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Exotic Costa Rica

6th January, 2020 – 17th January, 2020

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Keel Billed Toucan - photo by Jeff Munoz

This epic wildlife adventure is designed for photographers of all skill levels, so come join myself and Jeff Munoz, one of Costa Rica’s top naturalist guides and talented photographer with over 20 years of guiding experience, on this photo tour where we will help you get wonderful, unique, bird and wildlife images.

Costa Rica is a nature/wildlife photographer’s heaven. Rich in birdlife and other wildlife, it is frequently noted as one of the greenest Countries on Earth.  It extends majestically from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea – and it’s distance is barely 200 miles.  Costa Rica also boasts over 850 species of birds – that’s 10% of the world’s total avian population. Some of the exotic birds that we aim to encounter, and capture amazing images of, are the resplendent quetzal, toucans, parrots, jabiru stork, honeycreepers, colourful tanagers, and always a highlight, a multitude of hummingbirds.

This tour, as listed below, isn’t just about birds though.  We will have plenty of time to encounter other wonderful wildlife that abounds in Costa Rica.  On the list will be no less than 8 species of frogs, snakes (including a viper), basilisk lizard, reptiles, crocodiles, white face monkey – and if lucky the elusive spider faced monkey, plus much more.

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Highlights of this tour :-

  • over 850 different species of birds to photograph
  • flash setup to capture Hummingbirds in flight
  • short hikes through the forest looking for birds in their natural habitat
  • focus on clean backgrounds to enhance your images
  • 2 days out in the field locating birds that don’t just come to feeders
  • bats in flight
  • frog and snake photography session
  • photographing King Vultures from a hide
  • photography assistance by myself and our local biologist guide

DAY 1:  Arrive San Jose

Please plan your arrival into San Jose for no later than mid-late afternoon

On arrival, our private transportation will take you to your hotel in San Jose.  We will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30pm and enjoy a welcome dinner together.

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DAY 2: San Jose to Talamanca Area (Highlands of Costa Rica)

It is time to begin on our wonderful expedition.  Today we will head to the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica .  This area offers an amazing variety of species and photo opportunities.  Upon our arrival, we will get ready to start shooting and becoming familiar with the photography conditions of the tropics.  Jeff and I will be there at all times to help you with this.   After lunch the fun will begin as we photograph Hummingbirds in flight as well as search for the amazing resplendent Quetzal.  Flash stations will be set up for you to utilise so that you will be able to freeze these amazing hummingbirds in flight.

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DAY 3: Talamanca area – full day

Everyone will be ready for another photography adventure!  This time our morning begins with the famous Quetzal quest.  We will spend the entire morning looking for, and photographing the amazing Resplendent Quetzal.  The Resplendent Quetzal is a startling emerald jewel of the cloud forest.  The brilliant red and green male, with it’s legendary tail feathers that can be a meter long, are considered the most beautiful bird in the world.  Later in the afternoon, there will be one more session of hummingbirds in flight, and other highland birds completing our photography of the highlands area.

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DAY 4: Talamanca – Tarcoles

An early departure this morning will see us leave the highlands of Costa Rica to the lowlands of the Pacific side.  On our arrival, we will get ready to continue our photography adventure, this time boarding a boat that will take us on the Tarcoles River looking for birds such as Boat-billed Herons, Caracaras, Lapwings etc.  There is also a good population of American Crocodiles giving us a great opportunity to photograph them as well.

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DAY 5: Tarcoles area – full day

Today we will spend the entire day out of the Lodge.  This area will bring many new species such as Macaws, Motmots, Owls, Manakins, Lesser-ground Cuckoo, Puff Birds and many others.

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DAY 6: Tarcoles – Sarapiqui

Early this morning, we will leave our home of the last 2 nights and arrive at our new destination in time for lunch.  This afternoon will be dedicated to a macro photography session of frogs.  There will be no less than 8 different types of frogs in their natural habitat, with a controlled environment set up for photography.  You will have the opportunity to photograph the popular Red-eyed Leaf Frog  (a rainforest icon) and the loveable tiny Glass Frog whose body is transparent.  Also found in this area is the stunning emerald basilisk lizard, so rich in it’s iridescent green and sporting it’s three impressive dorsal crests, and makes a very cooperative subject.  For those that do not have a macro lens, we will also work with compositions using flowers and different elements that we will find at this amazing location.

(B,L,D)

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DAY 7: Sarapiqui – full day

This will be a full day to do something different.  Today we will meet a wonderful local naturalist (Cope) who has a ‘piece of paradise’ where we will spend part of the day shooting Gray-necked Wood rails, Honduran-white Bats, Owls and many more birds.  These birds will be easy to find and photograph.  For the remainder of the day we will follow our host to shoot what he finds in the lands surrounding his property.  We never know exactly what we will get to photograph but there are always amazing surprises awaiting us.

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DAY 8: Sarapiqui – Boca Tapada

Boca Tapada is an amazing destination.  Here you will see an incredible array of birdlife.  Amongst the birds that we will photograph are Honey Creepers, Parrots, Toucans, Tanagers and more.

