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Getty Aracari

Hummingbirds & more, Costa Rica, Central America

The Central American country of COSTA RICA is world famous for its coffee, as a surfing destination, and above all else for its astonishing diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty. Cost Rica  "The Rich Coast" is a country is home to over 9000 species of flowering plants, over 600 species of butterflies, more than 200 different mammals as well as prehistoric looking reptiles and boldly colored amphibians. With over 875 species Costa Rica is home to more avian species than Canada and the United States combined. Opportunities for landscape photography are equally diverse with mountains, beaches, volcanoes, tropical forests, waterfalls and much, much more.  We supply the multi-flash set ups for hummingbird photography for all of our workshops. Not a photographer? No worries, we always offer one of our cameras for you to use should you like to participate. For those looking for hummingbird multi-flash photography Costa Rica has a large variety of hummingbirds to keep you busy all day long. Species Include: Snowcap, Resplendent Quetzal, Green-crowned Brilliant, Montezumas Orapendola, Green Thorntail, White-faced Capuchin Monkey, A variety of colorful tanagers, Scarlet Macaw, Kingfishers.  This will be our 12th year to this paradise! 

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Nov. fly in San Jose, Costa Rica Nov out  Nov. 29 2023     - You may also enjoy Columbia Birds!
Nov. 17-29, 2024 -
Price: $6795 USD pp. Deposit: $2000 USD Balance due Aug.18. or CDN$, Deposit $2480 includes tax.
Flight Destination: San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) Juan Santamaria International, arrive in San Jose 
Included: All expert photo instruction, meals starting with welcome dinner on first night, guides, drivers, land transportation. Airport pick up and drop off.  All accommodations based on double occupancy. Single Supplement $500.
Not included: International airfare to place of tour origin. Any additional nights accommodation outside of the tour dates. Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff. Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance. Some meals, beverages, alcoholic beverages. Laundry, phone

and other items of a personal nature.  Extra day trips not included in the itinerary.

Learn multi-flash Hummingbird Photography: Learn techniques to use 4 flashes to achieve otherwise impossible flight photographs of these flying jewels.  We will be sharing  techniques for taking multi-flash images that actually look natural . Participants will also learn how to do set-ups for birds using more than one flash. These skills can easily be taken home and applied in your very own backyard!
Macro photography of tropical insects and frogs: At each of our locations there will also be opportunities to find and photograph an amazing diversity of colorful frogs, butterflies and insects. Spectacular landscape photography: The rainforests of Costa Rica are spectacular places and the opportunities for landscape photography are superb. We will also keep our fingers crossed for a clear day up in the mountains where we may be able to create beautiful mountain images.


ARRIVAL Nov.08 –(SJO) SJO, San Jose, Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica

DEPARTING Nov. 23, 2021 / Nov. 08-Nov.23 2022/2023 Note, dates & itinerary subject to change based on scheduling. 10 days of photography

Nov. 11-23,  Arrival Hotel Bouganvillea, 12-13 -2 N Rancho, ,  14,15,16,17-  4N -Paraisio, 18,19, 20- 3 N-Selve Verde, 21 -Bouganvillea, 23-fly  home. 

B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, D= Dinner (N= Night) included

Arrival San Jose (SJO) Airport pick up Hotel Bougainvillea  (D) Enjoy taking photographs of birds around the hotel or read a book by the pool, as we wait for everyone to arrive. (N1)

After breakfast we drive north-west to the Cartago Province staying at Rancho Naturalista for 2 nights. Here we photograph many more hummingbirds, tanagers and look for the rare snow –capped hummingbird. During our 4 hour drive north through the region towards the Tapanti Macizo National Park we stop along the way for photographic opportunities. Our destination is Rancho Naturalista.   Rancho Naturalista is one of the finest birdwatching lodges in Central America. Several species of hummingbirds, as well as many other birds, can be seen right from the spacious balcony where you also have a great view of the distant smoking Turrialba volcano. Here we will set out to photograph the snow-capped hummingbird and the Black-crested Coquette.


