Photo by: Kathy Adams Clark
Location: Costa Rica

COSTA RICA in Focus Sponsored by Houston Audubon Society

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

Latin America and Caribbean


Costa Rica


November 7-16, 2024


9 days


per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 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 $1895-9 nights or $895-6 nights.

Tour Overview

Enjoy this specially designed photo tour of Costa Rica with Kathy to explore fantastic birding lodges. Those of you who have had the pleasure to meet our local guides, will enjoy their company as well, as you explore the Tenorio, Maquenque, Arenal and Guachipelin. 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....

Enjoy this specially designed photo tour of Costa Rica with Kathy to explore fantastic birding lodges. Those of you who have had the pleasure to meet our local guides, will enjoy their company as well, as you explore the Tenorio, Maquenque, Arenal and Guachipelin. 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.

You will concentrate on bird photography for nine days as you travel with your guides and explore the grounds and hiking trails in each area.

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark

Hello Jacque! All good things must end, unfortunately we have to go home. Thank you for a well prepared itinerary and great accommodations. Beautiful places and birds! We thoroughly enjoyed it, with the exception of heat at one of the lodges. It was an awesome adventure. We love Costa Rica. Kathy Adams Clark is always the BEST leader. We can not say enough praises for your local guide and driver. Enthusiastic, always with a smile, kind, had time for everyone, even those non-photographers. He knows his birds, songs and all.We would love to have him again.

— L & H Laas

Thank you, Kathy! I had a blast on your tour, it was a truly outstanding trip. It was so fun to be taken from place to place with fantastic birds to see and photograph. I also loved the comfortable and unique hotels, the hotel gardens, and the food.

I learned so much through the whole experience of getting ready for the trip, shooting photos day after day, and processing (of course, not done with that!!). I’ve never had such an immersive photography experience, with so many opportunities throughout each day to shoot.

You and Willie both are so knowledgeable and experienced, yet it was neat to see that you were just as excited about seeing the birds as we were. You were both calm, well prepared, and had planned things out so well. I’m hoping to go on another one of your trips, maybe even next February in Costa Rica! 

— D. Krueger

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.


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

November 7: Home – Liberia 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. Due to the distance everyone will need to arrive at the same time as Kathy (TBA). Unwind and enjoy a photo shoot and welcome dinner. Overnight Tenorio (D)

November 8-9: Tenorio Volcano National Park

Your lodge is nestled amidst the 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. Given time you will also visit Tapir Valley. It’s a spectacular private reserve that’s fully owned and managed by community leaders.It is part of the Tenorio/Miravalles Volcano Biological Corridor, you’ll find a space that’s yours to roam. Follow fresh tapir tracks that wander into the forest or let a bird call guide your steps; work up a sweat on a rigorous hike, or while away the hours watching wildlife from one of the carefully designed platforms along the way.

The next day visit the Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge nearby. 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 in the south. Your guides will take your group through the grounds looking for kiskadee, keel-billed toucan, and maybe a swallow-tailed kite or olive-backed euphonia. Enjoy an evening photo shoot with a naturalist from the lodge. Overnight Tenorio (B, L, D both days)

November 10-12: Maquenque

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, 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 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. Overnight Maquenque (B, L, D all days)

November 13-14: 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

November 15: Guanacaste

After breakfast return to 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 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.

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. 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. Overnight Guanacaste Region (B, L, D both days)

November 16: Liberia - Home

Enjoy your last morning at the lodge, traveling to Liberia Airport in time for flights home (time to be announced. (B)