We design fully customize photo expeditions itineraries according to your budget and requirements, whether is Birding photo Expeditions or Birding Trips for a complete enjoyment of the bird Jewels of Costa Rica, if traveling as a group, individual traveler or signing-up for one of our organized Photo Birding Expeditions.

Costa Rica offers exciting wildlife photography chances where everybody expert or not will have a chance for pictures of a lifetime. Our photo trip to Costa Rica; is designed for professional and mid-level photographers, willing to spend hours in one location getting the perfect picture, a shooting stations will be set-up in most of the visited locations. Our journey will take us to 2 different mountains ranges in Costa Rica (Talamanca, Central Volcanic Mountain ranges) and 7 different life zones (highlands, Oak forest, Middle Elevations, Caribbean Foothills, Caribbean Lowlands, Pacific lowlands, Pacific coastline + Mangrove) ; jewels such Hummingbirds, Toucans, Tanagers, Birds of prey, Manakins, amazing Frogs, butterflies and much more will be captured by our lenses. Costa Rica and its wonderful biodiverse richness have so much to offer, come and join us in this wonderful photo trip.

Join Freddy Madrigal on his home country, 30 years of experience leading birding trips all over the country and Central America, secret spots away from the crowd for more relaxing and quality time.

DAY 1 Overland to Laguna Lagarto Lodge. Meet at your hotel near airport right after breakfast.

On our way to Laguna Lagarto Lodge, we will take a detour to the feeders of Mrs. Elizabeth lookout point Caribbean foothills, a great photo opportunity and view of a waterfall, lunch and photo session at her place.

The Laguna del Lagarto Eco-Lodge in Northern Costa Rica offers you 1250 Acres (500 Hectares) of virgin tropical rainforest with an incredible variety of fauna and flora.

350 different species of birds have been counted, among them the Great Green Macaw.

The Lodge is operated in harmony with nature, under ecological guidelines. A perfect place for passionate birdwatchers and rain forest lovers. More than 10 km of well-marked rainforest trails make birding and exploring nature easy, no matter whether you prefer to explore nature and wildlife on your own or with a naturalist or birding guide.L. Meals: B, L, D.

DAY 2. Feeders at hotel. Today we will have an early start exploring the grounds before breakfast for about 1-hour, great birding. Right after breakfast work at hotel feeders specially designed for great photography, close enough for some great pictures.

Home of the Brown Hooded Parrots, Great Curassow, Keel Billed Toucan, King Vulture, Rufous Motmot, Red Capped Manakin, Red Legged Honeycreeper, Chesnut Capped Woodpecker, Golden Hooded tanager, just to name few of the real possibilities. Overnite at LLL. Meals: B, L, D.

DAY 3. LLL trails, gardens & feeders. Today we will explore hotel grounds, great for bird´s pics. Overnite LLL. Meals, B, L, D.

DAY 4. Overland to Sarapiqui region, Ara Ambigua Lodge or similar. Set in an exuberant rain forest,the lodge is surrounded by an ecological paradise with tropical gardens, where local species are show cased. Great place to find and photo the amazing Red Eyed Tree frog. Overnite Ara Ambigua Lodge. Meals: B, L, D.

Possible species: Violet Sabrewing, Green hermit, Stripe-throated Hermit, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-necked Jacobin, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Black-bellied hummingbird, Coopery-headed Emerald, Green Violetear, White-bellied Mountain Gem, Green Thorntail, Black Guan, Northern Emerald Toucanet, Red Headed Barbet, Prong-billed Barbet, Baltimore Oriole, Tennessee Warbler, Common Chlorospingus, and a lot other gems of this altitudinal belt.

DAY 5. Cope´s feeders and photo hide. Plus field visit to owls day perch, Possible species Spectakled Owl, Great Potoo, Crested Owl. Overnite, Ara ambigua, Meals included, B, L, D.