Our day will begin with an early breakfast at our hotel, followed by a bus ride to the lowlands of the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.  Our route will take us through the picturesque countryside and farming areas.  Upon our arrival, we will get ready to start shooting an array of colourful and beautiful birds against the backdrop of the rainforest.

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DAY 9: Boca Tapada – full day

This morning we will enjoy our shoot with Toucans, Parrots, Aracaries, and many more tropical birds.  Mid- morning, half of the group will shoot the amazing King Vultures from a hide, while the other half of the group will enjoy an amazing snake photography session.  The group is separated into two to give optimum photography opportunities and will be reversed on Day 10 so that everyone gets the same experience.  Our snake shoot will include 3-5 different species including some vipers.  After dinner tonight, half of the group will leave to photograph Nectar Bats in flight.

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DAY 10: Boca Tapada – full day

Basically, today will be the same as Day 9 offering more opportunities to photograph all of these amazing birds.  The people that did not participate in the King Vulture shoot will head off to enjoy that experience where the others will remain for the snake photography session.  Likewise, after dinner those that did not photograph the Nectar Bats in flight the previous night will head out after dinner tonight to enjoy that experience as well.

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DAY 11: Boca Tapada – San Jose

This morning we have time to enjoy our final morning photographing these incredible birds of Costa Rica.  Sit back and enjoy breakfast – but with camera ready to capture the incredible variety of birdlife that comes to the deck.   Later in the morning a private transfer will take us back to our hotel in San Jose for the evening.

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DAY 12: Departure from San Jose

This morning a private transfer will take you back to the international airport.  Driving time from our hotel to the airport is roughly 20-30 minutes.

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DETAILS AND TOUR COST :

Operator and Instructor / Photographer Renee Doyle Photography
Local Guide/Biologist/Photographer Jeff Munoz
Duration : 12 days, 11 nights
Price Single Use Room USD $4,850 based on twin share + USD $500 single supplement
Deposit: USD $1,000 non-refundable and a completed registration form to reserve your spot..
Balance via Direct Deposit due 125 days prior to departure

A non-refundable deposit of USD $1,000.00 is required due to the small group size and advanced planning for tour leaders, guides and accommodation requirements.

We therefore recommend you purchase travel insurance within one week of making your deposit.

Deposits can be made via Direct Transfer or PayPal.  Final payments must be made via Direct Depost.

TOUR DATES

January 6th, 2020 – January 17th, 2020 Maximum 8 participants

3 spots remaining

This tour may run in a different order but all locations will remain the same.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE :

  • Transfers from San Jose airport to Hotel and Hotel to San Jose Airport (if travelling on tour dates – outside of tour dates transfers are at participants cost)
  • 11 nights accommodation at best available lodging to offer us the best vantage locations for photography
  • welcome dinner San Jose (alcoholic beverages at participants own cost)
  • all meals from welcome dinner in San Jose on Day 1 to lunch on Day 11 plus breakfast Day 12
  • private transportation throughout Costa Rica with professional driver
  • all entrance fees
  • use of photography decks
  • use of photography blind (King Vulture session)
  • use of multi-flash equipment for Nectar Bats sessions and Hummingbirds sessions
  • in-field photo tuition and review
  • english/spanish local naturalist guide

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE :

  • flights to and from San Jose
  • alcoholic beverages and cocktails
  • soft drinks
  • gratuities for local guides and lodges (around USD$200)
  • items of personal nature
  • airport departure tax ($30 included with most airlines)
  • travel insurance
  • extras in hotel such as laundry, minibar, room service, telephone calls
  • other items not listed as included in price

TOUR POLICIES :

PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS POLICY FOR THIS TOUR :-

All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits only, I accept PayPal payments.  Final payment of the trip fee is due 125 days priors to departure and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Trip deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If Written Cancellation is Received :

120 days or prior :

119 to 91 days prior:

90 or fewer days:

Cancellation Fee:

100% of deposit (USD $1,000)

50% of entire trip fee

100% of entire trip fee

Because I incur costs up-front, such as deposits (many non-refundable) for blocks of hotel rooms and local tour operators and transportation, if you have to cancel for any reason (medical or other) you will receive refunds based on the sliding scale outlined above.  All cancellations must be in writing.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason.

Renee Doyle Photography can cancel a trip for any reason, including too few participants. If this happens, you will receive a 100% refund of your deposit and payments. However, we are not responsible for any costs incurred by you, such as airline tickets and other costs.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

I suggest you purchase emergency medical treatment and travel insurance.

RESPONSIBILITY:
A Registration Form including the Acknowledgement of Risk, Waiver and Release of Liability Agreement must be signed by each member at registration, prior to the trip. See the Registration Form for additional details on policy and limitation of liability not included here. Renee Doyle Photography and its Agents act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, ship or aircraft and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip. They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine or other causes. All such losses or expenses must be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely.

Download the Tour Registration Form:

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