FEB, 2018. 4 friends for birds and Nature

Guy and Jeanne Lawrence. Christian and Karin Roth.

I had the placer to lead a trip for Neblina Forest, this time 4 friends came to explore for first time Costa Rica.

Amazing people, all of them share their enthusiasm for nature. One week to travel. Regions: Sarapiqui, Carara and Highlands of San Gerardo de Dota. The best of one week to see different habitats like: Transitional dry forest, coast line, low land wet forest, paramo and cloud forest of high lands.

All of them were so friendly and passioned for nature, that was inspiring. Besides birds all possible animals and general overview of nature and culture were reasons for their trip.

Thank you amigos, you are that nice people we want for our trips, help to conserve nature, interested and giving.

Hope we meet again


Ann and Jim Williams, Jan 2018. could we get umbrellabird or lovely cotinga?

Ann and Jim, excellent friends, happy and the most adorable couple you can imagine. They have been more times in CR than me I think (Im costarican) . Not only for birds and general nature lovers but also for spanish lessons.

Ana speaks better spanish than me!. They know the country so well and birds. Again another target list that Ann called wish list with no pressure!! They had never been in North pacific of this coutry (dry forest) so we focused on that region, we knew the list wasnt gonna be too high but some targets for them were still there. We had over 275 sps

Some of their targets were ghosts, some one of the questions: Carlos, could we get Umbrellabird and Lovely Cotinga? when you have to answer that question if you are positive then you say » maybe» but inside of your logic, NO.

Anyway to try for those and otherones we needed rain forest, so Arenal volcano, Tenorio and Caño Negro regions were listed on this trip.

We were punished by the rain in Arenal and Tenorio, it was bad..But our good vibes were there.

Stayed for 2 nights at Observatory Lodge and told them that days before Lovely Cotinga had been seen around. Our two days rained straight, Last morning before breakfast under the rain, just before leaving the area we sat for one hour and a half, accompained by other guides we were all giving the last try, when suddenly when we were all about to leave the area !!!!!!!! a blue bird perched one hundred feet away from us, eye level!!!!!!! Lovely cotinga.

Not only that after that high blood pressure moment, we walked along lake arenal, and I saw a black bird about the size of Brown Jay, I knew it!! A juv male Bare necked Umbrellabird!!! one of the most elusive birds of CR.

After that all birds remaining were coming one by one, our pockets were full of targest, so much we needed a sac to carry all those moments.

Some of the top birds:

Yellow eared Toucanet, Jabiru (mating, yes that´s right, I know),Pinneated Bittern,Great Potoo, Palm Warbler, Black collared Hawk, White fronted Nunbird, Bare crowned Antbird, thicket Antpitta,Dull mantled Antbird, Thicket Tinamou, Elegant trogon, Tody Motmot, Centralamerican Pygmy Owl, Keel billed Motmot.


Jim and Ann had many furnarids and nesting Ornate Hawk-Eagle with Esteban Viamontes in Monteverde!!

David Larssen, take 4 CR, target trip. Feb 2018

David Larssen, take 4 CR, target trip. Feb 2018

This amazing man came back for 4th time with me in CR. I know how much he loves birds, pushing him self despite back and knees problems, he goes wherever is needed to for his targets and this man was decided to wipe out some species remaining in Sarapiqui, Poás Volcano and Highlands of San Gerardo Dota.

Having one week we packed our binoculars, scope, camera and the best spirit.

Our list went up to almost 200 sps. I gotta say one of my favorite moments is when I saw that snowy cotinga while driving, David´s most wanted target, we were almost giving up after 2 days looking around, going to especifc areas to see it, all of them failed. I remember one location where my wife Maribel saw it a few months ago, then in my positive thinking we drove there and banggggg, a white unmistakable bird perched on top of  a tree possibly half a mile away from the road ( yes I still dont believe it ). My second electrifying moment: Bare shanked Screech Owl and Dusky Nightjar together!! Thanks God, that was amazing.


some of the top targets:

Slaty breasted Tinamou, Barred Hawk, Green fronted Lancebill, Vermiculated Screech Owl, Snowcap, Ochraceous Pewee, Dark Pewee, Buffy tuftedcheeck, Yellow eared Toucanet, Collared Trogon, Red headed Barbet, Spotted woodquails, Silvery fronted Tapaculo, Golden bellied Flycatcher


Richard and Joyce Bennett april 2017

We had a wonderful trip on april 2017. This time was a photography tour, Richard and Joyce brought their new toys to spend 2 great weeks taking photos of all kind of wild life, from birds to reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Sloths, monkeys, peccaries, kinkajou, snakes, agoutis, coatis, iguanas, crocodiles, caimans, lizards, toucans, quetzals, etc.

Richard and Joyce handled very well the equipment, even in the forest trying several shots of diverse wild life. Richard was overwhelmed when we saw a big troop of central american spider monkeys jumping over the trees in Carara. They both really enjoyed this trip and had close to 4000 pictures!! Hasta la vista amigos!

