Announcing My First Costa Rica Photography Workshop

In Lightroom, Photography, Photoshop by Diana K38 Comments

*Update this workshop has sold out!!! 

You might remember that back in November I did a quick blog post on my trip to Costa Rica and mentioned that I was down there to see if it was good place to do a workshop. Well, I was blown away by the natural beauty there. There was such an abundance of wildlife and lush vegetation, as well as gorgeous beaches and scenery that made it really hard to put down my camera during the trip. Those that have followed me know that for a while now, I’ve concentrated on larger Landscapes, but there I found myself photographing various birds, monkeys and lots of macro close-up photos.


I liked it so much that I’ve teamed up with a resort down there to put on a very exclusive, and personalized 3-Day workshop. It’s limited to 10 people. Why just 10? I want to make sure that we can get the best photos possible. Because of that, we have to keep the group small and we can’t have multiple cars traveling around. This way, we can all fit into 2 large vehicles and get ourselves to some great photo spots.


Not only will I be there to help guide you along the way (and steal your photos when they’re better than mine ;), but we have a special treat for you. I wouldn’t even consider doing this workshop without the guide that we had when I was there. His name is Dennis (Instagram #Osa_photography), and he’s an incredible photographer. He knows this area like the back of his hand. He worked tirelessly to not only get us to the right spots, but also to help give us some knowledge of the area along the way.

He constantly hunts around and finds the right spots. There were times where I would have bet $1,000 we were nowhere near wildlife, and he pulls over and points up in the tree to a group of monkeys that were barely moving – yet he still saw them. He found small frogs to photography in the rainforest that you would swear were nowhere in sight. 

In short… Dennis is a rare find and we’re lucky to have him along with us. 

The Dates

The workshop will be held from Wednesday May 31 through Saturday June 3rd, 2017

The Location

Our location host is the lovely Crocodile Bay Eco Resort, which is located in the remote Osa Peninsula. Crocodile Bay is the perfect place for a photography workshop because of the abundance of wildlife located right on the property. While we were there, we saw Macaws, Toucans, Hummingbirds, Hawks, Crocodiles, and Monkey’s right on the resort property (some of them in the trees right outside our room).


The resort is also located on the water, so we have landscape scenery opportunities as well as a TON of macro possibilities. So when you see time for walking around the grounds of the resort in the schedule don’t underestimate it – some of my favorites from the trip came from a 1 minute walk from my room.


The Workshop

So here’s how it works. It’s going to be a 3 day workshop. Due to the remote location of the Osa Peninsula you will fly into San Jose and spend the night at the Double Tree. A shuttle will pick you up on Wednesday morning and drive you to the airport to catch the plane to thePuerto Jimenez Airport.  A driver will pick you up from the airport and drive you to Crocodile Bay (only 5 minutes from the airport). All of your meals at Crocodile Bay will be included in the price.

UPDATE: It looks like Sony is going to sponsor some gear to be loaned out and demo’d during the workshop. I’ll have more details for all of the attendees later, but it’s a great chance to try out some new gear too. 


The Schedule

Here’s the tentative schedule of the workshop. Depending on the weather we may need to adjust as we go, but there’s so much to shoot that it won’t be difficult to change it up if we have to.

Also, I’m with you the entire time. From morning until evening… you got me! With only 10 people it’ll be super easy to break off in to small groups that may need some extra education on camera settings or post-processing. There’s a reason (other than just parking and cars) that this is a small intimate workshop. I want you to come away with a great educational and personal experience.

Day 1: Wednesday 

– Arrive at Crocodile Bay and settle in.

– Group dinner and introductions. 

Day 2: Thursday

– Morning – Sunrise photo shoot along the docks of Crocodile Bay. We’ll also have some time to review camera settings, and make sure you’re warmed up and set up to take some great wildlife photos later that day. 

– Breakfast at the Resort

– Head out to photograph monkeys, birds and other wildlife.

– Post-Processing instruction back at the resort conference room

– Group Dinner

Day 3: Friday

-Breakfast at the Resort

– Morning – Head out to photograph monkeys, birds and other wildlife.

– Afternoon – Depending on whether and previous shoots, we’ll be at the beach, resort-exploration for macro and wildlife, or a photo-walk through town. 

– Post-Processing  – Instruction back at the resort conference room

– Evening – Sunset at a beach. 

Day 4: Saturday 

– Optional early walk around the grounds to shoot. We may have been up late the previous evening shooting stars so we’ll plan this as we get closer.

– Breakfast

– Late Morning – Again, head out to photograph monkeys, birds and other wildlife

– Sunset at a new beach and hopefully catch some surfers too. 

– Group Dinner and Good bye. 

Day 5: Sunday

Ok workshop is officially over, but your trip would not be complete without at least 1 day to play


– Fishing – This is one of the premier fishing destinations in the world. You don’t want to miss out on your chance to catch Rooster Fish, Sail Fish, Grouper, Tuna, and more. Diana caught this fish within the first 30 minutes!


