Costa Rica Photo Tour New Itinerary

Tour Intro

2020 Rates to be announced, 2019 rates listed

Enjoy this specially designed photo tour of Costa Rica with Kathy & Gary to explore a new birding lodge. Those of you who have had the pleasure to meet Willy Alfaro, will enjoy his company as well, as you explore the Maquenque Eco lodge, which he highly recommends. Rest assured your guides will get you to the right places at the right time.  

The northern reaches of Costa Rica offer a wide variety of natural treasures. There are roaring monkeys, hummingbirds, parrots, toucans, crocodiles, and iguanas plus deep jungles. There are pristine rivers and volcanoes. The diversity of wildlife on this trip makes it a special adventure for photographers, naturalists, and nature lovers.

Travel to two new birding lodges in the North of Costa Rica, one located close to the Nicaraguan border. You will concentrate on bird photography for ten days as you travel with your guides and explore the grounds and hiking trails in each area.

Tour Highlights

  • Guided by Professional Photo Leader Kathy Adams Clark & Naturalist Gary Clark.
  • Maximum of twelve participants. 
  • Local cultural guide specializing in wildlife, birds, and photography.
  • Specially chosen birding lodges by Kathy & Gary in the Tenorio Volcano National Park and Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge, with group excursions for bird and night photography.
  • Visit the less traveled northern Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica with a lovely resort and spa as your base.
  • Photograph from some of the best photo blinds in Sarapiqui.

Tour Itinerary

March 6: Home-Liberia
Violaceous Trogon

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

Your Costa Rican adventure begins today as you board your flight to Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica. Upon arrival you will be transported to the hotel.

Stay at the lovely Borinquen Mountain Resort & Spa, secluded in the picturesque mountains of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. It is a perfect place to stay in Guanacaste. All rooms have independent decks or balconies with great mountain views and breathtaking sunsets. The climate couldn’t be better thanks to its proximity to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, one of the most remarkable National Parks in Costa Rica, that combines the Guanacaste dry and sunny weather with the fresh air of the mountains. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with Kathy photographing flowers, birds, insects, roosting bats, monkeys, and other things of interest. Overnight Guanacaste Region (D)
*PLEASE NOTE: Your flights will need to be booked multi-city, home/Liberia, San Jose/home.

March 7: Guanacaste Region
Flying Leaf Frog

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

Explore the grounds with your camera looking for white-throated magpie-jay, blue-crowned motmot, orange-chinned parakeets and more.  This quiet location gives you a chance to learn the sounds of the rufous-naped wren as well as capture photos of this perky bird. Natural hot springs, thermal pools, and jungle waterfalls, are just some of the many natural attractions you will be able to photograph during your stay at the Borinquen. The afternoon will be free to explore the grounds, swim, or chase birds with your camera. Overnight Guanacaste Region (B, L, D)

March 8-9: Tenorio Volcano National Park
Blue Crowned Motmot

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

This morning the group will depart for the Rio Celeste region of Costa Rica. Your 18-room lodge is nestled between two volcanoes, opening the doors to the astonishing Rio Celeste and the trail of the National Park Volcano Tenorio. Set in what seems a movie scene, Rio Celeste is the encounter of two rivers that magically change color into vibrant tones of blue, captivating visitors who are already impressed by the raw beauty of the surrounding nature. Hot springs and waterfalls, abundant flora and fauna add to the magnificence of the landscape

This is a birdwatcher’s paradise, being located in the heart of the Tenorio-Miravalles Biological Corridor, an area that links the Lake Nicaragua in the north to the delta of the Tempisque River (Costa Rica) in the south. Your guides will take your group through the grounds looking for tody motmot, great curassow, and maybe an umbrella bird or three-wattled bellbird. Enjoy an evening photo shoot with a naturalist from the lodge. Overnight Tenorio (B, L, D)

March 10-12: Maquenque
Gray Tailed Mountain Gem

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark & Gary Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

Drive further east today to a 150-acre nature reserve located just north of Boca Tapada. San Carlos is the site of your eco-lodge for the next few evenings, set within the Northern lowlands region of Costa Rica where there are several National Parks.  The new Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge preserves nearly 150,000 acres of vital rainforest habitat.

