Pre Registration Form

    If the announced dates are not suitable, pre-register to be intimated of new tours:

    Photo Gallery

    Experience Costa Rica’s rainforest and its amazing wildlife together with professional photographer Sudhir Shivaram.

    E-mail us on [email protected] for easy instalment options.

    COSTA RICA is a nature photographer’s paradise – beautiful national parks, vast volumes of birds and other animals, rainforests, volcanoes as well as a vast biodiversity that transcends most other countries. Take this opportunity to accompany Sudhir Shivaram – India’s most well-known wildlife photographer – on an unforgettable photo tour to this tropical paradise.

    Join us on a journey to this incredible paradise for wildlife and nature photographers while learning more about why a thriving nature is essential for a stable future on Earth. If you want to experience some truly unique wildlife and nature, then this is the perfect photo tour for you.

    Why do this photography learning tour with SSP?

    • Experience many of the country’s best national parks.
    • Capture the Costa Rican rain forests and its amazing birdlife.
    • Great accommodation connected to the national parks.
    • Participation and personal tutoring by Sudhir Shivaram.
    • Hands-on learning on field from Sudhir through out the trip and in the camp during our stay.
    • We will learn how to evaluate the practical challenges in field and how to overcome them.
    • On-field review of images and inputs to improve.

    Who should attend this tour?

    • If you are a beginner in photography and want to get started with wildlife photography, then SSP photography learning tours are the best.
    • All SSP tours are targeted at beginners as well as advanced users.
    • If you are interested in capturing the wildlife and birds of Costa Rica up-close and personal – Then this is the tour for you.

    What can you expect from this tour?

    • Practical on-field learning from Sudhir
    • Understand the various challenges faced in wildlife and how to arrive at the correct camera setting for a particular situation.
    • Pre-visualising your images in the field and how to arrive at the camera setting for that.
    • We will have discussions back in the camp as well to ensure all doubts are cleared for your next field outing.
    • At the end of this tour, you will be in a situation to start using your camera / lens combination to it’s best potential.
    • You will be in a position to arrive at the correct camera settings, no matter what kind of lighting you have.
    • You will have a firm hold on the most complex part of photography – which is metering.
    • You will shift from taking images to making images.

    Beyond Learning

    While we are extremely serious about our photography, we never play down the importance of some good old-fashioned fun. And great food. Dinnertime is our designated “huddle time” where we share safari stories that continue well past bedtime. Last night of the workshop is official party night where we match steps with the local tribal folk over a celebratory dinner. So, what do we celebrate? Good times, great food, awesome friends. And of course, photography!!


    Arrive at San Jose, Costa Rica on day 1. Return flight will be from San Jose on last day of workshop.


    Please get in touch with us for your flight bookings.


    The tour is ex-San Jose. All internal transfers are included in the trip cost.


    We recommend to carry 2 camera bodies along with a combination of a zoom lens like the 70-200 or the 100-400. The second body can have a tele lens like the 500mm/600mm/800mm. The 150-600 range is also an excellent lens for a single body. You could also get a macro lens. A tripod with a good ball head is a must.


    9 nights/10 days @Various Locations in Costa Rica.


    As per itinerary - at various hotels/resorts.


    Most of the photography will be on foot.


    Max temp: 27°C and Min temp: 21°C.


    Our key subjects includes Insects, Spiders, Frogs, Snakes, Bear, Tapir and a lot of Bird species. Mammals include Howler monkey, Spider monkey, Sloth, White nosed coati, Capuchin monkey, Armadillo, Agouti


    You can get Camera-lens, binoculars, bird book, warm wear and essential medicines.


    COSTA RICA is a nature photographer’s paradise – beautiful national parks, vast volumes of birds and other animals, rainforests, volcanoes as well as a vast biodiversity that transcends most other countries. Take this opportunity to accompany Sudhir Shivaram – India’s most well-known wildlife photographer – on an unforgettable photo tour to this tropical paradise.

