Costa Rica November 2022- Birds, Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Costa Rica Birds, Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles

November 2022

Photography Tour

Leaders: Ron R Bielefeld and Harry Collins

I am pleased to be teaming up with my friend Ron Bielefeld to offer this amazing tour of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. This area has been called "the most biologically intense place on earth." If you have been to Costa Rica, but not to the Osa, then you have not seen the real "wild" Costa Rica. So, if you like variety in your wildlife photography, come on along with Ron and myself and experience a place like no other!

Early November is a great time to visit the Osa. This time of year is just after the rainy season has ended, but before the peak season. The majority of the rain is done (though we don't mind some rain as it provides some unique opportunities to get exceptional images) and the area is not crowded with tourists. The resort only allows one tour at a time, so we will have all the best wildlife spots and resources to ourselves!

This photography tour is hosted by Crocodile Bay Resort, which is set up to make your photography tour stay comfortable and productive. On the resort grounds resides countless species of birds, lizards, monkeys, and even sloths! You literally could spend your entire trip on the property and fill up card after card with great wildlife images! The staff is beyond friendly and will make you feel like you’ve known them forever. The food, well, the food can only be described as world class. The area is known for being one of the best fishing areas in the world so there is no shortage of seafood. Lastly, we employ amazing guides who know where to find the best photography opportunities with the least delay.

So, join us for an amazing wildlife photography adventure in the amazing place that is the Osa in Costa Rica!


Dates: November 14-22 Degree of Difficulty: Low

Prerequisites: open to all photographers of all skill levels 10 photographers (5 per leader)


Double Occupancy - $6049.49usd Single Occupancy - $6955.19usd

$1500 Deposit required

There is a tag along option for an additional fee if you want to bring a spouse/guest. They will not be able to participate in workshop activities, but there are plenty of other activities the resort offers for your guests at additional costs. The resort also has a spa and is not far from the beach.

There is an optional extension to this trip to visit the cloud forests to see the resplendent quetzal, hummingbirds and more! Details on this portion coming soon.


Hotel stay in San Jose after arrival on day 1 Airfare to and from San Jose to the resort All meals while at the resort including lunch on days we do not return to the resort for lunch (the food here is world class!!) Lodging at Crocodile Bay Resort - workshop dates only Daily transportation to wildlife locations - workshop dates only Photography instruction - workshop dates only Non-alcoholic drinks

Not Included:

Flights to and from San Jose Excess baggage fees, the connecting flight has different requirements than the major airlines. These generally are minor charges. Alcoholic beverages Tips Meals not provided by the resort Any optional excursions not included in above list

Please email me with any questions you may have or if you are interested in putting down a deposit at




Day 1: You will arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica where you will spend the first night at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. You will need to take a small connector plane (included in the package) to reach the Osa Peninsula where we will be staying and as most arrival flights land in the afternoon, the connector planes are not available until the next morning.

  • Day 2: In the morning, you will be transported by plane to the private airstrip located just off the resort grounds. Once you land, you will be shuttled to the resort where we will meet you and get everyone checked into their rooms. Once finished, we will have a meet and greet in the conference center where we will give you detailed information to prepare you to get the shot when the shot of a lifetime presents itself! We will then tour the property. After lunch we will take our first adventure off the resort at a nearby location where its possible to photograph several species of birds, monkeys, sloths and even some great landscapes.

  • Day 3: In the morning, we will visit a location designed to attract sloth and other wildlife. We will then head back to the property for lunch and spend some time photographing whatever we find on the resort grounds. We will end the day with some class time to review images and go over such things as techniques, camera set-up, and any other topics you would like to discuss based on your first couple of photography outings.

  • Day 4: A full day off the resort. We will head to an area where anything and everything can present itself for a great photograph. We may encounter all 4 species of monkeys present in the area, hawks, caracaras, owls, macaws, tiger herons, and many other birds. Your custom ordered lunch will be provided in the field, as well as snacks and drinks.

  • Day 5: We will head out on a pontoon boat to get a different perspective of the animals as we float down a calm river for the majority of the day. On this journey we hope to see many species of birds, monkeys, lizards, and crocodiles. We would not be surprised if we come across an owl or some bats. We will finish the day back at the resort property with some free time to explore the grounds, or some 1 on 1 time with your leaders.

  • Day 6: A macro session with reptiles and amphibians. Possible species will include tree frogs, poison dart frogs, venomous snakes (don’t worry, there will be an expert snake handler there to make sure everyone stays safe), and lizards like the basilisk (A.K.A. the “Jesus Christ Lizard” as it runs on water). In the afternoon, we will make a special stop for a chocolate tour that will give you some insight into the local culture and a chance to photograph more wildlife on this property.

  • Day 7: The morning is free time in case a prior session needs to be rescheduled, or to provide you with some time to relax. There are many things for you to explore around the resort and this is an opportunity to do any of those excursions (at your own cost). Of course, you can always spend this time photographing the animals on the property. In the afternoon we make our way to a beach that has beautiful landscape photo opportunities and more wildlife to photograph. While in this area, we will have an option to hike to a waterfall for landscape photos. Or, for those who do not want to hike, we will have an option to remain at the beach. Having two instructors allows you this flexibility.

  • Day 8: We start our final full day by repeating one of our wildlife drives before we head back to the resort and finish up our last day of photography on the resort grounds. Weather permitting, we will also have a night shoot where we will set up lights for things like frogs.

  • Day 9: Departure flight back to San Jose for your return flight home.


Clothing Temperatures can vary on this tour and it can be hot and humid, so pack accordingly. There is also the chance of rain, so remember to bring clothes that dry fast and/or rain jackets for yourself and camera gear. I suggest both long pants and shorts as we do not venture too far off trails. You will also want bug spray. The bugs are not as bad as you might expect, but better safe than sorry. We will spend a fair amount of time in vehicles, so if you get motion sickness, I would bring medicine.

Camera Equipment

  • Camera body or two; in case one malfunctions.

  • Long lens - I recommend at least a 400mm. 500mm or 600mm is ideal. I use a 600mm and also bring a 100-500mm lens.

  • Wide angle lens (for example 16-35mm or 24-70mm) for when we have the opportunity to capture some landscapes.

  • Macro lens for the reptiles and amphibians, an alternative to a macro is a 70-200mm, or the Tamron/Sigma 150-600mm. I have used a 600mm f/4 for macro with some stunning results.

  • Flash - recommended but not required.

  • Tripod or monopod.

  • Rain cover for your equipment as well as a lens cloth.

  • Laptop to back up photos and to participate in lightroom and photoshop lessons - not required but beneficial.

  • Lots of memory cards and batteries!

Additional Notes

The tour itinerary will be flexible to take advantage of the best photography opportunities available and thus is subject to change without notice. This photography tour requires a minimum number of participants, if sufficient tour places are not sold the tour may not be run. Not all mentioned wildlife can always be observed and photographed, thus the aforementioned species should be considered our target species. No guarantee is made of photographing all or any of the mentioned species. To register for this tour please call or email mail as soon as you decide you would like to participate.

Please email me with any questions you may have or if you are interested in putting down a deposit at


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