Poas Volcano slopes and Cinchona foothills

From $ 200 per person
  • Departure: 5:00 am
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy-moderate

The chip notes of several small birds from dense roadside vegetation reveal the presence of a group of finch-like birds with black and white markings on their heads. They are joined by a few black finches with yellow thighs and a small gray warbler with a striking fiery orange throat. A couple of reddish-colored birds with white throats also creep up the trunks of trees and there suddenly seems to be birds everywhere. We have found what we hoped for, a high-elevation mixed flock with Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, Yellow-thighed Brushfinch, Flame-throated Warbler, Ruddy Treerunners, and other species.

Lower down, Coppery-headed Emeralds and several hummingbirds buzz around as a Northern Emerald Toucanet poses for a close shot. On a nearby road, Tufted Flycatchers and Zeledon’s Antbirds call as warblers and tanagers move through the trees. A typical day of birding in the Poas Volcano slopes and the Cinchona foothills area can be like this. Sometimes, the birding is even more active, on sunny days, perhaps not as much, but no matter when we bird this highland hotspot, a fine list of endemic and near endemic species grace our lists.

Located just outside of San Jose, this area is arguably the closest, best birding spot near the greater metropolitan area. These are some reasons why a birding day trip in Costa Rica to this site is an excellent choice for birders of all levels of interest:

  • An easy 45 minute drive up to the Poas area.
  • A wealth of highland endemics. A high percentage of species that only occur in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama can be seen on Poas and other nearby sites visited during this day tour, eBird Hotspot list.
  • Good photo opportunities. The presence of several hummingbirds and other species make this day trip one of the best for bird photography.
  • More than one habitat. This day trip accesses both high and middle elevation habitats as well as some species from the Central Valley.
  • An easy 45 minute drive up to the Poas area.
  • A wealth of highland endemics. A high percentage of species that only occur in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama can be seen on Poas and other nearby sites visited during this day tour, eBird Hotspot list.
  • Good photo opportunities. The presence of several hummingbirds and other species make this day trip one of the best for bird photography.
  • More than one habitat. This day trip accesses both high and middle elevation habitats as well as some species from the Central Valley.
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This day tour starts by picking you up at your hotel and driving into the nearby mountains. We may see some birds on the way but will likely focus our time at the main, best birding spots higher up. When we visit high elevation habitats on the upper slopes of Poas Volcano, roadside birding with a backdrop of stunning scenery can yield a good percentage of highland endemics, some of the species regularly seen in this area being Long-tailed and Black-and-Yellow Silky-Flycatchers, Sooty Thrush, Ruddy-capped and Black-billed Nightingale-Thrushes, Mountain Thrush, Ruddy Treerunner, Sooty-capped Clorospingus, and Yellow-thighed Brushfinch

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In terms of warblers, we often see wintering Wilson’s and Black-throated Green Warblers along with resident Collared Redstart, Black-cheeked Warbler, and Flame-throated Warbler. Black-capped Flycatcher and Golden-browed Chlorophonia can also be seen , and with luck, we may even find such uncommon species as Resplendent Quetzal, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Black Guan, Wrenthrush, and even Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl. This area is also good for hummingbirds including Fiery-throated, Talamanca, and Volcano Hummingbirds

Roadside birding may yield Sooty-faced Finch, Collared Trogon, Zeledon’s Antbird, Red-headed Barbet, various tanagers, and maybe even the local Rufous-browed Tyrannulet. If the raptor luck is with us, we also have a fair chance of seeing White Hawk, Barred Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, and maybe Ornate Hawk-Eagle

We will likewise keep an eye out for fruiting trees that can give good looks at Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Bay-headed Tanager, and other species. After a fine day of birding, we bring you back to your hotel.

A day of birding in the Poas and Cinchona area is always productive and usually yields a healthy variety of near endemics (and one or two country endemic). We look forward to sharing these special birds with you.

Price from:

$ 200.00 p.p.

Price based on

2 participants

Includes:

  • Private guide for a full day tour.
  • Private transportation
  • Entrance fees
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We can make arrangements for lodging, transportation, activities, car rental and all the fun you want to have while in Costa Rica.

Our specialty is Custom Made Birding Tours to the best birding destinations in Costa Rica.