Overview

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

Day 2, 3, 4: Monteverde

Day 5, 6, 7: Central Pacific

 

Daily Itinerary by destination:

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. Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Upon arrival and since the forest is right there at the lodge, we will explore many different trail systems or focus on the road edges searching for Guans, Bellbirds, Barbets, Flycatchers etc. During the late afternoon where most people have left the trails we will go birding at El Camino Trail and others searching for cloud forest mixed flocks or a rare glimpse of woodquails, antpittas, leaftosser and tinamous.

·        Breakfast 5:30 am
·        Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve
·       Lunch at 13:00
·       Afternoon at Hummingbird Garden
·       Dinner at 18:30
·       Photography workshop Subject: Lowlight & movement (19:00 – 20:30)video beam presentation

Day 3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Begin birding at sunrise near the lodge where a large number of bird life is concentrated before sun shines on the forest floors. A good opportunity to capture good views of Quetzals coming to feed on fruits at the road edges. Deeply cover canopies can be a beat challenging while birdwatching but many rare birds occur in the shady sides.

·       Early birding hike in quest for Resplendent Quetzal
·       Breakfast 9 am
·       All day long exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve
·       Lunch at 13:00
·       Dinner at 18:30
·       Photography workshop Subject: Hummingbirds, glares & colors 19:00 – 20:30) video beam

Day 4. Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. Early rising to the cloud forest, followed by breakfast and departure
to The Ecological Sanctuary for Three wattled Bellbird and Long tailed Manakin.

·       Early birding hike in the cloud forest
·       Breakfast 9 am
·       Visit to the Ecological Sanctuary
·       Lunch at 13:00 followed by forest edges hike
·       Dinner at 18:30

Day 5. 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.

Sea level 50 meters
Temperature 29-36
Humidity 80% +

·       Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
·       Mangrove Boat tour  2:30 pm
·       Dinner at 18:30
·       Photography workshop Subject: Macaws in flight

Day 6. 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.

Carara National Park 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
·       Lunch (between 11:30 – 13:00)
·       Dinner at 18:30

 

Day 7. Pacifico Lodge. Exploring only open areas, marshes, grasslands, pasture fields, road edges. A journey
to the upper roads of Carara National Park at Bijagual’s area and Jaco Wetlands.

Activities based on international flight schedule. Breakfast included.

Notes

7 nights exploring 2 amazing destinations from the misty cloud forest of Monteverde to the lush rainforest of Carara National Park. Both locations are world known for their efforts in conservation of two major birds, Resplendent Quetzal & Scarlet Macaws. Each of their mind blowing beauty are perfect representatives of Costa Rican avifauna. Capture extraordinary moments of those gorgeous bird species and hundreds of others more including a couple of dozens of endemics.

Monteverde Cloud Forest. Nestled in the Tilaran volcanic range and facing the dry forest of the Nicoya’s Peninsula, this world known paradise has been an icon for conservationists for decades. Blasted by the Caribbean trade winds at the top of its hills the evergreen forest of Monteverde/Santa Elena holds the one of the most astonishing biodiversity anywhere on earth due its geographical position.

Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here and its adjacent preserves on the 3 major ecosystems. Home of the all mighty Resplendent Quetzal, and the weird looking Three wattled Bellbird with its unique call. Dozens of kilometres of trails to explore. Dripping wet forest with more than 400 species of orchids and gentile blown clouds enchants everyone’s eyes. There are very few places on earth so breathtaking at first glance

(1:30 hrs) 45KM
Sea level 1300 meters
Temperature 17-32
Humidity 80%

Carara National Park. The greatest birding destinations in the country, this incredible park boasts the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica! With easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges, this destination is friendly for all ages and fitness levels. There are very few places where more than a hundred species can be found on one trail, but the Meandrica trail is infamous for just that.

It has become a treasured birding icon where you can seek tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, and antshrikes, among others. The nearby forested edges house many open field birds, such as jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, and owls. The mangroves of the Rio Grande de Tarcoles can reward the birder with up to five species of kingfishers, as well as many other shorebirds such as herons and egrets. The most remarkable of this area are the restricted range birds of the mangroves, such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, and even the elusive Rufous Necked Woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic, the Mangrove Hummingbird.

 

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.

 

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