Birding at Savegre

Aug 25th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2007
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Birding at Savegre

We are staying at Savegre Hotel for 2 days.
Should we book a full day or half day with Marino?

We arent birders but I m sure I could get hooked with quick, but not sure about my wife. I would love to spend 2 sessions with Marino but doesnt sound like you can do just an afternoon trip.

Our agenda for our stay at Savegre is:
arrive at noon on 11/23 and depart 11/25 around 8 am for a 2 pm flight to BdC

What all do you do with Marino? Can you do just an afternoon trip? Would be nice to do a afternoon on our first day and then an AM trip on the following day.

Does anyone have an info or suggestions?
Thanks very much
crlover10 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2007, 09:35 AM
  #2  
 
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crlover10,

I would suggest arriving and spending the first afternoon exploring the area, hiking to the waterfall, taking one of the hikes "up the hill" (there are 3 trails up there), riding horseback. A day and a half is perfect for Savegre.

Next a.m. (and you should e-mail them in advance and schedule a birding tour) go birding with Marino (or Melvin). The half day is $55 (I usually add about $10). You'll meet him near the restaurant at 7:00 and be back in time for lunch. He is in charge of the apple sales and distribution for the property, so is busy and not always available for birding. If he knows ahead, he can plan accordingly maybe.

Birding in the p.m. is certainly do-able, but there tends to be less activity. A.M. is ideal. First time I ever birded was with Marinco. It was Marino, a true birder named Mike, and me, a first timer. Marino's enthusiasm was infectious and he was just as concerned for what I saw as he was for what the experienced guy was seeing. We came in for lunch, and for some reason, Marino suggested we go back out. We didn't get in until 6:00 when dark and rain finally forced an end to the birding! I was hooked!

Have birded with Marino (and Melvin) several times since, but never for a full day!

You'll have a great time. There are birds at Savegre (in the highlands) that you just won't see anyplace else. Makes it very special. Enjoy!
shillmac is offline  
Aug 25th, 2007, 09:57 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Shillmac, as always you give great informative answers.
We definitely will booked Marino(from your and other postings) now.

Sounds like that is what we will do then. Take a hike to the waterfalls and other areas that first afternoon and a half day that following am with Marino and then see what works best in the afternoon.

On a different note, do you know where you can get one of the CR animal IDs that I ve heard people order?

Thanks again.
crlover10 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #4  
 
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Yes, go to the publication website. They are done by Rainforest Publications. I googled it and ordered mine--cheaper than buying them there, although you can purchase a few in the gift shop at Savegre.
shillmac is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #5  
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Thanks once again Shillmac, such a wealth of knowledge. I ve ordered both the mammal and amphibian guides.

We only reserved the breakfast with the room. Do you have any suggestions on places to eat, especially for dinner?

Thanks again.
crlover10 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #6  
 
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You are isolated in a valley 'close to nothing'. Possibly you could eat at Trogon Lodge, which is nearby.

However the dining area at Savegre is quite sufficient and the food is good.

Jerry
gannetmusic is offline  
Aug 27th, 2007, 11:13 AM
  #7  
 
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I suggest that you do not go birding at all! It will change your life. It will make you want to go birding too much. It will become like a heroin addiction. It will make you spend too much on binoculars.

Just kidding of course. Costa Rica birding did us in. We are so hooked and now have birded 4 South America countries + Galapagos , Costa Rica several times, go twice a week or more at home and have Iceland/Greenland, China and Brazil + Texas booked for the next year or so.

We went with both Marino and his nephew Carlos in May. We also loved Carlos, but I think he might be in San Jose at school. If he is out on break - he is great too!
connette is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 09:58 AM
  #8  
 
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crlover10, you really should get the all-inclusive package. Savegre is very isolated, and there isn't any need to go to the other hotel, really, for meals. Their food, while not gourmet, is pretty darned good. It's pretty much the only game in town. I can't imagine not having the 3 meal deal with them. Just a heads up!
shillmac is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 11:01 PM
  #9  
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Connette, hahaha. You sure had me going for a second or two. My heart dropped when I first started reading your comments. Truly sounds like you are hooked. Hoping maybe my wife and I will be half of what your are. We are going to book Marino for a birding trip. Funny you should leave this message cause i was just reading an old posting of yours from last year when you were making your plans.

How were the different places that you went to and comparison wise to each other?

