Costa Rica Photography Tours

Wildlife Photography Tour

Experience nature’s best in Costa Rica with our immersive wildlife photography tour.

Expedition overview

Welcome to the ultimate Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Tour, where nature’s most captivating scenes are just a click away! Costa Rica, a world-renowned biodiversity hotspot, is home to an astonishing array of wildlife, offering photographers an unparalleled opportunity to capture the essence of nature in its purest form.

Costa Rica is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, this small yet incredibly diverse country boasts over 500,000 species of flora and fauna. From lush rainforests to serene cloud forests, Costa Rica’s varied ecosystems provide a sanctuary for an abundance of wildlife, making it one of the most biologically intense places on Earth.

Our wildlife photography tour will take you on an unforgettable journey through some of Costa Rica’s most pristine natural habitats. Prepare to encounter:

  • Mammals: Capture stunning images of Costa Rica’s iconic mammals, such as playful capuchin monkeys, sloths, and the majestic tapir.
  • Frogs: The vibrant and colorful poison dart frogs are a photographer’s delight, offering a burst of color against the lush green backdrop.
  • Snakes: From the strikingly beautiful eyelash pit viper to the impressive boa constrictor, Costa Rica’s diverse snake species present unique photographic challenges and rewards.
  • Birds: With over 900 bird species, including the resplendent quetzal, scarlet macaws, and toucans, bird photography in Costa Rica is nothing short of spectacular.

At Physis, we specialize in crafting immersive photography tours designed by photographers for photographers. Our Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Tour offers:

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the expertise of local guides who are seasoned photographers and wildlife experts, ensuring you are in the right place at the right time for that perfect shot.
  • Tailored Itineraries: Our tours are carefully designed to maximize your photography opportunities, with flexible schedules and locations based on wildlife activity and optimal lighting conditions.
  • All-in-One Packages: We take care of all the logistics, from comfortable accommodations to transportation, allowing you to focus solely on your photography.
  • Immersive Experiences: Gain unparalleled access to off-the-beaten-path locations and hidden gems known only to local experts, providing you with unique and intimate wildlife encounters.

Join us for an extraordinary adventure that will elevate your wildlife photography to new heights. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an enthusiastic amateur, our Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Tour promises an enriching experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the art of photography.

Book your tour today and embark on a journey that will leave you with not only breathtaking photos but also unforgettable memories of Costa Rica’s wild wonders.


Specialized photography sessions

  • Quetzal tour in La Zona de Los Santos
  • Humminbird photo session in San Gerardo
  • Bird photo session in San Gerardo
  • A night tour in Sarapiqui area
  • Nature trails in the Sarapiqui area.
  • Wildlife and bird photo session in Sarapiqui
  • Bird Photo session in Sarapiqui
  • Bat photo session at night 
  • King Vulture photo session
  • Boat Trip on the San Carlos River
  • Visit Cinchona area
  • Other stops and activities at the hotels and surrounding areas


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Welcome to Costa Rica!

Upon your arrival at San Jose International Airport, your private guide will be there to greet you and escort you to the charming Hotel Bougainvillea.

After checking in, take some time to explore the hotel’s stunning gardens. In the evening, gather with your group for a delightful welcome dinner.

Lodging in Heredia City

  • After breakfast today, we’ll embark on a journey of about 3 hours from the Central Valley to the foothills of the Talamanca Mountains and the picturesque town of San Gerardo de Dota, with the exact travel time depending on the number of birding stops you make along the way.
  • As you travel, you’ll pass through farmlands and rolling green hills, gradually gaining elevation. Keep a sweater or fleece handy, as the temperature will drop as you ascend above the paramo and into the mountains.
  • San Gerardo de Dota is a serene mountain village located in a lush valley along the Savegre River. Known for its stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity, it is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
  • The area is particularly famous for the Resplendent Quetzal, which can often be spotted in the nearby cloud forests. With its cool, crisp mountain air and tranquil ambiance, San Gerardo de Dota offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Upon our arrival, we’ll begin our first bird photography session in the beautiful gardens of the hotel.
  • Lodging in San Gerardo de Dota

Today, we have two exciting sessions planned.

