March 7th - 17th, 2014
Back by popular demand! This tour has been enjoyed by many of our guests throughout the years, and we’ve tailored this trip based on their requests and suggestions. This will be a true photography extravaganza vacation!
Costa Rica is a diverse country of wildlife and birds with more variation than found in all of the U.S. – a photographer’s paradise! Join Dan and Tanya in this vibrant country considered to be the “the region with the greatest bio-diversity in the world”. This trip is open to photo enthusiasts of all levels that want to learn how to take better images. This trip could easily be enjoyed by a non-photographing spouse – a great couples vacation. Only a four hour flight from Atlanta!
2014 Costa Rica Photography Tour Travel Plans
This itinerary is designed to allow us to view the diversity of ecosystems in Costa Rica – cloud forests, rainforest and coastal beaches that all provide the opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna. Many photo tours in Costa Rica do not range as far as the Osa Peninsula where there are warm beaches mixed with rainforest and jungles to explore.
Friday, March 7
Depart US/Canada. Greeting at airport and transfer to hotel upon arrival. Overnight stay in deluxe room at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose.
Saturday, March 8 – Sunday, March 9 (B, L, D)
Travel to Rancho Naturalista by private coach. This premier birding lodge is among the finest in Central America, boasting 430 + species of birds and also features a large, open upstairs balcony where numerous hummingbirds can be seen as well as a distant smoking volcano. Overnight Rancho Naturalista
Monday, March 10 – Thursday, March 13 (B, L, D)
Travel to Osa Peninsula Jungle Rainforest by private charter plane from San Jose and enjoy coastal luxury lodging – a unique experience in itself. Photographic opportunities include Scarlet Macaw, parrots, parakeets, toucans, sloth, coati, agouti, frogs, Halloween crabs, Squirrel Monkeys and the list goes on. Often you can photograph the scarlet macaws flying by your cabana deck.
This area is probably one of the best to encounter one of the species of jungle cats, including pumas, ocelots, margays, and jaguarundis. Pumas are spotted 2-3 times a month on average. We cannot guarantee there will be one, but the opportunity may arise. Wild tapir are returning to the area and may be seen. Three-toed sloths are frequently photographed.
A prepaid $100 credit will be given to each guest to select tours of interest or use for credit towards the spa, gift shop and beverages. Most photography can be done right from your balcony or near your cabana in the early mornings and mid-afternoons. Dan will be available throughout the trip to help you personally with your camera or photography needs. Take a pool break and cool off or enjoy a beverage at the pool lounge. Gourmet meals and excellent breakfasts! Ocean view cabanas for all guests. Overnight Bosque del Cabo
Friday, March 14 (B, L)
Enjoy a boat ride to the Osa Sanctuary to get close up and personal with Costa Rica’s orphaned animals and birds, including “Sweetie”, a highlight for many on the trip. Proceeds help support this great organization which has helped to save many exotic animals from illegal trade. At noon we’ll drive the coastal highway from Puerto Jiminez to Quepos with a stop for lunch. Evening frog photography tour. Dinner on your own. Choose from a variety of restaurants within walking distance. Overnight at Si Como No
Saturday, March 15 (B, L)
Manual Antonio National Park Tour with a picnic lunch in the park. Photograph monkeys and an opportunity to swim at the white sand beach. At 2:00pm we’ll visit the exhilarating Titi Canopy Tour, a “zip-line” offering 13 cables, 18 platforms, a rappelling platform, suspension bridge and Tarzan swing. All are guided by trained experts who can escort you through this reclaimed rainforest. Two of the longest cables stretch 380 and 450 meters and offer a glimpse of the striking flora and fauna that exist in their own backyard. Zip-lining is optional, however, on our last visit those that thought they would not do it decided to go last minute and had the time of their lives. Walking the rainforest area photographing with our guide is also an option. Overnight at Si Como No
Sunday, March 16 (B, L, D)
Early departure to San Jose by coach. Lunch at our hotel, the Finca Blanca Rosa, and then a coffee plantation tour in the afternoon. Farewell gourmet dinner and wine this evening. Overnight at Finca Rosa Blanca
Monday, March 17 (B)
Depart home at your leisure, but remember you’ll have to leave the hotel three hours prior to your flight departure. We always recommend to leave later in the day if possible to enjoy the hotel in the morning. This hotel is beautiful and a wonderful way to end your trip. If you would like to stay an extra night we can make arrangements – just let us know 🙂 If your flight leaves early the hotel will pack you a to-go breakfast box.
