Trip Overview

This COSTA RICA trip will help you bring your nature photography to the next level.  

  1. You will shoot a wide range of subjects (landscape, wildlife, macro).
  2. You will stay in a hostel and in a rainforest refuge.
  3. You will capture the rare migratory birds that cross Puerto Viejo in August.
  4. This trip combines our NATURE DIVERSITY and TROPICAL BIRD trips. 
  5. Enjoy two adventures with a VERY SPECIAL PRICE!

Trip Description

COMPLETE tropical adventure

This trip to Costa Rica has been created to cater to everyone that wants to obtain a radical improvement in their wildlife photography skills. We are currently the ONLY photography company in Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica) offering these trips. Do not miss this chance to come to the setting where the first two movies of Jurassic Park were filmed! It´s the second area in the world with most biodiversity AFTER the amazon for a reason...
This trip combines all of the activities offered in the Nature Diversity and Tropical Birds trips.This photoadventure will help you bring your nature photography to the next level. We will practise shooting many styles of nature photography (landscape, wildlife, macro). Some subjects include howler monkeys, jesus christ lizards, Costa Rican red-eyed tree frogs and sloths. You will be gradually introduced to the jungle as you will begin in a comfortable hotel in Puerto Viejo Town and end your trip in the Costa Rican deep jungle. You will also learn how to photograph one of the hardest subjects in wildlife photography - birds. August in the migration month and you will have the ability to see unique migratory birds. Too many unique chances in one trip! 


Day 1- Saturday 5th August 2017

Travel to San José (Costa Rica) and arrival to Puerto Viejo

Arrival to Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose where you'll meet Finn and Fabián from Rainforest Animal Rescue Group (RARG). Transfer to Cabinas Talamanca in Puerto Viejo with hired shuttle service. Cabinas Talamanca has reliable wifi in common areas and in its rooms, and is a hotel from where you can photograph sloths, raccoons, tropical birds, iguanas… from your breakfast table! Those who arrive early for whatever reasons (arrived one day earlier to Costa Rica, have decided to reach Puerto Viejo using alternative methods) can take the afternoon to photograph Puerto Viejo´s beautiful beaches during sunset.

Day 2- Sunday 6th August

Induction day and bird photography techniques with green macaws

After enjoying Cabinas Talamanca´s nutritious breakfast (Continental Breakfast and Traditional Costa Rican breakfast available), Molly Ferrill, National Geographic Explorer, will provide tuition on how to catch photos of moving animals to make sure that you're ready for the adventures that lie ahead. After this, we´ll head to the ARA Project, a wildlife sanctuary in the the jungle where you'll be able to practice your birds in flight techniques. The ARA Project is a haven for majestic green macaws. Later, we'll finish the day with a dinner and discuss further details of the trip.

Day 3- Monday 7th August

Cahuita National Park, landscape photography (sunset & seashore photography) and night safari

We´ll split the group into 2 groups. Group 1 will wake up early to photograph the stunning sunrise near our Hotel. Afterwards they will spend the afternoon practising seashore photography in Puerto Viejo town. Meanwhile group 2 will be able to sleep a bit longer and they'll head towards Cahuita National Park to practice shooting wildlife. Group 2 will join group 1 in the afternoon to practise seashore photography.

Afterwards we´ll rest for a few hours and conclude with a night safari in RARG´s refuge. RARG is managing almost 600 hectares of jungle territory… Sounds amazing right? Be ready to learn macro photography and night photography techniques. We will provide some headlamps during this activity.

Day 4- Tuesday 8th August

Cahuita National Park, landscape photography (sunset & seashore photography) and night safari

This is a repetition of the Day 3. However, this time the groups will change and Group 2 will photograph the sunrise and spend the afternoon practising seashore photography in Puerto Viejo town. Afterwards we’ll meet and spend the evening resting in Puerto Viejo.

Day 5- Wednesday 9th August

Wildlife breakfast, insect macro photography session, Lightroom post-processing techniques and how to pitch your photos to magazines

Those of you that may want to rest can do so, but those of you that enjoy waking up early can polish their wildlife photography techniques with a ´Wildlife Breakfast`! Cabinas Talamanca is located in a spot with bananas, palm trees, etc, that usually attracts animals such as sloths, iguanas, tropical birds, etc, and it's great if you wish to practise some long lens techniques. Subsequently, Finn and Fabián will bring a collection of insects and other macro subjects for you to practise in Cabinas Talamanca. Rafa and Molly will spend the afternoon and evening providing Lightroom tuition and Molly will tell you her tips to publish photos in nature photography publications, such as National Geographic!

Day 6- Thursday 10th August

Return to Cahuita National Park and group discussion about best photos of the day.

We´ll wake up with another ´Wildlife Breakfast` and later return to check the other entrance to Cahuita National Park. The evening will be dedicated to discuss the best photos of the trip.