The Maquenque Eco-Lodge caters to travelers who want simple, comfortable accommodations set within the heart of nature. The group will photograph at the lodge’s feeders as golden-hooded tanager, blue-gray tanager, and blue dacnis pose on natural perches and feed on fruit. Agami heron and sunbittern are also  possible to photograph on self-guided trails that wind through forests, around ponds, and near rivers. Currently, more than 410 species of birds, including the great green macaw and scarlet macaw have been identified. The lodge has a botanical garden, a frog and reptile garden plus a swimming pool. Additionally, the property is part of a famous bird migration route, which allows guests to easily search for an array of splendid birds passing through the area.

Your last day at the lodge take a journey downstream. Photograph crocodiles, turtles, bats, herons, kingfisher, king vulture and many more species. You will arrive at the border with Nicaragua (Río San Juan). Visit the town of Boca San Carlos where there will be opportunity to see the town, and its lifestyle. Back at the lodge we have arranged guided bird watching and night photography walks for your group. Overnight Maquenque (B, L, D all days)

March 13: Sarapiqui Area
Savegre River

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Savegre River, Costa Rica

Photography begins the next morning with sunrise in the gardens, at the feeders, or along the walkway. After breakfast, load your luggage and return to your motor coach.

In the afternoon we will be in the Sarapiqui area, this region is one of the most exuberant and luscious places in Costa Rica, especially with respect to the rainforest. It is named after a river and rests at the base of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. We will visit Dave & Dave’s Eco-Observatory, consisting of three-covered open-air observation decks for world-class photography. Enjoy a spectacular display of beautifully colored Costa Rica birds as they perch just feet away. Over 215 bird species exist here including the Keel-billed Toucan, Crimson-collard Tangaer, and the White-necked Jacobin. After a three-hour photo session here, explore the property trails for additional photo opportunities. Overnight Sarapiqui (B, L, D both days)

March 14: San Jose
Respledent quetzal

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

After breakfast this morning check out and return to Dave & Dave’s for another photo shoot. The program returns here this morning to capture the bird and wildlife in different light and activity levels. The mission of the park is to promote environmental awareness through exciting up-close and personal encounters with nature. Bringing insights and appreciation for the vital role reforestation plays on the environment.

Driving south you will reach your hotel in San Jose in time for your farewell dinner. Enjoy the grounds at dusk and early tomorrow morning before your departure. The hotel offers excellent accommodations and superb service in a suburban village setting. Located amid coffee plantations, orchards, and is surrounded by colorful gardens. The rooms feature native woods, tiled bathrooms, and balconies offering marvelous views of the mountains or the city skyline. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel. Overnight San Jose (B,L,D).

March 15: Home
Landscape

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Costa Rica

Enjoy your last morning at the lodge, traveling to San Jose (SJO) Airport in time for flights home. (B)

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
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Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing thirteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle's “Wonders of Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun.

Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in 35mm film and digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife. Gary Clark who is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her.

A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa.  He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News.  He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy.  He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours.  He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.  Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College.

Because of both Kathy & Gary's love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 5-6 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

I am pulling together some amazing prints to show to friends this Saturday at a breakfast get-togther about our trip. I just want to comment on how your guidance from the start about what lenses to bring, your comments about camera settings the first few days in the boats, and your leadership every step of the way led to my bringing home just awesome photos. I know I took them, but you had a hand in this and I continue to learn from you. Thank you and bravo!!

HS

HS

Additional Notes

Your Tour Leaders
Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing fifteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work is seen each week in the “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News, written by her husband, Gary Clark.

A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa. He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News. He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy. He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours. He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in an easily understood language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information, but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun. She is skilled in all makes of digital cameras. www.kathyadamsclark.com

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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