  • Morning. In the morning, we’ll have a hummingbird photo session. These small birds are truly a sight to behold with their brightly colored feathers. You’ll see them flitting from flower to flower, drinking nectar and foraging for food. Their delicate nature makes it seem like they could vanish in an instant, which is why capturing them in a photo session is such a special experience. In San Gerardo de Dota, you can photograph a variety of hummingbird species, including the Lesser Violetear, the Green-crowned Brilliant, the Magnificent Hummingbird, and the Volcano Hummingbird.
  • Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll search for the Resplendent Quetzal. This bird is one of the most iconic species in Costa Rica and the world. A member of the trogon family, the Resplendent Quetzal is renowned for its vividly colored plumage and long tail feathers. Males are especially striking, with their iridescent green and red feathers and tail streamers that can be up to three feet long. The quetzal inhabits cloud forests and is considered a symbol of freedom and wealth in various Mesoamerican cultures. Their diet primarily consists of fruits, particularly wild avocados, supplemented by insects and small vertebrates. Photographing the Resplendent Quetzal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. These birds are elusive and require patience and a bit of luck to spot. The experience of capturing their beauty on camera amidst the lush, green backdrop of the cloud forest makes this afternoon session truly unforgettable.
  • Lodging in San Gerardo de Dota
  • After breakfast and check-out, we will visit Feathers Gardens, a meticulously designed bird garden that attracts some of the most beautiful birds native to and migrating through the Cordillera de Talamanca. Here, you can photograph a variety of species such as tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds. Notable birds you might encounter include the Talamanca Hummingbird, Green Violetear, Scintillant Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain Gem, Gray Tanager, and Blue-gray Tanager.
  • We will drive to the Caribbean Lowlands. Along the way, we will pass through authentic and beautiful Costa Rican towns such as Turrialba and Juan Viñas.
  • The Sarapiquí area, located in the heart of Costa Rica, is a captivating destination for photographers from around the world who have an affinity for nature, bird, landscape, and wildlife photography. With its remarkable biodiversity, breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and favorable weather conditions, Sarapiquí offers unparalleled opportunities for photographers to capture stunning images that showcase the wonders of nature.
  • At 6:00 p.m., we will have dinner at the hotel, and at 7:00 p.m. (approximately), we will take a night tour in the rainforest, in both the primary and secondary forest.
  • Lodging in Sarapiqui area
  • Breakfast.
  • Near Guápiles, we will visit a special location where we can photograph a variety of bird species. In addition to bird photography, we will embark on a hike through the rainforest to capture images of bats, owls, sloths, and other animals. We can expect to photograph an array of bird species, including the Red-legged Honeycreeper, Great Green Macaw, Keel-billed Toucan, Crowned Woodnymph, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, White-tipped Sicklebill, Bay-headed Tanager, and Snowcap Hummingbird. This location is renowned for its exceptional birdwatching opportunities, with fruit and hummingbird feeders attracting a wide variety of species. The area also features a natural pond and several hiking trails that offer excellent opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Free afternoon
  • Lodging in Sarapiqui area
  • After breakfast, we will explore the Pierella Ecological Garden, a haven for nature enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find a vibrant array of butterflies, hummingbirds, toucans, bats, frogs, and other wildlife. Additionally, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and even enjoy a chocolate-making experience—all within this single location.
  • Afternoon: Snakes and Frogs Photo Session Get ready for a thrilling Snakes and Frogs macro photo session. This session offers the chance to get up close and photograph over five exotic and venomous species. Conducted in a secure and controlled setting, it’s a unique opportunity to capture the beauty and danger of these fascinating creatures. Perfect for those who are adventurous and curious, this experience lets you delve into the mystique of the wild and document it in stunning detail.
  • After an exciting day, you’ll relax and unwind at your lodging in the Sarapiquí area, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature.
  • Lodging in Sarapiqui area
  • Breakfast and check-out
  • In the morning, we will visit Tico Rainforest, a prime location for bird watching and photography. This place is home to over 30 species of birds, making it an excellent spot for a bird photo session. Some of the birds you can expect to photograph include the Rufous-winged Woodpecker, Clay-colored Thrush, Crimson-colored Tanager, Dusky-faced Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-throated Toucan, Blue-gray Tanager, and many more. This session will provide ample opportunities to capture stunning images of these diverse species.
  • Then we will drive for about 1.5 hours to the beautiful and wild region of Boca Tapada, near the border with Nicaragua.
  • At 5:30 p.m. and for about 2 hours, we will have one of the most exciting and unique sessions. We will photograph flying bats at night.

Lodging in Boca Tapada area

Morning: King Vulture

After breakfast, we dedicate this photo session to the King Vulture.

