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Costa Rica Birding Journeys Day Trips

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Tarcoles, Costa Rica
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About Costa Rica Birding Journeys Day Trips
Costa Rica Birding Journeys is a tour operator for birding & photography trips in Costa Rica. Randall Ortega Chaves is the owner and operator of this company. He has 15 years of experience and is noted as one of the top birders and bird photographers in Costa Rica.He offers day trips, group and private multi-day excursions throughout the entire country. He is a certified naturalist guide through ICT, a member of the association of ornithology, and a nature photography instructor for the Institute of Tropical Studies of Costa Rica.
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Costa Rica Birding Journeys Day Trips
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Ken V wrote a review May 2018
New Tecumseth Ontario2 contributions3 helpful votes
Three of us spent yesterday afternoon (May 30, 2018) birding near the mouth of the river Tarcoles on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Our excellent guide was Randall Ortega Chaves of Mangrove Birding Journeys, supported by Leo Vuide, the tour organizer, and their boat driver Oscar. We saw 52 species in about 3 hours including roseate spoonbills, wood storks, purple gallinules, southern lapwings and a double-striped thick-knee. Randall’s birding skills are second to none and he did a great job of expanding our knowledge of the birds and habitats that we were seeing. I highly recommend his tours. Oh, and it was a treat to discover that he is also the driving force behind one of the main birding apps I use while in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Birds - Field Guide. Ken Vogan
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Date of experience: June 2018
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Gwen S wrote a review Apr. 2018
Middleville, Michigan6 contributions4 helpful votes
We (two couples) arranged for a private, full day trip with Birding Journeys to bird Carara by foot and the Tarcoles River by boat. Sergio picked us up from Cerro Lodge at 6:45 and we headed to Carara National Park. We birded the parking lot area for a few minutes, then headed into the park. Sergio was extremely knowledgeable and very quick to spot birds and get them in his scope. He was patient and knew where specific species of birds could be found within the park. A few times we waited a bit to see if a bird would come in and we were rewarded with great views! Other guides came by, took a quick look and then moved their group on without seeing the bird. Sergio was very professional and showed us many birds including quite rare ones. A few of what we saw included: piratic flycatcher, Rose throated becard, boat-billed flycatcher, rufous piha, white whiskered puff bird, black faced ant thrush, red capped manikin, black mandibled toucan, great tinamou, scaly-throated leaf tosser, nesting scarlet macaws, and plain xenops plus many more! After Carara, Sergio took us for lunch near the Tarcoles River. We were a bit skeptical, as we had been to this area briefly on our way in the day before and it was very commercial and not really our thing, but the restaurant we visited (as part of our package) was wonderful. It was on the west side of the road North of the bridge. Great food, served buffet style, peaceful setting, friendly staff. After lunch, Sergio drove us to the boat for our ride on the Tarcoles River. We passed several docks where large boats were parked before coming to the small private dock with a smaller boat we took. Sergio provided a wonderful experience. He, along with the boat driver spotted many birds for us - they both had amazing eyes and found birds we never would have seen on our own or in one of the larger groups. We saw more than 30 different species including tiger herons, a mangrove warbler, a double toothed kite, jacana, and a boat billed heron. I can not say enough good things about our experience! I would highly recommend this group if one wants a birding experience to remember.
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Date of experience: March 2018
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davethedrill wrote a review Mar. 2018
Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom1,998 contributions555 helpful votes
We are relatively new ornithologists The delightful Randall took us around Jaco in which time we saw no less than 95 different species He corroborated this with a check list It was a wonderful learning experience and one i would hope to repeat I wholeheartedly recommend this company
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Date of experience: March 2018
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marshaoak wrote a review Nov. 2016
Alva, Florida1 contribution7 helpful votes
Every time we come to Costa Rica we contact Randall to take us birding. He knows more about birds than anyone I have ever met. He is always informative, kind, and a delight to spend the day with. If you are a birder, you should definitely bird with Randall.
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Date of experience: November 2016
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bobbyjkay wrote a review Jul. 2016
Ottawa, Canada13 contributions8 helpful votes
Randall Ortega Chaves is a man passionate about the preservation and protection of Costa ‘s rich natural beauty, habitats, and wildlife. He uses that passion and his skills as a birder and a photographer to promote this land he loves. It doesn’t matter what your skill level or your knowledge about birding or photography, he is willing to teach and provide you with the best experience possible. I had always wanted to bird in Costa Rica and I wanted to encourage my teenage daughter’s interest in birding. Randall designed an amazing itinerary, covering as many different habitats (6) as humanly possible during our stay. At each destination, he had specific targets of uncommon or endemic species he hoped to show us as well as a large repertoire of more common species. He knew where to look, how to attract the birds, and when was the best time of day for each species to be found. We went during the rainy season. Yes, there were some times we were unable to bird or do photography, but it barely impacted on us. The upside was less crowds, great accommodations in birding paradise, and time to reflect on the overwhelming wonderful experience we were having. The birding was fantastic and beyond my expectations. Randall was accommodating of our food preferences and we had some of the most delicious meals we could ever ask for, and more importantly, there was not one ‘bad’ meal in the two weeks. My daughter dislikes cilantro, a common ingredient in Costa Rican food, but Randall kindly requested dishes for her, by asking that either the cooks leave it out or by directing her to menu items that would better suit her . During our discussion about tourism and birding, I was impressed by his initiative to address specific physical needs clients and his willingness to make birding experience accessible for everyone, even persons with physical disabilities. He has devised a tour for those with mobility issues or confined to a wheelchair. He told us he took a visually impaired person out once to ‘bird by ear’. This level of service and consideration is what makes Randall an exceptional guide. He was highly respected by other naturalists, guides, and researchers that we met along the way. In his company, we saw Great Green Macaws, several magnificent Quetzal, a Black Eagle hawk, many other raptors, uncommon birds, and many, many smaller endemic species along with the usual varieties. My owl-loving daughter even got to see a Rufous Pymy Owl. Our photography sessions started out well , but then my camera malfunctioned. We still have some amazing pictures of hummingbirds and lots of tips on photography to build on. Besides, the birding was so amazing, it was not really a hardship to focus more on that than photography during the vacation. By the way, Randall was great help in fostering a lifelong interest in birding in my daughter! Would I go back if I won a lottery? You betcha! And stay for a month! There are still of lot of species still to be seen and I would not mind taking a second look at the ones viewed in this trip! We saw a total of 374 species over 12 days with many rare sightings and exciting moments. All of this to say, Randall’s presence, expertise, and companionship were major elements that made this a vacation of a lifetime for us.
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Date of experience: July 2016
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