Red-eyed Tree Frog in Costa-Rica


08-12-2020 t/m 21-12-2020


Costa Rica is without a doubt one of the most beautiful destinations in Central America and a popular destination for photographers and nature lovers. Photographer Martin van Lokven – also SNP tour leader – takes you from the lowland rainforest of Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Sea to the cloud forests of the Savegre valley. In the Volcán Arenal National Park and the rainforests along the Sarapiqui River, Martin makes you familiar with your camera, technique and composition in landscape and nature and gives you useful tips in macro photography. How to take the perfect photo of poison dart frog in a low-light forest? Admire and photograph the iridescent colors of the quetzal. The trip is all about photography and enjoying the natural beauty of Costa Rica. In the tropical gardens of the carefully selected accommodations, you can put everything you have learned into practice on your own with your camera. Regardless of the photography knowledge you have, whatever camera you take with you, you will definitely come home with special images and the ‘pura vida’ feeling!


• Direct flight Amsterdam – San José
• The rich biodiversity of Costa Rica
• Landscape, animal- and macro photography
• Guidance by professional photographer and biologist Martin van Lokven and by a Dutch-speaking local guide


Day 1
After arriving at San José Airport in Costa Rica, we are welcomed by the local guide. Driver and bus are ready to transport us to a good middle class hotel in the center of San José. Overnight in San José

Day 2
After a good night’s sleep we leave early in the morning for the Caribbean Coast. We drive straight through Braulio Carrillo, one of the largest national parks in Costa Rica. While descending, the temperature increases. After breakfast in Guapiles, we drive through banana plantations to the boat dock of La Pavona or Caño Blanco, where we transfer to a covered boat. A beautiful one hour trip takes us to Tortuguero – the “Amazon” of Costa Rica – where we stay for three nights in the atmospheric Evergreen Lodge. After lunch we go in the garden looking for toucans, macaws, iguanas, frogs and exotic plants. For the next two days we will search and photograph from boats for caimans, waterfowl and other inhabitants of mangroves and swamps.

Overnight at Evergreen Lodge, Tortuguero National Park

Day 3
Today we make two boat trips in an open boat, over the channels of the park. We sail slowly so that we have plenty of opportunity to take beautiful photos. In between and afterwards, there is an opportunity to further explore the garden or relax by the beautiful swimming pool of the lodge.

Overnight at Evergreen Lodge, Tortuguero National Park

Day 4
Today again two boat trips, the same program as the previous day. If you want to skip a boat trip, you can take a beach walk to the village of Tortuguero, relax in the garden or take a dip in the lodge’s pool.

Overnight at Evergreen Lodge, Tortuguero National Park

Day 5
After breakfast we sail back to the dock and from there continue by bus to Guapiles. After lunch there we drive through pineapple and palm heart plantations towards Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. The next three nights we will stay in the Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve on the banks of the Sarapiqui River. The rainforest surrounding the lodge – the garden – is rich in birds, frogs, basilisks and iguanas. The special beauty of the lowland rainforest caught the attention of current American owners over 30 years ago. They were able to protect a large area of ​​untouched land against the monoculture of pineapple and later bananas and the arrival of small farms. With their arrival in this area and the establishment of the La Selva Lodge, more than 120 hectares of primary rainforest and 80 hectares of secondary rainforest were eventually protected. With our visit to the lodge, we make a modest contribution to preserving the species diversity. One of the main reasons why we are here. Various feeding places attract beautifully colored birds, which makes them easy to photograph. Ideal is the feeding place at the restaurant of the lodge, where you have a view of the feeding place from the balcony and where even howler monkeys can be seen. It is a challenge not to let your lunch get cold. In the evening we take a walk in the rainforest of the lodge’s garden under the guidance of a guide, in search of nocturnal animals.

Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge, near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Day 6
In the morning we will look for the inhabitants of the primary rainforest in the La Selva Biological Station under the guidance of a nature guide. This protected and world famous area is owned by the Organization for Tropical Studies. We will have lunch in our lodge, after which we will continue our search in the afternoon with a guide at the La Selva Biological Station.

Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge, near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Day 7
In the morning we go again under the guidance of a nature guide to the Tirimbina Biological Reserve located next to the lodge in search of the rainforest inhabitants there. After lunch in our lodge we are free to explore the rainforest in the rainforest of our lodge or the pool. It is also possible to book one of the excursions offered by the lodge under the guidance of guides, for example over the suspension bridge to the other side of the Sarapiqui river, a bird excursion on the grounds of the lodge or an educational cocoa tour. Or a boat trip on the Sarapiqui river.

