Quetzal in Costa Rica

Introduction

In May of 2019 I will be bringing a small group of participants to photograph and experience the incredibly abundant wildlife that inhabit the rainforests and jungles of Costa Rica. In fact, National Geographic has designated the Osa Peninsula, where we will be spending several days, as the most “biologically intense place on the planet”! Our primary focus on this neotropic expedition will be to photograph the astonishing diversity of birdlife, of which there are over 850 species! However, the birds are only a part of what makes this ecosystem so special. We will also spend time photographing four species of monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coatis, snakes, poison dart frogs, and butterflies. And there’s always the possibility of locating one of the rare cats, such as the ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, jaguar, or puma. Our time will be divided between two very different regions of the country, the higher elevation cloud forest, and the Pacific coastal lowlands. Each location provides unique photography opportunities, and I have experienced and highly knowledgeable guides working with us in each zone.



overview

length & Dates: 10 days (may 2-11, 2019)

day 1 - arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica (5/2):

Please plan on flying into SJO airport on May 2nd. We will be staying in San Jose this night. Each participant will be met at the airport, and shuttled to our hotel. We will join for dinner as a group this evening, and go over the the details of our next week!

Days 2-5 (5/3-5/6):

On the morning of the 3rd we will travel up into the cloud forest, where we will spend the following several days. We will be staying at a well run and hospitable family owned lodge. The cabins are clean, comfortable, and surround by nature. You can photograph birds from your porch! 

The aptly named "cloud forest", which is frequently covered with a layer of fog and clouds, is a magical place. Just the experience of walking though the lush forest itself, and listening to the chorus of bird songs is worth the trip. While we will photograph a wide variety of species here, there are a few in particular that we will focus on. Perhaps most noticeably, this climate is home to the Resplendent Quetzal (pictured to the right). Our trip is timed during their nesting season, which makes locating and photographing this incredible bird more reliable. Some other birds on our radar include the Three-wattled Bellbird, Long-tailed Manakin, Emerald Toucanets, and a wide variety of hummingbirds. 

After a full morning of photography on the 6th, we will drive back to San Jose and prepare for the second leg of our trip. 

days 6-10 (5/7-5/11)

On morning of the 7th we will catch a short 45 minute flight to the Crocodile Bay Resort on the Osa Peninsula, where we will spend the remainder of our time. The Crocodile Bay Resort is  a beautiful location, and the only lodge with air conditioning on the Osa Peninsula! A lot of photography can be done here on the property. 

The Pacific coastal lowlands are home to a multitude of species that can't be found in the cloud forest. It won't take long for you to understand why this place is designated the most biologically intense region on the planet. Despite it's relatively small size, the Osa Peninsula holds 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity into just 0.001% of its surface area. Some of the species that will be on our radar include toucans, Scarlet Macaws, Red-capped manakins, sloths, monkeys, and poison dart frogs, just to name a few.

On the morning of the 11th we will fly back to San Jose, where you can either fly home in the afternoon, or stay another night in San Jose. 


Details

Quetzal.jpg
  • Dates: May 2-11
  • Participants: 4-6 photographers
  • Accommodations:
    • San Jose: Double Tree Hilton or Marriott
    • Monte Verde Cloud Forest: Los Pinos Cabins & Gardens
    • Osa Peninsula: Crocodile Bay Resort
  • Inclusions:
    • All Transportation during the trip, including domestic flights, and ground transportation.
    • Meals during our time at the Crocodile Bay Resort on the Osa Peninsula are included.
    • All Lodging
  • Exclusions:
    • Airfare to San Jose
    • Meals outside of our 5 days at Crocodile Bay.
  • Investment per person:
    • Double Occupancy - $6,350 USD
    • Single Occupancy - $7,325 USD
  • Deposit of $1500 USD per person required to reserve participation. Balance is due 2/1/19.
  • The deposit is non-refundable. The services utilized for this expedition are highly competitive, and reserving over a year in advance is the only way to secure desirable dates. 
  • Travel Insurance is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. It is surprisingly affordable, especially considering the peace of mind it brings. There are many options out there, but CSA and Travel Guard are two popular companies.