After breakfast we drive approximately 2 hours south to the Copay region where Quetzals, Emerald Toucanette and many hummingbirds reside. 

After an early morning bird photography at the feeders, we visit a surprise destination – a nearby farm owned by a local family that is a great place for photographing both the Great Green and Scarlet Macaws. The macaws are free flying but stay close to the farm to roost and feed.  We may have the opportunity to photograph white-faced capuchin monkeys. The owner also has a Baird’s tapir in a very large enclosure that is great for photography as well as two beautiful jaguar specimens that are great for close-up portraits. We will stop at the Butterfly Garden for more photo opportunities. 

Located in the Paraiso area and home to the Resplendant Quetzal we will spend our time photographing hummingbirds including the Fiery Throated Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Green Violet Ear Hummingbird, and other birds including the Emerald Toucanet, and tanagers.  Here we will use multi-flash hummingbird photography to highlight the incredible colors these birds have to offer. We will take a trip higher into the mountain range to photograph Long Tailed Silky Flycatcher, Valcano Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker and more. 


Resplendent Quetzal- The very beautiful and popular Quetzal can be found pretty much anywhere in the valley, often flies across the lodge's grounds looking for fruiting Lauraceae Trees.  Spot-crowned Woodcreeper- Found in primary, secondary, and disturbed areas, it usually accompanies mixed flocks.


Buffy Tuftedcheek- Most of the time found in the primary oak forest where trees are covered with epiphytes, Los Robles and La Quebrada Trails are the ones that offer a better chance to see this bird. Streak-breasted Treehunter- Most of the time found in mixed flocks in primary and secondary forest, in forest edge too and more. 

Cartego Province Hotel Quelitales - 1 night

Paraiso Bird Lodge 3 nights  (B, L, D)

 Heredia Province - Selva Verde Bird Lodge (L, D) 3 Nights

After breakfast we head out north to Heredia Province. This 6 ½ hour scenic drive will provide plenty of wonderful views along the way. Keep your eyes open for toucans, parrots and other feathered friends on the tree tops. In the evening we take advantage of the night life with macro photography of tree frogs and more. Overnight Bird Lodge

We travel to the beautiful lowland rainforests of the Sarapiqu region and with the bird feeders that offer great bird photography opportunities. A number of colorful birds including tanagers, aracaris, and toucans visit the feeders. Here we will have a fantastic time and photograph poison frogs, tree frogs, basilisk lizards, and lots of other wildlife. We arrive for lunch and then spend the afternoon looking for frogs on the lodge grounds.  Nights We spend all day today on the grounds of the lodge, where we will work to capture great photos at the bird feeders as well as any other surprises, such as the Sunbittern, nesting MotMots. In the afternoon we take a trip to a local nature reserve to photograph hummingbirds and tanagers. 


We check out and go to the airport and fly to home or for those interested in joining the Falkland Islands workshop we will fly to Santiago. Chile.

This is an action packed bird photography workshop and birding tour. There are plenty of opportunities to video the amazing hummingbirds.   Please read our Refund Policy

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Churchill Birds


"Costa Rica Bird Photography Workshop I have nothing but positive praise for the Costa Rica- Biodiversity Workshop with Natures Photo Adventures -workshop leader David Hemmings. David and his local guide Vernon made this an outstanding workshop experience. Some of the outstanding elements were the close encounters with numerous beautiful bird species in their natural environment; the opportunity to photograph gorgeous hummingbirds in flight; and to be able to see and photograph the stunning Resplendent Quetzal, Trogons and beautiful Macaws. 


David’s wonderful sense of humor, patience and knowledge made for a relaxing and inspiring learning environment. Vernon’s excellent ear for bird sounds and intimate knowledge of the environment opened up many opportunities to see and photograph exotic birds. The accommodations and meals were excellent with special care to individual dietary restrictions. I highly recommend this workshop. By the way, my experience was so positive, that I have signed up for the Alaska grizzly bear photography workshop in August 2014" T. Churchill

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