March 23rd - April 2nd, 2015

Back by popular demand! itihis 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!

Meet Daniel and Tanya Cox
Travel Plan
Accommodations
Helpful Information
Explorer Testimonials
  • 2015 Costa Rica Photography Tour Travel Plans

    OPTIONAL PRE-EXTENSION: March 23 – 24

    This pre-extension is being offered to anyone interested in a “down day” in San Jose.
    Monday, March 23
    Depart US/Canada and arrive in San Jose the same day. Greeting at airport and transfer to hotel upon arrival. “Meet and Greet” with welcome drinks  in lounge. Overnight in deluxe room at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose for two nights.

    Tuesday, March 24 (B, L)
    We’ll enjoy breakfast at this beautiful hotel and then meet up late morning for an excursion to SIBU CHOCOLATE to learn all about chocolate! Chocolate tour, organic lunch and wine pairing with artisan chocolate is included. In the evening, we’ll meet up with arriving guests for “Meet and Greet”.

     Sibu-1 sibu-chocolate

    Tuesday, March 24

    If you are NOT doing the pre-extension – Depart US/Canada and arrive in San Jose the same day. Greeting at airport and transfer to hotel upon arrival. “Meet and Greet” with welcome drinks in the lounge. Overnight stay in deluxe room at the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose

    Wednesday, March 25 – Saturday, March 28 (B, L, D)

    After breakfast, we’ll take a scenic drive through coffee plantations, strawberry fields and lush dairy farms to Poas Volcano National Park,. At Poás Volcano, we can get right to the edge of the crater to see and photograph the hot acid stream vents and the green crater lake Laguna Caliente. Walk along a 1/2 mile trail through a gnarled dwarf forest to an overlook above the extinct crater Lake Botos surrounded by a cloud forest. We’ll have a lunch stop before we travel on to the Osa Peninsula Jungle Rainforest by private charter plane. 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… the list goes on. Often you can photograph the Scarlet Macaws flying right by your cabana deck. This has by far been a favorite place to stay by previous guests who have traveled with us to Costa Rica! 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 for four nights.

    Sunday, March 29 (B, L)

    A late morning departure to ensure one last photo shoot in this beautiful area. We’ll take a visit to the nearby coastal village of Puerto Jiminez to photograph the local life in Costa Rica. After lunch, we’ll drive the coastal highway to Quepos near Manuel Antonio National Park. Evening frog and reptile photography tour planned at a nearby refuge. Dinner on your own tonight. Choose from a variety of restaurants within walking distance. Overnight at Si Como No for three nights.

    Monday, March 30 (B, L)

    Manual Antonio National Park Tour. We’ll walk through the park, trails are gravel and mostly flat. We hope to find some sloths along the way. There is a great area we know of where the Capuchin monkeys like to hang out with the visitors.  Bring your swim suit! We will have an opportunity to swim and cool down at the park’s beautiful white sandy beach.  As we depart the park we’ll have a little time to shop locally before heading for lunch. We’ll also visit the exhilarating MidWorld Costa Rica. Zip-lining here 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. Dinner on your own tonight. Overnight Si Como No

    Tuesday, March 31 (B, L)

    Especially requested by past guests, we’ve added some time for a morning visit to the ocean for snorkeling. After lunch, we’ll visit a nearby refuge to photograph the butterfly aviary, birds and reptiles. Evening frog and reptile photography shoot at refuge. Dinner on your own tonight. Overnight Si Como No

    Wednesday, April 1 (B,L,D)

    Early departure to San Jose by coach with a stop by the crocodile bridge and also time for a little souvenir shopping. Lunch at our hotel, the Finca Blanca Rosa. This boutique coffee plantation hotel is a treat! Each room is unique with white wash walls, hand painted murals and mosaic bathrooms. This afternoon we’ll visit  the Finca Rosa Blanca coffee plantation and learn everything there is to know about coffee. Their coffee has a nice, mild, non-acidic flavor – a great gift to bring home for friends and family. Farewell gourmet dinner and wine this evening. Overnight at Finca Rosa Blanca

    Thursday, April 2 (B)

    Depart home at your leisure, but remember you’ll have to leave the hotel 2.5 to 3 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. Transfers to the airport are provided.

    • Guest Limits

      8 Guest Minimum
      14 Guests Maximum

    • Trip Cost

      5440USD per person, based on double occupancy

      ADD: 350USD (less then 10 guests)

      Single Supplement: Please email for rates – limited space

      Sibu Optional Pre-extension: 350USD per person, based on double occupancy

      Single Supplement Pre-extension: 100USD

      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!

    • Deposit

      $500.00 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.

    • Installments

      June 30, 2014: $2500 First Installment
      October 1, 2014: Final Payment

      Check only for first installment and final payment. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:

      Natural Exposures

      810 N. Wallace, Suite E
      Bozeman, MT 59715

    • Included

      • Pre-departure information packets and “goodie” box
      • Welcome meet and greet drinks 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, zip-lining fee and snorkel day
      • $100 prepaid credit per person at Bosque del Cabo
      • All lodging and tours listed
      • Internal flights and private coach transfers
      • All meals where indicated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch , D = Dinner)
      • Bottled water and snacks during coach transfers
    • Not Included

      • Airfare to/from San Jose, Costa Rica
      • Departure tax from Costa Rica (approximately $28) payable by Visa
      • Meals and beverages where not indicated
      • Travel insurance
      • Extra baggage fees
      • Gratuities
      • 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

      Sibu Pre-extension ONLY
      March 23, 2015

      Arrive San Jose (SJO) any time of day

      NO Sibu Pre-extension
      March 24, 2015

      Arrive San Jose (SJO) any time of day

      April 2, 2015
      Depart San Jose (SJO) any time of day

    • Travel Insurance

      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:

      Global Rescue
      (use code natexp)

      Allianz Global Assistance 
      (use travel agency ID F203564)

      Insure My Trip

    • 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 2015 Costa Rica Photography Tour

    March 23 (with pre-extension only) and 24, 1 or 2 Nights
    Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
    This beautiful hacienda is situated on a 30 acre coffee plantation.

