Resplendent Quetzals of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long been a destination as one of the most exotic and unique locales on the planet. In regards to wildlife, Costa Rica is known for its abundant diversity, home to a rich variety of plants and animals. One of the more alluring species here is the Resplendent Quetzal, a vibrant emerald colored bird who makes its home in the cloud forests that exist high in the mountains of Costa Rica. While this region is the bird’s preferred habitat, they thrive here as a good portion of this area (and of Costa Rica in general) is conservation land. Many consider the Resplendent Quetzal to be the most beautiful bird in the world.

During mating season, male Quetzals grow twin tail feathers that form a spectacular train up to three feet long. Females do not have these long trains, but they do share the brilliant blue, green, and red coloring of the males. As much as this beautiful creature is revered by birders and photographers today, the bird was sacred to the ancient Maya and Aztec peoples of the past where royalty and priests wore its feathers during ceremonies.

On this extension, we’ll travel, by vehicle, high into the Talamanca Mountains, and eventually to the small community of San Gerardo de Dota where we’ll find the charming Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa. Here, we’ll spend three days and two nights searching for the amazing Quetzal, as well as hummingbirds, woodpeckers, several tanager species, and perhaps even the allusive Emerald toucanet. We’ll return together to San Jose where we’ll then immediately begin the Wildlife of Costa Rica tour, setting off for the Osa Peninsula the following day.

Trip Extension: Please note that this trip can be booked on it’s own or as a trip extension to our signature Wildlife of Costa Rica trip. Please click here for details.


  • Resplendent Quetzal, hummingbirds, woodpeckers
  • Several tanager species, and even the allusive Emerald Toucanet
  • Explore & Photograph one of the most biologically intense places on Earth
  • Stay at a unique upscale eco-lodge in Costa Rica’s cloud forest
  • Photography Over 5% of the world’s biodiversity in a tiny country
  • Small Groups
  • Lead by a professional wildlife photographer

Resplendent Quetzals of Costa Rica

4 Days

Extension Price: from $1395 double occupancy *what’s this?

Standalone Price: from $1395 double occupancy

+$200 single supplement

Deposit: $500

Meals: Most meals included (see itinerary)

Lodging: 3 nights lodging

Fly In/Out: San Jose, Costa Rica

Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm Mountain Time


*trip difficulty ratings

Trip Details

Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike with a daypack.

Group Size
We keep groups small to maximize your one on one time with the guide / instructor.

The first night is in San Jose & then we stay at an upscale Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica’s highland cloud-forest.

Most meals are included during the trip dates and are eaten at our lodges.

Expect a variety of weather including rain & cooler temperatures in the high country. The weather can prove unpredictable and can change on a moments notice. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Most meals, ground transportation, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Travel Details
Departure city is San Jose, Costa Rica

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