2022 Wild Wings in Costa Rica Bird Photography Tour/Workshop

'Hummingbirds and More'

November 15 - November 22, 2022

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica - La Virgen
Day 2: Caribbean Lowlands - La Virgen
Day 3: Caribbean Lowlands - Turrialba
Day 4: Caribbean Slope - Turrialba
Day 5: Caribbean Slope - Copey
Day 6: Cerre de la Muerte - Copey
Day 7: San Gerardo de Dota - San Isidro
Day 8: San Gerardo de Dota - San Jose - late departure

This tour will include a naturalist private guide, who will be with you from arrival until departure. Not only will you have opportunities to photograph birds at the lodges, reserves, and parks, but will also have the flexibility to stop with the guide at local spots, off-the-beaten-track locations, and places that only the guides know. You have an expert who knows the lay-of-the-land every step of the way.

You will also have award-winning professional photographer/workshop leader Andy Nguyen on hand to help you get the best shots possible, once the birds have been found. Andy has taught dozens of workshops in Costa Rica, and knows exactly how to work with difficult lighting conditions under the dark canopy of the tropical rain-forest, and also with extremely fast, tiny bird subjects.

'2022 Wild Wings in Costa Rica Bird Photography Tour/Workshop: Hummingbirds & More' itinerary

Day 1 (Tues. Nov. 15): Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica - La Virgen

Meet at San Jose (SJO) airport upon arrival, we will transfer to La Virgen and explore areas on the way. This afternoon we could spend time birding at several spots along the 2 and half hour drive. 

Overnight: La Virgen or Sarapiqui

Day 2 (Wed. Nov. 16): Caribbean Lowlands - La Virgen

Birding around the area of La Virgen and Sarapiqui, with opportunities to visit private reserves.

Possible species include: Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Collared Aracara, Golden-hooded Tanager and Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Long-tailed Tyrant, Crested Guan, White-collared Manakin, Great Green Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Crimson-fronted Parakeet, Red-lored Parrot.

Overnight: La Virgen or Sarapiqui

Day 3 (Thur. Nov. 17): Caribbean Lowlands - Turrialba

Before breakfast we depart towards Braulio Carrillo area. By the end of the day we will be arriving at the area of Turrialba.

Possible species include: Blue-chested Hummingbird, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Stripe-throated Hermit, White-tipped Sicklebill, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Russet-naped Wood-Rail, Long-billed Hermit and Montezuma Oropendula.

Overnight: Turrialba or San Miguel

Day 4 (Fri. Nov. 18): Caribbean Slope - Turrialba

Explore the gardens and trails on the grounds of Rancho Naturalista from breakfast until end of day.

Possible species include: White-necked Jacobin, Black-crested Coquette, Snowcap, Crowned Woodnymph, Brown Violet-ear, Green Thorntail, Green-breasted Mango, Lovely Cotinga, White-crowned Parrot, Bay-headed Tanager, Tawny-chested Flycatcher, Slaty-tailed Trogon and Gartered Trogon. 

Overnight: Turrialba or San Miguel

Day 5 (Sat. Nov. 19): Caribbean Slope - Copey

Morning birding at nearby patches of forest, roadside and local reserves. By the end of the afternoon we should be at the Talamanca Mountain Range.

Possible species include: Tawny-crested Tanager, Snowcap, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Broad-billed Motmot, Silver-throated Tanager, Green-fronted Lancebill, Black-breasted Wood-Quail, Black-bellied Hummingbird, White-bellied Mountain-gem, Green Hermit, Sooty-faced Finch, Coppery-headed Emerald, Slate-throated Redstart, Blue-vented Hummingbird, Chestnut-headed Oropendula and Violet Sabrewing.

Overnight: Copey

Day 6 (Sun. Nov. 20): Cerre de la Muerte - Copey

On this day we will explore the Highlands and Cloud Forest habitats. One of the highlights of this area is the Resplendent Quetzal.

