Costa Rica Workshop

Costa Rica Workshop 2023

We are excited to announce our

Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop for 2023

Saturday, October 21st to Saturday, October 28th

In partnership with

Focus on Photography Tours*

Located in Central America, Costa Rica is known to be one of the most biodiverse regions on earth. Although small in size, Costa Rica holds approximately 5% of the world's species in its backyard and nearly 30% of the region is protected natural territory, making it a wildlife photographer's picnic.

For us, Costa Rica is a place that speaks to the soul; a place that reminds us that everything is interconnected and we are called to respect and care for the earth. We have traveled to Costa Rica on many occasions and each time we are overwhelmed with the lush natural environment and the shear magnitude of wildlife species we encounter. While there are never any guarantees with wildlife, during our workshop there will be opportunities to photograph numerous species.

Our goal in this workshop is to help you create the images you want. We have purposefully limited registration to a maximum of 6 participants, so we can provide a high level of individual and group coaching. The workshop is designed to respond to the needs of the group. Throughout our week together, topics will include (but are not limited to) camera settings, maximizing your camera's capabilities, techniques for birds in flight, working in low/challenging light situations, using flash and multi-flash set ups to create natural looking photographs, as well as post-processing. 

*Focus on Photography Tours
1003-55 York St. Toronto, ON M5J 1R7 (Ottawa based)
TICO #50021282

We invite you to join us in October 2023. More information below...

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In addition to its biodiversity, Costa Rica is politically stable, safe and known to be a leader and pioneer in sustainability with a strong commitment to being carbon neutral. Just one more thing we love about Costa Rica! This commitment to sustainability inspired our accommodation choices for the workshop. Supporting local communities has been an important aspect of our lives and our business. For this reason, we have chosen smaller boutique owner-operated hotels and lodges that are committed to and actively involved in sustainability practices and projects.

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On the day of arrival in San Jose, an evening pre-workshop meet and greet with a brief introduction of what lies ahead will be held at our hotel, located just 15 minutes from the Santamaria International Airport (SJO), in the town of Alajuela.  Note: Airport transfer information will be provided in advance of your arrival on Sunday, October 21th. The transfer will cost approximately $5USD.

After a breakfast, we will set out for a 2 hour hour drive to spend the next 3 nights in our  very comfortable, rustic bungalows at a lodge in the Sarapiquí area. The region of Sarapiquí is said to be one of the best bird sighting places in Costa Rica. The Sarapiquí area is home to more than 460 different species of birds, including toucans and the magnificent Great Green Macaw. With its access to 2 river streams, it creates an environment of shore and forest species that can be photographed right on the grounds of the lodge. However, we won't be spending all of our time on the grounds. During our stay here, we will embark on a river boat safari (weather permitting) on the Sarapiquí River with photographic opportunities for shore birds, water birds, and birds of prey, as well as the caiman and other reptiles.

After our 3rd night in the Sarapiqui, we will have breakfast, a casual morning around the lodge, then load up and make our way over to the Arenal Volcano area for 3 nights. This area is known for its wildlife in all forms from over 500 of species birds, to 131 species of mammals, and 135 species of reptiles. Of course everyday is a new day, but you are quite likely going to see something. After our 3rd night in the Arenal area, we will have breakfast and embark on a scenic 3 hour drive back to the airport in San Jose.
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We are Kevin and Sheryl. We have been partners in life for over 35 years. Through those years, we have traveled to over 40 different countries. Our passion for photography, more specifically, photography with a purpose, began over 25 years ago while volunteering in Mali, West Africa and Bolivia, South America where we soon learned that the beautiful people we encountered needed to have their story told. For more than 10 years, we participated in sustainable community development and led teams of volunteers to these regions all while providing images and other creative media to share the story of the people in these communities. All that to say, when it comes to logistics, traveling with groups, and exploring new territory we have a bit of experience behind us.

In our workshops, we aim to give personalized instruction, to create a positive experience, and to provide you with photographic opportunities for those shots you can't wait to take home and share.

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We are keeping this workshop small to enable participants the ability to try to create the images you want.

Cost:  $3750 /person CAD, including tax. 

Pricing is based on double occupancy, so we encourage you to bring someone you can share this Costa Rica experience with.

Price includes:

  • All photo instruction and image review
  • Local guides and drivers
  • Gratuities
  • Ground transportation during the workshop
  • Airport transfer from Arenal
  • Accommodation starting from the night of arrival, 7 nights based on double occupancy
  • All meals from breakfast on Sunday, October 22nd to breakfast on Saturday, October 28th, unless otherwise indicated
  • Drinking water for the duration of the workshop

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Price does not include:

  • Airfare to and from San Jose
  • Any additional nights' accommodation outside of workshop, as indicated above
  • Meals and beverages on day of arrival
  • Laundry and other personal expenses
  • Beverages (water is included, coffee and tea at breakfast are included)
  • Any activities outside of the workshop
  • Visas, medical and cancellation insurance, passport fees, vaccinations, medication
  • Emergency services, hospitalization or evacuation costs
  • Any other expenses not listed in the “Price Includes” section above

Payment Terms:

A $1000 CAD non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space on this workshop. The balance of the payment is due before August 21, 2023. All bookings are made through Vanessa Dewson at Focus on Photography Tours (

Physical activity requirements:

The level of physical activity during this workshop will be low. The majority of our photography will take place at the lodge and/or from a boat. Walking with gear will be minimal in the area surrounding the lodge.

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Suggested equipment requirements:

A complete list of suggested photography and other gear is included with the registration package. For your reference, a short list of suggested gear is provided here. Items with a (*) are those we consider to be essentials; everything else is nice to have.

  • DSLR/mirrorless camera*
  • 300mm lens or higher on a crop sensor body*
  • 400mm lens or higher on full frame sensor body*
  • Macro lens, or extension tubes
  • Wide angle landscape lens
  • Teleconverters
  • Flash and trigger system for off camera flash
  • Flash modifiers
  • Tripod and/or monopod
  • Rain cover*
  • Memory Cards*
  • Computer/tablet/smart phone*
  • Backup drive/flash/cloud system*
  • Image processing software*
  • User manual for camera (paper or digital)*

How to register:

A $1000 CAD non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space on this workshop. The balance of the payment is due before August 21, 2023. All bookings are made through Vanessa at Focus on Photography Tours (

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We highly recommend participants purchase both cancellation and medical travel insurance. For more information, contact Vanessa at Focus on Photography Tours:

Focus on Photography Tours
1003-55 York St. Toronto, ON M5J 1R7

TICO #50021282

All prices are quoted in Canadian Dollars.

We will try our best to stick to the itinerary outlined; however, unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather, disasters, unsafe travel conditions, or other unexpected circumstances may require deviations to the schedule

Many factors can influence wildlife patterns. Given its unpredictability, there are no guarantees in the overall abundance, variety, or appearance of specific species.

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We look forward to you joining us on this photographic adventure! For more information or questions, feel free to reach out to us at: or


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