Costa Rica 2020

Costa Rica Photography Tour 2020

March 29–April 9, 2020

Capture the Magic of Costa Rica

Capture the magic of Costa Rica in the company of professional photographer Wayde Carroll and expert Costa Rican guide, Marco Fallas.

With a plethora of wildlife and natural wonders, charming locals, historical architecture, and quaint towns, Costa Rica is a photographer’s dream. On this trip our small group will also dine with locals, explore jungle canals, seek out the Resplendent Quetzal, traverse hanging bridges, dip in hot springs, learn how to make tortillas, and so much more! We’ll spend ample time photographing in three diverse climate zones while immersing ourselves in the local culture. Having eleven full days together will allow each member of our small group to receive plenty of hands-on instruction and guidance throughout our journey.

In Costa Rica, we’ll have plenty of daylight to capture a wide variety of locations at our own pace and we’ll have interesting opportunities at night to photograph as well. We will have our own van and private driver and will be able to stop en route any time something strikes our fancy.

Each day will be filled with some combination of photography excursions, technique building workshops, hands-on guidance, assignments and reviews, as well as Marco’s home-grown insights into each area. You’ll get to work on perfecting an arsenal of travel photography skills including; landscape, stop-action, long-exposure, night, macro, portraits, fill-flash, and off-camera flash. Some evenings will be dedicated to sharing photos and post-processing so bring your laptop!

We have a number of multinight stays in one location so if you just want to take a break and spend some time relaxing by the pool or on your porch, you’ll have that option as well.

11 Nights

6 to 10 Travelers

$4,675

(Double-occupancy; single supplement $570)

Itinerary

Arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport. As you exit you will be met by a driver for a private transfer to Hotel Bougainvillea in Heredia. Today you’ll meet with Wayde and Marco at the hotel. They’ll give you an orientation briefing and go through your itinerary. If you arrive early we’ll get warmed up with some photography in the beautiful gardens at the hotel. Dinner tonight on your own or join Wayde.

Highlights

  • Arrival in beautiful Costa Rica!
  • Meet the guides
  • Orientation and briefing
  • Optional photo walk in the hotel gardens

Meals

  • Not included

Accommodations

  • Hotel Bougainvillea

After breakfast we’ll have our private transfer to the local city of Cartago, where we’ll visit beautiful churches and ruins. We’ll lunch at a local restaurant en route, and continue on to Cerro de la Muerte.

Highlights

  • Basilica de los Angeles Church
  • Ujarras Ruins

Meals

  • Breakfast at Hotel Bougainvillea
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Dinner at Savegre Lodge

Accommodations

  • Savegre Lodge

This morning we’ll have a private tour and lunch at Paraiso del Quetzal. We’ll be in search of the stunning Resplendent Quetzal. After lunch we’ll visit a Hummingbird Garden and hone our stop-action skills photographing these amazing birds.

Highlights

  • Paraíso del Quetzal
  • Hummingbird Garden

Meals

  • Breakfast at Savegre Lodge
  • Lunch at a Paraiso del Quetzal
  • Dinner at the Savegre Lodge

Accommodations

  • Savegre Lodge

This morning we’ll have an optional early morning hike to photograph sunrise above the clouds. Then we’ll enjoy a delicious traditional meal at the home of a local family. Afterward we’ll visit the Batsu Birding Photography Garden to photograph highland birds, wildlife, and local flora.

Highlights

  • Sunrise Hike
  • Breakfast with Local Family
  • Batsu Birding Photography Garden

Meals

  • Breakfast with local family
  • Lunch at Savegre Lodge
  • Dinner at the Savegre Lodge

Accommodations

  • Savegre Lodge

After breakfast we head to lush and scenic Sarapiqui. We’ll pass through Braulio Carrillo National Park and enjoy views of this vast rainforest. At our lodge we’ll have the opportunity to photograph a nice variety of wildlife right from our restaurant.

Highlights

  • Braulio Carrillo National Park

Meals

  • Breakfast at Savegre Lodge
  • Lunch at Ara Ambigua Lodge
  • Dinner at Ara Ambigua Lodge

Accommodations

  • Ara Ambigua Lodge

After an early departure, we’ll stop in Siquirres for breakfast and continue on our way toward the La Pavona dock where we’ll board a boat for a private transfer to our lodge in Tortuguero. There’s a possibility for wonderful photo opportunities on this relaxing boat ride. In the afternoon we’ll take a photo walk through the tiny Jamaican-influenced Tortuguero Town and then take our first tour by private boat in the canals of Tortuguero National Park where the wildlife opportunities are endless.

