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Costa Rica Ecotour

Join The 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour

Introduction | Ecotour Highlights | ItineraryAdditional Info | Trip Cost  | Sign Up |

JOIN AN UPCOMING COSTA RICA ECOTOUR HERE

We invite you to join the 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour (June 27th to July 8th, 2019), 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 208 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.

Please complete the expression of interest form if you would like to join the tour.

If you have questions, please email us at contact@savethefrogs.com or call 415-878-6525 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible!

strawberry poison dart frog Oophaga pumilio

The tour was the best trip ever! A magical combination of smart, knowledgeable, warm, caring people and the most amazing wildlife, terrain, culture, and adventures. I would love to go again!
–Ann Sigafoos, Virginia

Introduction

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.

In July 2017 and 2018, we led SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotours and they were huge successes. We aim to make the 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour to Costa Rica even better! This family friendly ecotour has been designed to be fun, safe and interesting for travelers of all ages.

The ecotour has a frog focus, but is much more than just frogs. We will see and learn about birds, crocodiles, monkeys, bats and even ants! We will hike to waterfalls and relax in thermal hot springs. There will be lots of excitement through each place we visit as we learn about ecology, conservation, and environmental protection. And with a group of SAVE THE FROGS! participants and your tour leaders, there will certainly be lots of smiles, laughs, and learning going around.

We hope to see you in Costa Rica!

“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

Ecotour Highlights

  • Search for poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, monkeys, sloths, parrots, toucans and more on nature trails and a canopy skywalk.
  • Observe wildlife on private boat cruises through dense jungles
  • Witness nesting sea turtles
  • Join a community of passionate, dedicated frog lovers for the experience of a lifetime
  • Learn all about amphibians, tropical rainforests, environmental conservation and how ecotourism benefits the Costa Rican flora and fauna.
  • Spend time in beautiful natural areas with incredibly knowledgeable local guides.
  • Your participation directly funds SAVE THE FROGS! worldwide amphibian conservation efforts and supports local communities in Costa Rica that are dedicated to land and wildlife protection.
Costa Rica Ecotour

Our 2018 tour group visiting a waterfall in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

“It was non-stop fun, adventure, and education. I had a wonderful time.”
— George Quiroga, Wildlife Photographer, Florida. Participant on the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour

Itinerary

San Jose

Pura Vida! Our trip begins and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica. Upon arriving at the airport, our ecotour group will take a shuttle to the Bougainvillea Hotel, on the northern outskirts of the city. We will spend the afternoon relaxing and meeting our fellow ecotourists, and enjoy our first dinner together. 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

Tortuguero is known for sea turtles, and is one of the best places to view wildlife in Costa Rica. We will spend two nights at this wonderland for wildlife! Located on the remote Caribbean coast of northeast Costa Rica, Tortuguero is a true tropical paradise, with dense rainforest, enchanting canals, and a beautiful, long beach.

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  return to Tortuguero National Park for turtle nesting observation. Nesting sea turtles? Oh yes!

At night we will go out into the rainforest to look for frogs! From the charismatic Red-Eyed Treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) to the Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus), we will see some of the most amazing amphibians in the world right in Tortugero!

In Tortuguero, we will stay at the Laguna Lodge, a comfortable jungle retreat with excellent Costa Rican food, including a variety of fresh tropical fruits.

Tortuguero Canals

Wildlife viewing opportunities abound on the canals of Tortuguero

Sarapiquí

For two nights, we will visit Sarapiquí and stay at one of our favorite hotels, the family owned Kinkajou Town at Hotel La Quinta. The hotel is 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 and possibly find 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 and have time to relax and enjoy the natural hot springs of this volcanic region. Upon our arrival, we will eat lunch in the Arenal Volcano National Park at Observatory Point, from which we should have a magnificent view of the volcano (dependent on weather of course!). We will check into the Manoa Lodge, where we will spend two nights. In the evening, we will visit the Frog Sanctuary at Arenal Oasis.

We will have opportunities for early morning birding. After breakfast, we will take a Rainforest Chocolate Tour. This is a great experience about sustainability and the pleasure of chocolate. We will also visit a local farm to learn all about sustainable coffee production and taste Costa Rica’s famed beverage. In the afternoon, we enjoy the hot springs or go horseback riding. At night, we will visit the Night Wings Project to mist-net for bats and learn all about these amazing flying mammals of the night.

arenal smilisca phaeota 2

Manuel Antonio

Located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast, Manuel Antonio National Park 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.

On our way there, we will have lunch near the Tarcoles River and take a safari boat ride to see crocodiles and waterfowl. We will check into the Karahe Beach Hotel. We will only stay one night in this beautiful, protected area, but what an experience it will be! That evening we will visit the Rainmaker Conservation Project, which is a private nature reserve with hiking trails, hanging bridges, waterfalls, and tons of frogs!

In the morning, there will be options to visit Manuel Antonio National Park or just relax on the beach.