    March 25 – 28, 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.

    Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in flight. Costa Rica

    Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in flight. Costa Rica

    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.

    March 29-31 3 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.

    April 1, 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 2015 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. This tour allows our guests to explore and photograph on their own at Bosque del Cabo. You can decide if you would like to be with Daniel or join one of the local guides on a tour. This tour is a mix of photography and vacation. It is not as intense as some of our tours – guests can decide how much time they want to be in the field photographing and what included activities they wish to participate in. If you have limited time off from work and want to photograph but also have a vacation, this is the perfect trip to book.

    ACTIVITY LEVEL

    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 and will involve some stair climbing. Weather in Osa will be hot and humid which can affect your activity level. At Poas Volcano National Park there will be some hiking involved – not overly strenuous but you will feel like you got some exercise.

    PHOTOGRAPHING

    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 late day too.

    Photography opportunities will range from macro subjects including orchids and frogs along with monkeys, 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.

    Places we did NOT include and why: This trip does not emphasize hummingbird photography. We’ve decided based on past tours to Costa Rica that we do not want to spend extra days to go into the cloud forest to photograph at hummingbird feeders. We find this time is more well spent staying on the Osa peninsula to have more of a variety of larger mammals, birds and reptiles to photograph. We will still see hummingbirds but maybe not the quantity as in the cloud forest. If you wish to extend your stay in Costa Rica, we can arrange additional tours for you to photograph the hummingbirds.

    Corcovado National Park – This is a tough area with a lot of hiking – miles each day – in hot humid conditions with photography in dark conditions under canopies, and many species are high up in the towering trees. Most guests prefer not to haul big lenses and tripods around and spending full days in these conditions.

    Arenal Volcano – This used to be a popular place because the lava was flowing on the side of the volcano and you can see it at night. It no longer flows. Also the weather conditions can very wet and rainy in this area. It is close enough to San Jose if you did want to extend your tour and visit this area.

    Quetzals – This beautiful bird of Costa Rica is found in the cloud forests. In the past we have seen the Quetzal but in the last 2-3 years they have been struggling due to lack of food, avocados. They have been tricky to see in many areas where they were once prevalent. Again, you have to go to the cloud forest to see them – a totally different ecosystem. We feel it is too “chancy” to spend a day to transfer, only two days there and then another day to transfer out.

    We have offered tours in Costa Rica where you “try to see everything” and all you do is drive and keep changing hotels. The roads in some areas of Costa Rica are good, and others are difficult and take longer than expected to drive. We’re trying to avoid these drives and spend more time in areas we feel with give you the best photography opportunities and are the most accessible and comfortable.

    EXTRA NOTES

    • 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 exotic bungalows or boutique hotels depending on location. All will have private bath
    • Meals will be gourmet by menu, local venues to buffet style. Costa Ricans eat a fair amount of fish, chicken, beef with rice and black beans. Our meals will vary but all will be well prepared both in taste and presentation.
    • December through April is considered the dry season in Costa Rica
    • The Osa Peninsula coastline will be hot and often humid
    •  Most of the trip we’ll be near sea level
    • Laundry service is available (at a fee) at Bosque del Cabo and Si Como No
    • Pools at all hotels

    Have a question?

    Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.
  • 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

    • "AWESOME trip (Costa Rica). Great locations, great accommodations, great people, great food, and wonderful photo opportunities."

      Lois Settlmeyer, Washington

    • "Another amazing trip with Dan and Tanya (Costa Rica this time). We continue to be impressed by the quality of Natural Exposures trips, as well as the way Dan and Tanya impart their love and excitement of a region and the resident creatures. Thank You once again."

      Carol Doyle

    • "Very action-packed and fun-filled."

      Dave Easton, Winnipeg, MB

    • "Wonderful as usual, very enjoyable. Love traveling with the two of you even better than other groups I travel with."

      Jim Carlin, California

    • "Well planned and fun. You did a wonderful job pacing the trip, planning experiences, and tracking. You both and Esteban really made the trip a lot of fun."

      Lenore Cortina, New Jersey

    • "Top notch! Beautifully organized and lots of fun. I especially enjoyed our days at Bosque del Cabo. Thank you for a beautiful vacation. Dan is actually succeeding in turning me into an enthusiastic photographer."

      Marlene Molinoff, Pennsylvania

    • "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!
      Pura vida!"

      Judy Edgar, Colorado

    • "Our first travel experience with Natural Exposures was exceptional! Accommodations, meals and our traveling companions were first class. Costa Rica is a colorful country and thanks to Dan and Tanya, we were rewarded with some great shots. We do miss waking up with the howlers. Thanks for a great adventure!"

      Ralph and Barbara Russo, Pennsylvania

For additional information please contact Tanya at photo@naturalexposures.com or by telephone at (406) 556-8212

Are you ready to start your next adventure?

Here are some galleries from Explorers who've taken similar tours…