2018 COSTA RICA - ULTIMATE RAINFOREST
Tropical Birds, Rainforest Frogs, Bats, Hummingbirds & the Resplendent Quetzal.

November 29 - December 8, 2018 - 5 spots available

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Come and join me and Costa Rican nature photographer Jeffrey Muñoz as we visit our favorite spots to photograph rainforest and tropical birds. hummingbirds, bats, rainforest frogs, and the Resplendent Quetzal.

Our tour starts in the lowland areas of Costa Rica (Caribbean Side).  We will target Toucans, King Vultures, multiple species of Honey Creepers, Parrots, Tanagers, etc.  During this tour we will also photograph Bats in Flight using multi-flash setups.

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We then visit the Sarapiqui area where Rainforest frogs will be our targets.  Red-eye tree frogs, poison dart frogs, glass frogs, and other species will be photographed here.  At Sarapiqui we will also target Gray-necked Wood rails, Boat-billed Herons, Owls and many more birds.  Honduran tent bats are easily found here and we'll hike into the forest to find them.  One afternoon will be spent doing multi-flash setups photographing hummingbirds in flight.  Up to 10 different species frequent the location we will be using.

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Our last stop will be the highland area of Talamanca.  The superstar of Talamanca is the Resplendent Quetzal.  One full day will be spent visiting locations where these wonderful birds live and nest.  Plenty of photographic opportunities to capture one of Central America's most beautiful bird.  We will photograph 3 different species of highland hummingbirds here in Talamanca.  Both natural light and high speed multi flash setups will be used to capture the hummers.

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PHOTO TOUR/WORKSHOP ITINERARY

Day 1 - Nov. 29 - San Jose.
Our private transportation will pick you up at the airport and take you to your Hotel in San Jose.  Overnight at San Jose. 

Day 2 - Nov. 30 - San Jose – Lowlands of the Caribbean side (Honey creepers, parrots toucans, tanagers, etc.)
This is an amazing destination that literally can guarantee all these beautiful birds. Our day will start with an early breakfast at our hotel; followed by a bus ride to the lowlands of the Caribbean side of CR. Our bus route will take us throughout the countryside and farming areas. Upon our arrival we will get ready to start shooting and becoming familiar with the photography conditions of the tropics. Our Biologist/Photographer guides will be there at all times helping you with this. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included.

Day 3 - Dec. 1 - Lowlands of the Caribbean side - Full Day.
Today the group will split into 2 sections. In the morning part of the group will visit a private garden for a variety of colorful small and medium size birds. The other half will remain at the lodge shooting for medium and large species birds. Mid morning dedicated to the King Vulture hide; in the afternoon the groups will switch locations, providing equal opportunities for everyone since there is constant birding activity all day at both shooting sites. At night one half of the group will photograph bats in flight using multi-flash setups. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included. 

Day 4 - Dec. 2 - Lowlands of the Caribbean side - Full Day.
Today the group will split in 2 again; same plans as the day before but this time those who went in the morning to the private garden will go in the afternoon and vice versa. So in the morning, part of the group will visit a private garden for a large variety of colorful small and medium size birds. The other half will remain at the lodge shooting for medium and large species birds, Mid morning dedicated to the King Vulture hide; in the afternoon we will switch groups again, giving equal opportunities for everyone since there is constant birding activity all day at both shooting locations. At night the other half of the group will photograph bats in flight using multi-flash setups. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included. 

Day 5 - Dec. 3 - Lowlands of the Caribbean side - Sarapiquí.
The day will start with a nutritious breakfast and a final opportunity to get another 1000 photos of all the beautiful tropical birds that visit our lodge facilities. Around midmorning we will depart to our new destination. After our arrival we will enjoy a delicious lunch and will get ready for photographing hummingbirds in flight. There will be around 10 different species of hummingbirds including the Violet Sabrewing, Rufous tailed, Black bellied, Green Hermit, and other species. We will have to multi-flash stations for participants to use. Overnight at Sarapiqui area hotel. All meals and entrances are included. 

Day 6 - Dec. 4 - Sarapiquí.
After breakfast we transfer to our location for macro photo session of frogs. There will be many species of frogs in their natural habitat with a controlled environment for photography. You will see the famous “Red-eyed tree frog” to the little “Glass frogs” whose bodies are transparent. Many species of poison dart frogs will be also available for photography.  We will work also with composition using the flowers and different elements that we will find at this amazing place.  After lunch we will meet a wonderful local naturalist who has a “piece of paradise” where we will spend the afternoon shooting Gray-necked Wood rails, Boat-billed Herons, Owls and many more birds. These birds will be easy to find and photograph. For the remainder of the day we will “follow” him to shoot what he has found in the lands surrounding his properties. We never know exactly what we will get to photograph but there are always amazing surprises waiting for us. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included.

Day 7 - Dec. 5 - Sarapiquí - Talamanca Area (Highlands of Costa Rica, highland birds, hummingbirds and Quetzals).
It is time to change destinations to the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica. This area will offers a completely new variety of species and photo opportunities. Here we will photograph beautiful hummingbirds to the amazing Quetzal. After a delicious lunch, the fun will begin as we start shooting hummingbirds in natural light using perched setups. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included.

