Welcome to Costa Rica – the photographer's playground

Where every frame is a captivating symphony of light, color, and life.

A "natural studio"

The enchanting beauty of Costa Rica is an open invitation to photographers worldwide. It is a country where Mother Nature has worked overtime, sculpting an extraordinary landscape that captivates the senses and leaves you speechless. For lovers of Nature, wildlife, bird, macro, and landscape photography, Costa Rica is a veritable playground and a natural studio.

Here, you’ll be awed by the colorful quilt of ecosystems – thriving rainforests, rugged highlands, mighty volcanoes, ethereal cloud forests, sun-kissed coastlines, and biodiverse mangrove swamps. These distinct habitats host an unparalleled assortment of flora and fauna, establishing Costa Rica as one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

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Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photographers will discover an impressive array of subjects in this tropical paradise. Costa Rica hosts approximately 5% of the world’s biodiversity, with an incredible variety of wildlife, including hundreds of mammal species, thousands of insect species, and over 900 different types of birds.

Whether you’re capturing the elusive jaguar in its natural habitat, photographing the intricate details of an exotic butterfly, or aiming your lens at the stunning Resplendent Quetzal in flight, Costa Rica delivers unique experiences at every turn.

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Bird photography

For bird photographers, Costa Rica is a dream destination. The country is a corridor between North and South America, resulting in an incredibly rich diversity of bird species.

Whether you’re after a shot of the Scarlet Macaw’s vibrant plumage or the exotic beauty of the Toucan, Costa Rica offers endless possibilities.

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Macro photography

For those interested in macro photography, Costa Rica’s undergrowth teems with life. The world in miniature is an endless source of fascination. Capture dewdrops on a vibrant Heliconia flower, the iridescent wing of a Morpho butterfly, or the intricate web of an orb-weaver spider.
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Landscape photography

Lastly, landscape photographers will find no shortage of dramatic panoramas.

From the majestic Arenal Volcano’s fiery silhouette against the twilight sky to the ethereal beauty of the cloud-shrouded Monteverde, or the picturesque beaches of Guanacaste kissed by golden sunsets – Costa Rica offers a stunning tableau for the keen-eyed landscape photographer.

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Why Costa Rica?

Let the numbers speak

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A natural studio

Nature everywhere!


Costa Rica is located on a stretch of continent known as the Isthmus of Panama. Around 20 million years ago, the continents of North and South America were separated by the Central American Seaway. The movement of tectonic plates below the ocean resulted in undersea volcanos that eventually emerged to form a chain of islands between the two continents. Over millions of years, sediment built up between these islands and resulted in a land bridge, or isthmus, between North and South America. It connected the two American continents for the first time in 150 million years. As a result, species that had evolved in isolation on either continent were able to meet for the first time. Many of those species are still living in Costa Rica today.
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Sea change

The Isthmus of Panama also influenced the oceans around it.

The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were isolated from each other, which led to unique populations of ocean life developing on either side of the land bridge.

Since Costa Rica has both Pacific and Atlantic coasts, it is home to unique wildlife shaped by millions of years of the oceans being apart.

Costa Rica’s geographical position also means it is exposed to predominantly wet seasons on its Atlantic coast, as well as variable wet and dry seasons on the Pacific side. This mix of weather systems across the country contributes to the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica.

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Mountain high, valley low

The volcanic islands that predate the isthmus are still present in modern day Costa Rica — they are the mountain ranges that stretch down the middle of the country. The volcanic soils around these mountains contribute to the lush plant life found across Costa Rica.

But the real secret is the altitude of the mountains. The tallest mountains in Costa Rica are well over 3000m tall.

When combined with the neotropical climate, this results in a multitude of different ecosystems. In fact, Costa Rica has 12 different ecosystems that reach from the ocean to the mountain tops. These range from tropical forests and cloud forests to mangroves, wetlands, and coral reefs.

With such an incredibly diverse range of ecosystems, it’s no wonder that there is such a wide range of species that call Costa Rica home.

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Protect and conserve

Understanding where Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity comes from is crucial in order to protect it.

Before 1940, around 75% of the country was covered in forest. This made it a prime target for loggers, who cleared huge swathes of the country, replacing forests with farmland. By 1987, it is estimated that up to half of the forest cover in Costa Rica had been destroyed. It was at this point the Costa Rican government stepped in.

They created laws banning deforestation without government approval and created ‘payments for ecological services’ where Costa Ricans receive financial support in return for helping restore forests.

As a result, Costa Rica became the first tropical country to entirely reverse deforestation — today, around 60% of the country has returned to forest cover.

Conserving the forests not only protects the plants and animals that call it home but also helps support the economy.

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Keeping it simple

Costa Rica’s approach to conservation might be best summed up by their unofficial motto ‘pura vida’.

Literally translated, pura vida means ‘simple life’. 

It’s a philosophy that encourages people to focus on the positives and be thankful for what they have around them.

By focusing on the joys of the natural world, Costa Ricans have championed biodiversity conservation, recently winning the inaugural Protect and Restore Nature Earthshot Prize.

Pura vida; is something we could all use a bit more of, don’t you think?

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Photographic spots

Our playground

San Gerardo de Dota: Top Photography Spot in Costa Rica

San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de Dota boasts remarkable biodiversity that attracts nature lovers from around the world. The region is teeming with a wide array of plant and animal species, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. In particular, birdwatchers flock to San Gerardo de Dota to catch a glimpse of the resplendent quetzal birds. These magnificent creatures, with their vibrant emerald plumage and distinctive long tail feathers, are considered a symbol of beauty and freedom.

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Photography workshops in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde boasts an extraordinary level of biodiversity, making it a true haven for nature enthusiasts. Situated in the Tilarán Mountain Range, the region encompasses diverse ecosystems, including cloud forests, rainforests, and tropical lowlands. Its strategic location, coupled with its varied topography and climate, nurtures a remarkable range of flora and fauna.

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Exploring Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge for Unforgettable Photography Experiences

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

With Physis as your guide, your photography tour in Caño Negro is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Book now and create extraordinary memories that will last a lifetime!

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Sarapiqui, 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

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Exploring the Breathtaking Biodiversity of Boca Tapada, Costa Rica

Boca Tapada

Nestled within the lush landscapes of Costa Rica, the Boca Tapada area offers a truly enchanting experience for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

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