- Ten days and nine nights accommodation
- 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
- Individual instruction
- Serengeti shirt.
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. This factory was founded over eighty years ago and with all the colours, shapes and patterns there are numerous photographic opportunities here. Next along today’s route is Zarcero. In Zarcero there 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 or two 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 (D). Includes: (L), (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. From a different observation point, we will have an unobstructed view of Arenal’s activity in the early evening. 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 way we will stop in the Los Angeles cloud forest to photograph the living fences, the beautiful lush green and the rolling hills. 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). Includes: (B), (L), (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, orchids and an aviary. Then we will return to our hotel in San Jose, freshen up and go to one of the restaurants in Barrio Amon. Fraijanes (B), Waterfall Gardens (L), San Jose (D). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 5: After breakfast we will leave San Jose and travel west to the Pacific coast and the Rio Tarcoles where we will join a tour on the river which is known for birding and crocodiles. Here some very brave or crazy individual gets out of the boat to hand feed 6 meter long crocs. It’s entirely possible that this tour will not be available by the time you read this itinerary, depending on the number of people that are available to do the hand feeding. It is quite an experience and the close up opportunities are numerous. Then we will return to our hotel in San Jose, freshen up and go to one of the restaurants in Barrio Amon. Don Carlos Hotel (B), en route (L), San Jose (D). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Today we fly 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 continue on our way 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. Don Carlos Hotel (B), Puerto Jimenez (L), Lookout Inn (D). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 7-9: There are only a few places more beautiful than this beach. Here at the Inn it will be difficult deciding what to photograph 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 for your return flight home. Lookout Inn. Includes: (B).
Note: Please inquire about the eight day tour.
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