Possible species include: Talamanca Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain-gem, Volcano Hummingbird, Scintillant Hummingbird, Lesser Violet-ear, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Large-footed Finch, Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Collared Trogon, Acorn Woodpecker, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Black-billed Nightingale-thrush, Collared Redstart and Spangled-cheeked Tanager.

Overnight: Copey

Day 7 (Mon. Nov. 21): San Gerardo de Dota - San Isidro

Birding around the lodge's grounds before breakfast, and then several great spots along the main road as well as the vicinity of San Isidro.

Possible species include: Garden Emerald, White-crested Coquette, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, White-tailed Emerald, Fiery-billed Aracari, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Red-headed Barbet, Thick-billed Euphonia, Northern-Emerald Toucanet, Lesson´s Motmot and Elegant Euphonia.

Overnight: Copey

Day 8 (Tues. Nov. 22): San Gerardo de Dota - San Jose - late departure

Today your Costa Rica Bird Photography Tour/Workshop comes to an end. After breakfast there will be time for another photo session at the lodge, possibly birding at San Gerardo de Dota during the morning. Late afternoon / early evening arrival at hotel in San Jose or drop off at airport for your flight. Usually, flights out of the country will leave after midnight. Otherwise, you might opt to rent a hotel (at your own expense) nearby the airport if you book an early flight the next day.

Important information

* Cost per person: USD $3,500 (only 4 seats available)

Includes: all lodging, meals, ground transportation, fees to gardens/reserves/parks/private properties, naturalist private guide, professional photography instructor for the duration of the tour/workshop.

* Lodging based on double occupancy. A single supplement will cost an additional $1,100.

* Arrival/Departure Airport: SJO (San Jose Juan Santamaria International Airport)

* Make sure you book a flight that arrives early (around noon or 1pm Costa Rica time) if possible on Tuesday November 15, 2022, so we can head out and start our journey on the same day. If not, you will be responsible for arriving the day before and stay at a hotel near airport at your own expense.

* Suggested equipment list: (contact me if you need personal recommendations)

- One or two camera bodies
- super-telephoto 400mm or longer
- mid zoom (100-400mm or 70-200mm)
- optional 1.4x teleconverter, or 2.0x in the case of a f/2.8 lens
- flash
- tripod
- ball-head or gimbal head
- rain cover

* Clothing suggestion:

- Pack clothing appropriate for the weather. It's going to be humid, and you will be in various regions ranging from 8-17°C (46-62°F) up to 25-30°C (77-86°F) so it will be a lot higher with the humidex. Rain is possible everyday for the duration of your trip, so a rain coat is advisable. A wide-brim hat is recommended. Some walking/hiking might require a good pair of closed-toes shoes. 

* Other items to bring:
Sun block, insect repellant.
Costa Rica uses electrical plug types A and B, so if you're from North America it's the same as at home, but if you're from Europe or other parts of the world, you might need to bring an adapter.

How to Register for this workshop:
* If you have any questions, feel free to email me at andyfotopro@yahoo.com or wildwingsphoto@gmail.com
* Please send me an email to let me know of your intention to register for this workshop. You will get a reply with instructions how to send deposit/payment. Once the payment is confirmed, you will then receive a full registration package.
* After registration is complete, a detailed email with the precise itinerary and other essential information will be sent to you.

Important dates to keep in mind:
Today: register as soon as you can, in order to guarantee a seat in the workshop.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2022: start of workshop in Costa Rica.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022: end of workshop. 

A few things to consider before booking your flight
If you search for your flight and find a flight that arrives in San Jose (SJO) later than 2pm, it would be much better (and more relaxing) to rather arrive on Monday November 14 (late day) and book a room to stay overnight. If you need to know a good place to book, contact me and I will give you a nice recommendation.

At the end of the tour, it's advisable for you to find a flight that departs San Jose later in the day. But if you can't find a flight that leaves late, then book one that leaves on Wednesday November 23 in the morning or early afternoon. Of course, you will need to book a room to stay overnight (at the same hotel I mentioned above). Contact for info.

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