Botanika Resort

Learn from Two world renowned wildlife Photographers in One Workshop – Costa Rica Wildlife Photo Safari With Jeff Mauritzen and Steve Morello


Learn from two of the best nature photographers in one workshop! National Geographic Photographer Jeff Mauritzen & World Wildlife Fund photographer Steve Morello will be instructing this one week workshop here at Crocodile Bay Resort. Jeff and Steve chose the Osa Peninsula because it was described by National Geographic, as one of “the most biologically intense paces on Earth”! It is the only location in Costa Rica that you can see all four species of monkeys that reside in this fascinating country. Besides monkeys, it is also home to over over 700 species of birds, a wealth of trees and poison dart frogs, turtles and of course, the beautiful rainforest!

Jeff and Steve have led photo programs for National Geographic & Lindblad Expeditions all over the world, including many years here in Costa Rica. In their words, “We’ve set up this intensive wildlife photography workshop to bring you the best photo opportunities that Costa Rica has to offer.” Although we will have formal classroom instruction and feedback on your photos, the emphasis on teaching will be in the field, while we are on our excursions. This workshop is an opportunity to learn from two photographers who truly are experts in their field. Their combined experience covers every continent, every habitat, and years of working in the most difficult environments on the planet. Their experience will provide you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to hone your photo skills and learn from the best.


Workshop Dates:

  • April 6-12, 2019
  • November 9-15, 2019

Tentative Itinerary

( schedule is subject to change depending on wildlife sightings, weather and other factors)

Day 1: San Jose

Upon your arrival to San Jose you will be met by your driver for your transfer to the comfortable accommodations at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, just a short drive from the airport. We will meet there this evening for dinner and introductions.

Day 2: Puerto Jimenez and the Crocodile Bay Resort

Due to the capacity of the planes, our group may be split for the fight to Puerto Jimenez. Depending on departure time, you will have breakfast in either the hotel in San Jose, or at Crocodile Bay Resort upon arrival. Once at CBR we will meet in the conference center for an orientation which will include photo information about photographing in the rainforest. We will continue the orientation with a photo walk around the property where we may see macaws, toucans, monkey’s, caymans, and crocodiles.

After lunch, we will have our first excursion to Miramar. This area is noted for the wildlife that can be encountered there. Monkeys, sloths, birds, and other wildlife are frequently fond along the road. After our first exploration, we ill return to the resort for dinner, followed by a more comprehensive evening program on photographing in the rainforest.

Day 3: Matapalo

Today we leave for a full day of exploration in the Matapalo area. Located near the southern end of Corcovado National Park, it is well known for monkeys, sloths, beautiful beaches and birds. Lunch will be at a surfing beach and afterwards we will have the opportunity of hike to King Louis Waterfall. This part of the excursion, is a half mile hike and can be difficult terrain at times. If you prefer not to hike to the top of the falls, an easier hike will be offered along the stream, to photograph the smaller waterfalls. We will continue our exploration of the area and end the day at an incredibly scenic beach for sunset photography. Afterwards, we will return to CBR for dinner and a photo editing session in the conference area.

Day 4: Bamboo & Butterfly Garden

We will start the morning with a wildlife outing to an area renowned for its bird life. Here we’ll keep an eye out for the “Moonwalking” Red-capped Manakin, among other fascinating birds. After searching for wildlife at Bamboo, we will head to a butterfly garden where we will have exclusive access to a beautiful facility that allow us to concentrate on macro photography. Our subjects will be butterflies and possibly some of the other reptiles and amphibians that may be found on the property. 

Back at CBR, we will have a working lunch and another lesson on nature photography. After lunch, you will have some free time to explore the property on your own, or simply relax at the pool, and enjoy the hospitality of the resort. We want you fully rested, because after dinner, we’ll be venturing out for a nighttime photowalk on the property. Our local guides will be finding colorful frogs and other macro subjects found in the ponds and lagoons at CBR.

Day 5: La Tarde

If you wish, this morning there will be an optional sunrise photo walk before breakfast, 

After breakfast, we visit La Tarde, at Corcovado National Park. It is an area of primary forest where nature abounds. We will get to hike into the forest in search of some of Costa Rica’s jewels, the four species of poison arrow frogs found on the Osa Peninsula. Put your macro game on and be prepared for anything, as our local guides escort us through the forest in search of these tiny colorful frogs! Regardless of what we’ll find here, it is a wonderful opportunity to explore this pristine rainforest. During this outing, we will divide into two groups so that we all have the room to move about. The reason for this is that while half the group is in the forests, the other half will be at the main buildings where our local snake expert will give us the chance to photograph some of the snakes that are found here.

We will return to CBR late in the afternoon and meet once again in the conference room for another photo lesson before dinner.

Day 6:  Sierpe River Cruise

Today we will have an early morning buffet breakfast, so that we can get on our way to a cruise on the Sierpe River. We have a bit of a drive through some very scenic landscape en route to the Sierpe River, and yes, we will make an occasional stop for photos along the way! Once at the river, we will board our pontoon boats for a cruise on the river, searching for for crocodiles, birds, boas, monkeys and much more.

After exploring the river for the morning, we will have a picnic lunch on our way back to the resort. The rest of the afternoon is yours, You might want to make a few last images of some of the wildlife on property, pack your clothes, or just relax and enjoy the amenities the resort has to offer. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and a presentation of your best photos of the trip.

Day 7: San Jose and Home

For those of you leaving today we bid you farewell as you board your flight back to San Jose where you will meet your connecting flights home.

Four Day Extension

Day 1: Animal Sanctuary & Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden

As we say goodbye to our fellow guests not participating in our extension, this morning we head off by boat across Golfo Dulce to the Animal Sanctuary, where we visit a wildlife rehab facility. Although these animals are no longer wild, we will have an incredible opportunity to get close-up images of these rehabilitated and rescued residents. Some of the the up-close photos opts will include macaws, spider monkeys, and sloths.

 

After a picnic lunch, we head to the Botanical Gardens were you will have the chance to photograph hundreds of species of flowering plants with special emphasis on the orchids. The lushness of the garden, make it a choice spot for birds and many other animals as well.

Day 2: Sea Turtle Rescue Tour 

This project gives you a chance to take part in field work with real scientists. Using GPS your guides will find sea turtles and assist them with tagging, taking bilogical samples to study population health and in some cases help turtles who have been tangled in plastics. You’ll be working with a non-profit organization called Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST), which is part of the organization called the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). As part of the experience you will learn the basics of data collection. When you work with the team you will be measuring the sea turtles and taking samples of their DNA for study. You will also help tag the turtles so scientists can track their development.

Day 3: Don German, Garden Chocolate Tour

This is much more than just chocolate, it is an experience about the landscape, agriculture, and wildlife. Don German is passionate about his little paradise in the Osa. It has been described as a place where you learn things you did not expect to learn, and a place where you see things you do not expect to see. Then of course, there is the chocolate!

Day 4: San Jose

Today it is our turn to say goodbye to the Osa Peninsula and the wonderful experience we have had here. We board our plane back to San Jose where we connect with our flights home.


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