Dirk Jan 2015


We had Carlos as a tour guide for three weeks as part of a a group trip through Costa Rica. Besides being a great person, he’s passionate about birds but can tell you a lot about other animals too. He is really good at spotting anything that moves and he has lots of background info. And he speaks fluent English. We really enjoyed the way he showed us all the nature that his country has to offer.

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MaryAnn 2015

I am so glad to have visited Costa Rica. We hired Carlos Jimenez as our private birding guide. We didn’t have a moment of disappointment in the entire 12 days. I recommend Costa Rica to everyone. From the ocean and bay to the beautiful mountains and waterfalls. All that and a respect for the environment. Incredible. (We went in May 2015, but it’s not available in the drop down.)

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Elizabeth Collins, Nov 2016

Nov 2016 Elizabeth Collins


We didn’t want to go on a resort adventure tour so I can’t speak about the various offerings at the resort. We wanted someone who had a lot of experience for a full-time, multi-day birding adventure. I had no idea how to find or choose a guide, but thanks to the reviews on Trip Advisor we found an incredible guide, Carlos Luis Jimenez! He has been birding for many years but he still gets as excited as a first time birder. It was wonderful.

Carlos managed to pack a lot into just a few days and created a better «all inclusive» dream trip than we had at the resort. The reasonable fee included his full-time guide service, lodging, all meals, and he even pre-paid our taxi for the early morning trip to the airport. We loved all of the delicious meals at sodas (family diners) and at Arenal Observatory Lodge, and were touched by the folks at Heliconias Lodge who opened cabins and the kitchen for just our trio.

Carlos did a great job of planning our route to see as many birds as we could in the short time allowed, without rushing around. Before we even met each other while leaving the resort, Carlos had spotted a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl in a tree at the resort’s gate. Whoa! We didn’t just bird the National Parks, which were wonderful, we birded everywhere, often stopping by the side of the road to discover even more new birds. Highlights were the hummingbird hotspot in a cloud forest and a side trip to see beautiful Rio Celeste waterfall. We saw free ranging groups of howler and spider monkeys, three species of snakes, a two-toed sloth, and a family of coatimundi! One evening we went to a new frog reserve where we saw colorful leaf frogs, glass frogs and a basilisk. What a treat!

We aren’t «listers,» birders who spot a new species then quickly move on. We want to stay and enjoy behavior and really see the birds and animals, and that’s what we got: Time to absorb the moment. There are so many memorable moments, from looking across swaths of open fields with thrushes and flycatchers, to seeing Yellow-throated Toucans in the trees across the street from the gas station, to seeing dozens of hummingbirds battling over feeders to the mind-boggling colors of the many stunning tanagers of Costa Rica.

While we spent only four days birding we saw 187 «lifer» species! My recommendation is to spend as little time at the resort as you can and get out there and see the country. In the end, even though we did enjoy the swim-out room at the resort, we regret that we didn’t spend the whole time birding with Carlos Luis Jimenez.

Rick and Diana Werezak, Nov 2016

Opinión escrita 29 diciembre 2016

We contacted Carlos last summer to help us set up our private birding tour of Costa Rica. We left all the details to him and he came up with a great itinerary which in turn gave us an unbelievable experience. He picked us up at the airport in San Jose and took us for a 9 day tour of many of the birding hotspots in Costa Rica including La Selva Birding Station, San Gerardo de Dota, Arenal, Monte Verde, Savegre and so many other lesser known areas with excellent birding. He arranged all our accommodations, meals and transportation. We loved every minute including the day of hurricane Otto which we spent the afternoon at the Tabacon Hotsprings.
Carlos was even able to find birds by their hearing their calls as he drove. He was one of the most knowledgeable and best bird guides we have ever met. He was also very patient. We learned so much about his beautiful country from him. He spotted 3 kinds of monkeys, sloths, snakes, frogs and so much more. We saw over 300 species of birds many of which he was able to ID by their call. He would then make sure we got a good look at the bird before adding it to our list. One of our highlights included the Resplendant Quetzal!
We loved every moment of this trip and hope to be able to do another tour with Carlos again one day soon. He can be reached by phone (506) 89279630
Gracias Carlos!

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Goteborgs Ornithological Asoc. Sweden. Jan – Feb 2017

During part of Jan and Feb 2017 , Ave Nativa was required to lead 2 birding groups from Goteborgs Ornithological Asoc, Sweden. Sponsored by Birding CR. Great groups !! We scored over 388 sps on first group and 444 sps on second trip. Inclunding: Spotted Wood-Quail, Sunbittern, Great green Macaws, Barred Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Vermiculated Screech Owl, Great Potoo, White tipped Sicklebill, Mangrove Hummingbird, Black crested Coquette, Buff fronted Quail-Dove, Resplendent Quetzal, Keel billed Motmot, Pied Puffbird, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Thicket Antpitta, Snowy Cotinga, Blue and Gold tanager, Cabannis’ Ground- Sparrow, Nicaraguan Seed Finch.

One of the best animals we saw, was Margay !! Plus Sloths, monkeys, snakes, frogs, lizards,etc were part of these trips..

My deepest appreciation for the assistace of our tour leaders: Berndt Lindberg and Rudy Jelinek.

The winning bird:

Scaled Antpitta!!! Excellent views a few meters away from us, seen in 2 different days.