    – Participation and personal tutoring by Sudhir Shivaram.
    – Experience many of the country’s best national parks.
    – Capture the Costa Rican rain forests and its amazing birdlife.
    – Great accommodation connected to the national parks.
    – Workshops and lectures by Sudhir Shivaram during the entire trip.


    Costa Rica is located in Central America and adjoins Nicaragua, Panama, the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. In the capital of San José, approximately one third of the country’s 4.2 million inhabitants live. The climate in Costa Rica is subtropical, and tropical in the lowlands, but somewhat colder in the central highlands. The country has two seasons; rain and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to November and the dry season usually lasts between December and April. Costa Rica is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Although the country occupies only 0.1% of the world’s total land mass, biodiversity amounts to 5% of the world’s animals and plants, equivalent to between 500,000 and one million species. Including 50,000 different species of insects, 208 different species, 850 bird species and a little more than 200 reptiles, of which about half are snakes. Over 27% of Costa Rica’s surface is dedicated to national parks, nature reserves and nature conservation areas.


    Before the Workshop
    We will ask you for:
    – some basic information about your equipment
    – your photos/portfolio
    – your expectations from the workshop

    Based on this, Sudhir will chart out best practices for your set of equipment. He will review the images and judge the areas that need working on.

    Communicating your expectations beforehand will ensure that Sudhir addresses them during individual interactions with you.

    During the Workshop
    – Sudhir will demonstrate the best way to approach and shoot the subjects and give deeper insights on their behavioural aspects.
    – He will introduce the advanced custom function settings of your camera. A firm understanding of these settings will be your first step toward shooting like a pro.
    – In the park, he will continually guide you based on the field conditions and subjects.
    – Knowledge sharing and image review will continue through the evenings as Sudhir interacts with you with focused inputs to reinforce the day’s learning.
    – You will have assignments to complete, giving you ample scope to assimilate and apply all that you have learnt.

    The below topics will be covered and the participants will learn how to apply these concepts in wildlife photography.

    Fundamental and Advanced Concepts of Photography:
    Wildlife Photography Learning:
    As a part of the workshop, the 4 important pillars of photography – Subject
    Knowledge, Fundamental concepts of photography, Shooting Techniques /
    Understanding your equipment and Post processing will be covered.
    The below topics from the advanced fundamentals of photography will be
    covered and you will learn how to apply these concepts in Wildlife photography.

    – Importance of Subject Knowledge and understanding natural history
    – The key to getting right colours – Use of White Balance
    – In-depth understanding of Manual exposure (ISO, shutter speeds, Aperture)
    – Understanding exposure – the 18% grey concept
    – Diving deep into Metering modes (evaluative / matrix / Multi, spot metering)
    – Exploring the AF points (both DSLR and Mirrorless)
    – Exploring the advanced AF points for subject tracking
    – Understanding the advanced menu options for auto focusing (for both DSLR
    and Mirrorless)
    – Depth of field (shallow, deep, hyper focal distance)
    – Motion (freezing, blurring and panning)
    – When to use what: Aperture priority, shutter priority or Manual
    – Shooting techniques
    – Accessories in wildlife photography

    Topics of Composition (framing):
    – Understanding light
    – Rule of 1/3
    – Vertical vs Horizontal
    – Angle of shooting
    – Avoiding Distractions
    – Getting complementary foreground/background
    – Catchlight and head turn

    Creative Photography:
    – Backlit / rim lighting image creation
    – Capturing Behaviour
    – Extreme Close-up
    – Eye Level
    – High / Low key images
    – Foreground OOF Images
    – Portraits vs Habitat
    – Using Reflections
    – Complementary background
    – Signature Shots
    – Story Telling

    During the course of the workshop, you will be taken through the fundamentals of
    image processing and the following topics will be covered (Processing using
    Lightroom and ACR / Photoshop will be covered):

    – Fundamentals of colour management.
    – Lightroom essentials: The Library and Develop modules of LR
    – Importing and metadata of images into LR
    – Key wording
    – Filtering images
    – RAW processing workflow covering advanced tools of LR

    During the Field Outing:
    During the field outing, your mentor Sudhir Shivaram will help you make memorable images. Inputs provided on the field will enable you make the most of the opportunity.

