Nov 2017 | USD 4560*
Costa Rica, the little Jurassic park of South America is a rainforest tucked between North and South America and boasts of more bird species that the US and Canada combined. During the trip we will explore multiple topographies of this country in an attempt to capture as many species of birds, landscapes, amphibians and reptiles we can. Some of the highlights of this tour will be to shoot low land and high altitude humming birds, poison dart frogs, vipers, raptors and unique opportunities to shoot bats in flight at night. For me, witnessing a Resplendent Quetzal for the first time is like watching a childhood fable. With such extravagant hues and elegance, the Quetzal has left a mark that will be there for long.
WHAT YOU LEARN
During the 10 days you will be exposed to knowledge on shooting in the rain forests, life in the tropics, setting up multi flash for hummers, finding owls at night and many other amazing opportunities not witnessed in the regular birding scape of asia. We will also get a chance to interact with some of the champions that work on restoring and conserving these magical forests at multiple locations. The learning and experience from this tour is incalculable but can broadly be summarised as an evolution of the techniques used by participants to make fantastic images under some very challenging conditions.
The clouded forests
Costa Rica is a perennial favorite among bird photographers from around the world. The philosophy, the people and its picturesque rainforests house 800 species of birds in less than 51000 sq kms. While tropical birding can seem daunting and strenuous, Costa Rica extends some of the best manageable forests, with many places set up with not only great accommodations but great forest facilities too, making Costa Rica much more accessible than some other more adventurous destinations
November is the beginning of the dry season in CR and the rainfall doesn’t unsettle the birding a lot. That in turn greatly boosts the chances of our participants to photograph some migrating species like tanagers and orioles among many other. A congenial weather also warrants trail walks to be relatively tranquil although we would strongly advocate our participants to carry their hiking boots.
Costa Rica – the Rich Coast! Around 870 species of birds have been recorded from this small country, renowned for relatively easy birding, comfortable accommodation, good infrastructure, and peaceful policies. Costa Rica with western Panama is a key center of avian endemism, with nearly 70 species found nowhere else! Our Costa Rica birding tour visits all major habitats, sampling an astonishing variety of birds. We start with the amazing Caribbean lowland forests looking for toucans and tanagers and then move higher up to the cloud forests in search of the resplendent quetzal. During this search, we make stops to cover both lowland and highland hummingbird images using multi flash. From the high mountains, we descend to the incredibly bird-rich foothills of the Caribbean lowland forest remaining in Costa Rica with many unique species of birds. Our stops are specially designed for photography and we ensure maximum photography opportunities during the trip.
Day 1 – Nov 11th (Sat)
Arrival to Costa Rica. Transfer to hotel provided. The hotel has free wireless Internet. Dinner is not included on this day. Rest day.
Day 2 – 4 – Nov 12th (Sun) – Nov 14th (Tue)
Day 2: Nov 12th (Sunday) Atlantic Lowland Rainforest
After an early breakfast, we check out and head to our first destination, a rainforest lodge with feeders that offers unmatched opportunities to photograph Toucans, Oropendulas, Tanagers, Honeycreepers and Parrots among many other birds. After a quick lunch at the birding deck we set off with our 1st session of birding. This evening we will review the images and talk about techniques that help us in rainforest photography.
Day 3: Nov 13th (Monday)
We will start our day shooting from the deck with early morning light. This is a great opportunity to learn how perches are selected and set up for photography at feeders. After breakfast, we will prepare for the next session – shooting king vulture from a specially designed hide built by the famous Bence Matte.
Return for lunch and head to the lodge managers house for a session shooting at 2 blinds – one for honeycreepers and one for a multi flash humming bird setup. Birds targeted during this session will be Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Shining Honeycreeper, and Blue Dacnis. Among the low land hummers one could expect to photograph Crowned Woodnymph, White-necked Jacobin, Green-breasted Mango, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, and Long-billed Hermit.
Day 4: Nov 14th (Tuesday)
On this day we will have multiple options for our tour participants. After breakfast, we will spend some time shooting more birds at the feeders. In the meantime we will work on a setup to photograph rainforest frogs like strawberry poison dart frog, green and black poison frog, red eyed tree frog and few more. There is also a possibility to shoot eye lash vipers and other reptiles during this session. We will end this day with an exciting session of photographing bats at night.
Day 5-6 – Nov 15th (Wed) – Nov 16th (Thu)
After breakfast, we head to a lodge in the central pacific region of Costa Rica which lies in the Carara National Park. Here we spend 2 days photographing raptors and owls and other local endemics which are not seen and photographed regularly. All photography here will be at natural locations and there will be no hides or feeders used. There is no checklist of birds for this location as all our birding will be during natural bird walks. We spend 2 days here and tentative species (but not limited to) that could be seen are bat falcon, pygmy owls, american kestrel, laughing falcon, roadside hawk etc.
Day 7-9 – Nov 17th (Fri) – Nov 19th (Sun)
Day 7: Nov 17th (Friday)
After an early breakfast this morning, we head across and then up into the Talamanca Mountain Range en route to our last destination, the high cloud forests just on the Pacific side of the Continental Divide. The farms here are run with a collaborative effort between the family that owns the lodge and the local farmers. We’ll spend the afternoon photographing the amazing high altitude humming bird species like Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Green Violet-ear and Magnificent Hummingbird.
Day 8: Nov 18th (Saturday)
Before breakfast, we will head out with the lodge owner to look for the Resplendent Quetzal, the highlight species of all birders visiting Costa Rica. The lodge owner and his family have started a project to work with local farmers in the area to monitor and protect the Quetzal, and this network raises our probability of getting a good opportunity to seeing this beautiful species. After breakfast, we’ll work on our multi-flash hummingbird photography and also photograph the local birds at our feeder setups.
Day 9: Nov 19th (Sunday)
We’ll take the whole day today to search for the Resplendent Quetzal and will also visit a local house to photograph Woodpeckers and the Flycatcher. We return to our lodge in early evening for a relaxing dinner after a long day!
Day 10-11 – Nov 20th (Mon) – Nov 21st (Tue)
Day 10: Nov 20th (Monday)
This morning we have some time for our last bird photography and then check out to head back to the capital city. We arrive at our hotel for lunch. We’ll take the afternoon to go over images for the last time before heading back. Dinner is not inluded on this day.
Day 11: Nov 218st (Tuesday)
Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.
THINGS TO NOTE
10° to 15°
Telephoto and Wide-angle
Comfortable & dull coloured clothes
A pullover or sweater
Hat and glasses
Bring your own toiletries
TERMS AND CONDITION
- INR 50,000/- advance required for provisional reservation
- Bank charges of 5000/- will be extra for wire
- Remainder within 2 months from the first payment
- Lodging as specified on the itinerary
- Meals on all the tour dates except Day 1 Dinner and Day 11th Lunch.
- Private transfer from airport to hotel and hotel to airport on day 1 and day 11
- Professional driver/photo/nature guide and private transportation in spacious tour bus.
- Entrance fees for all described activities
- Taxes on all services listed above
- Multiple-flash hummingbird photography setup equipment.
- Airfare from your hometown to San Jose.
- Dinner the first and last nights
- Alcoholic drinks
- Non-meal time snacks
- Non-meal time soft drinks and bottled water
- 60% refund if cancelled before 2 months from the date of travel
- 20% refund if cancelled after 2 months and before 1 month from the date of travel
- No refund if cancelled within 1 month of the date of travel
Note: The date of written communication ( email ) stating the intent to cancel will be considered as the date for applying the cancellation policy.
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