Quetzals, Hummingbrirds, and Wildlife Galore!
Join us on an adventure to Costa Rica as we explore the incredible beauty and biodiversity of this amazing country. With over 800 species of birds, 200 species of mammals, this is a place so abundant in wildlife that it contains over 5% of the earth's biodiversity! One of the premier places on the planet for eco-adventure and travel, this is Costa Rica, and Outdoor Photo Workshops will take you there!
May 2013 - Costa Rica
You get there, we take care of the rest!
Along with our native Costa Rican Naturalist Guides, we will provide you with one of a kind opportunity to experience and photograph the birds, plants, wildlife, scenery, and culture of Costa Rica. Our focus for this trip is on photographing the amazing birds and other wildlife of the Costa Rican rain forest, such as the resplendent Quetzalcoatl. The location we have chosen boosts a nesting population of these beautiful birds as well as a huge variety of hummingbirds, and other tropical wildlife and beautiful scenery. We have also selected these locations because they are not where your typical tour goes, this is unspoiled Costa Rica at its best, not the tourist hotspots many tours go to.
This trip will be lead by OPW's Jim Caldwell, a veteran traveler and photographer throughout South and Central America, he even speaks broken Spanish perfectly (he actually speaks the language pretty well!). We will also have our own personal Costa Rican Naturalist Guide and private driver, Jorge. Together, they will give you unparalleled opportunities to experience and photograph the wildlife, scenery and culture of Costa Rica. Having our own guide and driver means we can keep the group small, set our own pace and schedule, and use Jorge's years of experience as a Costa Rica wildlife guide to find us great wildlife photography opportunities.
Location - Costa Rica! Specifically we will be exploring the Rain Forests of Savegre and Turrialba.
Dates - May 2013
Photography Skill Level - Any, Beginner to Pro
Activity Level - Light to Moderate. This trip does not require a high degree of physical fitness or require long walks, each destination has been chosen to provide a mix of activities with ample time for photography. Be prepared though to experience some high heat and humidity, high altitudes, and some bumpy roads.
Price - $ - All Inclusive - You Get There, We take care of the Rest! A non-photographing spouse/significant other may join you for only $.
- 6 nights lodging
- All meals
- Non-alcoholic beverages with included meals
- Entrance fees to Savegre Private Biological Reserve
- All ground transportation with private vehicle and driver
- Exclusive use of your private Birding Guide, private driver, whenever needed
- All taxes (except departure tax)
Meals not specified in this itinerary
Alcoholic drinks and Soft Drinks
Hot Springs and Botanical Gardens
Optional Activities (e.g. Zip Lines)
Gratuities for your guides, your driver, bellboys etc.
Miscellaneous items (e.g., personal expenses, laundry, phone calls)
Additional hotel nights made necessary by international airline schedule changes
Costa Rican departure tax $26 USD
The cost of additional days in country or other accommodations incurred because of weather, flight schedules, or other events beyond our control are the responsibility of the individual tour participant.
Deposit - A nonrefundable $1000 deposit is required to register. The balance paid in full is due by April , 2013. Please see our Terms and Conditions page for more information on our payment policies.
Cancellation - If a tour participant must cancel their reservation more than 45 days prior to the tour, the full payment to date will be refunded less the $1000 non-refundable deposit. Within 45 days of arrival, 100% of the total cost of the tour will be non-refundable.
Tour Leaders - This tour is lead by Jim Caldwell. The pictures you see on this page and in his gallery are from Jim's many trips to Costa Rica over two decades. Along with our skilled Costa Rican naturalist guides, we will lead you through Costa Rica via our own private bus to photograph the amazing wildlife and scenery of this incredible place.
Tour Size - This tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants. A minimum of 2 participants is required for this tour to be held.
Travel - You must arrive in San Jose by May and be prepared early the next morning. We will return to San Jose for flights departing May . For flights into San Jose, use Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO).
Lodging - We will be staying at a variety of locations throughout Costa Rica. All lodging is double occupancy. Additional nights before or after the tour are at your own expense. A single supplement is available for $500.
Itinerary - We keep a very flexible schedule during the tour to respond to the opportunities the wildlife, weather, and light provide us. Once you have registered we will send a complete information packet including itineraries, equipment lists, contact information, and more. For purposes of planning your travel, we depart San Jose very early on May th, and return late day May th so we can fly out on the th.
Day 1 - Arrive in Costa Rica's Juan Santamaria Airport San Jose, Costa Rica. You will be met at the airport by us and our local Naturalist Guide and taken to your hotel. We will meet in the evening for a welcome dinner.
Day 2 - San Gerardo - Savegre - We will depart very early for our trip to the higher elevation of San Gerardo. This cloud forest amongst oak trees is a bird watchers paradise and famous for its high count of Resplendent Quetzals. In the afternoon we will explore the area around the lodge, there are great opportunities throughout the area for bird and wildlife photography, and especially up-close hummingbird photography near the lodge.
Day 3 - Exploring Savegre - We rise early this morning and spend the full day exploring the beautiful trails surrounding the lodge. Most of the day will be spent photographing the wonderful hummingbirds around the lodge grounds while also looking for the Quetzal.
Day 4 - Travel to Turrialba - We will depart after breakfast and head to the Carribbean slopes and Turrialba valley. The afternoon has several options for the group to choose from, we can explore the town of Turrialba, take a short tour of a sugar or coffee plantation or explore the magical Guayabo Archeological Monument. This park preserves the most significant pre-Columbian archeological site in Costa Rica. The settlement is thought to have been occupied between 1000 B.C. and 1400 A.D. There are many birds in the surrounding forests.
Day 5 - Turrialba - Today we will spend the full day exploring and photographing the hummingbirds and other wildlife on the grounds of the lodge.
Day 6 - Travel to San Jose - We will depart for our return to San Jose to prepare for the return home. Along the drive, we will stop for birding or visit a local botanical garden in Cartago and make a stop for lunch..
Day 7 - San Jose - Our guide and driver will accompany you to the airport for the return trip home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Time Zone - All of Costa Rica is in the GMT - 6 zone, which corresponds to U.S. Central Time during winter months, and U.S. Mountain Time when the U.S. is in daylight savings time. Costa Rica does not observe daylight savings time.
Immunizations - No immunizations are required for Costa Rica.
A Current passport is REQUIRED (and must not be within 6 months of expiring)
Power - 110 volt 60 cycle - just like the US. We suggest two prong adapters as 3 prong power outlets are not as common.
Currency - Colones which is currently valued at 0.0019 of the dollar. Think of a 5,000 Colones note as being around $10.00. US dollars are accepted at most places as are the common credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
Language - At the hotels, etc. English is common, though in the towns and villages it is less common and is primarily Spanish.
Travel insurance - is cheap and is highly recommended
Water - You should be safe drinking the water - HOWEVER, we recommend sticking to bottled water (which is provided) just in case. To be totally safe, don't forget to rinse your mouth and toothbrush with bottled water as well.
Food - The food in the smaller towns is generally 'tipico' - native food which consists primarily of black beans, rice, plantains, and your choice of pork, chicken, or beef. There will also be plentiful fresh fruits (pineapple, bananas, plantains, and other tropical fruits and fruit juices). The hotels serve native as well as "American" type food.