COSTA RICA BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY WITH RICHARD BIRCHETT

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11 June 2024

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Price: From £3995/person

Date: 11th to 22nd January 2025

Your International, Award-Winning Photographer Guide: Richard Birchett

Your Local Wildlife Photographer Guide: Jeffrey Munoz

Photograph an Abundance of Hummingbirds in The Central Highlands

Photograph the Majestic Resplendent Quetzal

Observe Toucans, Trogons, and Aracaris

Photograph King Vultures from the Comfort of a Hide

Visit Private Reserves and Gardens with Excellent Bird Photography Opportunities

Multi-flash Photography Opportunity

Tour Summary

This is a 12-day wildlife photography holiday to Costa Rica that mainly focuses on the colourful birds of this small Central American country. The trip is suitable for amateur, advanced and pro-nature photographers.

The holiday is led by British, ethical wildlife photographer Richard Birchett and Costa Rican nature photographer Jeffrey Munoz. Their presence is a guarantee of a fun, action-packed holiday where everyone can take their time and photograph an array of colourful birds and other wildlife.

Your Guide
Richard Birchett willdlife photography guide

Richard is a published and award-winning photographer based in Cornwall, England and has spent 22 years in the UK Military as a Survival Specialist. Richard has been photographing for over 35 years and has now worked as a full time wildlife & nature photographer for the past 7 years. He travels around the United Kingdom and beyond in search of new subjects and is currently working on a number of conservation projects. He focuses on capturing images of nature in their natural environment, his belief is the welfare of the subject in Wildlife photography must come first above any image.

The Gallery

Day 1: Arrive at San jose

 

Arrive at Costa Rica’s capital and meet the other participants at your hotel.

Overnight: San Jose

Meals: None

Manakin in Costa rica

Day 2: Biding at the Arenal Volcano area

We start our nature photography adventure right after breakfast. On the way to Arenal, we stop at San Ramon to spend some time photographing our first birds of the trip.

The targets: Speckled Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, White-eared Ground sparrow, Emerald Tanager, Collared Trogon, etc.

Overnight: Arenal area

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Tanagers in Arenal, Cota Rica

Day 3: Discover Arenal and travel to Boca Tapada

We will spend the morning at one of our favourite spots in this area, a little oasis for some of the most beautiful birds from our rainforest. After lunch, we depart to our next destination, Boca Tapada, on the edge of a pristine rainforest, near the Nicaraguan border. The place is a birdwatcher’s heaven.

The targets: Keel-billed Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot, White-collared Manakin, Boat-billed Heron, etc.

Overnight: Boca Tapada

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Keel-billed toucan in Boca Tapada

Day 4: Boca Tapada – Photograph king vultures and toucan

Boca Tapada is one of the best places to admire the colourful birds of Costa Rica. The early morning will be dedicated to the “large birds deck”, we will spend the morning at the hide built by Bence Mate and photograph king vultures. In the afternoon we return to the main deck to take advantage of the different light.

Targets: Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Yellow-throated Toucan, Montezuma Oropendola, King Vulture, etc.

Overnight: Boca Tapada

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

King vulture photography in Boca Tapada

Day 5: Bird photography in the rainforest

We will spend most of the day in the rainforest where the light and weather change every day and there is always a chance to observe new species. In the afternoon, we will visit a special garden with a great setup for smaller birds. In the evening, we travel to our next destination, Sarapiqui.

Targets: Red-legged Honeycreeper, Black-cowled Oriole, Golden-hooded Tanager, Shinning Honeycreeper, Blue Dacnis, etc.

Overnight: Sarapiqui

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Trogon in Costa rica

Day 6: Wildlife photography around Sarapiqui

 

We will spend the day with a local naturalist, who will firstly guide us through the rainforest on an easy walk to find some nests and roosting areas. We will spend the second half of the day at his garden photographing some new species.

Targets: Honduran-white Bats, Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Orange chinned Parakeet, Common Potoo, Gray-necked Wood-rail, etc.

Overnight: Sarapiqui

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Great green macaw in Costa Rica

Day 7: Travel to the Central Highlands- hummingbird paradise 

We wave goodbye to the Caribbean lowlands and depart to higher elevations, to the Central Highlands of Costa Rica. We will have some time in the morning to rest, and in the afternoon, we will enjoy a hummingbird in flight session with a multi-flash set-up.

Targets: Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Lesser-violet Ears, Talamanca’s Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, etc.

Overnight: In the Central Highlands

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 8: A day dedicated to the Resplendent Quetzal

We will enjoy two sessions today to photograph one of the most beautiful birds in the World, the Resplendent Quetzal. This is one of the best places in Costa Rica to observe these magnificent birds in their natural habitat.

