Hi all. I'm headed to Costa Rica in a couple of weeks. I'll be staying in the Osa Peninsula area from Jan. 23 to Jan 30, then probably headed to the Selva Verde area until my departure on Feb. 5.
I have a few questions. Since I'm traveling alone, I am a bit concerned about the security of expensive camera gear. I can't imagine going without my 500mm lens, but I don't want to lose my gear either. That said, why have it if you can't use it? I do carry insurance.
I am also very interested in photographing frogs.
Any suggestions re: not-to-miss area, decent budget lodging, good guides, gear you have used, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
If anyone is going to be in the area and would like to do some shooting, please let me know.
Where are you going to be on the Osa? A few kilometers from Bosque del Cabo is an area right on the road frequented by scarlet macaws. With patience you can get some great shots. Bosque del Cabo itself is a great place for monkeys, curassows, frogs, coatis and a host of other treats.
You will definitely want your 500 as well as a macro lens.
In the Selve Verde area check out the Nature Pavilion for some great bird photography. The owners are very helpful and enthusiastic. La Selva Biological Station is worth a visit as well.
The Savegre area is good for quetzals and great for hummingbirds.
Rancho Naturalista is another great spot for birds.
I'm sure there are many other good places, but these are the spots I have personally had the best experiences.
Hi Jeff. Thanks for the reply, and for the insight and suggestions.
One question - how would you rate the area re: crime? I have been warned about roaming around alone with camera gear. I have done a lot of traveling to many countries alone, and have never felt unsafe. But those comments have given me some concern.
I have never felt unsafe in Costa Rica. However, I do not go to the beaches or the cities. I don't leave my gear unattended unless I'm someplace like Rancho Naturalista or another lodge where it feels secure. I do have a PacSafe which is basically a stainless steel mesh bag to put your pack/camera bag in. When I traveled solo in a rental I would put my bag in the PacSafe on the floor of the backseat, lock it to the rear leg of the front seat and throw a towel or something over it. Likewise when I stayed in a sketchy hotel I locked the PacSafe to the bedframe when I left the room.
Be aware and sensible. I don't think it's less safe (and probably more safe) than New Orleans, Washington DC, or other large urban areas.