    The teaching and learning will not stop after the workshop. In fact this is just the starting point. You will be part of the SSP community of the SSP website where your learning and interactions with fellow photographers continues.


    Nov 25 – Arrival in SJO International Airport in Costa Rica
    Upon arrival, you will be transferred to our hotel in San Jose in a private van. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes approximately 25 minutes depending on traffic.

    Nov 26 – Drive to the Talamanca Highlands: Hummingbirds & Quetzal Tour
    After an early breakfast, we will make our way up to the Talamanca Highlands. The drive to the highlands is approximately 2.5 hours long, as soon as we arrive we will be photographing hummingbirds in natural light. Some of the species of hummingbirds we will encounter on this day are Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Lesser Violetear, Talamanca Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird & White-throated Mountain-gem. After lunch, we will go in search of the most sought-after bird in Costa Rica, the Resplendent Quetzal. We will spend close to 3 hours looking for this enigmatic bird at some very reliable spots. After getting some pictures we will go back to our lodge where we will spend the following two nights.

    Nov 27 – Quetzal Tour Am – Feeders – Quetzal Tour PM
    We will have an early start today to go for our second chance of getting pictures of the Resplendent Quetzal. It will be a short drive to the Quetzal location and again, we will spend close to 3 hours at this site in hopes of getting excellent pictures. We will return to our hotel for a late breakfast. The rest of the morning will be spent in photographing from the deck and around the hotel grounds. In the afternoon we will have a third Quetzal Tour.

    Nov 28 – Multiflash session and drive to our lodge in the Caribbean lowlands
    We will spend most of the morning photographing hummingbirds with the multiflash technique. Then will check out from our lodge and start our drive towards the Caribbean lowlands. The drive takes approximately 5 hours.

    Nov 29- Full Day Private Property Feeders
    After breakfast, we will go on a 45-minute drive to a private property, where we will spend the full day photographing birds at feeders. Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Golden-hooded Tanager, Red-legged & Green Honeycreepers are all possible today.
    Additionally, there is an optional walk in the forest to look for Spectacled & Crested Owls, with luck some trogons and the cute Honduran White Bats.
    At this location, we can also do a macro session of poison and glass frogs.

    Nov 30 – Macaws in flight in the morning and Private Feeders in the afternoon
    After breakfast, we will drive to a private property to photograph Scarlet and Great-green Macaws.
    In the afternoon we will visit a different location where we will photograph birds at feeders. Crimson-collared, Scarlet-rumped & Dusky-faced Tanagers, Green-honeycreeper, Collared Aracari, and Black-cheeked Woodpecker are just a few of the birds that come to the feeders. Besides we will keep our eyes open as the activity in this yard is usually very good and it can produce birds like Lineated, Smoky and Golden Olive Woodpeckers, Slaty-tailed & Gartered Trogons, along with White- collared Manakin and many more!

    Dec 1- Check out and drive to our lodge in the rain forest
    After breakfast, we will do the check-out and depart to our next destination, the drive takes only about 2 hours. Once we arrive, we will be photographing from the deck. Yellow -throated & Keel-billed Toucans, Montezuma Oropendola, Brown-hooded Parrots, Red-legged, Green & Shining Honeycreepers, Black-cheeked Woodpeckers and with luck the very attractive Chestnut-colored Woodpecker are all possible on this day.

    Dec 2 – Photography from the deck and King Vulture Hide
    Before breakfast, we will photograph from the deck and by mid-morning we will go to a hide to photograph the extremely elusive King Vulture. The rest of the day we will take pictures from the deck at the lodge. More opportunities for Yellow- throated & Keel-billed Toucans, Montezuma Oropendola, Brown-hooded Parrot, Red-legged, Green & Shining Honeycreepers.