The King Vulture, notable for its vibrant coloration, is one of the largest New World vultures, growing up to 2.5 feet tall and weighing around 8 pounds. This bird possesses one of the strongest beaks among American vultures, enabling it to open carcasses that others can’t, often eating first at a feeding site.

Afternoon: Hummingbird Multiflash session

This innovative technique allows photographers to capture the intricate details and vibrant colors of hummingbirds in flight, offering a unique and exciting photography experience. Boca Tapada, located in the Maquenque Wildlife Refuge, is an ideal location for bird watching and photography due to its diverse ecosystems, which attract a wide variety of bird species.

In addition to the hummingbirds, you can also photograph other bird species in the area, such as the Great Green Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Montezuma Oropendola, Snowy Cotinga, Purple-crowned Fairy, and Rufous-tailed Hummingbird. These species, among many others, highlight the vibrant and diverse avian life that Boca Tapada has to offer, providing ample opportunities to capture stunning images of these beautiful birds​

Lodging in Boca Tapada area

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Check-out
  • Our final photo shoot! Join us for a boat tour of the San Carlos River and Tres Amigos River, where you’ll capture stunning images of crocodiles, howler monkeys, and a variety of birds including the tiger heron, great blue heron, and kingfisher. The natural vistas here are truly mesmerizing.
  • We will embark on a scenic 2-hour drive to the Cinchona area, near the Poás Volcano.
  • Enjoy lunch at a renowned local restaurant, with opportunities to photograph the abundant birdlife, the stunning La Paz and San Fernando waterfalls, and the beautiful landscapes of the area.
  • Continue our journey with a 1-hour drive to the city of San José.
  • Farewell dinner in San José.
  • Lodging in Heredia city
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Check-out
  • End of services


  • +10 photography sessions, photoshoots, and activities.
  • 9 nights of lodging
  • Physis’s certified hotels and lodges
  • Standard room (double or single occupancy)
  • Private bathroom
  • Daily breakfasts at the hotel
  • Professional photographer and expedition leader with years of experience
  • Experienced driver
  • Comfortable and modern van
  • Experienced, certified, and area-specific guides for birds, wildlife, and nature photography
  • Transfer-in
  • Transfer-out
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • All entrance fees (National parks, reserves, refuges, etc)
  • Lodging for guide
  • Loading for driver
  • Daily meals for the guide
  • All local insurances
  • All local taxes
  • Airfare to/from Costa Rica
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Visa (If it’s required)
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratuities (local guides, driver, and expedition leader)
  • Alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, cocktails, etc) and beverages not included on the menu.
  • Hotel services (laundry, room service, etc)
  • Personal services (spa, massage, etc)

I, Andy, will be right there with you as your expedition leader and tour guide. With years of experience and a profound love for Costa Rica’s nature, I am eager to share my knowledge, photography tips, and fascinating stories to enrich your adventure.

In each destination, our local guides enhance the experience with their deep local knowledge.

Together, we will ensure that your time here is not just a trip, but a journey filled with learning, discovery, and moments that will stay with you forever.

Physis Photo Tours - Costa Rica |

Expedition leader

What to expect

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This trip is rated light to moderate and caters to a variety of interests and abilities. Guests should be in good health and comfortable with extended periods of walking and sitting.

Please note that minor changes to the daily itinerary may occur based on wildlife locations.

During the expedition, you’ll stay in comfortable hotels and lodges. These accommodations have been selected for their excellent locations, allowing you to explore the incredible natural wonders of each area.

Your trip will be accompanied by a professional photographer, an expedition leader, and an experienced driver.

Local guides will also join you at various points along the way.


All your transportation needs during your stay in Costa Rica, as specified in your trip itinerary, have been arranged.

Dates and prices

Prices are per person and based on double or single occupancy unless otherwise specified.

Airfare to and from your destination is not included.

All prices and fares are quoted in US dollars and are subject to change.

  • Minimum number of photographers: 4
  • Maximum number of photographers: 6

Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Tour 2024

August 24 – September 2, 2024

  • US$4755 per person

October 16 – 25, 2024

  • US$4755 per person


Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Tour 2025

April 25 – May 5, 2025

  • US$4936

Tailor-made wildlife photography tour

Can’t travel these days? Looking to extend your trip? Interested in exploring different destinations? Craving a private and exclusive tour? Prefer traveling only with family or friends?

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