Colorful Wildlife, Remote Scenery & Astounding Biodiversity in Sunny Costa Rica
In colorful, sunny Costa Rica you can feast your eyes (and lens) on a dazzling variety of wildlife subjects. From exotic birds and mysterious lizards to a multitude of monkey species – the biodiversity in Costa Rica is unrivalled in the Western Hemisphere. On this ten-day photography tour you will be treated to some of Costa Rica's most remote and authentic shooting locations. We steer you clear of the tourist traps, showing you the wilder side of this tropical paradise while enjoying comfortable accommodations – chosen for their charm and truly inspiring locations.
15. February – 24. February 2019
10 days / 9 nights from/to San José
maximum 6 guests
San Jose – Monte Verde Reserve – Boca Tapada Nat'l Park – Corcovado Nat'l Park – San José
- Dazzling variety of colorful birds, intriguing reptiles, audacious monkeys plus countless other jungle species and beautiful plants.
- Canoe & boat access to mangrove forests and peaceful lagoons teaming with life.
- Comfortable accommodations at first-rate eco-lodges, chosen for their great locations and easy access to activities.
- Professional naturalist guide for the duration of the trip informs us about fascinating creatures and ecosystems.
- Direct round-trip flight from Zurich, plus two light-aircraft flights to save hours of driving between locations (included).
- On-site field lessons that prepare you for the specific challenges of jungle wildlife photography.
- Evening feedback on your images plus editing tips from an Adobe Lightroom certified expert.
Costa Rica Tropical Wildlife Exploration
15. February – 24. February, 2019
Day 2 – February 16th
Road transfer to Carara National Park. Two-hour guided naturalist tour in Carara National Park (entrance fee included). Orientation to some of Costa Rica's diverse flora and fauna. Lunch stop in route (included). Arrival at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a twilight tour (fees included). Dinner at local restaurant (included). First night in Monteverde region.
Day 3 – February 17th
Three-hour tour of the Monteverde Reserve Hummingbird Gallery. Excellent photo opportunities with flash photography demonstration/assistance from Matt. After lunch (included) our group will enjoy eye-level views of monkeys, toucanets, coatimundis, orchids plus the legendary crimson and green resplendent quetzal from the lofty Skybridge walkway in Monteverde's Cloud Forest Reserve. Second night in the Monteverde region.
Day 4 – February 18th
After breakfast at our hotel, we'll embark on a scenic boat journey across Lake Arenal (Costa Rica's largest lake) bringing us ashore under the 1,670m tall Arenal Volcano. After lunch (included) we'll stop at a renowned ecological center which is home to cobalt-blue red legged honeycreepers. Slow moving sloths can also be seen at this location. By late afternoon/early evening we'll arrive at our accommodation in the Boca Tapada region. First night in Boca Tapada.
Day 5 – February 19th
On our first day in Boca Tapada we'll explore the tropical rain forest which is on our lodge's huge property. On our casual trek it's possible to observe a great variety of flora and fauna in the area. After lunch (included), guests have a free afternoon and may wish to explore the fresh water lagoon in a canoe, searching for a well-posed lizard, a blue heron stalking its prey or perhaps a tortoise bathing in the sun. Optional Lightroom assistance from Matt. Optional night trek to search for unique nocturnal species such as dart frogs and other amphibians. Second night in Boca Tapada.
Day 6 – February 20th
Bird lover's extravaganza! There are over 410 bird species living on or migrating through the Boca Tapada region. The beautiful gardens and adjoining lagoon on our lodge's property are perfect for spotting the great green macaw (endangered), scarlet macaws, toucans, oropendolas, honeycreepers, tanagers, euphonias and jacamars – just to name a few. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm and this walking tour is best done before breakfast as the forest begins to wake. After lunch (included) we've arranged a special opportunity to discretely observe and photograph the powerful king vulture from a birding blind. Third night in Boca Tapada.
Day 7 – February 21st
On day 7 we'll transfer to a nearby airstrip for our 60 minute Cessna flight to the rugged and remote Osa Peninsula and Costa Rica's premier wildlife destination – Corcovado National Park. On arrival, we'll be driven by boat to our remote hideout on the shores of the Pacific. This "Robinson Crusoe–esque" location is second to none in terms of it's position, charm and close proximity to great wildlife and day-trip adventures. On this first night in Corcovado we've arranged a night tour for half of the group – a perfect opportunity to photograph unique nocturnal species such as dart frogs and other amphibians.
Day 8 – February 22nd
The Sirena Ranger and Biological Station is the headquarters and largest of the four stations in the Corcovado National Park, providing support academic research, park improvement and conservation activities. Located in the heart of the park within the Corcovado Basin, its remoteness provides the greatest abundance of wildlife of all types, making it a great place to spot obscure creatures like the tapir or elusive jaguar. The Sirena Ranger Station is reached via a 40 minute boat journey from our accommodation. Second night in Corcovado region.
