9 BEST Birding Tour Companies in Costa Rica! (2024)

Are you looking to go on a birding adventure in Costa Rica?

That’s wonderful news. But here’s the thing:

DECIDING to go on a bird-watching trip is an easy decision. The hardest part is finding a reputable company that you feel comfortable traveling with.

Below you will find highly-rated companies that offer birding trips in Costa Rica.

birding tour companies in costa rica

Before picking a trip, make sure to pay attention to the itinerary! Some tours are for hardcore birders, where you can expect to be birding from sunrise to sunset. By comparison, other birding excursions are more relaxed and integrate other wildlife and cultural experiences. And lastly, some experiences in Costa Rica are designed specifically for bird photography.

Each tour is unique, and none are better or worse. It depends on what YOU want (or what your traveling companion wants). 🙂

Lastly, please do your own independent research before selecting a birding trip in Costa Rica!

My list is designed to point you in the right direction and narrow your choices. Before booking a trip, contact the companies directly to make sure they are a good fit for your travel needs.

#1. Cotinga Tours

best birding tours in costa rica

Cotinga Tours is an owner-operated company that offers birding, nature, and FAMILY eco-vacations. They offer trips to all parts of Costa Rica, so no matter what birds you want to see or where you want to go, Cotinga Tours should have something for you. 

  • To view a list of upcoming birding tours, click HERE.

One thing I learned after talking to Paco Madrigal, who is the co-owner of Cotinga Tours, is that they can create a customized tour just for YOU and your group. For example, if you want to spend two weeks just looking for tricky birds, such as umbrellabirds or tody motmots, they can make that happen!

In addition, they have helped many families organize incredible trips to Costa Rica that might not want to look for birds 24/7. Instead, they can schedule plenty of time to hang out at the beach, experience local cuisine, or look for other wildlife, such as monkeys and sloths.

Cotinga Tours is LOCALLY based. One of the biggest benefits of booking with them is that more of your money stays in the country to support ecotourism and local employment. Just check out their list of guides, and you will see that they all live in Costa Rica. Cotinga Tours prides itself in cultivating a team of the best birding and nature guides in the country.

Many of these trips are incredibly popular, so if you are interested, please fill out the form below, and Ashley from Cotinga Tours will contact you directly to answer questions, discuss pricing, etc.

You can also send Ashley a message HERE on Cotinga’s website. Make sure that you let them know that Bird Watching HQ sent you.

Use the code BWHQ to receive $75 per person off your trip!

#2. Birding Ecotours

Tell them Bird Watching HQ sent you and get $100 off your trip!

Birding Ecotours is one of the BEST birding tour companies that operate in Costa Rica. They do a fantastic job of combining an incredible overall experience with a competitive price. Their typical birding tour focuses on small groups of between 6-8 people, along with staying at exceptional lodging.

You can see the upcoming trips that Birding Ecotours has planned to Costa Rica HERE.

As you will notice, they offer multiple birding tours that each have their own itinerary. This variety should provide you with an option, no matter which birds you want to see or habitats you want to visit.

With over 900 bird species recorded in a country the size of West Virginia, get ready to be amazed at the beauty and diversity of the birds in Costa Rica, regardless of the tour you select. Resplendent Quetzals, along with various species of toucans, motmots, and hummingbirds, are all waiting for you. 🙂

One of my favorite things about Birding Ecotours is they take time on their trips to enjoy other interesting animals, such as sloths (Three-toed, Two-toed ), monkeys, and butterflies. Many birding tour companies don’t stop or slow down for anything that doesn’t have feathers!

And don’t hesitate to talk to them about creating a custom birding tour in Costa Rica just for you or your group. Creating unique trips that mark everything off your wish list is a lot of fun for the staff at Birding Ecotours.

Many of these trips are incredibly popular, so if you are interested, please fill out the form below, and Birding Ecotours will contact you directly to answer questions, discuss pricing, etc.

You can also send Chris and his team a message HERE.

Make sure to use the link above to receive the Bird Watching HQ discount! 🙂

*Some exclusions apply*

#3. Rockjumper Birding Tours

Rockjumper is one of the best birding tour companies in Costa Rica.

Their stellar reputation comes from their commitment to quality trips led by excellent guides. The average ratio of tour leaders to guests is excellent, with most trips having a maximum of eight participants.

Rockjumper has birding tours in Costa Rica for everyone. For example…

  • One of their most popular Costa Rica tours is Cloud Forests and Quetzals. Explore the famous cloud forests, looking for Resplendent Quetzals, Snowy and Turquoise Cotingas, Scarlet Macaws, and hummingbirds.
  • They also offer budget trips for price-conscious travelers. You can see a variety of habitats, including the montane forests of the volcanic belt and the dry northern Pacific lowlands. Perfect for finding trogons, toucans, motmots, and hummingbirds!

Pay attention to the itinerary because some trips are designed to maximize the number of species observed, while others are more relaxed and allow time to enjoy other unique cultural aspects of a region. And if you can’t find anything that meets your needs, you can work with Rockjumper to design your own trip.