Denropsophus ebraccatus tamu soltis center 1

San Gerardo de Dota

After leaving Manuel Antonio, we will depart to San Gerardo de Dota, taking 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 morning birding opportunities to observe the Resplendent Quetzal and explore the incredible oak forest. After lunch, we will have a free afternoon to enjoy the spa or go 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! Before departing for San Jose, we will visit the Batsu Birding & Photography Gardens.

Teratohyla spinosa tamu soltis center 2

Return To San Jose

After leaving the forests of San Gerardo de Dota, we will board our bus to return to San Jose. We will eat lunch on the way, then check in to El Sesteo Hotel for our final night of the tour! At night, we will enjoy our last dinner together and reminisce about the great times we share. On the morning of July 8th, we will arrange transportation for you to the airport (SJO) and say our goodbyes!

More Info About The Tour

Group Size

Our group will consist of up to 18 participants, two tour leaders and an amphibian guide. During hikes, we will split into smaller groups.

Your Tour Leaders

The 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour will be led by Chelsea Carson of SAVE THE FROGS! and Carlos Roberto Chavarria of Costa Rica Rainforest Experience, both of whom have led multiple SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours and have extensive experience in wildlife education and ecotourism.

Chelsea Carson
Chelsea Carson is a conservation biologist with a speciality in herpetology and community service outreach. She completed a Fulbright grant researching the effects of land uses on Ecuador’s amphibian populations and has led SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours in Ecuador and Peru. Chelsea was also a member of the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Expedition. Chelsea has significant amounts of environmental education experience, including a Save The Frogs Day event at Colorado State University in 2013 and leading youth groups into the outdoors in Wyoming. She is a rock climber, a certified yoga instructor and a certified Wilderness First Responder. Chelsea speaks fluent Spanish and is looking forward to exploring Costa Rica with you!

chelsea carson frogs
Chelsea Carson has been organizing and leading SAVE THE FROGS! events since 2013. On top of being fun to travel with, she has lots of experience in ecology, amphibian conservation, wilderness medicine, Ecuadorian travel, yoga instruction and an array of other skills that will ensure you the highest likelihood of having a safe, enjoyable and throughly unforgettable ecotour.

Carlos Roberto Chavarria 
Carlos Roberto Chavarria is a specialist in the management of protected areas and has been involved with Costa Rican ecotourism projects since 2007. Carlos has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations and government agencies to ensure the sustainability of tourism in the country and the proper management of the country’s ecological heritage. He is also an experienced tour guide with a vast knowledge of the countries wildlife, especially birds and bats, and has a Master’s Degree in Natural Tourism Management. Carlos has led SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotours since 2017 and is looking forward to introducing you to the country’s incredible wildlife and natural places.

Carlos Roberto Chavarria

Your Amphibian Guide

Amphibian biologist Víctor Acosta Chaves will be providing in-depth knowledge of Costa Rica’s amazing amphibians. Victor has expertise in the amphibians, reptiles and birds of Costa Rica. He helped organize a full-day SAVE THE FROGS! educational event at the National University of Costa Rica in 2015 and accompanied SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger on frogging expeditions in 2015 and 2017 (here are photos from the 2017 frog adventures).

Victor Acosta Chaves

Costa Rica Frogs

See Photos From Past Years’ Tours

These photos from past tours will inspire you and give you a good idea of what you can expect on your SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica ecotour:

Prepare For Your Costa Rica Ecotour

Traveling in Costa Rica may be a different experience than what you are accustomed to, so we wrote this article with Costa Rica travel tips! Please read it so you are well-prepared for your adventure in Costa Rica.

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 2019 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: $7,090
  • Base cost for a group of three: $10,435
  • Base cost for a group of four: $13,880
  • Student Discount: Full-time students receive a $100 discount.
  • Members Discount: SAVE THE FROGS! Members receive a $100 discount.
  • If you are traveling alone and want a private room, add $650; otherwise we will pair you with a roommate at no additional cost.

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:

  • All lodging
  • All meals
  • In-country transportation
  • World-class tour guides and their scientific expertise

It is your responsibility to pay your own costs of:

  • International Airfare: The tour begins and ends at San Jose’s Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)
  • Snacks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure tourism activities
  • Souvenirs
  • Note again that you will be required to pay your own airfare to and from Costa Rica.

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 April 30th, 2019.
  • Failure to pay in full by April 30th, 2019 may result in forfeiture of your deposit money and your space on the ecotour.
  • We accept checks and credit cards.

Cancellations

To cancel your tour, you must notify us directly. If you cancel on or prior to April 30th, your entire trip will be refunded, minus your deposit (as deposits are non-refundable). If you cancel after April 30th, you forfeit your entire trip fee. As such, we strongly recommend all ecotourists purchase travel insurance, which generally covers unforeseen events that lead to cancellations.

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 Ecotour Here!

If you would like to join the SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour and have the trip of your lifetime, please complete the Expression of Interest Form 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 Costa Rica’s spectacular scenery with you!

Costa Rica Ecotours

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

We wish you a fabulous time frogging the Costa Rican jungles!

Please contact us with any questions.

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