With over 900 species of birds, including the elusive resplendent quetzal, and the colorful keel-billed toucan, Costa Rica has so much to offer in a tiny portion of land that barely reach the 21.000 square miles. Allow that a local expert with over 20 years of experience take you under his wing and show you the amazing fauna and culture of Costa Rica.
On this tour, we will be visiting the northern plains in Costa Rica, rich in wildlife as they are part of several natural corridors and it´s close to a protected area where our first lodge is located. It´s no secret that Costa Rica has been a leader in conservation in recent years and the number of protected areas encompass 25% of its total landmass making this Central American country one of the richest in terms of biodiversity. A country with no standing army since 1948 and the 5% of the world´s diversity is a perfect place to help you bring variety and color to your portfolio.
If you arrive early then no problem as the hotel´s garden is the right place to practice with your macro lens as the number of native and exotic flowers will keep you busy! At night, we will meet at a conference room to get to know each other and then will eat dinner (dinner for first night not included in the price)
We will begin this photo tour by heading towards the northern plains where will will spend the next three nights, then will move to a cooler area surrounded by lush rain forest where many birds and mammals can be photographed. We then will travel to Costa Rica´s highlands where the beautiful resplendent quetzal can be found. The number of species is too large to count but we will end up with a great number of keepers that will enhance your portfolio. We will be traveling in an altitudinal gradient that goes from 30mts above the sea level up to 3000mts. in elevation.
Allow me to show you Costa Rica from my perspective!
(*Meals included where BLD indicated)
Day 1/Airport/San José/ Upon your arrival to San José; Juan Carlos will assist you in your transfer to your hotel for the evening. Depending on your arrival time, the gardens at our hotel offer a varied inventory of flowers and macro opportunities, as well as some avian photography. I have organized a meet and greet dinner; (depending on your arrival time) where we will discuss the itinerary and brief you on our photographic tour. *Dinner for the first night is not included in the quoted price.
Day 2/ Caribbean Lowlands/After a full breakfast we will leave the Central Valley and head to the Caribbean lowlands. We expect to arrive at our first lodge before lunch. After a quick check-in, we’ll begin photographing many beautiful colorful species. I will focus on setting up some mossy perches, fill flash techniques, along with a goal of creating tack sharp images with pleasing backgrounds. BLD
Day 3/ Caribbean Lowlands/ Bird photography morning session at the lodge deck. I can’t think of any other lodge in Costa Rica where there are so many species of birds that regularly visit the feeders. Target species are: Keel-billed toucans, Yellow-throated toucans, Collared Aracaris, (a small toucan) Orange-chinned Parakeet, Brown-hooded Parrot, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Golden-hooded Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager, Passerini´s Tanager, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Great Curassow, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Shining Honeycreeper and many more! BLD
Day 4/ Caribbean Lowlands/ Bird photography morning session at the lodge deck. Then in the afternoon, we will travel a very short distance to a local private garden. Here we will photograph different colorful tanagers and possibly an uncommon woodpecker. We will help you create unique images using the surrounding natural habitat, ambient light and fill flash. BLD
Day 5/ Northern Plains/After breakfast we will leave the Caribbean lowlands and head towards the northern plains. Today we’ll enjoy photographing beautiful wild great-green and scarlet macaws both perched and in flight. After lunch, we will travel to our second lodge. The rain forest and grounds around the lodge offer fabulous photography opportunities. BLD
Day 6/ Northern Plains/ Today we will walk around the lodge gardens where many hummingbirds and other birds can be seen and photographed, also, some spider and howler monkeys live in the property so we will try to locate them to take pictures of them. BLD
Day 7/ Cloud Forest/After breakfast, we’ll depart to our next lodge located at one of the most scenic areas in Costa Rica. The lodge offers new bird species as well as some small mammals. We expect to arrive after lunch but before it gets dark. BLD
Day 8/ Cloud Forest / Today we will take pictures of hummingbirds at one of my multiple flash set ups. We hope to get some of the most sought-after hummingbird species that inhabit the middle elevations in Costa Rica such as the Green Hermit, Green-crowned Brilliant, Violet Sabrewing and Coppery-headed Emerald. BLD
Day 9/ Cartago Area/After breakfast, we’ll depart to the highest mountain range of Costa Rica. The lodge offers a large variety of bird species, where the beauty of the environment will make for an unforgettable experience. We expect to arrive in the late afternoon. Tonight, we’ll prepare and brief on the pursuit of the highly sought-after resplendent quetzal. BLD
Day 10/ Cartago Area/ Today we start the day very early. Our goal today is finding and photographing the elusive resplendent quetzal. After a productive morning, return to the lodge for breakfast. Full day of shooting birds on lodge grounds. Also included is a visit (in the afternoon) to a wonderful local garden for totally new species of birds. BLD
Day 11/ Talamanca Area/ Today we will travel a short distance to a totally new lodge! There are some endemic bird species within this mountain range and we of course want to photograph them. Some of the target species at this lodge include, American Dipper, White-throated Mountain-Gem, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Blue-throated Toucanet and Collared Trogon. BLD
Day 12/ Talamanca area
Today we will have a private session taking pictures at one of my two multiple flash set ups! Some of the targets are the beautiful Talamanca and Lesser-violetear hummingbirds, although with a bit of luck, we could get the volcano and scintillant hummingbirds too! BLD
Day 13/ Airport
After a delicious breakfast, we will drive towards the airport (approx. 3 hours on paved road) B
End of photo tour
Because of the varied micro-climates in Costa Rica and the diversity of places we will visit, we advise you to bring light clothing for the humid-low lands and a jacket/shell for the low-temperatures of cloud and oak forest where our lodges are located. It is also advisable to bring mosquito repellent, sunscreen and please let us know if you have a special diet that we should know.
This photo tour includes all lodging, all transportation within Costa Rica, and meals where indicated. Meals at the chosen lodging include a local beverage, example water or fresh fruit juice. Any additional items, such as beer, wine, soft drinks, bottled water, and laundry will be charged to your room, and you will be responsible for paying the lodge directly.
Price of the photo tour is $4.500 in double occupancy.
A $1500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your seat on this photo tour. The balance of the payment is due on or before October 1, 2019.
Pricing includes accommodations of two persons per room. Private rooms may be available, space permitting, for an additional charge of $500.
The above-stated cost does not include airfare.
After a deposit is received we will email a suggested equipment/gear list as well as the itinerary with names of lodges as well as their websites.