Day 8 - Dec. 6 - Talamanca Area - Full day.
Everyone will be ready for another photography adventure! This time our morning starts with the Famous Quetzal Quest. We will spend the entire day looking for and shooting the amazing Resplendent Quetzal. Overnight at the same photography location. All meals and entrances are included. 

Day 9 - Dec. 7 - Talamanca Area – San Jose.
This morning there will be one more session of hummingbirds in flight and highland bird photography to complete our final photography day in Costa Rica. We will photograph using multi-flash set ups and natural light set ups.  After lunch we depart back to San Jose.  We will have our last and farewell dinner at the San Jose hotel.  Overnight in San Jose.  All meals and entrances included.

Day 10 - Dec. 8 - San Jose - San Jose International Airport.
After breakfast a private transfer will take you to the international airport. End of our services.  Breakfast included.


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Photo Tour / Workshop Details

  • Photo Tour Dates
    November 29 - December 8, 2018

  • Cost of Photo Tour
    $4300.00 per photographer (double occupancy)
    For single supplement add $450.00

  • Number of Participants
    Limited to 8 Photographers
    5 Spots Available

  • Physical Level - Easy

 

INCLUDES:

- Lodging during our tour.
- All meals as specified.
- Airport Transfers on first and last day.
- Photographic instruction and guidance by both co-leaders.
- Local Bilingual Guides.
- Multi flash setups for hummingbirds and bats.
- Private transportation through out the tour.
- All applicable taxes.

DOES NOT INCLUDE::
- Airfare to and from San Jose, Costa Rica.
- Dinner the first night (Nov. 29).
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Personal items (souvenirs, batteries, etc).
- Extra services at Hotels (laundry service, etc.)
- Gratuities for local guides, porters, wait staff and drivers.   


We are limiting the number of photographers to 8 (for a 4:1 participant to instructor ratio) so you can get our full attention and be very comfortable at all shooting locations and during transport with your photo gear.

A $2000 deposit is required at the time of enrollment with full payment due by September 1, 2018

 

Deposit can be paid via PAYPAL (plus 3% fees) by clicking here:

PAY DEPOSIT VIA PAYPAL

or by mailing a U.S. Check or Money Order Payable to:
      
Hector D. Astorga
2510 Dove Avenue
Mission, TX 78574

 

Deposits & Cancellation Policy:

  • A $2000 deposit is required at the time of enrollment with full payment due by September 1, 2018.
  • Deposits and tour/workshop fees are non-refundable.
  • If the photo workshop is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, your tuition is fully refundable minus a 15% cancellation fee.
  • We are not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other reasons.
  • Should cancellation be required due to severe weather, an alternate date will be scheduled at no additional charges.
  • No fees will be refunded if you withdraw after the photo workshop begins.
  • We are not responsible for any fees associated with non-refundable air travel, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance.

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Photo Tour / Workshop Leaders

Hector D. Astorga

Hector D. Astorga is a professional nature photographer based in South Texas.  His love of nature and the outdoors began as a child in his native country, Honduras. He is a professional guide for visiting photographers at the Santa Clara Ranch and also serves as the ranch manager. He conducts photography workshops there and at other locations in North America, Central America, and Africa.

He is a four-time Grand Prize winner of the Texas big nature photography competitions. In 2013 and 2015, he was the Grand Prize winner of the Wildlife in Focus Nature Photography Contest. In addition, he was the top recipient of the Valley Land Fund Nature Photography Contest in 2010 (Professional and Open Divisions) and in 2008 (Small Tract Division). He won top honors in the 2009 National Wildlife Federation Photography Contest and in the 2012 Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers Photography competition. In 2016, one of his images was selected as a “Best of Show” by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) in their Annual Showcase competition.

His work has been featured in Nature’s Best Magazine, Audubon Magazine, National Wildlife Federation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, National Geographic Guide Books, The Chicago Tribune and other national and regional publications.

Hector is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers (RMOWP), Texas Nature and Environmental Photographers (TexNEP), Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) and of Nikon Professional Services (NPS).


Jeffrey Muñoz

Jeffrey was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. He studied biosciences at the University of Costa Rica and later at the National Learning Institute, where he earned his certification as a general naturalist guide for Costa Rica. His first travels abroad to the United States and South America taught him the importance of being conscious of other cultures. This awareness is what led him to want to educate people about his own culture and into the field of ecotourism. He started working as a guide in early 1998 because he wanted to be closer to nature as well as to the Costa Rican people. These experiences, as well as his travels to Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Europe made him aware of the importance of nature, its conservation, and the world’s cultural heritage.

“My experience as a licensed naturalist guide over the past twenty years has been invaluable. I have worked with groups in Costa Rica’s main continental and marine areas that include: professional photographers, journalists, wholesalers, senior citizens, families, students, naturalists, bird watchers and adventure travelers. All of these people have been the main inspiration to continue with my personal environmental and cultural education.”

He received his Photo Instructor certification in a multi-day training workshop. Developed and taught by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions photographers, the workshop helped him develop additional insight and skills in Nature photography.


 For more information or questions please contact Hector Astorga:
Email: hector@hectorastorga.com 
Phone: (956) 821-0701.