Costa Rica Photo Tour - March 19th to 26th, 2024
Costa Rica Photo Tour - "Nature Up-Close" Costa Rica occupies a privileged spot in the heart of Central America, spanning 19,652 square miles it touches both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country stands out for its variety of ecosystems, black volcanic beaches, and hosts some of the most beautiful rain forests waiting for the creative eye of the photographer.
We would like to invite you to join us as we photograph and explore the nature and culture Costa Rica has to offer. For our 2023 tour we have inculded in our itinerary great birding locations such as Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Arenal Observatory Lodge and Paraiso Quetzal Lodge. Talk about nature in your own back yard ... these locations will offer our photographers access to trails & nature during our schedule of photo shoots and chance to return during free time. Also I'm pleased to be working again with one of the best birder naturalists in Costa Rica, Minor Hildalgo. Minor will be joining us for the entire tour.
During our journey, we will experience the rainforests and volcanic regions from high and low offering up a variety of birds and other wildlife.
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Costa Rica Photo Tour Itinerary - March 19th to 26th, 2024
Day One: Tuesday, March 19th, 2024 Early morning coach departure offered from London to Toronto. Toronto and area guests will meet at Pearson International. We are flying from Terminal 1 via Air Transat 11:15 a.m, to San Jose International Airport. Our flight arrives at 3:00 p.m. (please note fligth times subject to change), after clearing customs and immigration, we will be met by local representative who will assist with luggage claims and transfer to our hotel. We to Boca Tapada, San Carlos to stay and experience Laguna del Lagarto Lodge. Our lodge offers a genuine contact with nature offering up many photo opportunites, the exuberant trails in the tropical rain forest allows for a direct access to nature. 150 species of trees, monkeys, caimans, coatis, red frogs and the symphony of 350 species of birds – the most wanted dream of bird watchers and photographers are all part of this experience. Laguna del Lagarto Lodge comprises 500 protected hectares that can be toured in different ways, by foot, by horse or by boat, and each trip will leave you with a great impression. We have specially located platforms to take pictures at a strategic distance of no more than four meters. We will be staying at the lodge for two nights. Laguna del Lagarto Lodge (D)
Day Two: Wednesday, March 20th, 2024 Breakfast, a day of photography and exploring Laguna del Lagarto Lodge and surrounding gardens and grounds. We will be working with our guide coving various locatins around the grounds. 150 species of trees, monkeys, caimans, coatis, red frogs and the symphony of 350 species of birds. Laguna del Lagarto Lodge comprises 500 protected hectares that can be toured in different ways, by foot, by horse or by boat, and each trip will leave you with a great impression. We have specially located platforms to take pictures at a strategic distance of no more than four meters. Laguna del Lagarto Lodge (B) (L) (D).
Day Three: Thursday, March 21st, 2024 Breakfast, check-out and travel to Arenal Observatory Lodge. Located at only 2.7 km from the majestic Arenal Volcano and surrounded by 860 acres of incredible rainforest, the Arenal Observatory Lodge offers our photographer guests a rare opportunity to view one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This property was originally built as a research station for scientists of the Smithsonian Institute and Earthwatch. The rich volcanic soil supports primary and secondary rainforest teeming with birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles. Howler monkeys call from the forest every morning and late afternoon. We will visit and photograph on some of the 11 kilomoters or seven miles of well-marked trail system traverses the property and provides safe, easy access to breathtaking natural beauty. A paved trail, wheelchair accessible, extends 800 meters into the rainforest allowing excellent views of the volcano and primary forest. This trail is perfect for a short night hike to immerse yourself in the exotic sounds and smells of the jungle after dark. Another great day of photo opportunities. One Night Hotel Arenal Observatory, Smithsonian Room. (B) (D)
Day Four: Friday, March 22nd, 2024 Breakfast, check-out and travel to Savegre Lodge in San Gerado de Dota. Our lodge and natural reserve is a beautiful property settled at 89 kilometers south from San Jose, in a 400 hectares Private Natural Reserve and just 9 kilometers from Los Quetzales National Park. This is an idea spot to explore the imposing Tropical Cloud Forest with many landscape and birding opportunities today. Three Nights Savegre Lodge. (B) (D)
Day Five: Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 We will be making an early morning departure for a day at Paraiso Quetzal Lodge. At the lodge reserve we will enjoy a bird photography with emphasis on the Quetzal Bird. Since we will be departing our lodge early breakfast & Lunch will be served upon our arrival at Paraiso Quetzal Lodge. We will explore and photograph during our gentle 1.5 kilometers walk through the cloud forest that will lead us to the Quetzals habitat. We will take approximately 2 hours this morning. Our experienced guide will provide detailed information about the Quetzal along the way. We will have plenty of time for photography and admire the beautiful ladscapes. Overnight Savegre Lodge. (B) (L) (D)
Day Six: Sunday, March 24th, 2024 Today we will visit and photograph at “Bosque del Tolomuco” & “Batsu Gardens” Our first stop today will be Bosque del Tolomuco (forest) which offers a quiet environment for birdwatching and our photography. We will walk along numerous well maintained trails for easy hiking and birding along the way, as well as great open areas and forest edges where a lot of the bird life concentrate. Many birds can be seen simply from the veranda, if a person is unable or does not wish to hike. Tanagers, hummingbirds, and parakeets are usually feeding in the gardens. With a combination of middle and high elevation species due to our elevation (1700 m.a.s.l), and our open areas, secondary forest, thickets, and primary forest provide great habitat for many species. Temperature also makes birding very pleasant! We will take a luch breat then this afternoon visit Batsú Gardens.
