Table of Contents
We invite you to join the 2021 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour! The tour takes place November 8th to November 19th, 2021.
This amazing adventure will encompass the rainforest, volcanoes and beaches, and an abundance of opportunities to find and photograph amphibians.
Costa Rica has an incredible array of biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems, and is home to 212 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, email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour Leader Dr. Kerry Kriger photographed this Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilio) near Arenal Volcano in 2017.
A Lot More Than Just Frogs
The ecotour has a frog focus, but is much more than just frogs! We will see and learn about a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles, bats, monkeys, sloths, lizards, whales and even leaf-cutter ants. We will even be joined by a professional bird guide for the entire tour, so if you love waking up at the break of dawn to spot colorful birds, bring your binoculars and expect to see a lot of amazing birds!
While our nights will be filled with frogs, daytime offers a range of activities, including hiking to waterfalls; swimming at beaches and relaxing in thermal hot springs; adventure in the form of ziplining, snorkeling and kayaking; and cultural activities such as learning how coffee and chocolate are produced.
We will meet many biologists and local wildlife guides who will educate us about tropical ecology, wildlife, ecotourism, and the threats and opportunities facing Costa Rica in the modern era.
In short, even if you are not a frog fanatic (yet!), as long as you love nature and wildlife, you will have an incredible time on this ecotour.
“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
Please share this image on your favorite social media channel to help us spread the word about the ecotour!
All Ages Are Welcome
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, 2018 and 2019, we led SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotours and they were huge successes. We aim to make the 2021 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour to Costa Rica even better!
This ecotour has been designed to be fun, safe and interesting for travelers of all ages. Kids, parents and grandparents are all welcome, as well as single travelers of all ages.
There will be lots of excitement through each place we visit as we learn about ecology, conservation, and environmental protection in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. 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
A beautiful Red-Eyed Treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) found during the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour.
- Search for poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, glass frogs, monkeys, sloths, parrots, toucans and more on nature trails and a canopy skywalk.
- Spend time in beautiful natural areas with incredibly knowledgeable local guides.
- Observe wildlife on private boat cruises through dense jungles
- 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.
- 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.
“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
Our 2018 tour group visiting a waterfall in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Ecotour Destinations Map
The Ecotour Destinations Map below shows a rough sketch of places we will visit. We will begin in the capital, San Jose, and head north to the jungles of Sarapiqui, then west to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. Next, we head south to visit the crocodiles of Tarcoles River, the beaches at Dominical and to search for whales in Marino Ballena National Park. Finally we will head into the mountains to visit the paramo and cloud forests of Quetzales National Park, home of the Resplendent Quetzal, Costa Rica’s most famous bird and return to the outskirts of San Jose our final evening.
We designed the trip to maximize the number of ecosystems and amphibian species, while minimizing travel time.
Our tour officially begins at the hotel on November 8th, 2021 at 6pm. The tour ends November 19th, 2021 at 12pm.
San Jose – Day 1
Pura Vida! We will pick you up at San Jose’s Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) and bring you to the Casa Cielo Grande, north of the city. The hotel has a fabulous view, comfortable accommodations and a pleasant mountain temperature. We will spend the evening relaxing and meeting our fellow ecotourists, and enjoy our first dinner together.
Please share this image on social media to help spread the word!
Sarapiquí – Days 2 & 3
In the morning, we will depart our hotel and head to Parque Nacional Volcán Poás, home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes: Volcán Poás has erupted 40 times since 1828! The volcano ascends to 8,885ft (2,638m). We will take a short hike around the park, get some volcano photos and then drive to Cinchona, to see its hummingbirds and waterfalls.
We will have lunch at CoopeSarapiquí and take a coffee tour to taste the local coffee and to learn about coffee production and the Costa Rican coffee industry. Afterwards, we will descend to the jungles of Sarapiquí!
For two nights, we will explore 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.
We will look for frogs and go bat mist-netting, to discover the great world of bats.
While in Sarapiquí, we will learn about rainforest ecology and current scientific research in the region.
On Day 3, we will visit La Selva Biological Station and walk the trails to explore this amazing place, from which has emanated thousands of research publications on tropical biology. If we are lucky at La Selva, we may be able to see tent-making bats sleeping.
