Frank Pali’s Costa Rica’s BIG 5 Wildlife Photography Workshop

EXPEDITION Dates: February 21 – 28 2020 and October 23 – 30 2020

Here are my BIG FIVE ANIMALS of Costa Rica. Join me in the jungle for cultural and conservation tours that will give you the images on every wildlife photographer’s bucket list.


Frank is a Canadian professional photographer who has won awards for his wildlife and landscape images. His extensive collections of stock photography are represented by companies such as Getty Images, All Canada Photos and Alamy. Frank’s photos have been featured in books and magazines worldwide. He is also a certified photography judge known for his friendly manner and gentle suggestions for improvement. Frank is a Nikon Professional and knows the equipment inside out. In addition, he has extensive experience with digital enhancement and can help you transform your images from “ho-hum” to “wow”! Frank is often teamed by his friendly and helpful wife Tina, an experienced educator with an artistic eye.




  1. Bang for your Buck – Once you land, everything is included! Our tour includes workshop fees, all accommodation and meals, ground and water transportation and local flights.
  2. Small Numbers – The group is limited to ten people. Whether you’ve brought a high end DSLR or an iphone I’m there to help.
  3. Dennis – Our friendly local guide knows the area like the back of his hand and can spot an army of ants a mile away.
  4. My Expertise – Both in the field and behind the computer, I will be there to give you tips and techniques.
  5. The Resort – The resort will exceed your expectations: the vast beauty of the grounds, the outstanding staff, and the variety of animals you will encounter just from your balcony!
  6. The Food – The varied menu has something for everyone and the food is fresh and delicious. This is also a fishing resort, so when you hear “catch of the day”, they really mean it.


I’m excited to announce my 2020 photo expedition located beneath the jungle canopies of the Osa Peninsula. You will be flown to this remote location and immediately see why National Geographic Magazine describes the peninsula as “the most biologically intense place on earth”.

The great people at Crocodile Bay Resort invited me to Costa Rica to team up with them and develop this 8 day photo expedition. The result is an intinerary chockablock full of cultural and conservation tours that with my guidance, will give you the images you’ve always dreamed of!

A short flight from the main airport takes us to our beautiful eco-resort nestled into a remote area where scarlet macaws fly freely above us, enormous humpbacked whales swim close to our shores and our only nosy neighbours are 2-toed sloths!


(factors such as weather and wildlife sightings can make our schedule subject to change)

Day One – San Jose Welcome

Exit the San Jose airport and look for your name card held by a friendly face. You’ll take a 5 minute drive to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel for one night. Grab your camera and explore the lush gardens, relax by the pool or swim up to the bar. Taste the delicious Costa Rican food at the hotel restaurant or walk a few blocks and try out the local craft beer eatery. At breakfast enjoy your first sip of the famous Costa Rican coffee at the complimentary buffet.

Day Two – Arrive at Crocodile Bay Resort

Sansa Airplane

You will be picked up from the hotel at a pre-determined time and transferred to San Jose airport. Climb aboard the 12 seat plane for a 45 minute flight to the Puerto Jimenez Airport, a 5 minute drive from our resort. Keep your camera handy for your first glimpses of the jungle!

Check into the Crocodile Bay Resort. You will be struck by the beauty of this eco-friendly lodge and it’s remote location under the jungle canopy. Just wait and the animals will literally come to you! You will also be overwhelmed by the friendly staff who are there to enhance your trip of a lifetime.

Depending on your arrival time, we will have lunch and review the itinerary of the week. Setup the free day with group and we’ll tour the resort property (time permitting).

Butterfly sets on a on a beautifull red flower in the Botanical Garden in Puerto Jimenez,Costa Rica


Our first photo expedition is a trip to the Butterfly Farm. These colorful insects exist in some form almost everywhere in the world but rarely in the numbers found in Costa Rica. The people at the Butterfly Farm are helping to preserve these species that are disappearing due to Global Issues. This is our first opportunity to concentrate on macro photography.

Day Three – Full Day Excursion to Miramar and Matapolo

We will be Toyota Land Cruising through a virgin forest area called Miramar or “ocean view” which refers its commanding view of the Golfo Dulce. The Miramar and Matapolo area are known for the variety of wildlife you will encounter just a few feet from our vehicle – monkeys, sloths, macaws, toucans…everything you imagined when you were anticipating this trip. Matapolo is known for its remoteness, a hidden paradise amongst jungle and ocean. And if that’s not enough for you, after dinner we will be out with our guide looking for the red-eyed tree frog during our night macro photography.


