Yes. I will be waiting for you as soon as you exit the airport after going through immigration, claiming your baggage, and clearing customs. Shuttles to and from the airport are included in the price of any of our workshops.
Absolutely! We’ll be happy to help with any kind of booking as well as with recommendations of destinations according to your extra stay. Keep in mind that Costa Rica is a small country but, most of the time, distances and logical times of travel are not congruent.
Certainly. Simply indicate your rooming preference on the workshop signup form. There is an extra for the single room supplement. This is simply the difference due to what hotels and lodges charge us. We do not take a commission for single room supplements.
It depends. If we can match you up with a suitable solo traveler who also wants to share, we will be happy to place you in a double room. Since we take no commission on single room supplement, we have no incentive to try to get you to book a single. If possible, we always will do our best to fulfill your requirements.
As a matter of course, your package price will include everything except tips, alcoholic beverages, non-meal time drinks and snacks, and airport departure taxes if applicable. Costa Rica airport exit tax: $29USD (this is more than often included in your ticket by your airline)
From the time you step off the plane until the time you depart, we have you covered.
All Things Wild Expeditions will arrange all of the transportation from the minute you arrive at San Jose International Airport (SJO). An airport shuttle will take you to your hotel. Land travel will be in clean, comfortable air-conditioned shuttle buses. All of our drivers are fully licensed, trained and experienced in navigating the roads of Costa Rica.
YES. We highly recommend to purchase travel insurance to protect your trip. There are too many things that can arise before and during a vacation and we want you to be in the best situation to deal with them.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements.
To enter Costa Rica, you will need a valid passport and a booked ticket out of the country within the 90-day visa that they will grant you. Additional specifics are sometimes required and this can depend on where you are coming from. Travelers with passports from Europe, USA and Canada don’t have a problem and tend be granted a visa on arrival. Immigration will stamp your passport with your approved length of stay (usually 90 days). For other countries, a visa may be required. It is always best to contact the Costa Rica Embassy nearest you for up to date entry and visa requirements.
Passports requirements change often. Each traveler must verify they have 6 months on their passport and to leave at least one blank page for the entry stamp and check their passport expiration date. It is also a good idea to have a few copies of the picture page of your passport with you when you travel.
We would say that any time is the best time! But as a tropical country, Costa Rica experiences two seasons, the dry and the rainy season. Both of them have pros and cons.
The dry season is from mid-December to May (also high season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit.
The rainy season generally goes from June to mid-December when frequent rains make for greener landscapes. Prices are lower, but some people don´t like to travel with some rain.
In general, your best choices are lightweight garments that breathe and dry quickly, and you’ll want a mix of long sleeves and short sleeves. A light polar-tec and a good rain jacket MUST be in the list.
Here is a basic packing list that you can use as a guide:
Windproof/waterproof jacket – shirts/t-shirts – 2 pairs of shorts – 2 pairs of long trousers – 1 pair hiking pants/track pants – 1 sweater – Lightweight hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes –Fleece top – Small towel and swim wear – Sport sandals.
Sunglasses–Sun hat –Sunblock – Water bottle – Face mask – First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, antihistamine, Imodium or similar tablets, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) – Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes.
Camera – Lens – Memory cards – Flash and flash diffusor (if you have) –Camera manual (can be on phone or tablet) –Chargers and adapters (US style plug and 110V) – Binoculars– Rain covers (or trash if you don´t want to spend much money, trash bags are good enough to protect your gear) – Reading/writing material.
USD cash (low denomination) – Credit and/or debit card- Passport (with photocopies) – Travel insurance (with photocopies) – Airline tickets (with photocopies) – Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will work in Latin America. Check with your bank and remember to advise that you will be travelling to Costa Rica so it is not suspended for unusual activity. US dollars are accepted as payment in all touristic places; however, any change will be given in the local currency of “colones”. Avoid exchanging money at the international airport as their exchange rates are worse at than other financial institutions. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 50USD.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Please note that in Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% service). Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-20 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
Costa Rica is one of the safest destinations in the world. But when travelling it is always best to use common sense to stay safe. During the Workshop you should listen to the advice of your guides, stay on marked trails and don´t expose yourself to unnecessary risk in order to take a photo.