$4990 per person, based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1200
Limited single space available
Our rate is based on the luxuries of boutique hotels and an internal flight to save a day of traveling by bus for eight hours. It might not be the cheapest tour out there, but it’ll be the most exclusive, memorable one.
$500 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
June 1, 2013: $2500 First Installment
October 1, 2013: Final Payment
Check only for first installment and final payment. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Pre-departure information packets and “goodie” box
- Welcome meet and greet upon arrival in San Jose
- Photography leader and mentor, Daniel J. Cox
- Local English-speaking naturalist guide (we pick the best!)
- All park entrance fees and zip-lining fee
- $100 prepaid credit per person at Bosque del Cabo
- All lodging and tours listed
- Internal flights and private coach transfers
- Boat ride and entrance fee to Osa Sanctuary
- All meals where indicated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch , D = Dinner)
- Bottled water and snacks during coach transfers
- All gratuities throughout the tour ($200)
- Airfare to/from San Jose, Costa Rica
- Departure tax from Costa Rica (approximately $28)
- Meals and beverages where not indicated
- Travel insurance
- Extra baggage fees
- Any additional personal items and services including laundry, phone calls, beverages
- Pre/post transfer fee may apply if not traveling on itinerary days
Flights to Book
Friday, March 7
Arrive San Jose (SJO) any time of day
Monday, March 17
Depart San Jose (SJO) any time of day
Travel/emergency evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2014 Costa Rica Photography Tour
March 7, 1 Night
Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
This beautiful hacienda is situated on a 30 acre coffee plantation.
March 8 and 9, 2 Nights
One of the finest, premier birding lodges in Central America. Over 430 bird species have been recorded in their private forest reserve. The lodge is situated on 50 hectares (125 acres) of protected primary pre-montane Caribbean slope rainforest. Other habitats within the grounds include semi-wooded pastures and seasonal mountain streams. The extensive network of good trails provides access to diverse sections of the forest. These trails range from easy to more strenuous. Two popular areas within the forest are the Hummingbird Feeders and Hummingbird Pools which give stunning close-up views of the signature bird of Rancho Naturalista, the Snowcap, and a variety of other species.
March 10 – 13, 4 Nights
Bosque del Cabo
A coastal getaway in the rainforest, this premier ecolodge is uniquely positioned at the very tip of the Osa Peninsula on a 750+ acre forest reserve. A short 40 minute drive from Puerto Jimenez by 4×4 vehicles will get us out to this secluded area. Our private luxurious bungalows are perched atop the cliffs of Cabo Matapalo and have beautiful ocean views surrounded by thriving rainforest.
There are many trail walks around the lodge to connect with nature or you can watch and photograph right from your cabana deck. Birds and monkeys are highly active during early morning and late afternoon. A dip in the pool is refreshing mid-afternoon between shoots or you can take a siesta on your hammock. A lounge with drink specials and hot appetizers are enjoyed before a gourmet meal. Photography could not get any easier or enjoyable! A pre-paid $100 credit will be given to each guest to personally select which tours they would like to do during their stay. Tours include bird walks and nature walks, night tours, horseback riding, etc. or use your credit at the gift shop, for lounge beverages or a massage at the spa.
We added one extra night at this lodge based on past guest’s suggestions.