If you want to learn more about a specific tour in Costa Rica, discuss pricing, or have other questions, it’s best to speak with Rockjumper Birding directly. They have a team of birding experts ready to help!

  • Fill out this form below, and it will get sent directly to Rockjumper!

#4. Adventures by Disney

Even though YOU may love birds and are excited to go on a Costa Rican birding trip, your spouse, friends, kids, etc., may not want to look for birds from sunrise to sunset. 🙂

So that’s why I have included Adventures by Disney. They offer an amazing FAMILY vacation package that visits Costa Rica.

Using Adventures by Disney is perfect if you want an amazing adventure with your family in Costa Rica that is safe and well-planned. You will definitely see a lot of birds and other animals, but the emphasis on the trip is not seeing as many species as possible, like many of the other birding tours on this list.

If you are interested in traveling to Costa Rica with Disney, you should use an authorized travel agent.

First, you will get help from someone who has lots of experience planning these sorts of trips. Second, it doesn’t cost you anything. In fact, a Disney-authorized travel agent can usually find a better deal and save you hundreds of dollars!

Adventures by Disney is the best way to see birds in Costa Rica if you want to take along kids or people that don’t want to go birding every day.

#5. Victor Emanuel Nature Tours

Founded in 1976, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) has been leading birding trips for almost 50 years. The company is not only one of the best birding tour companies in Costa Rica but also one of the most respected.

VENT is committed to ensuring every part of your trip is a success. From quality, fun tour leaders to an efficient office staff that handles logistics, you are being held with experienced and helpful hands.

No matter what birds you see in Costa Rica, VENT should have a trip that makes you happy.

One thing that sticks out to me with VENT is their willingness over the years to give back. The company is strongly committed to eco-tourism, and they use local guides, drivers, and tour operators whenever possible.

#6. WINGS Birding Tours

birding vacation

If you are a serious birder and want an unforgettable adventure in Costa Rica, then going on a trip with Wings Birding Tours might be a perfect choice. Many other companies on this list try to accommodate people with different interests and physical levels and include things to do on their trips that don’t involve birding.

Wings Birding Tours makes no such promises. They know their target market and try to appeal to them as best as possible. In fact, If you have never been on a bird-watching tour before, they recommend that you contact them first before booking to make sure it’s a good fit.

Almost all of their trips are designed to see birds, regardless of where or when they are to appear. So prepare to be up early and spend your days having incredible adventures and doing a lot of walking. Your trip may take you onto uneven terrain, through lush vegetation, or up and down countless hills.

If you are ready for a hardcore birding adventure in Costa Rica, then make sure to check out their trip list. They typically have multiple tours scheduled that are approximately two weeks in length and take you to many different habitats and ecosystems within Costa Rica.

#7. Naturalist Journeys

birding tour companies

Founded over 20 years ago, Naturalist Journeys offers numerous nature and birding tours to Costa Rica and many other places around the globe. On their website, you can see a calendar of their upcoming birding trips to Costa Rica.

A typical trip by Naturalist Journeys tries to incorporate different aspects to your adventure. The guides are not obsessed with seeing a bird just to check it off a list. Instead, the goal is to savor each experience by immersing yourself in the local Costa Rican culture while enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow travelers.

What’s neat is they also offer Independent Birding Ventures (IBVs), which are trips where YOU design the itinerary and pace yourself. You just tell Naturalist Journeys what you are looking for, and they plan the entire thing.

#8. Field Guides Birding Tours

birding tour companies

I can almost guarantee you will find your dream bird watching trip to Costa Rica with Field Guides Birding Tours. They have many adventures that go to Costa Rica every year that explore almost every part of the country.

I like that they have trips that cater to all interests, whether you are a hardcore birder who wants to see as many species as possible or someone who wants to do more than just birding. Pay close attention to each tour’s itinerary to make sure it’s a match for you.

#9. Tropical Birding

bird watching tours, trips, and vacations

Tropical Birding offers birding adventures in Costa Rica for many different interest levels, from hardcore birders to someone looking for a more relaxed photography trip. Their logistics team can also organize a custom tour in Costa Rica to satisfy everyone in your group’s interest.

A considerable part of what makes or breaks a birding trip is your guide. Tropical Birding prides itself on its full-time professional tour leaders. Their guides promise to bring as much joy as possible to every trip. They do this by seeing as many birds and wildlife as possible but also having fun in the process.

Tropical Birding almost always receives excellent reviews from those who have traveled with them.

Final Thoughts About Birding Tour Companies in Costa Rica:

birding tours in costa rica

I hope today that you found a birding tour in Costa Rica that intrigues you. I did my best to find a variety of companies that offer many different birding experiences, including Costa Rican trips that cater to bird photography.

The next step is contacting the company directly and deciding the best option for your adventure!

I’d love your feedback below if you have gone on a birding trip before in Costa Rica.

What company did you travel with, and where did you go?

birding tours in costa rica

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