Costa Rica Itinerary (Part II of III)

In part I of this series, Costa Rica Dreaming, I provided a brief overview of my upcoming trip to Costa Rica from March 14-28. Today I’d like to share the trip itinerary along with some photos of where our group will be staying. Since I haven’t been to Costa Rica yet, I’ll be “borrowing” some photos I found online, but will give credit to the sites I found them on by including the address below each pic. As a side note –

My flight leaves from Appleton at 5:45am on Saturday, March 14th. After a 75 minute layover in Chicago it’s a straight five and a half hour flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. I’m scheduled to land at 12:30 and if everything goes as planned, I should have my first Costa Rican bird tick by 12:45. Believe it or not, I’m actually excited for the flight; I’ve recently picked up some new gear which should make travel much more convenient (more on this in Part III). Plus, I splurged a bit on this flight and decided to fly business class. So while the peasants in coach are packed three to a side, I’ll be lounging in a big oversized chair with extra leg room and a hot breakfast. Of course I’m only joking about the peasants comment – I usually wouldn’t splurge on business class, but there wasn’t much difference in cost and since I haven’t been on a real vacation in a few years, I thought it was worth it. Ok, so on with the trip…….

Everyone is arriving in San Jose on Saturday except for Dar who is arriving Friday and Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club president Stuart and his wife Debs (collector of all things plush or sparkly) who are arriving a week earlier. Debs will be flying back on Sunday, but we’ll all get to have dinner together on Saturday night which should be a nice treat and I suspect there will be a little champagne flowing.

Day 1 - the view from Hotel Buena Vista.
Days 1, 11 & 12 – the view from Hotel Buena Vista.

The itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 (Saturday, March 14th) – Hotel Buena Vista

Days 2 & 3 – Hotel Villa Lapas while we explore Carara National Park

Days 4 &  5 (Tue. & Wed. March 17-18) – Cala Lodge to journey around Monteverde

Days 6 & 7 – Celeste Mountain Lodge

Day 8 (Sat. March 21) – Heliconias Lodge

Days 9 & 10 – Hotel de Campo Cano Negro

Days 11 & 12 (Wed. & Thur. March 25-26) – Hotel Buena Vista

The official tour is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday evening, but since a few of us had already took planned to be there for the full week, Dar, Stuart, and myself decided to stick around through the weekend. What better way to end a birding tour than to hire our tour guide, Richard Garrigues, for two extra days of birding??? Thursday and Friday the three of us along with our Richard will be exploring La Selva with a possible stop or two to nearby locations as we try to pickup any new or missed species.

Day 13 & 14 – La Selva on the 13th & back to Hotel Buena Vista on the 14th.

Not only am I getting a couple extra days of birding in, but the day I fly out (Saturday, March 28th), I don’t leave until 11:10pm! It should give Stuart and I a good chance to get more acquainted with Costa Rica’s fermented beverages and heck, if I can stumble onto the plane and passout, the five and a half hour flight should go by in no time!

So there you have it – my two week Costa Rica trip itinerary. Keep an eye out for the final installment in this three part series where I’ll take a look at the gear I’m taking and discuss my plans for a series of posts in April discussing the trip and sharing my photos. Until then, get out there and Bird It Up!

Click the link to jump to the next post in this series: Costa Rica Prepping (Part III of III)


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