Photo by: Kathy Adams Clark
Location: Costa Rica
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Costa Rica Cloud Forest Exploration

  • Guided by a Costa Rican naturalist and Professional Photo Leader Kathy Adams Clark.
  • Photographic locations filled with hummingbirds, reptiles, and tropical blooms.
  • All meals included in land cost. Tour limited to twelve participants.
  • Photography starts directly after being transferred to your eco-lodge in the cloud forest.
  • Accommodations known for their bird feeders, hummingbirds, and gardens.
  • Monteverde, renown by birders around the world in search of the Resplendent Quetzal.
  • Arenal Volcano is itself a photographic opportunity.
Region

Latin America and Caribbean

Destination

Costa Rica

Dates

February 2-12, 2022

Duration

10 days

$5395

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 participants. 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 (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $795.

Tour Overview

Houston Audubon Society is a proud sponsor of Kathy’s photographic tours to Costa Rica. You will concentrate on unique wildlife and bird photography during your ten-day program. She invites photographers of all skill levels and anyone with a keen interest in seeking out the vast array of tropical birds in this amazing country. There are also mammals, frogs, reptiles and butterflies.

Accommodations have been chosen wisely, taking in to account open space, staying away from the crowds,...

Houston Audubon Society is a proud sponsor of Kathy’s photographic tours to Costa Rica. You will concentrate on unique wildlife and bird photography during your ten-day program. She invites photographers of all skill levels and anyone with a keen interest in seeking out the vast array of tropical birds in this amazing country. There are also mammals, frogs, reptiles and butterflies.

Accommodations have been chosen wisely, taking in to account open space, staying away from the crowds, your comfort, the setting and photographic opportunities at the lodges, as well as being close to amazing landscapes, waterfalls, and closeness to your daily outings.

The government has set aside thirteen national parks, eight biological reserves, three wildlife refuges, and other areas that now comprise one fourth of the country’s land area. These far-sighted efforts have placed Costa Rica at the forefront of conservation, especially among tropical countries, where deforestation is proceeding at an alarming rate.

Costa Rica has more species of birds here than in all of North America, over 800 in a country the size of West Virginia. Among its 237 species of mammals are three-toed sloths, four species of monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, peccaries, jaguars, and humpback whales. Reptiles and amphibians include the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, all five genera of sea turtles, the endangered American Crocodile, and the Basilisk Lizard, which can actually run across water. There are more butterflies in Costa Rica than on the entire continent of Africa. The plant life is spectacular; there are more than 12,000 species of plants, including a dazzling variety of trees and orchids.

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark

The trip was visually wonderful. The hotel in Guanacaste gave us a nice assortment and some beautiful pictures. Some of my best photos were at Tenorio lodge. Maquenque had the honeycreepers that I loved and had much more diversity. And the vultures! Visiting a friends yard certainly worth the stop and deserves more time on future trips. It was well worth the trip even with the extra precautions and difficulties and I’m glad we were able to go. Thanks to everyone for a nice, cooperative venture. – Barb

Regarding bird species we counted 122 species!!  As for hospitality, the folks at Maquenque and Tenorio have to take the prize.  Maquenque gets a prize for serving dinner with no power – and a wonderful dessert. Tenorio gets a prize for the courteous care provided us. In general, all of our locations served as very well!

As for Kathy Adams Clark, my thoughts are best reflected by the pleasure and confidence in traveling repeatedly with you!  And, there are more trips to come!!! Similar comments can be made for the local guide!

It is a pleasure to travel with you! – Will

— B & W Hamilton

Kathy is so diligent on keeping us informed prior to the trip and what we can expect, and what we need. She is the best! Enjoy traveling with her because we have so much fun. So knowledgeable on photography and birds. Your local guide is the best! Patient and kind. Knows his birds like no other!

Your pre-departure info is always great. Love my adventures with Strabo Tours. Love the small groups and first class accommodations.

— Kim Tirlia

Your local guide is great. I love his knowledge and talks about the country, the ecosystems, and the geology of Costa Rica. He is a great birder too. Kathy’s instruction was the right amount for me. The boat trip down the San Juan River was different and a good excursion to take. I would definitely go on a trip again with Kathy, especially if the focus is photographing wildlife, nature or birds.

— B Finocchio

So many good experiences, good hotels and ecolodges for birds, great food everywhere, each location had specialties that made it well worth the travel. Every trip has special moments, and this trip had many!!!

— B. Hamilton

I had a wonderful time on the trip to Costa Rica with Kathy & Gary Clark, got some amazing pictures that I never dreamed I could have done, learned so so much and thoroughly enjoyed all the places we stayed….. I would love to go on another trip at some point.

— M. Salkowski

Kathy provided lots of very helpful one-on-one attention and advice. Very knowledgeable on birds as well as photography. And very pleasant to travel with. Logistics were very smoothly handled, and your local guide was extremely knowledgeable and experienced, terrific at spotting and identifying birds and other wildlife.