We will take a boat trip on the Sarapiquí River to see the riverine wildlife, and 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, 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour Participant
Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world to find glass frogs, like this beautiful Cochranella granulosa photographed by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger, who has been visiting Costa Rica since 1996.
La Fortuna – Days 4 & 5
On the morning of Day 4, we will depart to La Fortuna, where 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 visit El Silencio Rainforest Reserve, walking the dry lava flows of the 1968 eruption of Arenal Volcano, from which we should have a magnificent view of the volcano (dependent on weather of course!), and Arenal Lake. We will check into the Arenal Manoa Lodge, where we will spend two nights.
In the evening, we will visit the Texas A&M University Soltis Center, which is home to some of the best protected – and least visited – rainforest in the country. During our 2017 visit to the Soltis Center, we found 22 amphibian species over the course of three days!
We will have opportunities for early morning birding. After breakfast on Day 5, we will take a Rainforest Chocolate Tour. This is a great experience about sustainability and the pleasure of chocolate. We will have lunch at Finca Vivencias Campesinas and tour the farm to learn about organic food production. In the afternoon, we will relax and enjoy the hot springs.
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.
The Masked Treefrog (Smilisca phaeota), a common frog throughout Central America.
Dominical, Reserva Baru and Marina Ballena National Park – Days 6, 7 & 8
Located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast, the greater Dominical region 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.
After breakfast on Day 6, we will leave Arenal and head south for the Tarcoles River, where we will have lunch and take a safari boat ride to see crocodiles and waterfowl.
We will check into the Villas Rio Mar hotel, hidden in the forest just inland from Dominical Beach. We will enjoy sunset on the beach, then relax and explore the hotel grounds in the evening.
After breakfast on Day 7, we will take a boat trip in Marino Ballena National Park. If luck is on our side, we will see humpback whales and dolphins. We will also have the opportunity to snorkel at the reefs in the national park. We will have lunch in the nearby town of Uvita, and enjoy free time and the beach in the afternoon.
After breakfast on Day 8, we will go hiking at the Barú Wildlife Refuge and then enjoy lunch there. In the afternoon, we will relax and then take a hike along the Dominical River. There may be an option to go rafting on the Naranjo River (cost is not included in ecotour). At night, we will return to Barú Wildlife Refuge to see the nocturnal wildlife of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. We will enjoy dinner in Dominical town, then spend the night once again at Villas Río Mar.
A lovely little Dendropsophus ebraccatus
San Gerardo de Dota – Days 9 & 10
Upon leaving Dominical the morning of Day 9, we will head uphill to San Gerardo de Dota, stopping along the way in the paramo, the highest tropical ecosystem in the Americas. That afternoon we will check into the Suria Hotel, which is where we will stay for two nights.
We will experience truly spectacular scenery in this wonderful region of Costa Rica. We will have morning birding opportunities and the possibility of observing the Resplendent Quetzal. We will explore the incredible oak forests of the region and visit the Savegre Waterfall. We will have a free afternoon to enjoy the spa or otherwise relax. And we will have SAVE THE FROGS! amphibian conservation presentations and discussions. At night we will look for frogs and other creatures of the night!
Before departing for San Jose, we will visit the Batsu Birding & Photography Gardens.
Another fabulous glass frog (Teratohyla spinosa)
Return To San Jose – Day 11
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 the Bougainvillea Hotel, on the northern outskirts of the city. We will spend the afternoon relaxing. 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 final night frogging Costa Rica together!
At night, we will enjoy our last dinner together and reminisce about the great times we shared.
The fabulous Blue-sided Tree Frogs (Agalychnis annae), photo by SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotourist Choti Singh.
Strawberry Posion Dart Frog (Blue Jeans Frog, Dendrobates pumilio) photo by SAVE THE FROGS! Board Member & Ecotourist John Bohrman.
Departure From San Jose – Day 12
November 19th, 2021 is our final morning together! We will eat breakfast, arrange transportation for you to the airport (SJO) and say our goodbyes!
We will see beautiful mountain and rainforest scenery along much of our route.
Meet Your Tour Leader
Dr. Kerry Kriger
The 2021 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Classic Ecotour will be led by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger, who has been involved in global amphibian conservation efforts since 2003, and who has been leading SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours since 2013.
