Costa Rica: January 2-9, 2011

Please join Bio Photo Experience for 8 days, 7 nights on a memorable expedition to the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, a magnificent world heritage site in northwestern cloud_flower Costa Rica. Experience the natural history of Costa Rica like research scientists do by visiting secluded, rustic research stations in diverse habitats normally not open to tourists. Let our two tropical biologists explain the natural history of the local flora and fauna you will be photographing. Then return home with unique photographs and biological knowledge which will fascinate friends and family.

You will have opportunities to photograph landscapes, plants, and animals in dry forests, tropical rainforests, and cloud forests during your workshop. Your BPE guides have extensive experience capturing and handling numerous animal groups, potentially offering you the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of unusual creatures. Evenings will involve optional night hikes to discover the nocturnal animal diversity in the local habitats and to do some collecting for macro photography sessions.


Your BPE guides are also skilled photographers (including a professional photographer with over thirty years of experience), and will dedicate extensive time towards improving your photographic techniques. All of this will be taught in the field and during evening workshops in an intimate setting involving no more than three BPE participants per BPE guide (9 max. participants). A data projector will be available for viewing your work.

Your tuition will cover all food, lodging, and internal transportation (including pick up and return to Liberia International Airport). In order to ensure our clients receive ample personalized attention by your three hosts, this tour is limited to nine clients. Total tuition for the 8 day/7 night Costa Rica experience is $2,500 (US) per person, not including airfare to Liberia, Costa Rica.

Getting to Liberia, Costa Rica

American, Continental, and Delta Airlines all fly into Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR), Liberia daily. If you plan to arrive on January 2nd, we would prefer that you schedule your flight to arrive between 12:20 PM and 3:00 PM, as the workshop will begin that afternoon. We will pick you up at the airport. If you arrive on January 1st, or the evening of January 2nd please contact us prior to booking your flight so that pickup in Liberia and any other arrangements can be made.

Itinerary for the Costa Rica Experience

Please note: Some arrangements may change depending upon the weather and/or other unforeseen events.

January 2-3, 2011

Arrival: Your BPE guides will pick you up from Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia, Costa Rica. The group will drive to Santa Rosa Research Centre in the Tropical Dry Forest, one of the few remaining patches of tropical dry forest in the entire world. We may make a stop at some ancient petroglyphs along the river canyon on the way to the station to get the cameras (and legs) warmed up. We will stay at Santa Rosa for two nights and have opportunities to hike and photograph a variety of Tropical Dry Forest areas; explore La Casona, a magnificant colonial estate & museum; enjoy stimulating after dinner discussions and photo sessions; take night hikes and do night collecting and macrophotography (for those so inclined). All meals here will be served at the research station, or in the field.

January 4-5, 2011

cloud_forestDrive to Pitilla Biological Station in the Tropical Wetforest/Cloudforest (elevation: 600 meters). Stay two nights at Pitilla. Explore the trails of this diverse area of volcanic foothills, including pastures, cloudforest and rainforest. Photography of the rainforest, plantlife and macrophotography. All meals here will be served at the research station, or in the field, including breakfast on January 6.

January 6, 2011

Activities: Drive from Pitilla to unspoiled Junquillal Beach, in the northernwestern corner of Costa Rica, on the Pacific Ocean, for exploration of the coastline and swimming. Lunch at a great seafood restaurant in the nearby fishing village of Cuajiniquil, followed by photography of the town and harbour. Return to Santa Rosa for dinner. After dinner photo review session and discussions.

January 7, 2011

tropical_beach After breakfast in Santa Rosa, we will head out for Nancite Biological Station. This trek requires a very bumpy drive followed by a hike, but the end result is well worth it. At Playa Nancite you will experience beautiful Pacific Ocean views, explore mangroves and likely come face to face with crocodiles, capuchin monkeys, shore birds and numerous beach dwelling crab species. Nancite is also one of only two mass nesting grounds in Costa Rica for Olive Ridley's sea turtles. Explore the mangroves and estuary and you'll discover a wealth of plant and animal life to photograph. The beach should also set up nicely for a spectacular tropical sunset. We will stay overnight at the station where lunch and dinner will be served.

January 8, 2011

Wake up for early morning photography around Nancite then drive to Las Pailas (The Cauldrons), in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Hike through forest to waterfalls, hot springs, boiling mudpots, and enjoy views of volcanic peaks. This area has an sunsetabundance of wildlife. We will then drive to the nearby resort Lodge at Hacienda Guachipelin, a Costa Rican style hotel and working cattle ranch, with swimming pool and all the modern amenities. From Lookout Point, you will have amazing 360 degree views of Guanacaste, including mountains and coastline. The dry season is known for its stunning sunsets and our location for the evening will provide one last opportunity to capture a Costa Rican sunset. We will have a field lunch lunch at Pailas and top off our final night with a great dinner at Guachipelin to relax and recap the trip in style and comfort.

January 9, 2011

Dropoff at Daniel Oduber International Airport, Liberia in time for departing flights. Please note that you can arrange to stay on at the Hacienda Guachipelin after the Bio Photo Experience Tour is over. Just let us know, and we’ll make arrangements for you.

See the Costa Rica 2011 Field Blog for a recap of this trip