— D.BREWER

I learned so much from Kathy Adams Clark that I feel I have more tools to become a better photographer. Kathy is just delightful as a person and a great teacher! The amount of knowledge your local guide knows and imparted certainly made the tour richer as I learned much about birds and plants. He was delightful. By in large the whole trip was beautiful. Every place we went opened up a world I had not seen and enjoyed.

— J. Karel

Kathy is always good, but she went the extra mile. She assisted me in getting the best hummingbird photo’s I have ever taken. I particularly appreciated all the time and effort Kathy spent in setting up lights and backgrounds to enable us to get wonderful hummingbird shots. Results were fantastic. Great trip!!!

— J. Braud

Lots of very helpful one-on-one attention and advice. Very knowledgeable on birds as well as photography. And very pleasant to travel with. Logistics of tour were smoothly handled. Kathy was a 10!!

— D. Brewer

Everywhere we went was a highlight. Every place had something special. Kathy was a 10+, she was always there to give photo suggestions, help with equipment and locating things to photograph. She is an excellent teacher!

— B & R Nelson

Excellent attention to detail, with the perfect leader and guide for the trip.

— A. Mueller

The trip was amazing and seamless!!!

— D. Pando

I love Costa Rica and your operations provide for a great trip. I never wanted for anything!

— C. Weber

Tour Itinerary

February 2-4: Home - San Jose - San Ramon

Board your flight to San José, the country’s capital city. Everyone will be transferred from the airport to your first photographic location for the next three evenings. This will be your first opportunity to see tropical flowers and birds on the hotel grounds. Enjoy dinner and orientation meeting. Overnight San Rámon (D)

*PLEASE NOTE: Everyone’s flight will need to be booked multi-city, Home – SJO, LIR – Home

Three nights in this location gives you an opportunity to enjoy all the comforts of an upscale boutique hotel while experiencing one of the most unique and endangered types of tropical forests in a private cloud forest reserve.

You’ll be ensconced in a beautifully appointed 19th-century re-creation of a mountain farm village while staying in your own Casita with a private garden porch. Exceptional Costa Rica experiences are in harmony with conserving nature, culture and the quality of the community. It is an ideal place to watch hummingbirds in the hotel’s hummingbird garden and maybe a smoking volvano from the terrace. Photographing on the grounds we should see a lot of birds including silver-throated tanagers, Montezuma oropendola, and golden-olive woodpecker. A day excursion to nearby reserves gives us an opportunity to photograph the resplendent quetzal, possibly an ornate hawk eagle.  Our time in the cloud forest is a great way to get acquainted with resident birds plus practice photographing exotic flowers and stunning landscapes.  Overnight San Rámon (D; B, L, D two days)

February 5-6: Arenal

After breakfast make your way to the Arenal Volcano Area, a spectacular, cone-shaped volcano rising out of the flat San Carlos Plains. It is the most active volcano in the country. Enjoy a stop at a private ecological reserve where it’s possible to photograph boat-billed heron, golden-hooded tanager, red-legged honeycreeper and maybe a sloth or two.

The next day enjoy the gardens around your hotel where you might find a black-crested coquette or blue-throated goldentail hummingbirds feeding on tropical blooms.  Arenal Volcano looms in the distance allowing for stunning landscape photographs.  Chestnut-mandibled toucan, great curassow, and green honeycreeper visit feeders but maybe we can find a lovely cotinga, yellow-eared toucanet, or manakin on our jungle walks.  Overnight both nights Arenal (B, L, D)

February 7-8: Monteverde

Make your way to Monteverde. To enter the cloud forest we travel by boat across Arenal Lake for another view of the Arenal Volcano, with our coach and luggage meeting us on the other side. Monteverde, is located in the Tilaran Mountain Range. To avoid crowds of tourists, our local guide will take us to the Curi Cancha Reserve and other less visited locations.

You will be able to search one more time for the resplendent quetzal and ornate hawk-eagle plus maybe a three-wattled bellbird, black-breasted wood-quail, mottled owl, and orange-bellied trogon. The gardens around your hotel and trails in the reserves hold a variety of photographic opportunities. Overnight Monteverde (B, L, D)

February 9-11: Guanacaste

Depart for Western Costa Rica with photo opportunities along the way. Stay at a lovely 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 terraces or balconies. 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.

Explore the grounds of your hotel with your camera looking for white-throated magpie-jay, turquoise-browed 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. A walk to one of the jungle waterfalls will add to your photography subject. The afternoon will be free to explore the grounds, swim, or chase birds with your camera. Overnight Guanacaste Region (B, L, D both days)

February 12: Liberia - Home

After breakfast transfer to Liberia International Airport to take your flight back home. (B)