Costa Rica September 2024

Tuesday Sept 10 - Tuesday September 17

King Vulture

This trip concentrates on the Caribbean lowlands and the rain forests around Arenal Volcano. Some of our key lowland targets include Keel-billed Toucan and King Vulture along with a variety of hummingbirds, tanagers, trogons, woodpeckers and others. We will have opportunities to visit feeders that are set up for photography and in the past have been very successful at producing great photography opportunities.

Keel-billed Toucan

Once we’ve had our fill of the lowlands we will make our way to La Fortuna where we will stay at the beautiful Arenal Observatory Lodge which offers commanding views of the volcano as well as a number e well-maintained trails that give access to a variety of interesting birds including a nice selection of antbird’s, wrens, tanagers and maybe even an antpitta. The lodge also has beautiful gardens that attract several hummingbird species including the fantastical Black-crested Coquette. It’s not uncommon to see Yellow-throated Toucans, Great Curassow and Collared Aracaris in the area of the dining room and there’s even an observation tower available to give opportunities to see canopy-dwelling birds at eye-level.

Black-crested Coquette

In addition to the lodge grounds we will spend some time birding around the vicinity of La Fortuna in search of species like Sunbittern, Buff-rumped Warbler, White-throated Magpie Jay, Keel-billed Motmot and maybe even a sloth.

Red-legged Honeycreeper

During our visit we will spend time at what is probably the crowned jewel of the region, La Selva Biological Station.  While we are in the area, we will have opportunities to explore trails through some excellent primary forest as well as some more open areas along the roads.  We will also have an opportunity to do some exploring by boat.  

Great Curassow

This trip starts and ends at the San Jose international airport (SJO) and is limited to three photographers and the guide (Greg Lavaty) in order to offer a good photography experience.

Rufous-tailed Jacamar

Once we’ve had a good taste of the lowlands, we will head into the high mountains to the beautiful cloud forest that is home of a large number of regional endemics and a variety of other spectacular birds including the aptly named Resplendent Quetzal.  Here we will spend time exploring a beautiful river valley high in the Talamanca mountains.  There are some nice trails through the cloud forest as well as ample birding opportunities along the roads.  In addition, there is a nice feeder station that can offer opportunities to photograph some of the area’s special birds in cool comfort.


The trip starts and ends at the Liberia International Airport (LIR) and will be limited to three participants plus the guide.  We will have our own car, allowing us the freedom and flexibility to take advantage of unexpected opportunities that might present themselves during our travels.  The trip is centered around photography and is open to photographers of all skill levels and should be an excellent opportunity build your skills as participant are encouraged to share with and learn from one another in a friendly environment.  


The cost of the trip is $2790 per person with a shared room, for a private room there is an additional cost of $415.

Chestnut-backed Antbird