Costa Rica Photo Tour & Workshop

Coming in 2024

This trip will be an excellent opportunity to photograph amazing wildlife, unique flora, and spectacular views. Whether you want to learn wildlife photography or are already a pro, this trip is sure to fill your memory card with wall-hangers and gifts to share with family and friends.

During this guided trip, we’ll visit 3 beautiful regions and 9 amazing locations for taking pictures. We’ll have sessions for photo reviews and feedback, and post processing sessions using Lightroom. You’ll also get to enjoy free time to explore optional activities.

Limited to 8 spaces, non-workshop companions are welcome at a discounted rate. Reserve your spot now! Itinerary subject to change

About Me

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Welcome to my Costa Rica page, my name is Adi Ringer, and I’m a wildlife photographer out of the central coast of California. For me, the feeling I get when I’m out in nature, observing a wild animal and trying to capture it in a way that conveys its beauty or sense of awe, is hard to compare with anything else. It’s my meditation, my happy place, and my connection to nature. I’ve traveled to a few countries, and I’m excited to bring fellow photographers along on this Costa Rica trip, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. It will be an unforgettable trip.

General Information

During this trip we’ll be visiting the Cloud Forest for two nights as our first destination, after spending the night in San Jose. There, we’ll have chances to photograph the magnificent resplendent quetzal, colorful songbirds, hummingbirds, toucanets and other local birds in their natural habitats. This area is predominantly ideal for birding, landscapes, and plant photography.


The Panamerican Highway starting about 15 miles south of San José rises over the Cerro de la Muerte, or Mountain of Death, so named about a century ago when settlers migrating to the rich lowlands beyond often perished in cold, windy rains near the 10,000-foot peak. Today a modern highway runs through the area, and it is now known for its outstanding cool mountain scenery and for excellent high elevation bird watching with an amazing number of Costa Rican endemic birds. Most notable is that this region is very likely the best place in the world for observing Resplendent Quetzals-birds so spectacularly beautiful they were considered divine entities by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
Some birds possible to see at Cerro de la Muerte: Spotted Wood-Quail, Ruddy Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk, Resplendent Quetzal, Collared Trogon, Northern Emerald Toucanet, Prong-billed Barbet, Band-tailed Pigeon, Sulfur-winged Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, Black Guan, Lesser Violetear, Volcano Hummingbird, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Talamanca Hummingbird, Hairy Woodpecker Acorn Woodpecker, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Mountain Elaenia, Dark Pewee, Black-capped Flycatcher, Yellowish Flycatcher, Black-capped Flycatcher, Buffy Tuftedcheek,Ruddy Treerunner, Spotted Barbtail, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Mountain Robin, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatcher, Brown-capped Vireo, Yellow-winged Vireo,, Slate-throated Redstart, Collared Redstart,
Costa Rican Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, Wrenthrush, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Flame-colored Tanager, Spangled-cheeked Tanager, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, , Large-footed Finch , Yellow-thighed Finch, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Golden-browed Chlorophonia.

Some animals that may be seen in the high mountains are: Coyote, Gray Fox, Kinkajou, Coati, Mountain Rabbit, Red-Tailed Squirrel, Poas Squirrel, Brocket Deer. Among reptiles Malachite spiny lizards are normally seen.

We’ll spend the next 3 nights in the Rain Forest, where we’ll walk trails, explore gardens, waterfalls, enjoy a private river boat tour, visit a macaw sanctuary and do some macro and night photography. There, we’ll also have some personal time to enjoy the beautiful hotel grounds and optional activities near the city of La Fortuna, at the foot of the Arenal Volcano.


The Sarapiqui area in Costa Rica’s northern lowlands is one of the best locations to experience the many wonders of the tropical rainforests. Only about 1 ½ hour drive out of San José through the dramatically forested mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park, the Sarapiqui area offers outstanding rainforest examples at La Selva-OTS, one of the premier rain forest research stations in the world. Researchers have published thousands of scientific papers on tropical ecology based on their studies here. La Selva is the premier birding “hot spot” in Costa Rica-over 400 bird species occur here including many colorful species. Sarapiqui and the higher mountains of Barva Volcano are also part of a biological corridor that provide healthy habitats for the endangered Great Green Macaw and some larger endangered mammals like Tapir, Brocket Deer, Ocelot, Puma and Jaguar
Some of the many birds possible to see in Sarapiquí: King Vulture, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Barred hawk, Bat Falcon, Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Spectacled Owl, Great Tinamou, Great Green Macaw, White-crowned Parrot, Chesnut-colored Woodpecker, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Gartered Trogon, Black-throated Trogon, Amazon Kingfisher, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-whiskered Puffbird, Chesnut-backed Antbird, Spotted Antbird, Long-tailed Tyrant, Great Kiskadee, Bright-rumped Attila, Snowy Cotinga, Stripe-breasted Wren, Plain Xenops, White-collared Manakin, Masked Tityra, Olive-backed Euphonia, Shinning Honeycreeper, Golden-hooded Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Crimson-collared Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Orange-billed Sparrow, Montezuma Oropendola, Yellow-throated Toucan, Keelbilled Toucan, Collared Aracari
Some animals found in Sarapiquí are: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys, Three-toed Sloth and Two-toed Sloth, Collared Peccaries, White-nosed Coati, Agouti, White Tent Bat, Long-nosed Bats and Tamandua Anteater. Among reptiles and amphibians: Blue jeans Dart Frog, Red-eyed Tree Frog, Basilisk Lizard, Central American Whip-tailed Lizard, Green Anole Lizard, Helmeted Lizard, Green Iguana, Spectacled Caiman, Eyelash Viper, Boa Constrictor, Fer-de-Lance, Tropical Slider Turtle.


