Written by Michael Starkey Michael Starkey
Parent Category: Costa Rica Costa Rica
Category: Costa Rica Ecotours Costa Rica Ecotours
Created: 14 August 2017 14 August 2017

Itinerary | Trip Cost | Sign Up | Photos from the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour

We invite you to join the 2nd Annual SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour (July 14th to 25th, 2018), which will encompass the rainforest, cloud forest, volcanoes and an abundance of opportunities to find and photograph amphibians. Costa Rica has an incredible array of biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems. Costa Rica is home to 205 known amphibian species all within a very small geographical area. There are lots of frogs to be found, making Costa Rica a perfect place for a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour.

The SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour is truly an experience of a lifetime. We carefully chose locations that are amazing, unique and thoroughly unforgettable, and that offer the best in travel, wildlife, culture and education. This family friendly ecotour has been designed to be fun, safe and interesting for travelers of all ages. In July 2017, we led our inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour and it was a huge success. We aim to make the 2018 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour to Costa Rica even better!

*The SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour is FULL. Click HERE to be added to the waitlist.*

Trip Highlights

Questions? Ready to sign up?

We hope to see you in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica Ecotour 2018 Icon

"This truly is the trip of a lifetime - getting to spend twelve days in Costa Rica learning about frogs with the SAVE THE FROGS! team."
-- Beth Pratt, Participant on the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour


San Jose

Pura Vida! Our trip begins and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica. We will experience the rich culture of this historic city as we explore downtown and learn about its history. After we first arrive at the airport, our ecotour group will take a shuttle to the Bougainvillea Hotel. We will spend the afternoon relaxing and meeting our fellow ecotourists. The hotel gardens are an incredible place to see the beautiful birds of Costa Rica! Even better, the hotel has developed a great project to restore breeding populations of the endangered Blue-sided Tree Frogs (Agalychnis annae) in their garden ponds. We will likely also see Forrer's Leopard Frog (Rana forreri). Our first frogs of Costa Rica!

san jose agalychnis annae 4


Tortuguero, known for sea turtles, is one of the best places to view wildlife in Costa Rica. We will spend two nights at this wonderland for wildlife! We will explore Tortuguero National Park and have a wonderful boat ride on the canals. Prepare to see monkeys, toucans, parrots, caiman and sleepy sloths. As we meander through the park we will observe the majestic emerald basilisk, freshwater turtles, iguanas and maybe even strawberry poison frogs along the river bank. One day we will visit Tortugero Town and learn about sea turtle conservation efforts at the Turtle Conservation Museum. In the evening, we will go back Tortuguero National Park for turtle nesting observation. Nesting sea turtles? Oh yes! Remember, each night we will go out into the rainforest to look for frogs! From the charismatic red-eyed tree frog to the smoky jungle frog, we will see some of the most amazing amphibians in the world right in Tortugero!

tortuguero river pointing


For two nights, we will visit Sarapiquí and stay at one of our favorite hotels, which is family owned, nearly completely sustainable and incredibly frog friendly! We love this place for its frog diversity. One afternoon we will visit the Ants Farm, which will teach us all about the fascinating world of leaf cutter ants. Later in the evening we will look for frogs and go bat mist-netting, to discover the great world of bats. While in Sarapiquí, we will also learn about rainforest ecology and current scientific research in the region. We will visit La Selva Biological Station and we will walk the trails to explore this amazing place. If we are lucky at La Selva, we may be able to see tent-making bats sleeping. That afternoon we will visit Tirimbina Rainforest Center and explore another interesting patch of rainforest. Here we will walk on a bridge that takes us high into the trees to experience the rainforest canopy. In the evening, we will visit some incredible frogging locations, known for glass frogs!

"Sarapiqui. That whole location was magical. It felt like fairies were among us even." - Christina Ostdiek, Participant on the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour

Cochranella granulosa adult Kekoldi a

La Fortuna

In La Fortuna, we will find even more frogs, relax in hot springs and enjoy this cooler part of Costa Rica. This is a time to relax and enjoy the natural, warm springs of this volcanic region. After some optional early morning birding and breakfast, we will take a Rainforest Chocolate Tour. This is a great experience about sustainability and the pleasure to enjoy chocolate. We will stay at the Texas A&M University's Soltis Center for Research and Education (Soltis Center), which protects low to mid elevation rainforest (~500m above sea level) and connects with one of the largest pieces of protected land in Central America (Bosque Eterno de los Niños, the largest private reserve in Costa Rica). Situated on the Caribbean side of the continental divide east of Monteverde, the reserve receives a lot of rainfall and thus is perfect habitat for many amphibians. Fantastic place!

arenal smilisca phaeota 2

Manuel Antonio

In the morning, we will depart to Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. Unfortunately, we will only stay one night in this beautiful, protected area, but what an experience it will be! Manuel Antonio is renowned for its vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, from three-toed sloths and white-faced capuchin monkeys to hundreds of bird species. Before we reach the National Park, we will take a Safari Boat Trip at Tarcoles river to observe crocodiles. That evening we will travel to the Rainmaker Conservation Project, which is a private nature reserve with hiking trails, hanging bridges, waterfalls, and tons of frogs!

