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Photography DiscussionCosta Rica photo tours - anyone have experience to share

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WesternGuy
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Costa Rica photo tours - anyone have experience to share

Post by WesternGuy »

I am not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but I am interested in a bird photography tour to Costa Rica, maybe with some landscapes thrown in. I am wondering if any of our members have been on such a tour and would like to share their experiences - good, bad or indifferent. Who was the "tour" guide and did he know what he was doing, where he was going and how did he interact with the attendees?

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Post by WesternGuy »

Over 1400 views and not one reply - interesting - obviously not a place that a lot of folks go. (?)

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Post by TomCofer »

Sorry WG. Since leaving the military 20+ years ago, I don't get out much. :)
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Post by WesternGuy »

TomCofer wrote:Sorry WG. Since leaving the military 20+ years ago, I don't get out much. :)


I didn't either until I retired :) . Now I travel as much as my budget can afford, which is getting less and less as the CDN $ drops against the US $. three to five years ago, they were almost on par and travel was relatively inexpensive, now it costs me almost $1.30 CDN to buy $1.00 US, so my touring will definitely diminish outside of Canada, until the price of oil comes up again - like that is going to happen any time soon :rofl: .

Someone suggested that Costa Rica might be a good place to go to photograph birds and exotic flowers. Never having been there, I was hoping one of the participants in this forum might have and I could learn some things from their experience - doesn't look like it.

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Post by Duck »

While I have no experience with Costa Rica I was born and raised in Nicaragua (close enough) to tell you that the region is gorgeous and full of photo opportunities, but...

Yep, there's always a but.

If you are not familiar with a country it becomes extremely difficult to navigate safely. By safely I don't mean just from physical harm, although that is an issue in certain areas. Keep in mind that Costa Rica, outside of the tourist areas, is a relatively poor country. Not only do you have to be careful of muggings you need to be careful of being taken advantage of financially. The other issue is time. You will have a limited amount of time in country and you'll need to maximize it for photographing what you came to photograph rather than traveling around blindly wondering where the best places to go are. Or worse, relying on some travel guide that may or may not be out of date.

My strongest suggestion is to find a Photo Tour going to a region that contains the subject matter you're looking to capture. The best thing about these tours is that they already know where the best locations are, what time of day is best, can suggest technical aspects of a location and so forth. An added benefit of being in a group also is that it provides a level of safety and a knowledgeable tour guide can help with the language barrier as well.

One down side will be that most of these photo tours are scheduled for very specific dates that may not fit into your schedule. An online search or an inquiry to your local travel agent should yield additional information.

Last year my wife and I traveled to Ireland with some friends. We went on a bus tour of the island and while it wasn't a Photo Tour, I knew what the itinerary was and used that to create a shoot list for myself at all the locations. Google maps was a godsend for that. There were some unexpected benefits to this; for one, our travel guide was PHENOMENAL. Not only did he do all the driving, he was very knowledgeable with local history and pointed out things I would otherwise never have taken notice of. He also took us to smaller, less traveled locations, off the beaten path as they say, that yielded some surprisingly great opportunities. Sure, I also had to deal with the obligatory stop at some of the shopping locations, but that didn't mean I had to spend money. I went street shooting during those stops.

Sorry if I couldn't offer more specific info but I hope this helps somewhat.
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Post by WesternGuy »

Thanks Duck. I can definitely appreciate the requirement to navigate safely and all the potentially different situations that can arise - Nairobi was a real eye-opener, but that is another story. I have been to Africa on properly guided safaris three times and Ecuador/Galapagos once, again on a properly guided tour and I definitely appreciate the general living conditions of people in these countries. I also have photo safaris booked for Africa for the next two years.

Your suggestion to find a Photo Tour is exactly what I am looking for, so I was hoping that there was someone here who might have been on one and would, or would not, recommend it. Doing a Google search yields quite a few "photo tours" for Costa Rica, so it is difficult for to separate the "wheat from the chafe", so to speak. I usually try to find a decent tour and then fit it into my schedule, which, being retired, is usually very flexible.

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Post by Duck »

Ah, I see. I misinterpreted your post...
Sorry, I don't have personal (or even second hand) experience with any tour to Costa Rica.
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Post by tsilva »

You might try contacting Alfredo Corral. He used to post a bunch under the name of freddycr. I don't see anything current so not sure how to contact him anymore.

This is his website, you might get him there.

http://www.crmodelagency.com/Servicios-eng.html

Good luck!

Tony
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Post by WesternGuy »

Duck wrote:Ah, I see. I misinterpreted your post...
Sorry, I don't have personal (or even second hand) experience with any tour to Costa Rica.

No problem. I guess I should have been a little clearer in what I was looking for. :)

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Post by WesternGuy »

tsilva wrote:You might try contacting Alfredo Corral. He used to post a bunch under the name of freddycr. I don't see anything current so not sure how to contact him anymore.

This is his website, you might get him there.

http://www.crmodelagency.com/Servicios-eng.html

Good luck!

Tony


Thanks Tony, I will have a look at his site.

WesternGuy
You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either. - Galen Rowell

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/westernguy/
My new blog: http://photowestguy.wordpress.com/

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