Costa Rica 5th December – 14th December 2020



An absolutely amazing, fully packed wildlife photography tour in the cloud forest and rainforests of Costa Rica!

After landing at San Jose airport, we drive to our first destination in Dota, Mirador de Quetzales where we will stay for 2 nights. It is here where you will have the opportunity to see the magnificent resplendent quetzel, a beautiful bird with an amazing metallic green plumage. You will experience a morning and an afternoon photography session to give you the maximum chance to see this magnificent bird. With any luck you might even photograph one in flight.

After the first two nights, we will take you to your next destination in Sarapiqui, Heliconia Island for 3 nights. Sarapiqui is known for its rich biodiversity. You are going to see some amazing frog species, gorgeous snakes, the beautiful scarlet macaw, owls and many other colourful birds. With a little bit of luck you may spot a sloth in a good position to photograph. During your stay in Sarapiqui a boat tour will give you the opportunity to see caiman, basilisk and monkeys. In addition to what will already be a jaw dropping few days, we are thrilled to offer you a multiflash hummingbird photography session!

Moving on to Boca Tapada, where we will stay at Boca Tapada Lodge for 2 nights. You will see the magnificent king vulture, toucan and many other beautiful birds. We will also run a bat photography session.

Our last destination is in Arenal, where we stay at Arenal Palace for 1 night. Here you can also see the magnificent king vulture in different surroundings and light conditions. If luck is on our side we could also see the amazing black hawk eagle.

This is a fully packed wildlife photography tour. Jose A Solis (biologist and certified tour guide with a specialism for wildlife photography tours) and Roy de Ruijter (professional wildlife photographer) have designed this bespoke tour. You will not be disappointed, Pura Vida!

Equipment we recommend: a dslr or a mirrorless camera plus a zoom (for example a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS Mark II USM lens or similar) or a prime lens with a minimum focal length of 300mm. A macro lens will also come in handy, and please bring a flashgun/speedlight if you own one. If you are not in ownership of the aforementioned equipment, we highly recommend to hire.

Our detailed itinerary:

Day 1 Saturday 5th Dec

· Arrival San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO).
· Travelling to Dota, Mirador de Quetzales where we will stay for 2 nights, approximately 2.5 hrs drive.
· Lunch (depending on time of arrival) and dinner included.

Day 2 Sunday 6th Dec

· Morning Quetzal photography Quetzal Paradise.
· Breakfast included.
· Bird photography*.
· Afternoon Quetzal Photography Quetzal Paradise.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 3 Monday 7th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Traveling to Sarapiqui Heliconia Island where we will stay for 3 nights, approximately 4 hrs drive.
· Afternoon photography at Cope’s Place for sloths, owls and other birds.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 4 Tuesday 8th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Full day at Frogs Heaven, frogs and snakes photography.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 5 Wednesday 9th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Macaw photography.
· Hummingbird multiflash photography.
· Randalla house bird photography*.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 6 Thursday 10th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Morning boat photography tour on the Sarapiqui River: monkeys, basilisk, caiman, turtles, kingfishers, ibis and more.
· Traveling to Boca Tapada Lodge where we will stay for 2 nights, approximately 2 hrs drive.
· Afternoon bird photography*.
· lunch and dinner included.

Day 7 Friday 11th Dec

· Toucan photography.
· Breakfast included.
· King vulture photography.
· Early afternoon bird photography*.
· Late afternoon bat photography.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 8 Saturday 12th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Traveling to Arenal Palace where we will stay for 1 night, approximately 1.5 hrs drive.
· Bird photography*.
· Lunch and dinner included.

Day 9 Sunday 13th Dec

· Breakfast included.
· Back to San Jose airport for your return flight back home. 5hrs including a stop.
· We stop for lunch and at this place you can also photograph birds if you wish*.
· Airport (SJO) arrival around 14:00.

Day 10 Monday 14th Dec

· Arrival back in the UK.

*Costa Rica has approximately 850 different bird species, which is 10% of the world’s bird population! You will see many different birds during your stay in this beautiful country, I have named a few below you are very likely to be able to photograph:

· Resplendent quetzal
· Toucans (keel billed, yellow throated, collared aracari, emerald toucanet).
· King vulture
· Scarlet macaw
· Hummingbirds (white necked jacobin, scaly breasted)
· Woodpecker (acorn, lineated, chestnut colored)
· Tanagers (flame colored, scarlet, blue gray, palm, summer, silver throated, rufous winged)
· Baltimore oriole
· Black cowled oriole
· Honey creepers
· Oropendola
· Red headed barbet

This tour operates on a minimum of two and a maximum of six participants.

Please do not book your flights until advised by Chameleon Photography

Price: £3449

Deposit: £649

What is included:

· All transfers and transport throughout Costa Rica.
· Accommodation, specific hotels/lodges will be confirmed when final group size is known.
· Meals as listed in the itinerary.
· All photography sessions/tours mentioned in itinerary.
· Guidance from local guides.
· Photography Tuition throughout, one or two professional photographers, Roy de Ruijter and/or Janette Hill, depending on group size.

What is excluded:

· International flights/transport to and from Costa Rica/San Jose airport (SJO).
· Some airlines charge airport tax. This needs to be paid in cash and will be approximately $30.
· Drinks.
· Personal expenses like travel insurance and photography insurance.
· Items of personal nature.
· Gratuities.
· Optional tours.

Please contact Roy here if you would like more information or to enquire for a booking.

Note: as with any wildlife tours, we will be exploring the natural habitat of the wildlife we are looking to see. Wildlife in Costa Rica is extremely rich, you will be in the hands if the best local guide/s and although we cannot provide guarantees, we are extremely confident you will not be disappointed.

All images in the Costa Rica gallery copyright by Jose A Solis, Kevin Hatfield and Chameleon Photography.