Early departure for photo shoot at Cope`s place, and extra bonus frog’s session of different species of frogs including, glass frogs, and other surprises. Overnite, Ara ambigua, Meals included, B, L, D.

Possible species: Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Green Kingfisher, Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Red Legged honeycreeper, Blue Dacnis, Shinning Honeycreeper, Montezuna Oropendola, Gray Headed Chachalaca, Crimson Collared Tanager, Golden Hooded Tanager, Collared Aracari, White-necked Jacobin, Bronzed-tailed Plumeleteer, Green Hermit, Stripe-throated Hermit, Crowned Woodnymph, Long Billed Hermit, plus other jewels of Caribbean lowlands.

DAY 6. La Selva Biological Station driveway & Sarapiqui River.

Morning, at La Selva Biological Station driveway, looking for Rufous Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous Tailed Jacamar, White-necked Puffbirds, Crested Guans, Collared Aracari, Southern Lapwing and many other beauties of the area.

Afternoon, Sarapiqui river looking for Kingfishers, such Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon, Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Anhinga, etc. Overnite Ara Ambigua lodge. Meals included, B, L, D.

Possible species, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Rufous Motmot, Fasciated Antshrike, Golden Hooded Tanager, Passerine`s Tanager, Black Mandibled Toucan, Keel Billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Great Green Macaw, Mealy Parrot, Broad-billed Motmot, Red-throated Ant-tanager, Slaty-tailed trogon, Crested Guan, Squirrel Cuckoo, White-necked Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Black-cheeked Woddpecker, Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Cocoa woodcreeper, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Long-tailed tyrant, Passerine`s Tanager and so many wonderful surprises may happens in this wonderful location.

DAY 7. Overland to Turrialba area. Hotel Siloe or similar.

Early departure to Turrialba area, on our way we will stop at Hummingbird gardens, looking for the beautiful Black Crested Coquette, Snowcap, Green Thorntail, Violet Hummingbird, and other great hummingbird species at this great open garden.

Lunch on the way, arriving late afternoon to hotel in Turrialba. Overnite at Hotel Siloe or Similar. Meals B-L-D.

DAY 8. In search of the Sunbittern, a beautiful bird with an amazing wings pattern, our day is going to be dedicated to the sunbittern, other great species of birds will come along but our main target, the Sunbittern. Overnite Villa Florencia Hotel or similar. Meals, B-L-D

DAY 9. Overland to Highlands. Ready for highland species included the quetzal, tanagers and many Hummingbirds, most of them are going to be new to our list. Getting to at Mrs. Miriam Cabañas for highland species. Lunch on the way. Keep your jackets and warm clothes handy because temperature is going to change drastically to what we have experienced before. Overnite Doña Miriams Lodge. Meals B-L-D

Los Quetzales National Park has three life zones or different types of forests, 14 ecosystems and a great richness in flora and fauna. It also has seven different altitudes, which allow a large biological variety and the formation of seasonal lagoons of glacial origins (wetlands).

This park keeps the natural conditions of forests of high altitudes, like the oak forests, the cloud forests and moorlands. It also helps to maintain the hydrologic functions of these forests, the protection of habitats of endemic species and the reproduction of the quetzal. Aside from this, the park protects the basin of the Savegre River as well and serves as shelter and nesting site for the beautiful quetzal.

Possible species: Magnificent Quetzal, Violet Sabrewing, Talamanca Hummingbird, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Whitethroated Mountain Gem, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Green Violetear, Brown Violetear, Dusky Nightjar, Collared Trogon, Northern Emerald toucanet, Acorn Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Ruddy Treerunner, Mountain Elaenia, Dark Pewee, Golden Bellied Flycatcher, Barred Becard, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty Thrush, Black-face Solitaire, Mountain Thrush, American Dipper, Black and Yellow Silky-flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Brown-capped Vireo, Black-throated Warbler, Wilson`s Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart, Collared Redstart, Flame-throated Warbler, Emerald Tanager, Spekled Tanager, Spangled-cheeked Tanager, Large-footed Finch, White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Sootycapped Chlorospingus, Black-thighed Grossbeak, Flame-colored Tanager, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, and much more of the highland specialties