    Dec 3 – Last photography session and departure to San Jose
    We will have our last morning session at the lodge deck and leave before lunch to San Jose. We will make a stop at a local feeder where there are possibilities to photograph new species of birds. Red-headed & Prong- billed Barbets, Crimson Collared Tanager, Common Chlorospingus, Violet Sabrewing, the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, and more can be photographed here.

    Dec 4 – International Departure

    Depending on your flight schedule you can have one last Costa Rican breakfast at the hotel and then you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight home.


    Nov 25 Park Inn
    Nov 26 Selva Verde
    Nov 27 Selva Verde
    Nov 28 Selva Verde
    Nov 29 Suenos Del Bosque
    Nov 30 Suenos Del Bosque
    Dec 1 Laguna Lagarto
    Dec 2 Laguna Lagarto
    Dec 3 Park Inn


    Price per person: USD $6000 on double occupancy
    Price Per Person: USD $6500 on single Occupancy
    INR 4,98,000 (Double Occupancy) / INR 5,39,500 (Single Occupancy) – For INR calculation we have considered 1USD = INR 83. The final pricing will be calculated based on the exchange rates at the time of final payment to vendors.

    – Lodging 
    – Transfer from and to airport 
    – Meals from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on the last day
    – Private transportation 
    – Professional guiding services
    – Local guides at multiple locations 
    – Entrance Fees: 
    • 3 Quetzal Tours
    • 1 Multiflash Session 
    • 1 Full day Cope’s Place 
    • 1 Macro session 
    • 1 Macaw session 
    • 1 Private feeder in Sarapiqui
    • 2 Full days deck at Laguna Lagarto 
    • 1 King Vulture Session 
    – International Airfare 
    – Dinner on arrival day
    – Alcoholic drinks 
    – Covid test if necessary
    – Tips to guides and drivers 
    – Items of personal nature 

    Group Size:
    In order to for you to get personal photo guidance and the best experience with our photographer our groups are always small. On this tour the minimum and maximum number of guests are 8 / 12.

    Photo Gear:
    – A DSLR Camera.
    – Telephoto lenses up to a 600mm.
    – Wide-angle lens, like a 24-70mm.
    – Tripod.
    – A Laptop computer with any of the Photoshop or Lightroom software.
    – Extra batteries, chargers etc.


    We understand that sometimes you unfortunately have to cancel a tour. Therefore, the following are the cancellation policies for our tours:

    – 25% deposit is non refundable booking fee.
    – Balance 75% to be paid 60 days prior to departure date.
    – even though initial 25% booking fee will be non-refundable, in event of tour getting cancelled (for whatever reasons), we will refund full amount charged from the clients.

    The below refund policy will be applicable to amount outside of the 25% deposit amount.
    90-60 days before departure, 50% of above mentioned tour cost will be refunded.
    59-31 days before departure, 25% of above mentioned tour cost will be refunded.
    30 days or less before departure, no refund.

    This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a tour in progress will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a tour.

    All cancellation notices must be received in writing and emailed to [email protected]


    We reserve the right to cancel the tour due to few guests that have signed up for the tour, strikes, war, natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances that make the tour inappropriate. If a tour is canceled prior to departure, you will be fully refunded.

    We are not responsible for any refund for non-refundable airline tickets or for any airline tickets purchased by the passenger directly from an airline or travel agent.

    In the event of the photo leader being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo leader will be provided.


    Our tours are based on different currencies and exchange rates. The currency and rate used for calculating are listed under the “Cost” sections of the tour page. In terms of fluctuations in exchange rates a surcharge will be invoiced. Notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.

    The prices are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as increase in fuel prices, government surcharges and other increases beyond our control. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.


    What our students say about Sudhir Shivaram.