25 - October 2, 2021)

Day 1 (Sat, Sept 25): Arrival ~ Upon arrival to Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), we’ll be met for our transfer to Rio Celeste Hideaway near Tenorio Volcano National Park. Get to know fellow travelers during this evening’s Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations: Rio Celeste Hideaway

Meals: Dinner

Estimated drive time: LIR Airport to hotel approx. 1 hr

Day 2 (Sun, Sept 26): Tenorio Volcano National Park and Rio Celeste ~ We’ll spend the entire day exploring Tenorio Volcano National Park.  Established in 1985 to protect the volcano of the same name, this national park is one of Costa Rica’s youngest.  Rio Celeste is famous for its vibrant shade of blue caused by sulphur emissions from the volcano.  Local legend says the river’s blue color is because gods dipped their paint brushes in the river when they were painting the sky.  The region is home to four life zones so wildlife viewing and birding should be productive today.  Local highlights include Tody Motmot, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Crested Owl, monkeys, sloths, and more.

Accommodations: Rio Celeste Hideaway

 Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive time today: N/A. We’ll walk to the national park from the hotel.

Day 3 (Mon, Sept 27): Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge/ Hacienda Guachipelin ~ Morning departure to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge for our guided boat tour.  Situated near Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua, Caño Negro spans almost 25,000 acres of prime wetland habitat.  More than 300 species of birds have been recorded here and it’s one of the few places in the country to catch a glimpse of a Jabiru. Our day ends at Hacienda Guachipelin near Rincon de La Vieja National ParkAccommodations: Hacienda Guachipelin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: Rio Celeste Hideaway to Caño Negro approx. 1.5 hrs; Caño Negro to Hacienda Guachipelin approx. 3 hrs

Day 4 (Tues, Sept 28): Rincon de La Vieja National Park ~ Full day excursion to nearby Rincon de la Vieja National Park, a UNESCO site and one of the country’s most diverse areas.  Composed of nine separate but contiguous crates, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is the largest volcano in the Guanacaste Mountain Range. Park trails and paths lead to waterfalls, volcanic craters, fumaroles, mud cauldrons, and hot springs.  The park is home to the largest population of the national flower, Cattleya skinneri, an array of mammals, and more than 300 species of birds.

Accommodations: Hacienda Guachipelin

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: The park entrance is less than 30 mins from our hotel.

Day 5 (Wed, Sept 29): Hacienda Guahipelin/ Nosara~ Hacienda Guachipelin’s 3400-acre ranch offers 360° panaromic views of Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria Volcanoes, the Guanacaste plains, and the Pacific coastline.  We’ll enjoy a morning nature walk in the gardens in search of an array of local residents before heading to the Nicoya Peninsula where we’ll spend the next three nights. 

Accommodations: Olas Verdes or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: Hacienda Guachipelin to Nosara – approx. 3.5 hrs without stops.

Days 6 – 7 (Thurs, Sept 30 – Fri, Oct 1): Nosara/ Ostional Wildlife Refuge~ During the day, excursions will be planned based on the group’s interests. Possible locations include Diria and Barra Honda National Parks.  Late afternoon and evening visits to Ostional.

Ostional Wildlife Refuge was created in 1984 to protect one of the world’s most important nesting sites for olive ridley sea turtles.  Olive ridleys nest year round at Ostional, but arribadas (“mass arrivals”) typically occur during the darkest nights from the months of August through December.  During an arribada, the number of nesting females can be in the hundreds of thousands as opposed to the tens of thousands in dry season months.  This trip corresponds to the few nights before November’s new moon.  With any luck, we’ll experience one of Ostional’s famous arribadas.

Accommodations: Olas Verdes or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Estimated drive times today: dependent on daily excursions; Nosara to Ostional is approx. 30 mins.

Day 8 (Sat, Oct 2): Departure ~ Transfer to LIR Airport and connect to flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

Estimated drive time today: Nosara to LIR Airport approx. 2.5 hrs.


Price: $2985 per person based on double occupancy (two people sharing a room).  Supplement for private accommodations on single occupancy basis: $840*

Package includes accommodations, meals starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 8, private ground transportation, two full-time naturalist guides (Frank Garita from Costa Rica and Sheridan Samano from R2R), activities and entrance fees as listed, and gratuities.  A donation to support sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica will be made on behalf of all participants.

Exclusions: international flights, passport/visa fees, optional activities, travel insurance, and items of a personal nature.

*Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice until booked and deposit received. A 3% discount will be applied to payments by check.

Group Size: min 8 and max 10 participants + two guides