DAY 10. Savegre Lodge gardens and Melvin´s bird feeders. Today we visit Savegre lodge premises looking for some specialties of the area, Resplendent Quetzal, Long Tailed Silky Flycatcher, Emerald Toucanet, Ruddy Capped Nightingale Thrush, Spotted Wood-quail, Talamanca Hummingbird, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Green Violet Ear, White Throated Mountain Gem, among other beautiful species. Doña Miriams Lodge. Meals B-L-D

DAY 11. Search for Quetzal´s feeding place. Today we stay at the lodge premises looking for some specialties of the area, Resplendent Quetzal, Long Tailed Silky Flycatcher, Emerald Toucanet, Ruddy Capped Nightingale Thrush, Spotted Woodquail, Talamanca Hummingbird, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Green Violet Ear, White Throated Mountain Gem, among other beautiful species. Doña Miriams Lodge. Meals B-L-D

DAY 12. Overland to Carara National Park , Hotel Villa Lapas, This National Park is a worldwide known birding destination as it has very diverse birdlife, It is certainly one of the major sites in the country for birdwatching where stands out the Scarlet Macaw (Lapa Roja – Ara macao – ), a species that is in danger of extinction, being the second largest species of Psittacidae of Costa Rica. Overnite Hotel D´Lucia. Meals included, B-L-D

DAY 13. Morning Boat tour (4 hours) to Tarcoles River and Guacalillo Mangrove forest (big spacy bot flat bottom to place tripods, roof and open on the sides), possible species such; shorebirds, Yellow-headed Caracara, Crested Caracara, Mangrove Hawk, Mangrove Hummingbird (endemic), Mangrove Vireo, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Lapwings, Whimbrel, Willet, Magnificent Frigatebird, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Tricolored Heron, Yellow-crowned Hight-Heron, Boat-billed heron, White Ibis, Black-necked stilt, Plovers and much more. Afternoon, work at hotel grounds & nearby areas. Overnite Hotel Villa Lapas. Overnite Hotel D´Lucia. Meals included, B-L-D

DAY 14. Full day Visit to Carara National Park in search of possible species such; Long Tailed Manakin, Orange collared Manakin, Scarlet Macaw, Baird`s Trogon, Turquoise Browed Motmot, White Whiskered Puffbird, Fiery-billed Aracari, Hoffman`s Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Barred Antshrike, Black Hooded Antshrike, Chesnut-backed Antbird, Streak-Chested Antpitta, Black Faced Antthrush, Scissortailed Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, Red Capped Manakin, Three-watled Bellbird (depends on altitudinal movements) WhiteThroated Magpie Jay, Cherrie`s tanager, and much more . Overnite Hotel D´Lucia. Meals included, B-L-D

  • Early morning, we will get to Carara National Park, look for the Streaked Antpitta territory.

DAY 15. Drive back to San Jose. HOTEL ON YOUR OWN.

Today on our way to San Jose, we will spend most of the day shooting at owls in their day perch, such, Black & white Owl, White-whiskered Puffbird, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Pacific Screech Owl, Barn owl and the beautiful Long Tailed Manakin at their LEK fully dancing, great for a video as well.

YOUR EXPEDITION COSTA RICA TRIP INCLUDES

All meals and accommodation during your stay, not including alcoholic beverages, bottled water at meals or soft drinks, beginning with LUNCH the first day and ending with lunch on day 15.

Star shooting on Day 1 and finish on Day 15 all day.

One expert guide in the field of biology, conservation, as well as local guides on each of the specific private shooting places, Freddy Madrigal (owner), Eddy Recio and Jose Amador are the Costa Rica´s Trip Leaders.

Admission to all proposed activities and events, including the entrance fees to National parks visited.

