Overview

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

Day 2, 3: San Gerardo de Dota

Day 4, 5: Central Pacific

Day 6, 7: La Selva Biological Station

 

Daily Itinerary by destination:

 Talamanca’s Highland there is not destination in Costa Rica more fulfilling for endemic birds, although the number of species in the highlands in
the country are far less than rainforest lowlands, the exceptionalnumber of endemics far exceeds those ones in areas as Corcovado National Park
or La Selva. Hummingbirds, flycatchers, vireos, trogons, wrens, are some the families that had been isolated for millions of years; creating
specialization of species therefore endemics. Among some of the most beautiful birds are the Resplendent Quetzal and perhaps the only place in
which it can be found all year long. Giant oaks, misty mornings and crispy air are among many of the wonderful things that make this

destination a favorite among us….

Sea level 2560 meters
Temperature 9-26
Humidity 80% +

Day 1. Arrival to San Jose. Overnight at Isla Verde Hotel.IMPORTANT NOTE: FIRST DAY’S HOTEL IT WOULD BE BASED ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
SCHEDULES  Arrival in Costa Rica. Pick up by CRBJ staff, transfer to San Jose’s overnight hotel. Briefing about the tour. Dinner not included.

Day 2.Savegre Lodge. Drive after breakfast to the heights of Talamanca’s Mountain Forest. 

·       Exploring gardens, forests, and river edges. Wild bird photography. Carry your super-telephoto lens and tripod. Today we will
let mother nature show us the way. These recently opened trails show an incredible number of endemic bird species found nowhere
else. Many of them occur in small patches of land near the river edges, some others walking around the lovely gardens and deep
forest trails.
·       Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
·       Hummingbird garden 2:30 – 3:30 followed by forest edges exploring
·       Dinner at 18:30 (a la carte, options for vegetarians available)
·       Photography workshop Subject: Editing tools Camera Raw, Capture One, DXOLab3, Topaz and questions (19:30 – 21:30)
video beam presentation 

Day 3. 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

 

Carara National Park is by far one the best birding places all year long in Costa Rica and perhaps in all of Central America. Within the national park
protects the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws, easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges. There are
very few places in the country where more than hundred species can be found in one trail. Meandrica’s trail it has become an icon for quality
birding, tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, antshrikes are among the most common birds in the forest. The nearby
forested edges give as a good number of open field birds, jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, owls are
among many of the avifauna found in these habitats. The mangroves at Rio Grande de Tarcoles are very rewarding on a good day along the river
edges 5 species of kingfishers can be spotted, more than a couple dozens of shorebirds, herons, egrets are also easy to find but the most
remarkable species are the ones with a restricted range or to the mangroves such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, the elusive Rufous
necked woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic Mangrove Hummingbird.
Sea level 50 meters
Temperature 29-36
Humidity 80% +

Day 4. 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 2:30 pm
·       Dinner at 18:30

·       Photography workshop Subject: Macaws in flight

Day 5. 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. 

·       Mangrove Boat tour 5:30 am
·       Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
·       Dinner at 18:30

 

Sarapiqui is a real rainforest experience with vast areas to cover, primary rainforest, active and no active pasture fields, river edges, canopy
bridges, thick understory, etc. Cotingas, macaws, oropendolas, guans, eagles, toucans are some of the many species to find. At La Selva
Biological Station daily birds to spot are Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Jacamars, Tanagers, Orioles,Woodpeckers, Tityras, etc. Botanical gardens
nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always bring good surprises as Little
Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and much more. The Braulio Carrillo National Park is a real rainforest experience
with the largest mixed flocks ever including favorites such as Sharpbills and Umbrellabirds. 

Sea level 50 meters
Temperature 29-34
Humidity 85% +

Day 6. 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 7. La Selva Biological Station. Early breakfast and trail exploration until lunch. Visit to Dave & Dave’s Photography Garden.

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

Day 8. International flight departure. Itinerary would depend of flight schedules.

Notes

A journey in search of some of the most enigmatic birds for conservation in Costa Rica; 7 nights 8 days exploring 3 amazing destinations from the Central Pacific to the southern Caribbean lowlands. A photography tour capturing Macaws, Quetzals, Toucans and many other iconic birds with long tails.

All daily activities would be based on light or natural opportunities such as nesting sites, feeding locations. During the down times or complicated light; garden explorations of visits to other parts of the chosen destinations. Since we will be focused on natural environments most of the avifauna would be captured as found yet we will visit some bird feeding stations to enrich the quantity and quality. All destinations have been carefully chosen to reach a high level of success.

Early rising: In some locations we will be leaving before sunrise. In order to capture certain moments, situations or specific targets. 

Photographing locations: All locations require tons of time sitting and waiting since many of the birds seek after would be nesting.

Mastering bird photography.
There are many tricks to ensure quality and momentum. We will explore them all as long as nature lets us.

Playing with black and white: Many times we let colours run our bird photography nonetheless experimenting with shades, shadows, contrasts of
the enchanting universe of blank & white can give you new ways to see our beloved feathery friends.

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. Just a friendly reminder we specialize on
physically limited tours for those who would share our passion for nature and bird photography. Those expeditions are tailor made and we would
pick the itineraries based on a deep conversation with those interested.

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

Early rising: 

In some locations we will be leaving before sunrise. In order to capture certain moments, situations or specific targets.

Photographing habitats: 

Many bird photography expeditions have always focused on just the birds therefore a good part of the experience is reduced and the story telling would not be as rich as I could be.

Mastering bird photography: 

There are many tricks to ensure quality and momentum. We will explore them all as long as nature lets us.

Playing with black and white: 

Many times we let colours run our bird photography nonetheless experimenting with shades, shadows, contrasts of the enchanting universe of blank & white can give you new ways to see our beloved feathery friends.

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. 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. Just a friendly reminder we specialize on physically limited tours for those who would share our passion for nature and bird photography.

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

Bird as Art is created to all levels of photographers with a DSLR but if you are in a more advanced level please let us know and we might be able to suggest an either private service or a small group of friends.

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

Number of nights by destination: SJ (1), San Gerardo (2), Carara (2), La Selva Biological Station (2)

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

Dates/Months: Open all year

Destination description:

Arrival in Costa Rica. Pick up by CRBJ staff, transfer to San Jose’s overnight hotel. Briefing about the tour. Dinner not included.

 

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