Day 9 – February 23rd
Corcovado National Park has been described as one of the most biologically intense places on Earth. The park encompasses over 100,000 acres on the rugged southwest coast of Costa Rica. On our last full day we'll have the opportunity to visit the remote Cano Island where guests can snorkel and explore five platforms of low coral reef. Sea turtles, sting rays, morays, and white tip sharks can also be observed. On this third night in Corcovado we've arranged a night tour for the other half of the group – a perfect opportunity to photograph unique nocturnal species such as dart frogs and other amphibians.
Day 10 – February 24th
After another beautiful breakfast on the edge of the Pacific it will be time to check out and make the journey back to San Jose. Our boat will meet us on the beach and transport us back to the airstrip for our 40 minute light-aircraft flight to San Jose. A short van transfer will bring us to the San Jose international airport for our direct flight home.
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS & PROFESSIONAL GUIDES
Participants of our Costa Rica Tropical Wildlife Exploration will enjoy three high-standard Eco-Lodges which have been hand-picked by Dagmar and Matt for their excellent geographic locations, great service and quality cuisine. For the duration of our trip we will have a professional certified naturalist guide to share a wealth of interesting facts about the flora, fauna and culture of Costa Rica. In addition, he will bring important materials such as pertinent field guides to help you identify rare and interesting species.
ACTIVITIES & PHOTOGRAPHY LESSONS
Photographer and educator, Matt Anderson has assembled field lessons which are custom-tailored to each of the shooting situations you'll encounter on this photo tour. Matt is a "brand-agnostic" photographer and is able to assist photographers using any type of equipment. As an Adobe Lightroom certified expert, he shares editing and retouching tips in the evenings to help you achieve the very best end-result from your digital images. One of the greatest attributes of our three eco-lodge basecamps is the great variety of exciting day-tours which can be undertaken directly from their properties, (in most cases by foot or by boat) minimizing transfer times and maximizing your photographic opportunities. Certified naturalists/guides will accompany us throughout the trip.
MATT & DAGMAR ANDERSON
Matt and Dagmar Anderson are a husband-wife team who co-direct the Viewfinder Center in Zurich, Switzerland. They are passionate photographers with chronically itchy feet, and their business is built on helping others develop their photographic skills and creative instincts. In February 2018, Matt and Dagmar travelled to Costa Rica to explore, photograph and plan Viewfinder's 2019 photo tour. They eagerly look forward to returning with a small group of adventure seekers for an unforgettable creative travel experience.
Elisabeth Curiger - Curiger Travel AG
Elisabeth Curiger joined forces with Viewfinder in 2018 to assist with travel arrangements for Viewfinder's international photo tours. She founded Curiger Travel in 2004 having accumulated a wealth of experience while traveling off the beaten track in Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond. As a fully certified travel agent, she takes pleasure in helping Viewfinder organize international trip logistics, arrange flights and much more. Curiger Travel is a fully insured member of Swiss Travel Security.
Costa Rica Tropical Wildlife Exploration
15 – 24 February 2019
10 days / 9 nights
Price per person (sharing) including direct round trip flight from Zurich to San José plus two light aircraft transfers in Costa Rica. Reduction of CHF 800 for self-arranged international flights. Single supplement offered for an additional CHF 655 (subject to availability). A non-refundable 30% deposit is required to register.
Tour price with 6 participants:
- Single supplements offered for CHF 655.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
- Direct flight from Zurich to San José plus two light aircraft flights in Costa Rica. All ground and boat transportation is included.
- All hotel breakfasts, planned lunch stops and group dinners from airport pickup to airport drop-off.
- Photography field lessons, personal camera assistance and Adobe Lightroom support from Matt Anderson.
- Certified naturalist guides at each location. Participants receive a complimentary travel guide. Species identification guides provided by naturalist.
- All park entrance fees, planned tour fees, guiding fees, airport taxes, etc.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
- Flights to/from Zurich to make the connecting flight to San Jose.
- All beverages, with or without alcohol and special snacks ordered between meals.
- Additional transfers, excursions or boat rides which are not planned in the itinerary.
- Any visa fees, travel & cancellation insurances, immunizations, or other unforeseen travel or cancelation costs.
Send us a non-binding enquiry or book directly using the application form
- Accommodation choices will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Please book early if you'd prefer single room occupancy.
- A complete trip itinerary (including names of all accommodations) will be provided to registered guests two months before the trip's start date.
- We'll provide a packing list for the trip, which includes clothing recommendations as well as camera equipment suggestions.
- This trip does involve some easy hiking (up to 3 km - round trip). Guests are always welcome to opt for a more restful day, taking advantage of shooting opportunities closer to our accommodation.
- Matt and Dagmar experienced pleasant weather on their trip in February 2018, with temperatures ranging from 15º to 30º Celcius. The climate varies as one travels between the highland rain forests regions and tropical locations closer to the coast.
- Guests should be equipped with sturdy walking shoes, rain ponchos and a backpack for carrying camera gear, personal items, a water bottle, etc.