with Leslie Tuchek          January 11 - 24, 2017

Wildlife abounds in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is cool mountains, cloud forests, mangroves, lush tropical rainforest, turtle-nesting grounds, and the criss-cross maze of creeks and channels.On this tour you visit a variety of landscapes. You may encounter monkeys, iguanas, resplendent quetzels, colourful birds, lively frogs, sloths, brilliant butterflies and many others. You also meet individuals who are working to keep Costa Rica’s natural world a paradise. Pura vida!


Wednesday, Jan. 11   Arrival Day

Arrive San Jose where we are met and transferred to our hotel.

Thursday, Jan. 12   Tortuguero National Park

This morning transfer by land and water to our lodge in Tortuguero National Park. En-route spot birds and other wildlife. Enjoy a visit to Tortuguero Village where we get a taste of local living. (BLD)

Friday, Jan. 13   Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park, known as Costa Rica’s "little Amazon", has no roads. Instead travel is by boat along a network of waterways that is surrounded by tropical rainforest. There is a morning and afternoon boat tour to enjoy the wildlife-rich Tortuguero. On this tour you have the chance of seeing large diversity of bird species, monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, iguanas and many more. 

There is also time to enjoy the lodge pool, walk a forest trail, visit the village of Tortuguero or simply relax.  (BLD)

Saturday, Jan. 14   Puerto Viejo

Transfer from Tortuguero National Park to Puerto Viejo. The rest of the day at your leisure. 

Puerto Viejo is a unique mix of beach, nature and Afro-Caribbean culture The area is also known for its coral reefs, multi-colored sand beaches (black, yellow, and grey), costal vegetation, and medium-high forests. The village’s cultural influences consist of Afro-Caribbean, Bribri Indian, Tico and hippy counterculture. (BLD) 

Sunday, Jan. 15   Puerto Viejo

Today enjoy guided hikes in Cahuita National Park and Manzanillo. Cahuita National Park was created in 1970 to protect Costa Rica’s biggest coral reef. This reef has over 240 marine species including colorful tropical fish, mollusks, crabs and lobsters. The reef is a great place for snorkeling. Observe monkeys and other wildlife in the forest lining the beach. In the afternoon visit the town of Manzanillo. The town is located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and is surrounded by tropical humid forest. (BLD)

Monday, Jan. 16   Turrialba

This morning join the bird watching tour at Kekoldi Reserve. The reserve is considered to be the third most important in the world for observing birds of prey. This birding tour passes through different habitats before reaching an observation tower. During migration, you could spot anywhere from 50,000 to 450,000 birds on a single day. In additional you may see a variety of hummingbirds, the endemic black-chested magpie and the impressive Buco Barbon. (BLD)

Tuesday, Jan. 17   Turrialba

Begin your day with a guided morning hike through the Espino Blanco Biological Reserve. The reserve contains over five hundred forest species and there is a large variety of animals such as snakes, turkeys, raccoons, armadillos, small paca and a variety of butterflies and birds.

In the afternoon visit CATIE Botanical Garden located in the shadow of the active Turrialba Volcano and home to hundreds of different plant species, totally about 4,000 plants. End your day with a visit the town of Turrialba, the only place allowed to produce the popular Costa Rican cheese “Turrialba”. (BLD)

Wednesday, Jan. 18   San Gerardo de Dota

This morning a guided visit to Tapanti National Park is planned. The Park has a wide range of ecosystems such as moors, peats, swamps, savannahs, alder forests and high-altitude cloud forests with oak trees. It also acts as a key bird refuge with over 400 species of birds. Watch for quetzals, emerald toucanets, sparrow hawks, violaceous trogons and hummingbirds. After the hike transfer to your lodge in San Gerardo de Dota. (BLD)

Thursday, Jan. 19   San Gerardo de Dota

An early morning search for the Resplendent Quetzal! Quetzals are from the Trogoniade Family and are a sacred bird to many ancient indigenous cultures. Because of the climate, great habitat, and availability of food, Quetzals reside here year round. Join your guide for about a two hour guided tour in search of the Resplendent Quetzal. The remainder of the day is yours to further explore of relax at the lodge. (BLD)

Friday, Jan. 20   Golfito 

Today transfer from San Gerardo de Dota to your lodge located at the end of the road on the border of Costa Rica and Panama. This is one of the most secluded areas in Costa Rica…not visited by many travellers. Pavones, the nearest town, caters to surfers and very few other people. It is the area’s pristine nature that draws the few visitors. 

Tiskita Lodge is one of Costa Rica’s original ecolodges. It is set on an 800 acre biological reserve composed of primary and secondary rainforest and connected by a network of trails. The lodge offers birdwatching tours, hiking tours, kayaking, biking, swimming, and snorkelling. There is also a fruit orchard with over 125 species of tropical fruits. A highlight is sitting on the deck while wildlife passes in front of your cabin. (BLD)

Saturday, Jan. 21   Golfito 

Join Tiskita’s knowledgeable guides for a guided walk searching for some of the 175 bird species and other wildlife found on the reserve. The guided walks and tours start at the lodge. There are many options for guided walks in Tiskita. An easily accessible trail is “the stream trail”, a trail that follows a small creek through the rainforest. A longer and tougher hike is “the back trail”, a trail that loops around the reserve. (BLD)

Sunday, Jan. 22   Golfito

Enjoy activities such as birdwatching, kayaking, biking, snorkelling or relaxing at the lodge. Or tour the fruit orchard with over 125 species of tropical fruits. (BLD)  

Monday, Jan. 23  TSan Jose

Today transfer to Golfito for your flight to San Jose. Tonight share memories of your Costa Rica journey over a farewell dinner. (BLD)

Tuesday, Jan. 24  Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Our Host: Leslie Tuchek

Leslie Tuchek
Leslie Tuchek is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Certificate in Ecological Education (CERTEE) 2003. She developed and guided tours for the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Continuing and Distance Education for eight years. She is an avid birder and wildlife photographer and her interests are small group tours with a focus on nature, local culture and history.

Tour Information

Tour Length: 14 days / 13 nights
Date: Jan. 11-24, 2017 Land 
Price: 10-11 Passengers:    $4970 USD per person                14-15 Passengers:   $4415 USD per person  
           12-13 Passengers:    $4645 USD per person                16 Passengers:         $4250 USD per person                            
           Single Supplement:   $680 USD per person  
All prices quoted are accurate at the time of publication; although not anticipated, the itinerary and pride are subject to change.
Nature Trails of Costa Rica Includes:
  • All transfers and transportation per itinerary 
  • 12 nights accommodation 
  • Meals: Breakfast daily, 12 lunch, 12 dinners 
  • Visits and activities as noted in the itinerary 
  • Entrance fees as noted in the itinerary 
  • Professional Guide
Nature Trails of Costa Rica Doesn’t Include:
  • International Fare 
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Pre- or post-tour accommodation 
  • Meals not included in the itinerary 
  • Excursions, activities, and entrance fees not included in the itinerary 
  • Gratuities to guides and driver 
  • Personal Items 
Single Supplement: Accommodation is based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who request accommodation on single occupancy.

Single accommodation is subject to availability and may be limited. If you prefer single occupancy it is advised to book early.

If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodation, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender.
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