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Going back again this year, and taking some folks with me.. Costa Rica's eco-diveristy is off the hook, and this will be a trip to remember; both between your ears, and with your images...!! My partner, and naturalist tour guide, Mr, Juan Carlos Vindas, will enhance our tour with his local knowledge, and current intell on our subjects. I've had the pleasure of working with Juan for over two yrs now..He's A Terrific Naturalist, and photographer with vast connections thru out Costa Rica. So pack your bags, grab as many CF cards as possible, and join team Hamilton/Vindas for Costa Rica Photo Tour 2014,.Jan 8th thru the 18th 2014!
See the schedule, details and some images here, as well as http://500px.com/Juan_Carlos_Vindas.
Costa Rica Photo Tour 2014 Jan 8th thru Jan 18th 2014 (11 days, and 10 nights)
(Meals included where indicated B-L-D)
Day 1/ (Thursday 8th Jan) Arrival at San José. We drive to the northern plains where a unique rain forest and a very rich diversity of wildlife await us. We expect to get to the lodge before dark so we can shoot a for short time or just chill out and get acquainted with the lodge! We can’t think of any other lodge in Costa Rica where there are so many species of birds, including Keel-billed Toucans, Chestnut-mandibled Toucans and many species of colorful Tanagers. D.
Species that regularly visit the feeder are: Keel-billed Toucans, Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Collared Aracaris (a small toucan), Orange-chinned Parakeet, Brown-hooded Parrot, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Golden-hooded Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Plain Chachalaca, Great Curassow, Red-legged Honey-creeper, Shining Honey-creeper and many more!
Day 2/ (Friday 9th Jan) Morning session bird photography at lodge. Afternoon bird photography session at a local garden where many species of tanagers and woodpeckers are easy targets. B-L-D
Day 3/ (Sat 10th Jan) Morning session bird photography at lodge. Afternoon bird photography session at a local garden. B-L-D
Day 4/ (Sun 11th Jan) Bird photography morning session at lodge. Then we depart to a local scarlet macaw paradise! After spending some time shooting these iconic neo-tropical birds, we will break for a traditional home-made lunch. Stop on route at a well- known site, where we will have the chance to photograph iguanas up close and personal. B-L-D.
Day 5/ (Mon 12th Jan) Full day snake and frog shooting at probably the best snake and frog garden in Costa Rica. We eat a traditional lunch here so that we don’t spend precious time driving away from the action! We don’t need to worry if it’s hot or rainy, since we are using a covered facility. B-L-D
Day 6/ (Tues 13th Jan) Early departure to the tropical cloud forest where the fresh air and the green vegetation will welcome us. A full day shooting hummingbirds in flight using a multi-flash set-up. Also for the landscape lovers, we will have a great chance to photograph one of the most striking waterfalls in the country. B-L-D
Day 7/ (Wed 14Th Jan) Full day of shooting hummingbirds at the lodge. For the landscape lovers in the party: we are staying at a beautiful cloud forest lodge where the number of opportunities to photograph streams, orchids and small mammals will be plentiful. B-L-D
Day 8 (Thu 15th Jan) Early departure to the highest mountain range of Costa Rica, an area endemic to a large variety of bird species, where the beauty of the environment will make for an unforgettable experience. We expect to arrive in the late afternoon. Tonight we’ll prepare for the pursuit of the highly sought-after Resplendent Quetzal . B-L-D
Day 9/ (Fri 16th Jan) Full day shooting birds with river photography and hiking to encounter other avian species. B-L-D
Day 10/(Sat 17th Jan) Full day of shooting birds at lodge grounds. Also included is a visit to a local garden where several species of birds will make for another great shooting experience. The number of endemic species is high within this mountain range paradise of natural flora and fauna. B-L-D
Day 11/(Sun 18th Jan) Early bird photography morning session at the lodge. Depart for airport, with time allowed en route for a stop at a local lodge where there will be other hummingbird species for us to photograph. B-L
Trip Details & Terms:
Please be advised that Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. It is very reasonable and includes medical evacuation, airline delays, and lost luggage protection.
A few choices might be:
Travel Guard, http://www.travelguard.com/quickquote/?cmpid=kac-001-IO-Google-8930216&gclid or http://www.travelinsure.com/what/selecthigh.asp?32940
This photo tour includes all lodging, all transportation within Costa Rica, and meals where indicated. All meals at the chosen lodging include a local beverage, example water or juice. Any additional items, such as beer, wine, soft drinks, additional beverages, and laundry will be charged to your room, and you will be responsible for paying the lodge directly. Tips are encouraged if you feel that our guide/driver delivered an exceptional experience and service.
This workshop has a four-person required minimum at this fee structure of $2800 dollars per person payable prior to your departure.
For PHOTOGRAPHER OR GUEST, a $ 500.00 dollar deposit is required to ensure a place on this tour. This deposit is refundable in the event of your cancellation IF the tour is able to fill your position with another participant. THE FIRST HALF OF THE BALANCE IS DUE BY SEPT 30TH AND THE FINAL BALANCE IS DUE BY DEC 8TH 2013.
The above- stated costs apply to double room accommodations. There is an additional cost of $400.00 if a single room is required.
The above-stated cost does not include airfare or airport taxes (approximately $26 to $30).
Travel Logistics: My previous trips have departed Miami via American Airlines, for a nonstop mid- morning departing flight. Having spent ten years of my youth in Venezuela, I am fluent in Spanish. Therefore, I would also suggest a group departure from Miami, as I could also assist with translation upon our arrival in Costa Rican at Immigrations and Customs.
After a deposit is received, I will email a suggested equipment/gear list.
Feel free to email me with questions at flyinghamiltons@comcast.net, or call me 561-212-7358

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

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Howler Monkey eating pink leaves

El Contorsionista

Shooting hummingbirds with a multi-flash set-up is a joy! one can capture amazing poses that the naked eye can not see.
This is green violet-ear chasing another hummer which is out of the frame, they can be extremely territorial birds.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Juv.

The largest heron of Costa Rica, this is a juvenile, hence the name.

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Erythrolamprus mimus

Things we find at the rain forest floor...
While walking on the trail with a group of hikers, our local naturalist and friend, Alex Ramírez, found this stripe-bellied false coral snake. Yeap, that is a false one but their venom can cause a lot of pain, swelling, and moderate hematomas. They can reach a moderate size of 80cm. This is a terrestrial snake, diurnal and crepuscular. Its common and can be found from Honduras to Peru and Ecuador. They live from sea-level to 1.200 m in elevation.

Pug-nosed Anole

This is a large anole, It can reach 90mm (3.5 inches). It's easly recognized by its large size and blunt pug nose. Coloration can vary greatly. It is mostly observed on the ground but have been seen at heights of over 15m. This is a powerful species capable of overpowering relatively large insects and other invertebrates including other anoles. In Costa Rica, Norops capito lives on the Caribbean slope and in the southwestern lowlands.
I was lucky enough to find this one very close to the ground near Arenal Volcano. PLEASE DO NOT USE MY IMAGES WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

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Neo Tropical Rain forest

One of the mos beautiful places on earth!

Black-and-green Poison Dart-frog

A real beauty! its toxins are not harmful to humans despite their name. They feed on ants, termites and other insects. One of the most colourful frogs of Costa Rica.

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Keel-billed Toucan

One of the most colourful birds in the Ramphastidae family. A joy to watch and photograph.

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Elusive Resplendence

Considered one of the most spectacular birds on the world, the resplendent quetzal can be very elusive even for a good birder. I was lucky enough to find this male close to his nest. Very busy background but gives an idea of its habitat.

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