Fees to: Hummingbird garden, Waterfall lookout point, Adolfo´s feeders near Lagarto lodge, Mrs. Elizabeth`s bird feeders, Cope`s photo hide, boat tour Tárcoles River, Waterfall lookout point feeders, Carara National Park, full day of shooting owl and Long tailed Manakin at Alvaro´s secret spots.

Water, it provided as 1 bottled per person per day while in the field. Water in Costa Rica is potable 100% safe to drink in all locations we visit, you can fill up your bottles of water in every hotel.

Transportation, Private tour & full availability driving and fuel. (not just transfers from A to B)

A curious group of our Nature Photo Expedition, excited to discover all that the Costa Rica has to offer!

TRAVELERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR (Not included on the trip cost).

  • Transportation and flights to and from Hong Kong.
  • Hotel´s accommodation near airport for arrival and departure (if needed) on March 2020. (not included in this cost) we can help booking hotel at separate cost.
  • Transportation from SJO airport to the group´s hotel first night. ➢ Individual travel insurance (suggested).
  • Baggage charges.
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Birding Photo Expeditions offerings.
  • Drinks. No alcoholic or soft drinks included on this trip.
  • King Vulture Hide: On your own, it is at Laguna Lagarto Lodge with a cost of $75 USD per person.
  • Gratuities, lodges staff, restaurants, DRIVER & TRIP LEADER. Make sure to tip maids, local guides and driver working with us along the trip.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

We recommend you have a medium fitness level to fully participate in this trip. Be prepared to walk up to two miles per day through thick, muddy jungle terrain with heavy equipment if required to find a specific quality specie of bird.

Keep in mind this will be much more taxing than two miles of flat pavement.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Please keep in mind that we are venturing deep into the Costa Rica nature areas to facilitate finding of most species possible, sometimes requires a long drive. If you have any medications, don’t forget to bring enough with you, sealed in plastic Ziploc bags.

In terms of disease risk, malaria and zika are incredibly rare, but they are present; travelers should consult their own doctors about potential preventative measures.

Therefore, insect repellent and long sleeves are required, especially at night. Finally, vaccines are not required, but travelers may wish to consult their own doctors.

Temperatures. Most of lodges visited will be in the lowlands, so hot and humid. When in highlands temperature drops to 10 degrees Celsius or lower, specialty nights and early mornings.

Lodging, We strive to get you higher quality birds for you to photograph, this means we will travel far out in the middle of no where in many cases and lodges will provide limited amenities and in some cases no AC, but a ceiling fan or so.

In the case of overbooking by a hotel we may use a similar hotel nearby to cover any of the nights in order to complete our itinerary to that specific area, not resulting in any alteration of the offered itinerary

PRICE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITION. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT HAS AN EXTRA CHARGE OF $500

PRICE PER PERSON. Please contact us to: photo@freddymadrigal.com to quote your Photo Expedition, based on your requirements.

PAYMENTS.

We will provide an option to pay in two installments, 50% once itinerary is accepted via bank deposit and 50% cash upon arrival to Costa Rica in 2020.

All reservations will be final after acceptant of itinerary and first guarantee deposit, and subject to cancellation policy use by hotels visited and tour operators.

By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip’s Terms & Conditions. For those wishing to have a single room and/or extra nights at the San José hotel, optional supplements will be included with the final payment.

Policies

  • The use of flash is not allowed for some endemic and resident species. In the feeder’s multi-flash is not allowed.
  • The use of playback is limited for guides.
  • For field trips, species will be attracted to attractive perches that we will prepare.
  • Do not scare birds to make them fly away from their perches or nesting areas.
  • Laundry cannot be done in hotel´s rooms, if so, and any damage is made to sink or any equipment inside room, client must pay for it to administration for materials, labor and all needed in order to reestablish the operation of the room.
  • Our trip leader will suggest you places where to pay for laundry service along the trip.