As photographers, we accept the need to be careful with our equipment as a fact of life. The best rule is never to let your equipment out of your sight, and as much as possible carry any valuables with you. Macro & Wild Photography cannot assume any responsibility for lost or stolen articles.
Despite the fact that we choose reputable lodges and hotels, care, as with travel anywhere in the world, must be taken. We take great care to minimize safety risks during our workshops. Equipment theft is not something that should make you nervous. As a basic advice, always use safes available at hotel rooms.
Regarding health concerns, our guides are trained in CPR/First Aid and can deal with minor injuries. For more serious injuries, Costa Rica has a first-class health care system and we will be sure you are taken to the nearest medical facility.
If you have allergies or special medical conditions, please let us know at the moment of booking the Workshop. Learn to adequately handle your own medication before leaving and carry your medication in its original containers with the prescription details. You should also inform us of any special dietary needs in order for you to fully enjoy your dining experiences.
Yes, electricity is available at all of the lodges we use. Current in Costa Rica is the same as in the United States (110V). If you are traveling from Europe or other areas, you will likely need to bring along a voltage converter, which can be found at many hardware and electronics stores.
All hotels have outlets in each room, allowing you to charge your camera and other rechargeable batteries. You may wish to bring along a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter plug as one sometimes encounters older outlets with only 2 slots, which can cause problems with many modern computers, electrical, and photo devices that use a 3-pronged grounding plug. A small extension cord is also a good idea.
The first, and by far the easiest to pack and carry is a portable hard drive such as a Hyperdrive. Couple this with a 256 GB flash drive, and you have a very light and portable backup system.
The second is a laptop, which is attractive because you can review and work with your images and connect to the Internet to e-mail family and friends. Bring along a couple of USB drives or external SSD drives to make redundant copies, and you’ll be all set.
The third is via a tablet. There are connection kits available that allow you to view your images on an iPad or Android tablet.
The fourth is simply bringing enough memory cards to get you through the trip. People often take more pictures than they originally thought and end up deleting images to free up space. Consider that cards become corrupted.
Our advice? Do not put all of your eggs in one basket.
Your camera gear may be exposed to high humidity in cloud forests and rain forests. We’ve never had problems with our gear so humidity is nothing to be obsessed about. And it is certainly not a deterrent to visiting and photographing the rainforest. Nonetheless, this 1-2-3 strategy will help avoid damage to your gear and allow you to concentrate on your photography.
1- Pack your gear well in water repellant camera bags and backpacks and sprinkle these liberally with silica gel packages.
2- Try to avoid actually getting your gear too wet. Rain showers can come down suddenly when you are out with your camera. A good rain cover can be very useful, as well as camera bags with built-in rain covers. A garbage bag or two in each of your camera bags is also a cheap and easy way to rescue you in an emergency.
3- If your gear does get wet, at night you may want to dry your equipment with a compact hair dryer that you bring along for this purpose (most lodges away from the capital city do not have hair dryers in the bathroom).
Hotels and lodges that we use offer free Wi-Fi. A smartphone or tablet is a great accessory to have as you can connect quickly when you have a chance. Once out in the rural areas, Internet will be less reliable and slower. You should plan on keeping in touch once a day with a simple, Internet based messaging app such as WhatsApp or Messenger when away from the capital.
Water in and around capital cities is treated with chlorine and generally can be consumed with no worries. During the workshop, we will be sure to advise you on where and when the water is safe to drink. In case you prefer it, bottled water is available at all of our hotels and lodges.
In the event of an emergency, consular officials can provide support, guidance and other assistance to help you. Here are some of the main embassies in Costa Rica:
US Embassy: The US Embassy in Costa Rica is located in the capital of San Jose at Calle 120 Avenida 0 in Pavas, and the contact telephone number is (506) 2519-2000. Visit the official website for more info such from safety and security announcements to data on regional travel programs.
Canadian Embassy: The official embassy of Canada can be found in La Sabana Executive Business Center behind the Contraloría General de la República in San Jose. Consular officials can be reached by phone at (506) 2242 4400. The official website has detailed information.
British Embassy: British citizens who find themselves in need of consular assistance should contact the British Embassy in San Jose. The U.K. has maintained strong diplomatic ties with Costa Rica for many years. The British Embassy is located at Apartado 815-1007 in Edificio Centro Colon, and the phone number is (506) 2258-2025. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. See the official website of the British Embassy.