Raj Bose Photography Wildlife & Landscape Photography Trip

Cloud Forest & Caribbean Lowlands

Costa Rica Feb 25th - Mar 5th. 2022

Costa Rica’s biodiversity, proportional to its size as a country, rivals that found anywhere else in the world. It contains 922 species of birds (over 60 of which are endemics!), representing roughly 9% of the world’s avifauna in just 0.03% of the Earth’s land surface.

Costa Rica boasts friendly people, delightful traditional foods, and breathtaking scenery at every turn. You will love the Pura Vida lifestyle, the easy and safe travel, and the incredible biological richness that this Central American haven has to offer.

You’ll be traveling with an expert naturalist guide who is well-versed in the food, culture, and natural history of this delightful place. As a Tropical Biology instructor and part-time researcher, your guide Alexa Stickel wields an extra depth of knowledge about birds, plants, herpetofauna, insects, and mammals, and has an intimate understanding of undergoing taxonomic changes in those groups.

Day 1- ARRIVAL DAY & ORIENTATION (Friday, Feb 25th, 2022)

Arrivals to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
Depending on arrival time, optional city tour OR excursion to Poas Volcano for crater viewing and a hike in the cloud forest.
Group dinner/Orientation
Night at Hotel Bougainvillea

Day 2- TRAVEL TO MONTEVERDE(Saturday, Feb 26th, 2022)

AM Breakfast at lodging
Drive to Monteverde, stopping to photograph some spectacular landscapes and views of the Gulf of Nicoya
PM Arrive in Monteverde, home of the cloud forest!
Sunset viewing at strategic location

Day 3- CLOUD FOREST IMMERSION (Sunday, Feb 27th, 2022)

AM Early breakfast at hotel
Visit a local cloud forest reserve, and learn all about the unique flora and fauna of the cloud forest. We may be lucky enough to find Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbirds, or endemic Black Guans.

PM Hike on some of the most stunning hanging bridges in the country, surrounded by lush cloud forest and incredible views of the expansive treetops
Sunset viewing at one of the most picturesque spots in Monteverde
Night at Cala Lodge

Day 4- TRANSFER TO LOWLAND RAINFOREST(Monday, Feb 28th, 2022)

Am- Early morning transfer
Drive through the Cinchona route, stopping to visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens to practice long exposure on some gorgeous falls! Hummingbird feeders around the garden can bring in multiple species of tanagers, as well as hummingbirds such as the Costa Rican endemic Coppery-headed Emerald (Approx. 3 hour drive)

Continue to Sarapiqui (approx. 1.5 hour drive)
Night hike through the lowland tropical rainforest to look for insects, frogs, nocturnal mammals, and sleeping birds. Maybe we’ll see some Red-eyed Tree Frogs!

Day 5- NATURAL HISTORY OF SARAPIQUI (Tuesday, March 1st, 2022)

AM Early morning bird walk
Breakfast at lodge

Guided Natural History walk at La Selva Biological Station, one of the most productive research sites in all the tropics. We may see monkeys, sloths, macaws, collared peccaries, and a researcher or two who might be willing to tell us about what they’re studying!

Day 6- TRANSFER TO ARENAL (Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022)

Early morning bird walk (optional)
AM: After breakfast, drive to Visit La Fortuna Waterfall(approx. 2 hours), one of the most iconic and beautiful waterfalls in the area. Eat a good breakfast, because the hike involves hundreds of steps!

PM Check- in to Arenal Observatory Lodge, late lunch (on own) at lodge
Relax at the lodge: Soak in the jacuzzi, order a few drinks at the bar, or schedule yourself for a spa treatment
Night at Arenal Observatory Lodge

Our hotel in Monteverde

Day 7- ARENAL VOLCANO (Thursday, March 3rd, 2022)

Early morning bird walk on grounds
Breakfast at lodge
AM Natural history hike in Arenal National Park, where we will get to see the local flora and fauna and walk on old, hardened lava flows as we learn about the history of the volcano.
Lunch in town (La Fortuna), opportunity for souvenir shopping

PM “Road birding” on the leisurely drive back to the lodge
RELAX on grounds, use the pool or jacuzzi, photo ops at lodge’s bird feeders
Night at Arenal Observatory Lodge

Day 8- COPE WILDLIFE PARADISE& TRANSFER TO SJO(Friday, March 4th, 2022)

AM Breakfast at lodge
Check-out by 8am
Depart for Guapiles(approx. 2.5 hour drive) to visit Cope’s photography paradise, where we may see White-tipped Sicklebill, Spectacled Owl, Helmeted Iguana, and others
10:30-3pm At Cope’s Wildlife Paradise (includes a homemade, typical Costa Rican lunch!)
PM transfer to the central valley (approx. 1 hour)

Day 9- DEPARTURE (Saturday, March 5th, 2022)

AM Breakfast at hotel
(Optional morning activities like birding/photography on hotel grounds, city tour/museums, or Poas volcano excursion, depending on departure flights)
Transfers to airport
Departure flights