Day Four – Full Day Excursion to Botanical Garden and Osa Wildlife Sanctuary

Beautifull mix of flower in the Botanical Garden in Puerto Jimenez,Costa Rica

A glorious morning boat ride will take us across the Golfo Dulce to the largest botanical gardens in the region. This enormous family owned garden gives us the opportunity to photograph hundreds of species of flowering plants and landscape photography along the shoreline. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the orchids! Bring your bathing suit for a dip in the warm ocean!

In the afternoon we have the rare opportunity to photograph and interact with local rainforest creatures (like 2 and 3 toed sloth, spider and howler monkeys, macaws, parakeets and toucans) at the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates injured or illegally captured animals. Our visit helps directly fund this noble effort.

Day 5 – Sierpe River Wildlife and Mangrove Tour

The Eyelash Viper or eyelash palm-pitviper (Bothriechis schlegelii) is a venomous pit viper snake species found in central America and northern South America, with no subspecies currently recognized.

This is the excursion where you will capture the images of a lifetime. These protected tributaries are teeming with abundant wildlife, easily spotted from the safety of our pontoon boat. For starters, boas hanging in the trees, caimans and crocodiles, turtles, 6 species of herons, iguanas galore!

Day 6 – Chocolate Farm Tour

Meet German (pronounced Herman) and his family and learn about this thriving example of agro-ecology. Set under the jungle canopy, you will be able to photograph and learn about a working chocolate farm. More macro opportunities, local lunch and of course…..freshly made dark chocolate!

Day 7 – Free Day to be arranged by the group.

Day 8 – Farewell

We bid a sad farewell to new friends and the Osa Pennisula as we board our plane back to San Jose and home or extend your stay at Crocodile Bay resort and experience more local eco adventures.

Expedition Includes:

  • All ground transportation to and from San Jose airport
  • First night stay at DoubleTree Hilton Cariari (breakfast included)
  • Round trip airfare to and from San Jose from our resort
  • Accommodation at the Crocodile Bay Resort
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner with glass of wine)
  • When we’re out in the field, the resort packs us a lunch, which we get to choose
  • All transportation (ground and water) to and from photo locations

Workshop Excludes:

  • Roundtrip airfare to and from your home to San Jose
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Spa services
  • Any other expenses not included in “Includes” section above

Non-Expedition Participant – Includes (for an additional $1500. USD)

  • All ground transportation to and from San Jose airport
  • First night stay at DoubleTree Hilton Cariari (breakfast included)
  • Round trip airfare to and from San Jose from our resort
  • Accommodation at the Crocodile Bay Resort
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner with glass of wine)

Non-Workshop Participants – Excludes:

  • Roundtrip airfare to and from your home to San Jose
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Spa services
  • All workshop tours

Camera Equipment

  • for your camera, a Nikon or Canon DSLR that’s newer (3-4 years)
  • at least a 300mm lens, I recommend 400-500mm or more
  • a zoom lens such as Nikon 200-500mm is ideal, because much of the sightings are within a few steps of our vehicles
  • Sigma 150-600mm, Tamron 150-600mm, Canon 100-400mm are also good
  • you should bring a macro lens with a focal length of 100mm or longer
  • and of camera flash unit (SB900 or equivalent) , as some areas of the jungle can be quite dark
  • a short zoom for snapshots like a 24-70mm – but an iPhone works just fine
  • you can bring a travel tripod for macro and night photography
  • lots of memory cards and batteries (I filled up a 128gig XQD card just shooting macaws in one afternoon)
  • bring your laptop and an external hard drive


  • Basically, from the time I landed I was in my shorts and t-shirt for 7 days
  • Stay away from cotton. Two quick-dry t-shirts, one long sleeved t-shirt, at least 3 pairs of quick-dry shorts can be rinsed out at night.
  • One pair of mid-calf socks, as we’ll be out in the muck in gumboots (provided by the resort)
  • Regular sport socks and quick-dry travel underwear
  • Hat of your choice
  • I brought a light-weight rain jacket but didn’t use it, as the rain was intermittent at the time I was there
  • Footwear: Hybrid hiking-running shoes (preferably waterproof) and water sandals
  • In a pinch, the gift shop at the resort has lots of clothing


  • a flashlight and headlamp
  • bug spray, sun screen with high SPF

Expedition Dates:

  • February 21st – February 28th 2020
  • October 23rd – October 30th 2020 –“SPECIAL PRICING”

Sign up for this photography workshop now: