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Birding Vacation Ideas

Friday, February 26, 2016

OK, recent vacation was so much fun I'd like to start planning the next one: because apparently a lot of the value of vacations is in the anticipation of them!

Probably a warm destination: and probably not for another year . . . February 2017.

Anybody who recommends Costa Rica? Panama? Trinidad/Tobago?

Happy to hear ideas for independent travel (all-inclusive resort and cruises don't turn my crank) in destinations which are reasonably safe and have lots of interesting birds!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Costa Rica is heavenly. Very eco conscious, clean and the people delightful. I would go back
    1592 days ago
    I want to see all three other countries you picked out! We are going to Panama for the first time in April! In the following year we will probably go to Costa Rica! I don't think you can go wrong on any of the countries you picked up! I hear they're all beautiful! Wishing you a Beautiful Saturday and a Wonderful Weekend!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1595 days ago
  • NANCY-
    I was thinking Antarctica, for penguins.... the Maritime Provinces for Puffins.
    Then I read warm, February, hmmmm... New Zealand might have some nice offerings.
    1595 days ago
    Well, of course I'm a bit prejudiced, but I think Ecuador is a GREAT birdwatching destination. Check out this blog for an idea:


    Have fun planning and enjoy the anticipation!

    Lots of butterflies too!
    1595 days ago
  • GABY1948
    You are SO right! That is exactly what we have been planning too! This year will be just a regular one but next year we have been married for 20 years in June and already planning THAT trip too! Out West, of course, my favorite places...and the EXACT trip we took on our honeymoon!

    You definitely know what you are saying here!!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1595 days ago
    Costa Rica is wonderful and if you are not terribly pure about birding for your nature fix howler monkeys and nesting sea turtles are a bonus.

    The self directed thing is important to me too and has kept me from going lots of places. Cuba is one. I am hearing lots of good things about the importance of seeing it now but strangely enough I have seen nothing about the ecology or trips focused on that. I think it is still necessary to sign on with an educational tour to go.

    And of course the other is the Galapagos. Not self directed either. But a requirement for the really serious birder.

    Belize is a favorite of my former Mass Audubon colleagues.

    We are about to set off on an exploration of the US South East. I have dim memories of off putting coastal development. I would love to find a life style destination that has natural beauty, mild winters, and no ice. If I find it you can visit me next winter.
    1595 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Wow! Looks like Cost Rica is the winner! I agree getting in on a birding tour with locals who know where to look would give you the best birding experience rather than trying to find areas yourself. Enjoy the planning for sure. My sister loves to do that and did it for our time in London, but even a week was not nearly enough time to get around and see everything.
    1595 days ago
    You have reminded me that I need to plan my time off too! Thank you!
    1596 days ago
    Wow!! I want a vacation too--sounds so nice--Lynda
    1596 days ago
    Gosh, as a Costa Rican, I don't feel well recommending my country. I prefer other people's point of view or input for you to decide (no bias). Anyway, if you decide to come here, please let me know! I can also be of any help for your questions (private message here or I can give you my email), feel free to ask anything.
    1596 days ago
    Umm... I was going to say Harney County, Oregon, for the spring bird migrations. Huge inland sea. But nowhere near the cruise kind of experience.
    1596 days ago
    I see there's a birding tour company doing one in Costa Rica next February!

    1596 days ago
    Costa Rica is amazing. We spent a month there and saw astounding birds (we are not birders, they just hung out nearby, like crows or robins or blue jays here). In Bahia Drake (Drake Bay) the green parrots came by the hundreds, all at once, from the jungle to overnight in the trees by the ocean every night. So we'd watch for them just before dusk, and 6-8 pairs would settle in the tree right in front of our deck. We'd watch them emerge as the light grew at dawn, and with a secret signal they'd arise en mass from all the trees in the area, and hundreds of them would wing their way back into the jungle. Every day!

    We saw lots of scarlet macaws, toucans, oropendolas, honey creepers, turkey vultures, hummingbirds, tanagers, clay coloured robins, and tons more I never identified. We didn't see the famous Quetzal... We found local transit or one step up low-end tourist transport great. Stayed in 4 different parts of the country - it is SO different from one place to another! From dripping cloud forest to hot, dry beaches. People very friendly, and the politics there are fascinating. No military, very high literacy rates, high standard of living...

    Hm, it may be time to start planning a trip again...

    1596 days ago
    I agree with that. I was twitchy there for awhile as I did not have any vacations on the horizon, but with two short ones on the books for April and May on the books, I'm feeling better. Need to have something to work towards.

    Florida has great birding opportunities....just saying. emoticon I'm not a bird watcher, but I loved a brief visit to Belize.
    1596 days ago
    I'm in the middle of planning my vacation, too. Done at leisure, it is a lot of fun.
    1596 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Family & friends love Costa Rica. No personal experience there. Years ago I spent time in Cozumel which was fun. Two sisters who scuba dive did so while the other two of us snorkeled. Very relaxing, laid back time.
    1596 days ago
    Never been, but heard great things about Costa Rica. Enjoyed Dominican Republic and hope I spell this one right.... BonAirre..... A lot of flamingos in BonAirre. It is not quite touristy yet and there are plenty of ranch style places to stay. On the friend feed it probably is not the best February destination, but heard on Jeopardy that there is a place on the Danube in Romania with many rare birds to see!! When I heard about it I thought of you and your husband immediately!
    1596 days ago
    We LOVE Costa Rica, have been there twice (five weeks each time) - here's a link to our blog for the second trip - it was sort of practice for what we're doing now:


    (That's the final post - it's in chronological order, so you might have to go backwards to start at the beginning.)

    EXCELLENT birding there!

    Panama, maybe not so much. But we were only there for a week or so, and didn't get around as much.

    Trinidad and Tobago? Never been there - but early February is their Carnival, which is one of the biggest and best in the Caribbean. (We love Carnival too!)

    Other thought, if you'd like to go farther afield, would be New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia. Each country in that region has unique birds that live nowhere else in the world. Plus the cultures are fascinating, people friendly, and in New Caledonia, the food is amazing! (Tasmania and NZ have fabulous produce as well.) Though you might need more than 2 weeks for that trip. But New Caledonia has this bird, the cagou, that is supposed to be gorgeous - we never saw one, but I was looking! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagu<
    1596 days ago
    I don't care for cruises either. I like to go to an area and then explore in depth. A new direction or plan every day from a home base. And NOT in a city. I like nature. I will be interested in following up on what people recommend! Your Pinkshacks sounded perfect to me.
    1596 days ago
    I have absolutely NO Carribean experience...would love to GET some though...! :-)

    Here's my big vacation plan for this year:

    The FANY Ride: Five hundred miles Across New York!
    1596 days ago
    Not a birder, so can't help you there, but anyplace warm in the dead of winter would look appealing to me!

    Been to St. Thomas, St. JOhn, St. Maarten, Grand Caymans. Would NOT recommend Cancun or Kozumel. Just my opinion. Do NOT know about the birding on those islands, but they're beautiful.
    1596 days ago
    I don't know about bird watching places..but my son loved Costa Rica for a vacation. He said it was beautiful and had friendly people.
    1596 days ago
    I just went back and looked at your Pinkshacks blog and I want to go there! It sounds lovely! I have always wanted to visit Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean which has multiple climates. I worked with a guy once who was from there and he said it was as wonderful as it looked (and his grandfather was the chief of police on the island!) Worth looking at, although i have no specific recommendations on resorts etc, I have scoped it out and there are some nice ones. PS I love your busman's holiday.
    1596 days ago
    I have no ideas but would love to tag along!

    Costa Rica has become a hot spot for the late teen, early 20's crowd in my area. My brother's kids all went upon or near high school graduation. Not sure the attraction but watch out for migrating New Jersians!

    1596 days ago
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