Highlights

  • Boat ride through lowland rainforest
  • Walking tour of Tortuguero Town
  • Small-boat canal tour

Meals

  • Early breakfast at restaurant in Siquirres
  • Lunch in Evergreen Lodge
  • Dinner at Evergreen Lodge

Accommodations

  • Evergreen Lodge

After breakfast we’ll take our second two-hour private boat tour along the wildlife-rich canals of Tortuguero National Park. We’ll be on the lookout for monkeys, river otters, caiman, boas, and 100s of bird species. This afternoon we’ll visit the local Tortuguero Town again to enjoy a unique coconut candy-making demonstration and have a delicious lunch at a local favorite Caribbean restaurant. Tonight we’ll have photo reviews and, after dark, seek the elusive red-eyed tree frog.

Highlights

  • Boat tour of Tortuguero National Park
  • Learn to make coconut candy in Tortuguero Town
  • Photo reviews
  • Night walk in search of red-eyed tree frogs

Meals

  • Breakfast at Evergreen Lodge
  • Lunch at Miss June’s in Tortuguero Town
  • Dinner at Evergreen Lodge

Accommodations

  • Evergreen Lodge

After breakfast, we’ll take a shared boat transfer towards La Pavona dock where we’ll meet our private van again for our transfer to the Arenal Volcano area. En route we’ll stop at the amazing Pierella Ecological Garden for lunch and some unique photo opportunities of rare insects, snakes, and other surprises. If weather cooperates we’ll work on some night images of the volcano.

Highlights

  • Boat ride through lowland rainforest
  • Pierella Ecological Garden
  • Night photography of Arenal Volcano

Meals

  • Early breakfast at Evergreen Lodge
  • Lunch at the Pierella Ecological Garden
  • Dinner at Arenal Observatory Lodge

Accommodations

  • Arenal Observatory Lodge

This morning we’ll take an early private guided walk along the forest trails of Arenal Observatory Lodge in search of a variety of birds, coatimundi, monkeys, and other wildlife. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy lunch and a tour of a local organic farm. Here we’ll make our own tortillas and photograph local dancers in traditional dress. Then get ready to truly relax at the Ecotermales Hot Springs before dinner back at our lodge.

Highlights

  • Guided walk on forest trails
  • Learn how to make tortillas at Arenal Vida Campesina local organic farm
  • Photograph local dancers in traditional dress
  • Ecotermales Hot Springs

Meals

  • Breakfast at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • Lunch at Campesina Organic Farm
  • Dinner at Arenal Observatory Lodge

Accommodations

  • Arenal Observatory Lodge

Today we’ll walk the famous Arenal Hanging Bridges in search of unique rainforest and wildlife images. Then we’ll head to the Danaus Biological Reserve where more than 154 bird species have been identified and we’ll explore its frog ponds and butterfly garden. Time allowing, this afternoon we’ll explore La Fortuna town for a full cultural photography experience. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for great night photography opportunities.

Highlights

  • Arenal Hanging Bridges
  • Danaus Biological Reserve
  • La Fortuna town cultural photography
  • Night photography

Meals

  • Breakfast at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • Lunch in La Fortuna
  • Dinner at Arenal Observatory Lodge

Accommodations

  • Arenal Observatory Lodge

After breakfast at our hotel we’ll be looking for anything that strikes our fancy as we take a leisurely drive back to San José. We’ll stop for lunch at the famous Hummingbird Café and stop at a beautiful waterfall. Tonight will be our farewell dinner in town, where we’ll share photos and stories of what will have been an incredible journey.

Highlights

  • Leisurely drive with photography stops along the way
  • Hummingbird Café
  • Farewell dinner

Meals

  • Breakfast at Arenal Observatory Lodge
  • Lunch at Hummingbird Café
  • Dinner in San José

Accommodations

  • Aeropuerto Hotel

Sadly, the trip officially ends today. Airport transportation will be provided as necessary unless you’re continuing in Costa Rica on your own after this date. Approximately 30-minute transfer. Recommended check-in is three hours prior to your scheduled flight time.

Meals

  • No meals included

Accommodations

  • No accommodations included

If you’re just not ready to leave and you’d like to spend a few more days in this beautiful country with Wayde, we’re offering an optional extension with a focus on urban and cultural photography opportunities. We’ll spend April 10 exploring San José, then one day working on post-processing techniques and one day photographing local Semana Santa processions. (Pricing coming soon.) 

Meals

  • Details coming soon

Accommodations

  • Details coming soon
Note: All activities are weather-dependent; if poor weather keeps us inside, we’ll practice photo editing and post-processing techniques.

Meet Your Guides

Wayde Carroll

Principal and Photography Instructor

Marco Fallas

Wildlife and Culture Guide