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LocalAventura Tour: University of Costa Rica Tour: Birding and Exploring
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University of Costa Rica Tour: Birding and Exploring

Spend the morning discovering birds and butterflies just outside San Jose

3 hrs

San Jose

1 ~ 5

High content


Discover the birds and butterflies of Costa Rica with a local expert! On this tour, you’ll explore the space where Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose, its academics, and its incredible nature all meet. Just outside of San José is the University of Costa Rica, in San Pedro. The University is both the oldest and the biggest public university in Costa Rica. Like much of Costa Rica, the University is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, especially birds. Your Local Guides, Marcelo and Tomás, studied biology at the University and are well educated on the animals that inhabit their home country. 

You’ll start by going through the sports facilities, where some of the best green spaces on campus reside. It’s also one of the best places to birdwatch in the area. Next, you’ll be treated to a typical Costa Rican breakfast at one of the several dining halls at the University. After a tasty breakfast, you’ll head to one of the most important nature reserves in San Pedro which is right in the middle of the campus. It’s a great place to learn about forest restoration and the protected areas of Costa Rica. Inside the reserve is the Butterfly Garden of the School of Biology. The Butterfly Garden is unique because it’s one of the only butterfly gardens that is fully devoted to research. Perfect for those looking to learn about Costa Rica's nature and native species, this tour will leave you amazed at the intense beauty of this Central American country. 


  • Pick-up from your accommodation in San Jose
  • Explore the green spaces and check out some unique birds at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose
  • Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican breakfast
  • Visit the Nature Reserve
  • Wander through the Butterfly Garden of the School of Biology
  • Explore the Main Campus and Exhibitions, with an optional visit to the Insect Museum
  • Drop-off back at your accommodation

Available days

Monday to Saturday

Eligibility criteria

Participants must be able walk at a leisurely pace for 3 hours.

What's Included

  • Typical Costa Rican Breakfast
  • Transportation from accommodation in the San José Area (Pick-up and Drop-off)
  • Binoculars
  • Entrance fee to the Butterfly Garden
  • Rain-Poncho
  • An experienced Local Guide


  • Bring a water bottle, a camera, and binoculars if you have them.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking


Family-Friendly Outdoorsy Types


Marcelo and Tomás


I grew up 10 minutes away from Central Park in San José, but that wasn’t enough nature for me. From a very young age, I loved to visit the countryside far away from the city. When I started surfing, I found the perfect excuse to get out of the San José for the weekends.

My love for nature led me to study Biology at The University of Costa Rica. There, I got involved with the Marine Sciences Department where I was able to participate in research and field studies that took me out of the classroom. I was working in the field just about every week and my regular work in the classroom felt worthless in comparison to being out learning from the environment itself. So when I graduated, I escaped to the beach where I could surf, and I started working as a naturalist guide and environmental educator.

Recently I moved back to San José to start working on my own project, where I could share the beauty of my home with travelers. It was hard to leave my beach neighborhood for the city, but luckily I came with a greater perspective of San José . I learned to find the natural beauty that surrounds and grows in the streets of San José, and I’m excited to share this with others.


My name is Tomás Calleja, I’m 25 years old. I was born in the south pacific region of Costa Rica in a town called Palmar. I lived there for eight years and spent most of my time there in my dad’s farm; close to the wilderness, canals, beach, fish, mangrove swamps, and snakes. I was enchanted.

After living in Palmar, we moved to San José where I live today. From early on I knew I wanted to study Biology, all the plants and animals I lived near inspired me.

Later on I realized becoming a guide would be a good idea for me, I liked traveling and teaching others about  the natural history and culture of Costa Rica. So, I started working as a naturalist guide. After 5 years, I still truly love my job because I believe it’s the best way to promote conservation.

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