Overview

Day 1 Arrival to Costa Rica - Juan Santamaria's International Airport

Day 2, 3: Bosque de Paz

Day 4, 5: Sarapiquí

Day 6, 7: Siquirres

Day 8, 9: Copal

Day 10, 11: San Gerardo de Dota

Day 12, 13, 14: Central Pacific

 

Daily Itinerary by destination:

Day 1. Arrival in Costa Rica. Pick up by CRBJ staff, transfer to San Jose’s overnight hotel. Dinner is not included.

Day 2. Bosque de Paz Lodge. Breakfast followed by departure to Bajos del Toro’s town. The lodge has dozen of trail systems for exploring its avian biodiversity, we will spend all day at the lodge grounds. Bosque de Paz is an amazing place to find highland endemics such as Azure hooded Jay, Prong billed Barbet, Golden browed Chlorophonia, Silvery fronted Tapaculo etc.

· Departure from Pacifico Lodge at 9:30 am
· Lunch at Bosque de Paz 13:00
· Hummingbird garden photography
· Dinner 7:00 pm
· Workshop: How to capture American Dipper

Day 3. Bosque de Paz Lodge. Early birding at the forest trails searching for Resplendent Quetzal, Red-headed Barbet, leaftossers, woodhunters, woodcreepers , Highland tinamous, etc. After a well-deserved breakfast, we will travel a few minutes down the road to another great hummingbird garden at Bajos del Toro’s waterfall some other great birds are found such as Prevost’s Ground Sparrow, Purplish backed Quaildove, Black-breasted Woodquail, etc. After exploring the forest trails and hummingbird gardens we will return to the lodge for lunch with more forest birds.

· Early garden photography
· Breakfast 8:30 am
· Departure to Bajos del Toro’s Waterfall
· Bosque de Paz trail exploration
· Dinner 7:00 pm

Day 4. La Selva Biological Station. Drive after breakfast into the heart of the most well-studied rainforest on earth.

· Drive to explore more possibilities out the of the lodge on nearby back roads and forest edges
· Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00) out of the lodge, continue seeking for larger birds such as Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, etc.
· Return time at 17:30
· Dinner at 18:00
· Photography workshop Subject: White spots, odd angles, lowlight and black backgrounds

Day 5. La Selva Biological Station. Early breakfast and trail exploration until lunch. Visit Dave & Dave’s Photography Garden.

· Morning at La Selva
· Dave & Dave’s Photography Garden 15:00
· Dinner 6:30 pm

Day 6. Las Brisas Reserve. Located at 250 meters above sea level at the foothills of Turrialba Volcano; a wonderful location that sits in a belt of altitude migration of birds from highlands to lowlands. Focus mostly on scientific research Las Brisas Reserve is a key place to visit in between Sarapiqui and Turrialba.

· Breakfast and Bird photography at La Selva
· Roadside bird photography Siquirres Area.
· Afternoon hike at Las Brisas
· Meals at local restaurants

Day 7. Las Brisas Reserve. Early exploration at Las Brisas Reserve and adjacent open areas.

· Breakfast on site
· Morning at Las Brisas Reserve
· Afternoon hike at Las Brisas and nearby forest patches
· Meals at local restaurants

Day 8. Copal Lodge. Early bird photography along with the hotel premises before breakfast and departure to the isolated Copal Lodge. A journey to never forget. A place with such an incredible deep green feeling that evokes times before time.

· Lunch at 12:00
· Forest edges exploration and Sunbittern quest
· Dinners at 18:30
· Photography workshop Subject: Motion, stillness and haze.

Day 9. Copal Lodge. Get up before the sunlight shines. We love being up before sunlight hits the virgin rainforest of Copal Lodge. Our targets today are fruit-eating birds such as Euphonias, Honeycreepers, Tanagers, Guans, Toucans and more. Also, we will focus on capturing the sneaky Snowcap a unique-looking hummingbird that flowers around the hotel grounds.

· Breakfast at 9:00 am
· Birding from comfort at the hotel decks.
· Dinners at 18:30

Day 10. Savegre Lodge. Once again being up before light is crucial, the weather is always changing in the mountains and we must take advantage of all different possible scenarios. Bird hike at the lodge trails in search of rare birds such as Yellow-eared Toucanet, Lovely Cotinga and White-crowned Manakin. Drive after breakfast to the heights of Talamanca’s Mountain Forest.

· Birding from comfort at the hotel decks and forest hike
· Breakfast at 9:00 am
· Departure to Savegre Lodge at 10:30 am

Day 11. Savegre Lodge. We will concentrate on capturing hummingbirds in the air. Many hotels had for a long time built very attractive gardens filled with hummers fighting for the best perches and nectars.

· Early departure 5:30 – 9:30 am is search for Resplendent Quetzal
· Oak Forest bird exploration
· Batsu Bird Garden

Day 12. Pacifico Lodge. Drive after breakfast to the down valley into the heart of the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. Exploring gardens, forests, and river edges. Wild bird photography. There are so many different locations to explore during this destination. Agricultural fields, forest patches, river edges, primary, secondary & mangrove forests.

· Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
· Mangrove Boat tour 14:30 to 18:00
· Dinner at 19:00
· Photography workshop Subject: Macaws in flight

Day 13. Pacifico Lodge. Pacifico Lodge. Full day at Carara National Park. Two different trail systems with endless possibilities to capture manakins, trogons, antbirds, motmots, raptors, woodcreepers, toucans and so much more.

 

· Full day at the park’s trails

· Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)

· Dinner at 18:30

 

Day 14. Departure to the International Airport. Based on your flight schedules. Breakfast included.

 

Notes

Every single corner to this tropical gem can well be called paradise, from the sandy beaches of Central Pacific and its mangroves to the deepest and least known jungles of Barbilla National Park area. We have chosen those particular destinations for their outstanding beauty, colourful and representative birds.

 

Early rising: We would be out at first morning light seeking for that perfect beam hitting the rainforests.

Photographing locations: All locations require some hiking and searching for fruiting trees, bushes, nesting holes.

Mastering the captures on site: We will teach you how to get the best images possible.

Times: Very crucial to make the most out of your holidays; we have selected all lodging, forests, or locations with a maximum distance/hours of driving per day. Generally speaking traveling time would be during the off hours or between 10 am – 1 pm.

Difficulty Level: If you are able to manage 2-3 Km on a daily basis with intervals you should be fine. Although some extra hiking by be require to reach specific locations for particular images.

How much photography skill do I need to have to enter the trip? Intermediate to Advance.

IMPORTANT NOTE: FIRST DAY’S HOTEL IT WOULD BE BASED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT SCHEDULES

Number of nights by destination: SJ (1), Bosque de Paz (2), Sarapiqui (2), Pacuare’s Rainforest (2), Pejibaye’s Rainforest (2), San Gerardo (2), Carara (3)

Number of participants: Minimum 2, Maximum 6 (8 upon request)

Dates/Months: Open all year

Additional Information

1. GEAR

• Small hiking backpack for day trips

• Small first aid kit

• Binoculars

• Camera (optional)

• Sunglasses

• Sunblock and Bug Spray

• Several pencils

• Daily journal

• A passport purse (to carry money, credit cards, etc... wear it close to your body)

• Any needed medications, anti-diarrhea, or any prescriptions

• Torch/Flashlight

2. WHAT TO BRING LIST

• Tennis shoes with good traction or hiking shoes with ankle support (waterproof)

• Comfortable sandals or flip flops

• Swimming wear

• Neutral color clothing for camouflage

• Several cool long sleeve shirts and short sleeve shirts

• Hat for sun protection (breathable)

• 2-3 pairs of light weight long pants for rain forest hikes

• Lightweight rain jacket (neutral color only)

• Casual beach clothing (t-shirts, shorts, sun dresses)

• Long pants and a fast drying sweater for the city/mountains (temp. are cooler can reach 3.5 degree celsius)

• Lightweight gloves for cooler areas

• Wellingtons/rubber boots can be bought in Costa Rica for $15 usd

3. MONEY, CREDIT CARDS, IDENTIFICATION

• Travelers checks (American Express or Visa) (can exchange some of them for Colones at the the local banks or hotel front desk)

• About $50-200 in cash (not tears in bills, small bills are better)

• Visa credit card widely accepted in Costa Rica, except rural towns (keep phone number of credit card company separate.)

• Passport

• Photocopies of passports and driver’s license (kept in a separate place)

• Use a credit card to call US from your hotel room or local pone

• You can also purchase a phone card here for international calls ($9 for 12 minutes to US)

4. USING FLASH OR NOT:

We would be teaching the use of natural light rather than multiflash control as those use to capture hummingbirds with fake backgrounds. Nonetheless we will also take some time to explain the uses of flash on bird photography.

5. Mastering bird photography on flight:

We will concentrate it on capturing hummingbirds in the air. Many hotels had for a long time built very attractive gardens fill with hummers fighting for the best perches and nectars.
Apart from hummingbirds at Tarcoles River boat tour the number of birds fishing, catching or simply gliding are fabulous.

6. ALL DAILY ACTIVITIES WOULD BE BASED ON LIGHT OR NATURAL OPPORTUNITIES SUCH AS NESTING SITES, FEEDING FRENZY, FRUITING TREES, ETC.

During the down times or complicated light garden explorations of visits to other parts of the
chosen destinations. Since we will be focus on no control environments or bird feeding stations; exploring the surrounding habitats near our lodges can well be highly rewarding. In many cases sitting still on flowering bushes or tree cavities can give us positive results.

7. ALL AREAS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BASED ON THE 20 YEARS OF GUIDING SUCCESS, NOTHING HAS BEEN LEFT TO CHANCE EXCEPT FOR NATURE ITSELF. FROM THE DEEP JUNGLES OF BRAULIO CARILLO´S NATIONAL PARK TO THE SMOKY SUMMIT OF ARENAL VOLCANO´S RAINFOREST.

This photography experience has been created to capture colourful, beautiful and most iconic bird life from our rainforests.

General Topics

Mind Map