March 14 and 15, 2 Nights
Si Como No
A resort/spa with refuge. Enjoy their butterfly aviary and frog ponds among beautiful flowers. Si Como No strikes the perfect balance of design and comfort, connecting you with the surrounding tropical forest of Manuel Antonio and the essence of the spirit of Costa Rica. Each spacious room has well-appointed bathrooms, fully stocked mini-bars, direct dial telephones, energy efficient lights, air conditioning and most have private balconies. What stands out the most is the hotel’s ability to immerse you in a Costa Rica experience born of the surrounding habitat. You are in the jungle. You are completely comfortable. And you will remember your time here for the rest of your life.
March 16, 1 Night
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn
Originally a manor, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn crowns the Central Highlands of Costa Rica, offering a sustainable, luxurious boutique hotel experience. Each room is unique with charm and elegance. Private jet tub in each room.
This coffee plantation retreat is where the adventurous and curious traveler will experience the history and cultivation of organic coffee in Costa Rica and also the cuisine, music, arts and culture of the local communities while being cared for with personalized attention and the world-class service of an eco boutique hotel. Here we will learn how the organic coffee is grown and the technique to find characteristics of a good coffee.
Helpful Information for 2014 Costa Rica Photography Tour
We’ll do our best and try to cater to each individual’s needs…Tanya will work with your personal requests to make your trip most enjoyable and Daniel will be there to assist and teach you what you want/need to know in the field to take great images. We’ll have some down time in the afternoons for learning sessions and tips before going out to shoot.
Activity level is considered low. Guests must be able to walk on gravel trails while carrying camera gear. The majority of trails are level and have little incline. At many of the lodges you can photograph just outside your room and in the areas around the lodge. Hiking is available at some locations if desired. Zip-lining is an optional add-on activity.
Throughout the tour, Daniel will help you personally with your photography needs, teaching and suggesting techniques to bring your skills to the next level. We’ll take advantage of the best light with early morning photo shoots (this is when the birds and mammals are most active) and travel between locations midday as much as possible.
Photography opportunities will range from macro subjects including orchids and frogs, full/fill flash for hummingbirds, monkeys and colorful birds and scenic shoots of the rainforest. A list of what to bring for camera gear will be sent out and Daniel will also call each guest personally to discuss gear questions/concerns prior to trip departure.
- All transfers between locations will be done in a private shuttle bus so we’ll run on our own schedule.
- We’ll fly on a private charter from San Jose to Osa Peninsula.
- Accommodations will range from clean and comfortable standard rooms to exotic bungalows depending on location. All will have private bath.
- Meals will range from family style Costa Rican dishes to gourmet meals by menu.
- December through April is considered the dry season in Costa Rica.
- The cloud forest temperatures can be cool at night but very comfortable during the day. The Osa Peninsula coastline will be hot and often humid.
- Highest altitude where we’ll be staying at will be below 4000 feet. Most of the trip we’ll be near sea level.
Have a question?
Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"I thought our trip to Costa Rica was terrific! The places you selected for us to visit were interesting and photogenic. The local guides were superb—especially Esteban. Tanya, you were always helpful and pleasant. Dan, you were generous with your knowledge of photography and computer-related subjects. Many thanks for a wonderful trip."
Charlotte Kidd, North Carolina
"What a trip. It was grand in every respect. The planning, sites, hotels, meals all were outstanding. Esteban added to our understanding of the country. Your leadership was truly the guiding hand that made it so much fun and a rewarding experience."
Peter Hellman, Ohio
"Our trip to Costa Rica with Dan and Tanya couldn’t have gone smoother. Dan’s timely photography advice was a perfect addition to the great wildlife, accommodations, and food. Dan is such an asset to photographers of any level and an unmatched resource."
Steve Webster, Massachusetts
"Wow - what a great adventure! We saw so much - cloud forests, mountains, valleys, coastal regions, more birds than ever imagined, sloths, and every type of monkey. Fun travel companions, top notch accommodations."
