Costa Rica Photo Safari - April, 2007

April 13-22, 2007

Donald L. Cohen, MD - DLC Photography

Daily Itinerary - Summary

Travel will by on a spacious Air-Conditioned Bus, and we will have our own full-time driver, as well as our own Costa Rican bilingual Naturalist Guide.

Day 1 (Friday, April 13, 2007):

Arrive in San Jose, where you will be met at the Airport, and transported to the Orquideas Inn in Alajuela for an overnight stay.

Day 2 (Saturday, April 14, 2007):

Scenic drive to Sarapiqui, stopping en route to visit the majestic Poás Volcano National Park. Poás is an active volcano and its colorful crater is one of the widest and deepest in the world that is accessible by road. Continue on to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, containing numerous waterfalls, hummingbirds, butterflies, frogs, flowers, etc. Arrive for overnight stay at the Hotel Centro Neotrópico Sarapiqui. The architecture of the CNS Ecolodge is inspired by the indigenous pre-Columbian construction techniques of the region, used by natives far more than 1000 years. All of the units are located amidst the lush gardens and orchards of the property. (B,L,D)

Day 3 (Sunday, April 15, 2007):

Morning pick-up at your hotel for a transfer to the La Selva O.T.S. - a 1560-hectare research station and biological reserve of the Organization for Tropical Studies. In this reserve more than 450 species of trees, 400 species of birds, 113 species of mammals, 81 species of reptiles, & 48 species of amphibians have been identified. With your guide roam the 15-km of trails through primary and secondary forest, and its arboretum. (B,L,D)

Day 4 (Monday, April 16, 2007):

Depart Sarapiqui in the morning towards the Southern Mountain Range, Cerro de la Muerte. Stop at the Lankester Botanical Gardens en route. Lankester covers approximately 10 acres, and is internationally known for its collection of epiphytes (plants that live upon other plants), among which orchids are the most outstanding. Founded by Englishman Charles Lankester in the 1950's, and now under the ownership of the University of Costa Rica, the gardens display more than 1400 different species of orchids, as well as bromeliads, aroids, heliconias, gingers, musaceas (relatives of the banana), cacti, ferns and several varieties of trees: all growing in harmony with birds (more than a 100 species), insects and other kinds of animals. Arrive at your hotel in Cerro de la Muerte late in the afternoon - the Hotel Savegre Mountain Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 5 (Tuesday, April 17, 2007):

Spend the day exploring the Cerro de la Muerte area. The woods around the hotel serve as a sanctuary for a large number of mammals and innumerable species of insects, amphibians, amazing plants and colorful birds, a paradise for birdwatchers, hikers, and trout fishers. Over 170 bird species have been observed in the general area and its multiple hiking trails in the Cloud Forest. This is known as one of the best places in the country to observe Quetzals, which live here year-round. The Hotel hosts the Quetzal Education Research Center Complex (QERC), a cooperative venture between the Chacón Family and Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma. (B,L,D)

Day 6 (Wednesday,April 18, 2007):

After breakfast depart for Finca Serrano, where you can admire the Quetzal, considered one of the most beautiful birds in the tropics , surrounded by Tropical Cloud Forest and clear water creeks flowing down the mountains. Look for nests up in decaying trunk in the forest or in nearby clearings, where they lay 2 pale blue Eggs from March to June (often 2 broods). Afterwards continue to Hotel Terrazas del Pacifico in Playa Hermosa. (B,L)

Day 7 (Thursday, April 19, 2007):

Take an early morning boat ride on the Tarcoles River, where crocodiles and a very wide variety of bird species may be seen. On previous trips, we have seen Southern Lapwings, Double-striped Thick-knees, Laughing Falcons, Yellow-headed Caracaras, Boat-billed Herons, Mangrove Swallows, Great Blue Herons, and many other species. In the afternoon, we'll go to a nearby beach to look for Scarlet Macaws that frequent this area. (B,L)

Day 8 (Friday, April 20, 2007):

Today visit the Rain Maker River & Canopy Bridges Tour. Walk along trails in this 540-hectare private reserve through primary rainforest, beside a mountain river with pristine cascading waterfalls and through the lush undercover of the jungle with a local nature interpreter. Keep your eyes open for butterflies, bromeliads and colorful dart frogs. Continue on the river walk to the Canopy Bridges that enables you to traverse six suspended cable bridges, totaling 250 meters, connected by five tree platforms. With your nature interpreter, enjoy a majestic bird's eye view at the height of 20 stories overlooking a rarely seen Ecosystem, cascading waterfalls and the jungle below. In the afternoon, head down to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio is one of the country's most popular parks because of its unique mix of beaches and forest trails. There is quite a varied fauna with 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds. Sloths, Iguanas, Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, Monkeys, Coatimundi and other wildlife may be encountered here. (B,L)

Day 9 (Saturday, April 21, 2007):

Morning departure for Carara National Park. Carara is also one of the best bird-watching localities in all Costa Rica. Fiery-billed aracari and toucan are common. Boat-billed herons, with their curious keel-shaped beaks, are common along the watercourses. And around dawn and dusk, scarlet macaws—there are at least 40 breeding pairs—can be seen in flight as they migrate daily between the wet forest interior and the coastal mangrove swamps. Late afternoon drive back to the Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose, with an evening farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 10 (Sunday, April 22, 2007):

You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the International Airport in San Jose for your return flight home. (B)

For all inquiries, and to make a reservation, my contact information is:

704-664-6077 - phone

704-973-7778 - fax

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