Denropsophus ebraccatus tamu soltis center 1

San Gerardo de Dota

After a free morning to enjoy the beach, relax or you can take an optional visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, we will depart to San Gerardo de Dota. We will make a stop at the Paramo, the highest tropical ecosystem in the Americas. That evening we will check into the Savegre Lodge, which is where we will stay for two nights. We will have early birding opportunities to observe the Resplendent Quetzal, explore the incredible oak forest and then have a free afternoon to enjoy the spa or optional horseback riding! You will relax, hike and experience truly spectacular scenery from this wonderful region of Costa Rica. If you’re up for it, we will go out each night to look for frogs! After our stay in the forest, we will pack up and leave for San Jose!

Teratohyla spinosa tamu soltis center 2

And Much, Much More...

On the day before the tour ends, we will stop in Cartago to visit the Basilica and then take a city tour in San Jose. The next day we will arrange airport transportation for you. We can guarantee you that this trip to Costa Rica will be another successful SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour. You will not be disappointed.

Group Size
Our group will consist of 16 participants and 3 trip leaders. Leading this ecotour will be SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour Leader Michael Starkey; Costa Rica Rainforest Experience Biologist Carlos Roberto Chavarria; and one additional SAVE THE FROGS! biologist.

Know Before You Go
Are you ready for an experience of a lifetime? Traveling in Costa Rica may be a different experience than what you are accustomed to, so we have written a few things we would love to pass along! Please click here to get prepared for your adventure in Costa Rica.

More than just an ecotour
We will get to indulge in many activities, such as waterfall hikes, night hikes, touring a wildlife refuge and relaxing in thermal hot springs. There is sure to be lots of frog filled excitement through each place while learning about ecosystem dynamics, conservation, and environmental protection. With a group of SAVE THE FROGS! participants and your tour leader Michael Starkey there is sure to be lots of smiles, laughs, and learning going around.

Agalychnis callidryas Red Eyed Treefrogs amplexus TAMU Soltis Center 1

Trip Cost

Are you ready to join SAVE THE FROGS! in Costa Rica? Fabulous! 

The 2018 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour pricing is as follows:

- Base cost for one frog enthusiast: $3,695
- Base cost for a party of two: $6,990
- Base cost for a group of three: $10,285
- Base cost for a group of four: $13,580
- We encourage students to join this ecotour and offer each full-time student a $100 discount.

All proceeds support SAVE THE FROGS! worldwide amphibian conservation efforts, enabling us to protect amphibians and promote a society that respects and appreciates wildlife and nature.

Your ecotour payment will cover:

It is your responsibility to pay your own costs of:

Payment Options & Securing Your Space On The Tour

To secure your space on the tour, you can pay a $1,000 per person non-refundable deposit if you prefer not to pay in full all at once. Full payment is due by May 15th, 2018. Failure to pay in full by May 15th, 2018 may result in forfeiture of your deposit money and your space on the ecotour. We accept checks and credit card.

Terms & Conditions

In order to take part on this trip, you will be required to sign a liability waiver acknowledging the inherent risks of ecotourism in Costa Rica, and legally releasing SAVE THE FROGS! and affiliated trip operators and personnel from legal damages and consequences. Please click here for our full ecotour terms and conditions and to review our payment and refund policy.

"I work in ecotourism and would love to do an ecotour in a different ecosystem and photograph frogs, turtles, sloths, plants, landscapes, etc. I think it's important to choose tours that are ecologically conscious and responsible and SAVE THE FROGS! sounds like a great option."
-- Sara G., Ecology teacher, Chile

arenal dendrosophus ebraccatus

Sign Up For The Experience Of A Lifetime!

If you are considering joining the SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour and you want to have the trip of your lifetime, then you are in the right place! Please take a few moments to complete the Expression of Interest Form below, and we will be in touch with you soon to answer all your questions and help you register. We are looking forward to finding frogs and enjoying spectacular scenery with you!

Thanks for your interest in SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours and we hope to see you in Costa Rica soon!

sarapiqui agalychnis callidryas starkey
SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour Leader Michael Starkey has led ecotours in Costa Rica, Belize, and Ecuador. We wish you a fabulous time frogging the Costa Rican jungles with Michael and fellow SAVE THE FROGS! supporters in July 2018!