- The price includes all hotel accommodations, land and air transportation, meals, entry fees to parks, and activities
- All inclusive itinerary to Costa Rica.
- Small group
- Luxury small hotels, lodges and inns offering many extra amenities
- Excellent Costa Rica cuisine
- Visits to some of Costa Rica’s most interesting photographic destinations
- Photographic assignments.
Day 1: This morning we leave San Jose heading north for Arenal, in our air-conditioned van. We will stop in Sarchi to photograph the local church. and visit a water powered oxcart factory, which was founded over eighty years ago. The photographic opportunities here with the colours, shapes and patterns are numerous. Next along today’s route is Zarcero. In Zarcero is a menagerie of sculpted shrubs, topiaries and a wonderful rural church. Then we continue on to La Fortuna for lunch. It is in La Fortuna that we first see Arenal Volcano, looming over the landscape at the end of the road.
After a typical “Tico” lunch we arrive at the lodge, which is located at the base of Arenal. Even though we are only two kilometers from the top of the cone, the location is very safe; it is here that volcanologists come to monitor the activity of the volcano. And it is here where we will first become aware of the Howler monkeys hooting from the forest canopy. Around the lodge waiting to be photographed are Coatis (in the Raccoon family), maybe a Howler and numerous birds of most every colour.
While having dinner there is a chance that we will see our first pyrotechnical show from the volcano. Afterwards, while preparing for bed it is a good idea to have your photography equipment ready because Arenal operates on it’s own schedule and when it erupts you will want to be ready. Arenal Volcano can be an unbelievable nighttime experience. La Fortuna (L), Arenal Observatory Lodge. Includes: (D).
Day 2: After breakfast we will take a morning hike onto the new lava with a bilingual guide from the lodge and then return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you can explore waterfalls, photograph the many flowers and birds around the lodge or you may choose to just kick back and relax before an unforgettable trip to Arenal’s northwestern flank. Here we will have an unobstructed view of Arenal’s activity in the early evening from a different observation point. Then it is back to the lodge for dinner. Arenal Observatory Lodge. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Today we return to San Jose but along the route back we will stop in the Los Angeles cloud forest to photograph the living fences, the beautiful lush green and rolling hills. Stopping also in the small town of Barva. Then it is back to our base in San Jose for the night, and dinner at one of San Jose’s fine restaurants. Arenal Observatory Lodge (B), en route (L), San Jose (D).
Day 4: This morning we will be leaving the hotel early and stopping in the town of Fraijanes for a typical “Tico” breakfast, then it is on to the Waterfall Gardens. Here we will spend most of the day. The photographic opportunities are numerous with the magnificent waterfalls, hummingbirds, butterflies, bromeliads and orchids. Then we will return to our hotel in San Jose, freshen up and go to one of the restaurants in Bario Amon. Fraijanes (B), Waterfall Gardens (L), San Jose (D).
Day 5: This is a travel day to the Pacific coast. But first, after breakfast, we will take a walking tour of downtown San Jose and experience the hustle and bustle of the capital city. We will walk around the area of the Central Market, here we will photograph the Costa Rica that most visitors never get the opportunity to enjoy. After a couple of hours of shooting we will begin our journey across the mountains, more than 3100 meters high, to San Isidro for lunch and then on to the Pacific coast and Playa Tortuga.
Once arriving at the hotel and after a refreshing swim in the pool it would be time to go to Playa Ventanas (Window Beach). The beach and the sunsets over the ocean are memorable. It is a wonderful place to enjoy our first tropical evening and meal. Don Carlos Hotel (B), San Isidro (L), Exotica (D).
Day 6: Today we will go to the rural town of Palmar Sur. Palmar is a typical Costa Rican town where groceries are delivered by bicycle, dogs are napping on the roads and some businesses close at noon for a siesta. It is towns like this where you discover the rural lifestyle and how friendly the Ticos really are. Then we continue further south to Puerto Jimenez, the jumping off point for Corcovado National Park and Carate where the road ends.
While here we will have lunch at one of the sodas and leave behind our air-conditioned van to continue on in a 4X4 taxi. From here the road to Carate becomes more difficult, or let’s say “memorable” as there are numerous little rivers to cross and no bridges. While traveling in the open back of the 4X4 taxi have your camera ready because along this road we can stop quickly anywhere should we spot something of interest.
Our driver is experienced in locating the wildlife because he travels these roads every day and knows the favourite perches and hangouts. Finally reaching Carate makes up for all potholes that we have driven through because the combination of beach, palms and the pounding of the surf may make you wish to stay here the rest of your life. Villa Gaia (B), Puerto Jimenez (L), Lookout Inn (D).
Days 7/8/9: There are only a few places more beautiful than this beach. Here at the Inn it will be difficult deciding what to start photographing first. Maybe the Scarlet Macaws or the Whiteface monkeys or Coatis? It will be for you to decide. We will photograph on the beach at sunrise, the tropical flowers, and the spectacular sunsets. We will hike the trails where the primary forest is just a step away with its gigantic trees and its photographic possibilities.
This area is noted for the Scarlet Macaws and it is not unusual to see groups of six, eight and more. It’s even possible to see the migrating Humpback whales. All the inn’s meals are a tropical delight. I could go on and describe the beauty here but you will have to see this place yourself. Lookout Inn. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Today our 4X4 taxi arrives to pick us up for the return trip to Puerto Jimenez where we will then fly back to San Jose. Lookout Inn (B), Puerto Jimenez (L).
Price: $2595.00 p/p, double occupancy.
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