This afternoon arrive at Batsú Gardens. The name Batsú comes from Bri-Bri a language spoken by the indigenous people of the Talamanca mountain range. Batsú means small bird, and is used especially for hummingbirds. In the Batsú Gardens every detail has been intentionally designed for birding and bird photography. The property combines all the necessary ingredients resulting in a site where we can comfortably observe and photograph birds while adding new species to your life list. The Batsú Gardens have natural feeders to attract birds and a short private trail leading through the primary oak forest. This combination of habitats allows to see a large number of species. Overnight Savegre Lodge. (B) (D)
Day Seven: Monday, March 25th, 2024 Breakfast, and time for the last few photos before departing for our final location the Hotel Bougainvillea. After check in we will have time to walk the tropical gardens; full of trees, plants, flowers and bushes, they are particularly attractive to birds: hummingbirds, blue crowned motmots, palm tanagers, tropical kingbirds, boat-billed flycatchers are often observed. One night Mountain view room Hotel Bougainvillea. (B) (D)
Day Eight: Tuesday March 26th, 2024 Breakfast, then check-out and travel back to Juan Santamaría International Airport for our return flight to Canada. Our 4:20 p.m. flight will see us arrving back in Toronto around 10:20 p.m. (please note flight times are due to change) We will say good-bye to our GTA and transfering guests and board our coach for our return drive to London. We should arrive at approximately 12:30 a.m. (B)
Costa Rica has an annual temperature range of 21C (70F) to 27C (81F), the cooler months of the year are November thru February, and March getting warmer as they move into April thus making this a great time to visit this part of Central America as this is considered the dry season. Please keep in mind that rain forests are humid and sometimes misty, making it important to bring the proper foot ware and covers for your photo equipment.
Pre-tour Information Night: As with all our photo tours, we will hold a photo information night approximately three weeks prior to departure. We will present the final itinerary, travel suggestions, what gear to pack, and hand out all related travel documents. The pre-tour presentation is designed to give our photographers all the information needed for our trek. This also allows a chance for you to meet your fellow travellers, and host. The tentative date for our information night is Tuesday February 27th, 2024.
The cost of our Costa Rica Photo Tour Departing from Toronto is $4490.00 per person CAD based on double occupancy including airfare departing from Pearson International Toronto, plus air tax of $490.41 CAD plus HST $15.21. Single supplement available for an additional $980.00 CAD.
A non-refundable deposit of $100.00 is due at the time of booking, with a second deposit of $440.00 due August 02, 2023. The balance is due 60 days prior to our departure. We recommend the purchase of travel and health insurance as this tour takes us out of the country.
You may also choose to pay over 12 monthy payments through our Uplift finance program estimate - $405.00 per month. You select 12 month payment option under the payment section during registration.
Photo Tour Trekkers and Tourcan Vacations recommends the purchase of travel and health insurance as tour takes us out of the country. Health insurance is highly recommended. Please note your passport expiry date must be valid for 6 months past our return date of March 26th, 2024
- Round trip coach for departures from London and points along the 401 corridor to Pearson Airport,
- Round Trip Airfare via Air Canada, departing from Toronto other airports available upon request
- Accommodations during our tour
- Hotel and Lodge taxes
- All airport and hotel transfers,
- Breakfast included each day,
- Lunch and Dinner as per the itinerary
- Air conditioned motor coach and driver
- Bottled water each day of the tour
- Admissions to Wildlife parks
- English speaking guides,
- Private Services
- Photo Workshops,
- Tour hosted and escorted by photographer James Cowie,
- Items of a personal nature, laundry, phone calls, etc.
- Local guide tips and gratuities,
- Costa Rica exit taxes $29 USD
- Alcoholic beverages,
** Schedule may vary according to weather or traffic