Target: Resplendent Quetzal.

Overnight: In the Central Highlands

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Resplendent quetzal in Costa Rica

Day 9: Photographing toucanets, woodpeckers and many more

Today we will descend to around 2000m to visit several different spots. It will be a full-day excursion to maximize our chances to see new species and take pictures of them.

Targets: Emerald Toucanet, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Silverthroated Tanager, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Acorn Woodpecker, White-throated Mountain-gem, etc.

Overnight: In the Central Highlands

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 10: Hummingbird photography and Boat safari

We start the day by photographing hummingbirds in natural light. In the afternoon we will travel to the Central Pacific area and enjoy a safari boat ride on the Tarcoles River, a true wildlife photographer’s dream location.

Targets: Roseate spoonbill, Kingfishers, Bare-throated Tiger-heron, Lapwings, Black-necked Stilts, etc.

Overnight: Near Tarcoles

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Heron in Costa Rica

Day 11: Birding in the Central Pacific area

Today we meet another local naturalist guide, who is a bird tracker. He is always successful at finding exciting birds. Spending the day with him will give us the chance to get gorgeous pictures of new species.

Targets: Turquoise-browed Motmot, Trogons, Scarlet Macaws, Ferruginous-pygmy Owl, Lesser-ground Cuckoo, etc.

Overnight: Near Tarcoles

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 12: Departure Day

At the end of our itinerary we leave following breakfast to San Jose International Airport. Please arrange to depart after noon if possible. 

Meals: Breakfast. 

KIngfisher in Costa Rica

San Jose

Hilton Garden Inn San Jose Airport City Mall (Premium)

The Hilton Garden Inn is situated near the International Airport, which will serve as a base to meet with all the participants. It is a nice, clean hotel with a modern touch.

Arenal

Tilajari Eco Resort (Classic)

The resort is nestled in a beautiful area, on the banks of the San Carlos River, near the Arenal area. The hotel offers spacious, comfortable rooms with nature and wildlife being in its doorsteps.

Boca Tapada

Laguna del Lagarto Lodge (Basic)

Laguna del Lagaro lodge is a simple accommodation near Boca Tapada, close to the Nicaraguan border. While the lodge is simple, it is surrounded by the pristine rainforest. It offers one of the best bird photography settings in the country.

Sarapiqui

Hacienda la Isla (Classic)

The Hispanic colonial-built Hacienda La Isla Lodge is situated on the foothills of  Braullio Carillo National Park, inside the Sarapiqui rainforest. It is an excellent place for our wildlife photography adventure and to discover the region.

Central Highlands

Paraiso Quetzal Lodge (Classic)

The Paraiso Quetzal Lodge is a stunning place at 2650m elevation. It is situated near Los Quetzales National Park and is surrounded by an 80 hectare forest. It is a birdwatchers dream place. You will be staying at rustic, pinewood cabins.

Tarcoles/ Central Pacific

Cerro Lodge (Classic)

The Cerro Lodge is another birder lodge. It is simple, but offers, spacious, comfortable rooms and a pool. In its garden you can easily see different species of bird, squirrels and even monkeys too.

Prices & Inclusions

Date: 11th to 22nd  January 2025

Holiday Price

Min. 4, Max 8 participants.

£3995/person
Single Supplement £600/person

Inclusions

  • Arrival and departure transfers from/to San Jose International Airport
  • 11 night accommodation in the mentioned hotels and (birding) lodges on a twin share basis
  • Full board (all meals are included from the breakfast of Day 2 till the breakfast of day 12)
  • 1x Local,  and 1x International wildlife photographer guide: Jeffrey Munoz & Richard Birchett
  • Private transportation throughout the holiday
  • Visit of private reserves and gardens
  • Multi-flash equipment
  • Full financial protection by Protected Trust Services

 

Exclusions

  • International Flights
  • Meals that are not listed
  • Beverages
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance
Your
Next Holiday

Costa Rica is in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama; it is bordered from the East by the Caribbean Sea and from the West by the Pacific Ocean.

 

Volcanoes, high mountain ranges, and lush tropical forests are dominating the landscapes. It also provides beautiful golden beaches for those who want to relax at the end of their holiday.

 

This Central American country is one of the leaders in eco-tourism and sustainability. They have more than 190 biological reserves and national parks. The country has 12 different life zones, and despite its small size, it is home to nearly 5% of the total living species of the Earth.

 

It is a perfect place for wildlife watching, birding (over 900 species of birds), wildlife and nature photography, and for families who can combine nature, adventure, and the beach.

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