I was on a tour with Neotropic during the first two weeks of April this year. I didn't know what to expect, but have to say that the tour exceeded my expectations by a long shot. I cannot believe how many great photos I was able to take and was constantly amazed at how well Juan Carlos was able to spot and identify birds that we wanted to get and then get us close enough to get good quality shots. I would happily recommend Neotropic Photo tours to anyone that wants to see Costa Rica and take advantage of all that it offers to birders and photographers alike.
Roger Miller, Ontario Canada.
Juan, I have just looked thru the pictures from Brazil again. I just can’t tell you how wonderful this trip was for me. So many opportunities to see things and experience sensations that I had not anticipated. So, my friend, you created a life time treasure for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to Ecuador.
Verna Perry, Brittish Columbia, Canada
I enjoyed a very successful tour of Costa Rica with Neotropic Photo Tours. My objective was to get high quality photographic images of a large number of bird species along with some reptile and amphibian species. The tour was extremely well organized with attention to the smallest details. Great food and excellent accommodations. I benefited from personal instruction which was important in a number of situations with challenging light and correct used of flash photography. We also had several workshops – Macro, Hummingbird, etc with multi-flash for optimal lighting control and exposure. If you are a serious nature and wildlife photographer who is interested in photographing in a number of ideal locations for birds and wildlife to get the maximum impact for dollar spent with personal instruction, this is the tour for you.
Ashley Hockenberry, Toronto Canada.
Thanks to Juan Carlos for providing the best opportunity for capturing my amazing photographs. He is the snake-wrangler and bird-whisperer that made every shot possible. During 10 days of shooting I took almost 9,000 pictures, even though we lost two days of shooting because of heavy wind and rain at the Arenal Volcano. I shot 900 on the day we shot hummingbirds and 135 of the Violet Sabrewing alone. Juan Carlos said that we shouldn’t think of our photos as children and that we need to evaluate our photos with a critical eye. I had a difficult time determining which one of my Violet Sabrewing photos was the best image. Every one of them was my favorite. Juan Carlos worked tirelessly to stage the photos with perches, lighting and background. All this was done to provide a natural looking picture. The advantage of having a local award-winning photographer paid off time after time. The knowledge that I gained has made me a better photographer.
Henry De La Torre, Colorado USA
Juan Carlos was our bird photography guide for three days in March, 2015. We would not have had such a wonderful experience without him. He birded with us in Arenal, drove us to Sarapiqui and birded with us there the next day. Not only is he an expert birder and is very knowledgeable about birding sites all over Costa Rica but he was fabulous in helping me become a better photographer. Although I am an experienced bird photographer, the neo-tropical forests present very demanding conditions, particularly about the light. Juan Carlos deeply understands how to get the most out of any conditions. In addition, he is a lovely and responsible person. My wife and I would recommend him to everyone. If you are interested in bird photography in Costa Rica, I would call him first, create a trip plan, and then let him do the bookings. You will not only save money, but you will be at the right hotels in the right areas according to your interests.
Edward Celnicker, Oregon USA.
My tour with Juan Carlos Vindas in Costa Rica was my single most important photographic experience. Since the tour, my photography has improved tremendously, thanks to the techniques he taught me. Thank you, Juan Carlos!
Carrie Eve Knoll, California USA.
My daughter and I recently had the pleasure to employ Juan Carlos Vindas as our dedicated tour guide for a week’s vacation during Spring Break in Costa Rica. He put together a fantastic program where we visited major ecological and geological sites as well as making side trips to great adventure and resort locations all around the country. We are experienced travelers and adventurous explorers, but we were also first-time visitors to Costa Rica. We had a great week! I heartily recommend Juan Carlos for several reasons: (1) he possesses an excellent command of the English language (frankly better than many Nordamericanoes!); (2) he is a wealth of knowledge about Costa Rica: the history, government, society, architecture, flora and fauna of this beautiful country; (3) he possesses excellent judgment, conducts highly professional tours, and is extremely agile when circumstances change (weather, vehicles, unannounced closings, holidays, etc.) and he always ensures an optimum outcome; (4) his shopping recommendations are good buys and he steers you away from “rip-offs”; and, (5) he is an honorable, honest and convivial gentleman who is always focused on his customers, their well-being and their enjoyment.