Day 7- Friday 11th August

Waterfall photography, ´edit your photos`afternoon and macro night safari

This is a pretty hectic-but exciting- experience! Finn and Fabián will bring the whole group to an almost uncharted area of pristine waterfalls, where you'll be able to enjoy the lush jungle. On top of this, Molly and Rafa will teach how to master flowing water photography and how to work with filters (polarisers, neutral density). Lee Filters, one of the BEST photography filters in the market will be provided to the first 5 people that book this module. Lastly, we'll go back to RARG´s refuge in the jungle and we'll enjoy another night safari where it is GUARANTEED that we'll take photos of some of Costa Rica´s most iconic wildlife, such as the costa rican red-eyed tree frog, bull frog, tropical butterflies… And don't worry, they will not jump or run away from you if you don't disturb them.

We'll leave Cabinas Talamanca and we'll sleep at RARG´s refuge. Be ready to spend a night in the jungle!

Day 8- Saturday 12th August

Wildlife Photography Competition in jungle refuge, Lightroom and Photoshop tuition

Welcome to the jungle! Be prepared to put into practice everything that you´ll have learned up until this point. The whole team will let you roam around the jungle and your mission will be to capture the BEST possible wildlife photography. If you don't want to immerse yourself deeply in the jungle for whatever reason (if you just prefer to have a rest day and stay close to the refuge´s entrance), don't worry, as you'll have incredible photographic opportunities in the doorstep of your lodge (the refuge has a pond full of tropical insects and frogs, and an alligator pond just beside it). And rest assured that you'll never be alone, as the whole team will be keeping an eye on you all the time. The photographer that takes the best photo will receive an award (you´ll compete with other participants, not with Molly, Tom, Alex and Rafa ;) ). Alex Laberge, expert in Adobe Photoshop, will teach some specialized Photoshop post-processing techniques.

In this Module, you will commence photographing in the jungle, inside the wildlife refuge that RARG manages in Puerto Viejo. In this module you will master how to photograph birds, one of the hardest subjects in wildlife photography, and you will have the chance to capture the seasonal migratory birds that cross Puerto Viejo in this time of the year. Birds are the focus, but you will also be able to photograph crocodiles, insects, frogs and the iconic costa rican red-eyed tree frog.

Day 9- Sunday 13th August

Intense day! Photography near the alligator pond, wildlife ID techniques, crocodile safari, macro photography and astrophotography

What an intense and exciting day! You´ll warm up by taking photos near a pond where a caiman can normally be found (don't be scared, it's very safe). Finn and Fabian will provide an introduction to wildlife ID skills, so that you are able to identify the animals that you photograph. This will be followed by a crocodile safari. In addition, we will spend the night photographing insects with a back lighted sheet (this is how entomologists catch and photograph insects, spiders and other creepy crawlies). AND you will be able to photograph the night sky from our refuge. The refuge is in an area with absolutely no light pollution, just imagine how fantastic the milky way looks in this setting!

Day 10- Monday 14th August 

Camera trapping and night safari

Finn and Fabian will explain you how to place camera traps properly. We will enjoy a relaxing dinner in the refuge and we will ´suffer`another night safari (by now, you will be used to them and we know that you will be looking forward to them).

Day 11- Tuesday 15th August

Wildlife Photography Competition in jungle refuge, Lightroom and Photoshop tuition

This is a repetition of day 8 Wildlife Photography Competition in jungle refuge, Lightroom and Photoshop tuition.

Day 12- Wednesday 16th August 

Photography tuition by Molly Ferrill, bird photography techniques by Rafael Salvador, night safari.

Molly Ferrill will provide photography advice on documentary composition, lighting, shutter speeds, etc. Rafael will then pick up the baton and he will teach you specialized autofocusing techniques to help you photograph even the fastest birds in flight. The day will finalise with a night safari, where Finn and Fabián will bring you to photograph kingfishers and other nocturnal animals.

Day 13- Thursday 17th August

Hide photography and birds in flight day

After an early breakfast this morning we will all go into the jungle to shoot from hides. Toucans, hummingbirds, macaws, are just a few of the subjects we can photograph. The afternoon will be spent in the fantastic ARA Project, where everyone will enjoy capturing photos of birds in flight. This can be very tricky! The macaws fly very fast, they move to places with patches of shade and light, and you'll need to learn how to use your flash properly. Leave this to us!

Day 14- Friday 18th August

Seashore birds day

This day is better described with an actual list of the unique birds that you can encounter:

- Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

- Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

- Herons (various sp)

- Sandpipers (various sp)

- Kingfishers (various sp)

- Stilts (various sp)

- Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

- Common Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

- Vultures (various sp)

Day 15- Saturday 19th August

River birds day 

We´ll Rent a boat and go in the Moin River (Limon) which is part of the Tortuguero river system, known as the amazonas of Costa Rica. This is an amazing location and one of the few places where you have a chance to spot a jaguar!


- Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)

- Bare-throated Tiger heron (Tigrisoma mexicanus)

- Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)

- Boat-billed Heron (Cochelearius cochlearius)

- More Herons... (various sp)

- Egrets (various sp)

- Tucans (various sp)

- Parrots (various)

- Ducks (various sp)

- Spoonbills and Ibises

- Hawks and Eagles (various sp)

- Falcons (various sp)

- Oropendela / Montezumas (Psarocolius montezuma)

- Jacanas

- Limpkin

- Sungrebes

- Kingfisher (various sp)


- Central American Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus)

- Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

- Green Basilisk / Jesus Christ Lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons)

- Colubrids (various sp)

- Freshwater turtles (Various species)


- Jaguar (Panthera onca)

- Neotropical River Otter (Lutra longicaudis)

- Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata)

- White-throated Capuccin (Cebus capucinus )

- Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroy)

And many more….

Day 16- Sunday 20th August

Migratory bird day 

Birdwatching from a bird observatory tower in Kekoldi Indigenous reserve. We'll photograph birds from a hide and we'll improve our long lens and zoom lens techniques. Enjoy America's biggest raptor migration!

Several thousand vultures:

- Black Vulture

- Turkey Vulture

- King Vulture


- Common Black Hawk

- Great Black Hawk

- White Hawk

- Crane Hawk

- Tiny Hawk

- Bicolored Hawk

- Roadside Hawk

- Broad-winged Hawk

- Short-tailed Hawk

- Swainson´s Hawk

- Northern Harrier

- Semiplumbeus Hawk


- Ornate Hawk-Eagle

- Black Hawk-Eagle

- Crested Eagle

- Solitary Eagle


- Red-throated Caracara

- American Kestrel

- Merlin

- Bat Falcon

- Peregrine Falcon

- Laughing Falcon

- Barred Forest Falcon

- Slaty-backed Forest Falcon

- Collared Forest Falcon

Day 17- Monday 21st August

Wildlife photography competition in the jungle and frog night safari

We conclude this module with the best we have to offer: a wildlife photography competition inside our refuge! You'll roam freely inside the Costa Rican deep jungle and we´ll all work together to help you achieve amazing photos of all the wildlife that you will certainly spot walking in the rainforest or close to our refuge. We finish our adventures with a night safari, where we'll walk around the pond near the refuge to spot some of the most iconic costa rican frogs, such as the bull frog and the costa rican red-eyed tree frog.

Day 18- Tuesday 22nd August

Return home

We will return to San José and we'll embark into the airplane that will bring us all back home.

Recommended gear

  • ANY CAMERA. But be aware that we recommend full frame cameras for landscape and macro, and cropped sensor cameras for shooting action such as wildlife.
  • A telephoto zoom, such as a 70-200, 70-300, 100-400 or an 150-600.
  • A wide angle lens, such as a 16-35, or a general purpose lens with wide angle capabilities, such as a 24-105 or a 24-70.
  • A macro lens or a diopter such as a Canon 250D to use with a telephoto zoom
  • A circular polarizer that fits your wide angle lens
  • Graduated neutral density filters or your preferred filters. 
  • An E-TTL/i-TTL Flash
  • A sync cord for your flash. An extra flash might be useful for macro and/or if the first flash stops working.
  • A cable release for long exposures
  • A flash diffuser such as a softbox, and a Better Beamer
  • Flash bracket to hold your flash off-camera
  • Rain protection for all your camera gear and for yourself (rain covers)
  • Silica gel bags
  • A smaller camera bag
  •  Lens cleaning tools, (be careful and bring your sensor cleaned before arriving to each destination).

Trip Inclusions

Meals: breakfast is the only meal included during the first 6 days of the trip. Up to three meals per day are included in the price for this module after day 6.


• Accommodation as specified

• Meals as specified

• Transportation as specified w/private driver in shuttle

• Professional, full-time photo instruction from lead photographers Molly Ferrill and Rafael Salvador and additional assistance from Tom Stables and Alex Laberge.

• Entrances and fees for all described activities

• Up to 6 head lamps for the first 6 people that book this trip

• Lee Filters for the first 5 people that book.

• Taxes for all specified services

Prize for winner of Wildlife Photography Competition in the refuge (Day 8 ONLY).


• Airplane tickets

• Airport departure tax (£24, may be included in the price of your plane ticket. Check your airline)

• Beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic

• Non-mealtime snacks

• Dinner during the introductory dinner during day 2 and 10 of the ´Nature Diversity Adventure Module`

• Room supplements for other people

• Return transport from Puerto Viejo to San José airport (can be provided upon request, once in Puerto Viejo)

Trip Date & Price

Departure Dates
Price (Per person)
Trip Status

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