Rhonda Handley, Ontario
"Have you ever been to Costa Rica? If not, go with Natural Exposures. What a wonderful way to experience the world. First class people with first class style. NE makes your trips memorable and special. No one goes the distance to make sure their clients are happy. I recommend NE 150%."
Michelle Duggan, Massachusetts
"I had SUCH a fantastic time with Dan and Tanya in Costa Rica and the macro opportunities were especially a highlight!! I learned SO much and am super excited to apply what I learned practicing when I get home! You guys are the BEST and I so enjoyed the opportunity to travel and learn with you!"
Christine Crosby, Oregon
"Thanks again to you and Tanya for a wonderful experience in Costa Rica. In addition to being a great photo tour, the trip was a fun, relaxing vacation. I enjoyed the other people in our group (and the gracious Costa Ricans, of course), the amazing food and accommodations, the thoughtful, useful gifts and extra touches (headlamp, chocolates, wildlife-identification folders, et al.). And I'm very pleased with many of my photos.. The reactions of my appreciate friends has been gratifying. I'm looking forward to another great trip to India in 2012."
Niel Lieurance, Washington
"From the welcoming handmade chocolate to the last good-bye hug, the Costa Rica trip was amazing. All the senses were aroused. The smell of the Rain Forest, the wonderful taste of the Costa Rican food, the touch of a spider monkeys' fur, the cacophony of birds sounds waking us each morning and constant greens, reds, oranges of the landscape, birds and reptiles to enjoy and photograph. Once again, Tanya's attention to every detail and Dan's gentle nudging to move my photographic skills ever better than the last trip, thank you is not a big enough word."
Till next time,
Linda Henry, Oregon
"Natural Exposures is a fantastic company, Dan and Tanya make you feel welcome from the very beginning. Between Dan's great hands on teaching methods and Tanya's warm and welcoming personality, they make a very dynamic duo. My first trip (and definitely not my last!) with Natural Exposures was an amazing trip to Costa Rica. The wildlife, flora, fauna, guides and accommodations were above and beyond my expectation and worth every penny. I can't wait to go on another adventure with Dan and Tanya! Thanks for everything."
Trista O'Neil, Alberta
"As always... a roaring TanDan extravaganza. Fun to reunite and unite. Fauna and flora at the very best. A true people trip with accents of delicate orchids, clowning monkeys and jetting macaws ..."
Maud and Leon Soriano, Florida
"Costa Rica was my second experience with Dan and Tanya. Like the first one, my expectations were far exceeded. The entire trip was well thought out and very well-managed. There was certainly no shortage of wildlife to photograph and thanks to Dan, I came home with improved photographic skills. Costa Rica was a memorable trip on all levels.
Secondly, I would like to say that Esteban did an absolutely terrific job. I certainly appreciated his extensive knowledge of flora and fauna that he shared. I was very impressed! It also seemed to me that he made it a point to take an interest in each person on the tour. We had a great time on the extension and felt comfortable enough to kid each other a good natured sort of way. He has quite the sense of humor!
Perhaps it was because we were a larger group prior to the extension that our drivers seemed to keep to themselves more. On the extension, our driver was Felix was very personable and he joined in on our conversations at meal times. Michelle and I really enjoyed talking to him. He practiced English and helped us improve our Spanish. Meeting him left me with an even better impression of Costa Rica.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do the extension. The countryside was a little different than what we saw further south so I felt I came home with a better overall view of the country. The Arenal Observatory Lodge was beautiful and I got my best bird photos there. They were more exposed so it was easier to get a clean shot. I could easily have spent more time exploring their garden area. I also loved the organic farm where we had lunch and the little place we had lunch on the last day. A simply wonderful experience overall.
Thank-you so very much for all your hard work to put this trip together and for your efforts to keep things running so smoothly. I hope to be able to do another trip in the future although I am not sure when or where that will be!
Judy Edgar, Colorado
"AWESOME trip (Costa Rica). Great locations, great accommodations, great people, great food, and wonderful photo opportunities."
Lois Settlmeyer, Washington