photo by Holly Robertson Visit the communities of Quebrada Grande and Pangola; communities that lie on opposite sides of the Toro River; situated in the Northern Region near the Chaparron Hills.  These communities are very representative of rural Costa Rican villages. Find out what the local people do to conserve the area’s resources; how they make their living; what their customs are; and in general, get to know the culture of rural Costa Rica.

Highlights of the Tour
  • Birding in two private reserves
  • Interactions with local Women’s Association
  • Home stays
  • See 5 giant rainforest trees
  • Experience rural community culture

Day 1 .......... Santa Elena

Travel to the community-operated reserve of Santa Elena, overseen by three local organizations; a true oasis in the midst of many pineapple plantations. Eat a lunch made with fresh farm ingredients before heading out to bird. Guides for the 173 acre reserve are farmers from the community. In the evening, become acquainted with some members of the community, and stay overnight with a local family.

Day 2 .......... Finca Pangola

Have breakfast then head to Finca Pangola, another remote site of the Bird Route. This forest reserve protects 650 hectares (over 1000 acres!) of lowland rainforest, much of which is healthy primary forest, some still in virgin condition.  There is an additional 100 plus hectares of lagoons, riparian habitat and wetlands. Be introduced to the site, then hit the trails, in search of the Slaty-tailed Trogon, the Squirrel Cuckoo, and the Ocellated Antbird, a few of the site’s emblematic species. In the evening return to Santa Elena, and your homestay.

Day 3 .......... Quebrada Grande

Travel to another community-operated reserve, Quebrada Grande. This reserve is overseen by the local Women’s Association and the Environmental Youth Group. The reserve features a three-story observation tower that boasts magnificent views of the Sarapiqui lowlands and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. Spend some time birding, and then have lunch before heading back to San Jose for departure or the next stop on your itinerary.

This Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation as specified
  • All private transportation or car rental (the car rental insurance is NOT included)
  • All activities
  • All meals
  • $20 donation to Rainforest Biodiversity Group
  • Costa Rican Bird Route Map and Guide

OPTION 1 – Private Transportation

# of People* With Guide Without Guide
2 $ 538.00 $ 363.00
3-4 $ 409.00 $ 293.00
5-6 $ 306.00 $ 237.00
7-8 $ 273.00 $ 223.00

OPTION 2 – Car Rental (Insurance is not Included)

# of People* Without Guide
2 $ 511.00
4 $ 445.00

* Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Single occupancy supplement is $156.

To sign up for this tour, or if you have questions, please contact Raquel Gomez at

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