“Hi, my name is Dr. Kerry Kriger and I am the Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!. I am an amphibian biologist and have helped coordinate over 2,000 educational events in 60+ countries to raise awareness of the threats amphibians face and ways people can help. I have also traveled to 66 countries, including every country in Central and South America. My first visit to Costa Rica was in 1996, when I had a life changing experience watching a treefrog calling near a rainforest stream.
I have led five SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours, including the inaugural 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour, and have been involved in the design, development and coordination of all twelve SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours that have taken place since 2013.
Costa Rica has incredible wildlife, beaches, rainforests and volcanoes and I am very excited to introduce you to the country’s abundant amphibians and rich culture. Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and our SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour will be something you will remember for the rest of your life. I look forward to frogging Costa Rica with you!”
Dr. Kerry Kriger taking a bamboo flute break on Tortuguero Beach during the inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour, July 2017.
Meet Your Amphibian Guide
Dr. Héctor Zumbado Ulate
Dr. Héctor Zumbado recently completed his doctorate at Purdue University, with a focus on amphibian diseases. He has published dozens of articles related to the decline of amphibians in Costa Rica and has taught at top universities such as Harvard; and at Duke University’s Organization for Tropical Studies. Héctor speaks fluent English. On top of his herpetological knowledge, Héctor is proficient in tropical plant identification. Longtime SAVE THE FROGS! Tour Guide Victor Acosta worked as Héctor’s assistant in the past and says: “I feel that for the ecotour it would be a luxury to have him as a guide”. We are excited to have Héctor joining us for this year’s tour!
Hector Zumbado Ulate in the field.
Meet Your Costa Rican Wildlife Guide
Carlos Roberto Chavarria
The 2021 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour will undoubtedly be an amazing experience because we have wildlife expert Carlos Roberto Chavarria of Costa Rica Rainforest Experience joining us! Carlos is a wealth of knowledge on all things Costa Rica and has extensive experience in wildlife education and ecotourism.
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 been a part of every SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour since 2017. He is looking forward to introducing you to the country’s incredible wildlife and natural places.
Guaranteed to be one of the best wildlife guides you will ever find, Carlos Roberto Chavarria will teach you an enormous amount about Costa Rica’s birds, culture and environmental conservation issues.
We are excited to have Carlos Roberto Chavarria joining the tour to share his knowledge of Costa Rica’s birds, bats, culture and environmental conservation issues.
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:
The participants of the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour, just before heading out for a night of frogging near the Arenal Volcano.
Our group will consist of up to 18 participants, two tour leaders and an amphibian guide. During hikes, we will split into smaller groups.
Taking a day hike at the world-famous La Selva Biological Station during the 2017 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.
Are you ready to join SAVE THE FROGS! in Costa Rica? Fabulous!
The 2021 SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Classic Ecotour pricing is as follows:
- Single traveler in a shared room: $3,675
- Party of two: $7,245
- Party of three: $10,635
- Party of four: $13,795
- Party of five: $16,875
- Party of six: $19,945
- Student Discount: Full-time students receive a $100 discount.
- If you require a private room, add $650; otherwise we will place you in a shared room.
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)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- 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
- Full payment is due to secure your space on the tour.
- We accept checks and credit cards.
- To cancel your tour, you must notify us directly.
- If you cancel on or prior to September 21st, your entire trip will be refunded, minus your deposit (as deposits are non-refundable).
- If you cancel between September 21st and October 7th, you forfeit your deposit and half of your remaining trip fee.
- If you cancel after October 7th, you forfeit your deposit and 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
A beautiful Costa Rican sunset
SAVE THE FROGS! is excited to welcome you on the tour. Due to the pandemic, we have these additional guidelines, expectations and requirements to maximize the safety of all participants.
Red-Eyed Treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), possibly the world’s most photographed frog.
Sign Up For The Ecotour Here!
If you would like to join the SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour For Families 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!
We will get to swim in the warm Pacific Ocean during our time in Dominical!
Any Questions? Let Us Know!
We thank you for your interest in SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours and we hope to be frogging the jungles of Costa Rica with you soon!
The Tarcoles River, a great place to photograph crocodiles (from the safety of our private boat!).