Some of the tour highlights:
- Fantastic cloud forests in Monteverde.
- Close encounters with many species of hummingbirds.
- The best time to see and photograph the Resplendent Quetzal.
- A myriad of reptiles and amphibians, including several species of poison-dart frogs.
- Many night trips in the rainforest.
- Close-up photography of Toucans and many other colorful birds at a private hacienda.
- Tree-top walks and photography.
- A global hot-spot for animals and plants.
- Several of the largest Macaw species.
- Howler Monkeys and Sloths.
- A full day on the Nicaraguan border river.
- The tour leader will show you their best spots and provide photographic advice in a small like-minded group.
- We contribute to conservation in ”The Children’s Rainforest”, which we also visit several times.
Costa Rica is one of the top natural destinations in the world. Ecotourism is not just a name but a reality in the country. As much as 30% of the land surface in Costa Rica is protected in reserves or National Parks. There is hardly any other country in the world that has as many plant and animal species on such a small area as Costa Rica. The country has the highest biodiversity in the world.
Costa Rica is also the country without any military, and where water is so clean you can drink it almost anywhere. Costa Rica also has some of the most outspoken environmental and conservation legislation. Nature guides here are world class.
On this photo tour we have used our local knowledge to carefully select destinations in order to include a variety of environments and richness of animals and plants. We will mostly be in the species-rich rainforests, some of which are world-famous. During two weeks we make a round tour of the central highlands, encountering exciting wildlife all over the place. Hummingbirds, Howler-monkeys, Toucans, Sloths, Iguanas and Poison-Dart frogs are just some of the animals we will be encountering. They are mostly not shy at all, and are often easy to photograph in areas where there has not been any hunting for a long time. The forests are teeming with thousands of orchids, lianas, bromeliads, mosses and other epiphytes. Every day the rainforest provides new photo opportunities.
The cloud forests of Monteverde
Our first destination on the tour is the cloud-rainforests of Monteverde. An enchanted world, consisting of several different reserves. The area is isolates, at 1400 m above sea level. Every day the forests are shrouded by the low cloud layer. We will be staying in one of the small pleasant villages, and will visit the reserve each day. Our main target is the Resplendent Quetzal with its bright green plumage and 65 cm long tail feathers. It was regarded as the messenger of the gods in Indian cultures. This is one of the world’s most beautiful birds, and this is one of the easiest places to see it. We also hope to see the weird and wonderful Three-Wattled Bellbird, whose call sounds like it is from the film Star Wars. Hummingbirds are abundant, and we will visit several feeding stations in order to get close to them. We also have several night-photography sessions in the Children’s Rainforest, funded by money raised by Swedish school children. There, we hope to see snakes, frogs and interesting insects. One morning will be spent on one of the world’s most spectacular tree-top walks among the canopies, in order to photograph the forest from above. Some of the animals that occur in the Monteverde area, but are very difficult to see are Jaguars, Ocelots and Tapirs.
Nicaraguan border river
In northernmost Costa Rica, on the way to the Rio Frio border river, we will pass one of the world’s most beautiful stratovolcanos – Arenal. It is also Central Americas most active volcano. On the river, we will have our own boat for a full day and will be able to get close to herons, storks, ibis, anhingas, cormorants, kingfishers and other waterbirds. Sneaking up in the boat we might even be able to get a Cayman within photographic range. This border river is set in beautiful scenery, and with some luck we might get pictures of the Howler Monkeys that occur here.
Trimbina and La Selva lowland rainforest
We also have a real lowland rainforest on our tour program. International teams of biologists have studied this particular rainforest for more than 30 years. We will go for several night-walks in search of owls, opossums, frogs, insects and snakes. During the daytime, we will stay close to our lodge, where animals come close to the buildings. There are several species of poison-dart frogs, the red-eyed tree-frog that is a symbol for Costa Rica rainforests, toucans, parrots, hummingbirds and large tree-climbing iguanas. All are quite untimid and there are really an abundance of photo opportunities. We also go into the reserve at day and hope for Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys. We visit a private hacienda rigged for photographers, where toucans, colorful tanagers and hummingbirds are abundant, all quite accustomed to photographers.
Our next destination on the tour is the small Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean coast. The park includes a protected sea area. This National Park is the best place in Costa Rica for many reptiles and sloths. We concentrate on the small, calm and beautiful Eyelash Viper, which occurs in several color variations. Knowledgable guides help search for other animals, such as Armadillos, Racoons and various frogs, toucans and parrots.
Cerro de la Muerta
Our last destination on our route back to San José is Cerro de la Muerta – ”mountain of the dead”. We head back up into the cloud forests, this time in Talamanca where there is a cosy nice lodge. There are the best sites for the Resplendent Quetzal and several specific hummingbirds such as the Volcano hummingbird. All animals are close to the lodge, and thanks to cooperative villagers the lodge always gets to know the whereabouts of interesting animals. They also have a program for capture and release of snakes that would otherwise be a target for farmer’s machetes. We know have a chance to fine-tune our techniques for action and creative photography, before heading back to San José and the journey home.
During the tour there will be time for photographic workshops where we e.g. discuss techniques for the next days photography, and where we also discuss composition and study each others photos. All in order to take your photography to the next level. This is not only a tour for the most dedicated nature photographers, but also for those who wish to experience some of the world’s finest National Parks and their wildlife at close range in spectacular surroundings.
Exact dates to be announced soon.
Number of participants
Last date to register
Share in twin room and meals according to itinerary. All entrance fees, all boat safaris, local guides, photo workshops, local transports (mini bus), transfer to and from San José airport. Accommodation in hotels, camps and lodges of middle standard.
Single room fee
Price does not include
Flights in and out of San José airport, visa, tips, camera fees, insurance, cancellation insurance, beverages, meals that are not specified in itinerary, phone and internet charges, personal items.
San José international airport. The tour starts and ends here.
A wide range of subjects will be available to us, from landscapes to smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibies. Therefore it is good to bring everything from wide-angle to telephoto lenses. Lenses from 70-200 mm up to 500 mm are excellent for the wildlife that we will encounter. To increase focal length you can use a teleconverter.
We will have lots of opportunities for macro photography so bring a macro lens if possible.
A good torch or head lamp, with neutral light, and a flash is of importance for night and hummingbird photography.
If you have two camera bodies, bring both in order not to have to change lenses as much.
During our walks in the rainforest it´s important to have a good protection for camera and lenses since it wet in the forest and rain showers may appear.
Tripods will be useful in many situations, especially at the bird and Hummingbird feeding stations.
Mornings in the mountains might be chilly. Days will warm, temperatures above 30 degrees C is common and it is humid almost all of the time. It is important and useful to have proper rain gear, best when photographing is a rain poncho. It is good to bring clothes that dry easy. Rubber boots or a pair of sturdy walking boots is a must for the feets in the rainforest. Bring sandals or lighter shoes to wear at lodges and while traveling.
Group and language
Our tours are open to all nationalities, so the group may be international. Our tour leaders speak Swedish and English.
*Terms of payment
Registration fee to be paid on registration. Remaining fees to be paid latest 60 days before the tour starts.
Contact your insurance company about insurance, including cancellation insurance. For most nationalities you need a visa or ESTA visa for transfer through the USA. Contact your doctor about vaccination requirements.