Overnight at Selva Verde Lodge, near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Day 8
After breakfast we leave for the volcano Arenal. We make a short detour to visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where we will see beautiful waterfalls and many species of hummingbirds. After lunch we drive to the Arenal Observatory Lodge, at the foot of the volcano Arenal. The Arenal volcano (1633 m) has not shown any volcanic activity in recent years, the smaller Cerro Chato volcano (1140 m) not for much longer time. Only incidentally, huge gas eruptions still occur at the Arenal. The Volcán Arenal National Park is popular with bird watchers. Many of the 850 species of birds that Costa Rica knows can be seen there. Jaguars, various species of monkeys, deer, coatis and snakes such as the fer-de-lance, pit viper and parrot snake also live within the park. The lodge has a special garden with 11 kilometers of private paths, where you can take good photos of the volcano Arenal, three species of toucans, great curassows, howler monkeys, hummingbirds, frogs and exotic flowering plants. There is even a waterfall.

Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge, near La Fortuna

Day 9
After breakfast we take a walk “on level” through the tropical rainforest. From no fewer than five suspension bridges, we observe the crown layer, an invaluable asset in this ecosystem. If you don’t like walking, or don’t feel like it, you can optionally explore nature via a beautifully constructed cable car. And for the real adventurers there is of course the “skytrek”! After lunch in the lodge, the afternoon is free to photograph the forest on the lodge’s own grounds. It is wonderful to stay and there is plenty to see.

Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge, near La Fortuna

Day 10
A free day in and around the Arenal Observatory Lodge. There is so much to photograph and see. This will be a wonderful day looking, watching and photographing toucans, hokko’s, red-eyed tree frogs and coatis. Plenty of time to relax, enjoy the lovely lodge and dive into the pool.

Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge, near La Fortuna

Day 11
Today we leave for Savegre in search of the quetzal. The cloud forest of Savegre with its ancient trees lies at the foot of the great Talamanca mountains. As a nature and bird lover you will fully enjoy yourself here. More than 200 bird species have been observed in the area, including many species of hummingbirds and the quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird. The quetzal mainly eats the fruits of the aguacatillo, a wild avocado tree, which is found in this valley. In addition, its diet includes blackberries, lizards and the fruits of the guayabillo. We have lunch on the way to Savegre. Our lodge in Savegre is the beautiful Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa, where we stay for two nights. If there is still time, we will look for the quetzal at the lodge at the end of the afternoon.

Overnight at Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa, San Gerardo de Dota

Day 12
After the delicious breakfast buffet we drive in 15 minutes to Miriam’s Quetzals, for quetzals and other exotic colored birds. Here we can watch and photograph birds all morning. After lunch at Miriam’s we will drive back to our lodge, where we can spend the rest of the afternoon photographing the many hummingbirds in the garden and a walk in the forest around the lodge with a local guide.

Overnight at Savegre Hotel Natural Reserve & Spa, San Gerardo de Dota

Day 13
After breakfast we visit the Batsu Birding & Photography Garden located close to the lodge. Again exotic colored birds, close and good to photograph. After lunch we drive to the airport at San José, a drive of about four hours, for the return flight to the Netherlands / Belgium.

Day 14
Arrival in the Netherlands


For more information about this photography and nature tour to Costa Rica and booking you can contact SNP Natuurreizen.

Keel-billed Toucan portrait


Date: 8 - 21 December 2020
Destination: Costa Rica
Maximum number of participants: 14
Travel sum: € 4,270 including flight
Single supplement: € 580

Spectacled caiman up close


• Guidance by photographer and biologist Martin van Lokven
• Accommodations
• Meals according to program, 12x breakfast, 11x lunch and 7x dinner
• Transport by private bus
• Boat trips Tortuguero
• Guidance by local Dutch-speaking guide
• Park entrances
• All walks according to program
• Booklet Guest in Costa Rica
• Instructions
• Photo reviews
• Meeting for the trip with Martin
• Meeting after the trip with Martin

Magnificent hummingbird


• Other meals and drinks
• Optional excursions
• Tips and personal expenses
• Visa
• Insurances
• Vaccinations & medicines
• Reservation costs € 20
• Contribution to the Emergency Fund € 2.50
• CO2 compensation € 4.20


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