Shillmac, the reason I wasnt sure about getting all the meals there was the cost. Its over a $100 a night extra to get the lunch and dinner there, but if I m reading it right that the taxes are included in the all meals and also the charge to the reserve. I dont mind spending some money but sounded a little high for just a lunch and dinner, but had a feeling that there wasnt much in the area.

What is the cost to get into the reserve?

Thanks again for all your help.

crlover10 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 06:43 AM
  #10  
 
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We went to all cloud forests. Just because we like cloud forests. Rancho Naturalista is not quite a cloud forest these days with the climate changes I guess. We probably liked it there best over all. Birding, rooms, staff, horseback riding, volcano trip, and food. I have always loved Monteverde and really enjoyed Selvatura on this trip - but I don't think we will go back there since they paved the road inside the town. My husband laughs at me - but I just don't want to go there now that they paved the road. Savegre was the second best for birding. Staff was great - room not bad. Food etc. was just o.k. Bosque de Paz was beautifully picturesque in every way and the food was really, really good - almost gourmet - but just so so on the birding. Peace Lodge was really fun. Enjoyed the frogs, snakes, cats - the room was over the top and the waterfalls beautiful. Now, leaving for Iceland, Norway and Greenland today! Have fun in Costa Rica. I think it is impossible not to.
connette is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #11  
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Connette, Good luck on your trip but doubt you will need it. Havent really checked out that area. Will have to read your report if you give one?
Thanks for the report on the different birding places. We had thought about going to Bosque de Paz but didnt hear enough first-hand recommendations on the wildlife there. And after reading such glowing reports about Savegre that was enough for us.

Has anyone done the horseback riding at Savegre? We are thinking about taking the honeymoon special since its our 25th anniversary and thats included in the package.
Thanks once more. Bill
crlover10 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2007, 12:09 PM
  #12  
 
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connette, have a wonderful trip.
I know what you mean about the road being paved. It just isn't the same little hidden village in the clouds anymore. I was really surprised at how far up they have it paved now too.

Bill,
As far as horseback riding at Savegre goes, it has been a few years but we rode down the road and into the woods for awhile and then tied the horses up and hiked down to the waterfall. We enjoyed it. We were even able to see some good birds while riding. We saw one monkey down by the waterfall. I didn't know they went up that high so was really surprised. That is a beautiful area no matter where you ride. Our first trip down there years ago was just jaw dropping. We had been driving (with a driver thank goodness) along the Cerro de la Muerte and it was so foggy you couldn't see anything. We turned off the highway and as we got further down, the clouds disappeared and there was this beautiful shangri la.

It is quite cool there at times so do bring a light fleece.

I still have, and use, Melvin's Swarovski binoculars that he sold us because he needed money for a new car that could transport a larger family. His wife was pregnant. He is a sweetie. He brought us over to his house and we had fun visiting with her.

I do recommend the new bird guide by Garriques and Dean. Much smaller than the Skutch book. Those plastic laminated cards have a very limited listing of the birds but can be helpful for animals. Having the distribution map right with the bird plates and descriptions is a great help for eliminating birds that are similar which is half the battle with some birds. Do take some time to sit by the small bar/lounge area and watch the hummingbirds. They are beautiful.

I was already a birder when we first went to CR years ago but my actual love for it really started there. Up until then it was a nice thing to do but not something I had to do.

It is your anniversary so if you aren't sure that your wife will be thrilled to bird for two days then by all means do plan something that she might like, such as the horseback riding. Take this from someone who has been married to a compulsive birder for 35 years LOL.
Suzie2 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 10:49 AM
  #13  
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Thanks susie2, I ll take your advice about the horseback riding. Sounds like the honeymoon package is a pretty good deal. I do have plans to do some hiking which both of us love to do.
As for the birding book. I already have it but thanks. I will definitely have to check out the bar and sights there.
Sounds like you have alot of great memories there and alot of other places in CR. Cant say that i ve ever met a compulsive birder but sounds like you made the conversion.
Thanks again for all the advice.
crlover10 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2007, 12:07 PM
  #14  
 
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I do have fond memories and I am looking forward to being able to stop in for day visits before too long. We are building a house just down the road in San Isidro.

I am looking forward to checking out another place that has the highland birds as well that will be even closer. It is called Bosque del Tolomuco.

My husband's father is an Ornithologist so he grew up with birds. He traveled all over South America as a kid collecting them for the Smithsonian and the Peabody museums. Goodness, we can't even go to the grocery store in CR without stopping to look at an interesting bird. Yeah, he is compulsive.
Suzie2 is offline  
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