Walt Steiner, Virginia USA
Bueno amigos, dedicar unos minutos para escribir mi experiencia en este viaje es lo menos que puedo hacer para agradecer a todas las personas con quienes compartí esta grandiosa experiencia. La verdad es que son varias las cosas las que me gustaría destacar: Primero que todo, agradezco el duro trabajo que hizo Juan Carlos para brindarnos las mejores oportunidades para poder ver y fotografiar las aves más bellas que he visto en mi vida, en su entorno natural. Ellos no sólo escogieron los mejores lugares y horarios para avistar la fauna de Costa Rica, sino que los hoteles contratados y las comidas fueron excelentes… creo que regresé a mi país con varios kilos de más! El grupo de personas con las que compartí este tour fotográfico fue muy agradable y, aunque fue por un corto período de tiempo, por algunos de ellos llegué a sentir y aún siento un real aprecio. Para no hacer este testimonio tan largo, solo quiero concluir diciendo que no sólo estoy feliz por las aves y animales que vi y por las fotografías que conseguí, sino que estoy muy contento porque siento que gané un gran amigo, Juan Carlos, a quien espero volver a ver pronto… en mi siguiente viaje a Costa Rica. ¡Un abrazo! … y nos vemos pronto. Pura Vida!!!
Christian Saavedra, Chile
I can simply sum it up as “fabulous”. We saw everything we had hoped to see and much more, including both Motmots, three Trogons, two Owls, a Manakin lek, Crested Guan, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Emerald Toucanet, White-throated Magpie-Jay, plus new Tanagers and Hummingbirds. Seeing the Emerald Toucanet flying food to its nest was a treat. Our time with the Macaws was well-spent, with lots of new photos of the Scarlets, Great-Greens, and assorted smaller Parrots. The top target was the Resplendent Quetzal and we saw them several times, with magnificent long tail plumes. Also, top targets were some animals, namely Monkeys and Sloths. We saw several groups of Howlers and got good photos. While we saw both Spiders and Capuchins, they did not lend themselves to photos. Both Sloths were seen well and photographed. But the star of the trip had to be the gorgeous Margay, a totally unexpected and incredible find. Lastly, but most importantly, was being with Juan Carlos. His knowledge of the country and its history was superb, and his contacts with the local folks got us in to see things that were not available to other guides. He was very flexible and we both felt comfortable and relaxed travelling with him. We certainly will be planning another trip with him. (…and after this trip they’ve been with me on four other photo tours!) Thanks to you for giving us the best trip we have ever had.
George and Susan Vlahakis Washington USA
This workshop exceeded all my expectations ten fold. This was my third time to Costa Rica to photograph birds and I will be replacing almost every image I have with the ones I just acquired. To see so many species of birds and to capture them full frame on amazing perches with sweet backgrounds was a fantasy come true. Juan Carlos have done an excellent job finding and picking locations in Costa Rica where a wonderful variety of birds can be seen and photographer under the most favorable conditions. The technical expertise and assistance provided to me on shooting in low light conditions and the proper use of flash helped immeasurably. Getting the most amazing images was definitely the hi-light but the attentiveness Juan Carlos gave to my personal needs and comfort also greatly enhanced the whole experience. There were so many high points to this workshop but one that stands out for me was photographing the Resplendent Quetzal. This is “the bird” when I think of Costa Rica and to come home with great captures of it was the icing on the cake. I will definitely be back for another workshop and will be highly recommending your workshop to friends and others wishing to have a fantastic bird photography experience in Costa Rica.
Rick Dobson Ontario Canada
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