At Arenal Volcano rainforest: Green Thorntail, Green Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Purple-crowned Fairy, Blue-throated Goldentail, Black-crested Coquette, Snowcap, Emerald Toucanet, Yellow-throated Toucan, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Yellow-eared Toucanet. Also found Keel-billed Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot and Rufous Motmot, White-necked Puffbird and White-fronted Nunbird, Great Potoo, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Laughing Falcon, White Hawk, Gartered Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Mealy Parrot, Dull-mantled Antbird, Lovely Cotinga, Montezuma Oropendola, Hepatic Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Bananaquit.
Some animals that may be seen in Arenal foothills are: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider monkeys, Three-toed Sloth, Collared Peccaries, Brocket Deer, White-nosed Coati and Tamandua Anteater. Among reptiles and amphibians: Basilisk Lizard, Eyelash Viper, Central American Whip-tailed Lizard, Green Anole Lizard and Green Iguana and Red-eyed Tree Frog.
This trip is primarily focused on wildlife photography and the itinerary has been chosen accordingly. However, you will be surrounded by beautiful views and plants to satisfy or practice your landscape photography skills.

For the duration of our stay, we’ll have our own local bilingual guide to help us spot wildlife and tell us about them and their habitat. Our transportation will be a private, air-conditioned van to make road trips comfortable.

The fee covers most expenses once you arrive in San Jose, based on double occupancy rooms. Please see the details for a full breakdown. There is a $300 non-refundable deposit required to confirm your spot.

I’ll provide instruction and guidance to those who want to learn how to photograph wildlife or improve their skills, and I’ll be available throughout the trip to answer your questions and review your photos. I’ll also be offering post-processing tutorials using Lightroom, using their latest masking upgrades. If you don’t use lightroom, the concepts I’ll go over can be applied to any processing software.


Skill Level

Modest. At times we’ll be walking between 0.5 and 1 mile carrying our gear. There will be some incline, however we’ll be stopping frequently to take pictures. There will also be steps to get to cabins, facilities, and observation decks.

This tour/workshop is for elementary + photographers. You need to know how to use your camera and the basics of photography (exposure triangle, DOF, etc.). I will not be covering gear or how to use a camera. I will, however, help you understand how to better apply the settings in different situations.

Daily Itinerary

Hotel information

As of now, there are no special COVID requirements to enter Costa
Rica, unless you’ve been in China, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan within 14 days of travel. You can check this link before travel to check for any updates or changes to their policy . You must have a valid passport with a couple of blank pages, and is valid for the duration of the trip. No visa is required as of this writing, but you need to show a return ticket. You can not enter with more than $10,000 in cash. For additional information and US State department
updates go to

Trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage, and medical/accident insurance is highly recommended. Neither Costa Rica Sun Tours nor Adi Ringer/Artemis Artworks will be held responsible for any damage or loss of luggage or gear; injuries or extra expenses not specifically outlined in this document before, during or after the program. Please research coverage and costs, we have no recommendations or affiliations.

