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Interesting places

Costa Rica, Central-America

Photo adventures

In the following two parts I tell you our adventures experienced in Costa Rica. While reading, you can take part in mind the photography of the wildlife of real rainforests. Among others we captured birds, mammals and reptiles, and had a look at the forest of fog and even visited the smoking crater of a working volcano.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Canon EOS-1D X, EF200mm f/2L IS USM f/3.5 1/1600 sec ISO 1600
Part One - Santa Rita
Our first adventurous trip happened to be at New Year's Eve. I was invited by Bence Máté and we set off overseas witha small Hungarian team. It was interesting beacuse we flew from Vienna, and at night we celebrated the New Year's Eve but at 6 in the morning we had alredy checked-in and were waiting for the departure of our flight. The 29-hour flight was a big challenge, but we arrived at San José, the capital of Costa Rica even the same day, in the evening of 1 January, dead-tired. After taking over our luggage I was looking around at the exit of the airport whether our booked driver was waiting for us. Luckily I spotted my name on a piece of paper, so my small group and I was taken to our simple but practical hotel.
Photo: © Tamás Imre

Canon EOS 7D, EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM f/3.2 1/1000 sec ISO 1600
The next morning, after a quick shower and some sleep, we headed to Aguas Zarcas in the spirit of adventure. The city is 250 km from the capital and – according to the local road conditions – we faced with a 6-hour journey. Arriving at the city it was striking that the railed windows and barbed wired fences were striking. The driver explained this is a poverty stricken country and this mechanical defence is to protect properties. It was hot and the air was very humid and the zigzagging road was running through coffee and aloe vera fields. We arrived at the small village of Santa Rita where from we had to take another 40 kilometres on a dust road. It took one and a half hour, so we arrived at Laguna del lagarto Lodge at 2 pm. Local people and the staff of the lodge welcomed us warmly and the scene was amazing, we really found ourselves in the wild rainforest. Stepping out of the house and after a few minutes walk we already forgot that we were actually a group of city people. But why did we get there? It is easy to answer: three men had a dream and established the stronghold of bird photography in this earthly paradise by two years of hard work. The photo hides are owned by Bence and are available for nature photographers with the help of a local guide, let's call him simply Pelican. After the long journey we were very curious about the local photo opportunities. After visiting the hides and having the first chat I realised that I planned too little time for this scene. I did not understand that a photographer collegue from Croatia how could spend only two days at this excellent place! We stayed here for six days to photograph and it was just not enough. Since then I have already been here three times. What can we shoot here? It would be too long to list everything but I have to briefly summarize the most interesting ones. Two hides are available specially designed to photograph toucans and small parrots. You can photograph small birds from there very close, even with the usage of flash technology devices. It is worth sitting in the hide designed for watching vultures, we can expect carrion-eating birds of prey there. And that's not all. They have other hides specially designed for the photography of hummingbirds and bats as well. There is a big opportunity for macro-lovers to photograph exciting reptile species which emerging from the depth of the rainforest in the neighbourhood of the lodge. The small coatis (Nausa narica) and were our daily guests, and once we had the chance to photograph howler monkeys too. In the lagoons we can see caimans and the wide-awake photographers can even capture the Jesus Lizard (Brown Basilisk).
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