I’ll give you some context, so you can better understand the recommendations. When you make a trip like this, you want to make sure you’re prepared for anything, but you also have to keep in mind travel restrictions, carry on limits, the environment, and what you’re after. My photography backpack tends to be 40-50 lbs. when I travel, because I want it all just in case. Luggage limits might be the first point of consideration for you, you don’t want to send expensive gear through your checked luggage. How much can you carry, bag size, etc. Once we get there, we’ll be shooting small subjects from a distance, so long lenses (300mm minimum) are very important. We will also shoot tiny animals, so a macro lens is very helpful. Finally, we’ll be shooting in low light conditions, so any gear that’s low light friendly is an important consideration (wide apertures like 2.8-4, high ISO camera bodies, etc). It will also be humid or rainy, so a weather sealed camera and lens help (You can also get covers for most models). If you don’t have the right gear, you can consider renting it instead of buying. I have rented lenses for my trips and ended up buying them out at a discount. Of course, the biggest factor will be how much you want to geek out on this. If you’re simply interested in a nice trip with some snapshots to share on social media, anything you have will do. If you want to kick up the level of your images and print them large to hang on your walls, gear will make a difference. Here is what I will take:
a. Two camera bodies (Nikon D4 and D500). Not just to have a backup, but they’ll have different lenses, so I don’t have to be changing lenses in the field if I don’t have to. Also, one is a crop sensor, and one is full frame.
b. Prime 500mm f4 (probably my most used lens). 70-200 f2.8, 90mm macro. Undecided yet if I’ll my 24-70 or the 16 to 24 for landscapes. I’m also bringing a 1.4 TC.
c. Tripod with gimbal head. You can also use a monopod or harness.
d. Flash with diffusers
e. Accessories: Remote trigger release, lens cleaning kit, rain covers, flashlight.
f. Spare battery for both cameras and many AAs for the flash.
g. LOTS of memory cards and external HD. We will take thousands of pictures (yes, thousands). You don’t want to run out of memory, and you’ll want to back them up daily. I will have two external drives just in case one fails or gets lost.
h. Laptop for culling and processing images. It also serves as another backup. You will probably want to bring a laptop if you want to review and process images and for the Lightroom session, but it’s not required.

Comfortable light cool clothing, with warmer layers. Neutral and dark colors are preferred since bright colors might scare off wildlife or bring unwanted attention. Quick drying clothes help since it’s often warm and humid with frequent chances of rain. I like to wear camo clothing, not to be invisible or blend in, but because I don’t want to worry about staining my clothes as I kneel or lay down on the dirty or wet ground. Bathing suit for enjoying the pool, comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen & bug spray.
The weather in Costa Rica in November typically ranges between 70s and 80s (f). It’s the transition time between the rainy season and dry season, so there is always chances for rain. 2023 is forecasting to be an El Niño year, so it could be dryer and warmer, but of course, it’s too early to tell.

I’ve been doing wildlife photography for over 8 years and had the fortune to travel to Africa, India, and Argentina
I’ve used Lightroom since I started taking pictures and have found it to be all I need to render great images. And with all the new masking features, it’s easier and faster to use. I use Nikon gear and the reason why is very simple (and funny): When I bought my first DSLR, I didn’t know anything about photography other than I wanted to shoot hawks and I needed a zoom lens. Nikon had a 300mm kit and Cannon’s was only 200, so I got the Nikon. Next thing you know, I’m heavily invested in lenses, two pro camera bodies and all kinds of accessories.

I am very fluent in Spanish, having grown up in Argentina, so it will be easy to communicate or translate in Costa Rica if the guide isn’t available. I’m very excited to share this trip with other people interested in wildlife photography.

If you have any questions for me, I’m easy to reach, you can email [email protected] or you can text/call 8057791622. I’ll get back to you within the day.

Payment, fees, expenses & refunds

The tour fee is based on double occupancy. There is a single supplement if you don’t want to share a room. A non-workshop is someone who will not attend activities outside of the hotel nor participate in photographic instruction (except for the transfer to La Fortuna on day 6). The same expenses as  participants will be covered.

The fee covers hotel, taxes, transportation to and from the San Jose airport for planned arrival and departures, group transportation and guide services, entrance fees to planned events. Day one: an evening welcome drink and dinner will be provided to participants that arrive by 7 PM (19:00 hrs). Planned breakfast, lunch, and dinner days 2 through 7. Breakfast at the hotel day 8. All instruction, workshops, and sessions by Adi Ringer.

Transportation into and out of Costa Rica, airport taxes, travel insurance (highly recommended), gratuities. Lodging, tours, meals or transportation not specified in the itinerary, hotel incidentals (laundry, phone calls, room service, movies, drinks, etc.); personal equipment, costs associated with changes to travel plans or itinerary for reasons beyond our control. Optional activities or activities during free time.

A $300 non-refundable deposit is required to save a spot. The balance must be paid no later than 60 days prior to departure. All reservations after that will require full payment.

First off, gratuities are not mandatory. However, please consider that for some of the people we’ll interact with, gratuities are an important part of their income. You may tip any amount you’re comfortable with and no one will know how much you give (or don’t). If you need a guideline, consider this: For single events, like the boat captain, snake wrangler,
etc., between $10 and $25. For daily interactions, like hotel personnel, guide, driver, etc. $20- $25 per day for primary contacts, and $10-$15 per day for secondary personnel. You can do a lump sum when you leave or spread it out, just keep track of it if you do. Again, these are just guidelines and it’s private between you and the people you tip. I have no requirement nor expectation of a tip, simply that you tell me if you had a bad experience so I can work on improving it; or that you tell all your friends and post a raving review on social media and my testimonials if you had a great experience

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