-Reptiles and Amphibians Rain Forest Walk (it’s a bit of a drive and a good bit of hiking is involved)


– Zip-lining – hopefully I’ll have a picture to put here after this trip 😉

–  Click here to see a list of tours that are offered through Crocodile Bay Resort


NOTE: This workshop is sold out. Contact us (leave a comment below) for availability and pricing of the next workshop. Thanks

For Photography Participants, This Is What’s Included:

  • The 3-day photography workshop
  • All instruction and classes
  • All transportation to photo locations
  • Transfer Package –
    • Shuttle from San Jose airport to Double Tree
    • 1 night at Double Tree in San Jose
    • Shuttle from Double Tree to San Jose Airport
    • Roundtrip Airfare from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez
    • Shuttle from Puerto Jimenez Airport to Crocodile Bay Resort
  • 5 nights at Crocodile Bay Resort
  • All Meals at Crocodile Bay and wine (mmmm) at dinner (packed lunch if on outing)

What is not included?

  • Airfare from your home town to/from San Jose
  • Excess/Overweight Baggage Fees
  • Airline Change Fees
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic Beverages (other than wine included with dinner)
  • Spa
  • Activities on Day 5

For Non-Photography Participants, This Is Included

  • Transfer Package –
    • Shuttle from San Jose airport to Double Tree
    • 1 night at Double Tree in San Jose
    • Shuttle from Double Tree to San Jose Airport
    • Roundtrip Airfare from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez
    • Shuttle from Puerto Jimenez Airport to Crocodile Bay Resort
  • 5 nights at Crocodile Bay Resort
  • All Meals at Crocodile Bay and wine at dinner (packed lunch if on outing)

What is not included?

  • Airfare from your home town to/from San Jose
  • Excess/Overweight Baggage Fees
  • Airline Change Fees
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Spa
  • Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I see Monkeys, Sloths, Toucans etc?

While we can’t guarantee that you will see these animals there is an extremely good chance that you will. Keep in mind that these are animals in their natural habitat, not a zoo.

Can I Bring My Husband/Wife/Daughter/Son etc?

Absolutely, it is a wonderful place to vacation and I’d encourage you to bring family/friends with you. HOWEVER, during the Photography Outings only the 10 paid photography participants may join. Here’s why… the roads are a little smaller in most of the places we go. Parking space (if you can call it that) is extremely limited.  If you’ve ever been to a 25 person workshop before, you know there’s often convoys of cars traveling around. And if the first car stops because they see some great wildlife, the last car has no chance of getting those shots. And by the time they do stop and get their cameras out, it’s 20 minutes later. Then it’s another 15 minutes to get everyone back together and moving again.

To give you an idea, when we say we’re going to go out and photograph the wildlife, these are the roads we travel on. They’re smaller and you can imagine the endless stops and opportunities along the way. The roads themselves are the attraction since there’s so much wildlife on and around them. Most of the monkey photos I took were when we pulled off on a road just like this and looked up.


So, if you bring someone with you the staff at Crocodile Bay will be happy to arrange some tours for them to see the wildlife or other locations. Or they can indulge in the onsite spa or pool, and relax while we’re gone.

Can I Stay Longer?

Absolutely! I’d highly encourage you to stay another day or two – don’t make this trip for just the workshop days. I’d try to plan 6-7 days if you can swing it. It’s a truly beautiful place. Also, if you’re into fishing it is one of the best fishing destinations in the world. Extra nights will cost you $209.05 per person, per night, based on double occupancy

One day we rode bikes from the resort into town (it’s only a 10 minute bike ride). It’s a great ride along the water. You’ll see fishing boats, and even the occasional bar along the way 🙂

Is it Safe?

Yes. The entire area is very safe. At no point during our trip did we ever feel even the slightest bit worried about anything. The locals were SO incredibly nice. We didn’t speak Spanish and everyone was very helpful to us as we walked through town one afternoon.

If it means anything, my wife and kids will be there as well, and I don’t have the slightest bit of apprehension about their safety both on the resort grounds, and while traveling around seeing the sights.

How Do I Sign Up?

Send us a message right here and we’ll get you signed up 🙂 Remember it’s first come, first served. It’s only 10 people and will sell out. Pura vida! (that’s Spanish for “Pure Life”) 🙂


  1. John Lemen


    I see a ton of good information but no dates. When is this trip scheduled?

  2. Betty Girardeau

    I was all ready to sign up and then found that you had some issues with the date. What are they?

  3. Terri C

    Can’t make it this year – heading in the opposite direction to Isle Royale National Park. I’ll watch for future workshops, though.

    P.S. You may want to use the correct weather: Friday Afternoon – Depending on “whether” and previous shoot.

  4. John Swarce

    Argh, you’re killing me, Matt! I’d love to on something like this (and it’s right on my birthday, too!), but I’m going to Photoshop World in April, and on a cruise in June (30th wedding anniversary). Maybe next year. This looks to be an awesome workshop!

  5. Frances Kuelz

    Hi Mat. This sounds awesome. I am so booked up this year. I am hoping you will do this again in 2018. What are your thoughts?

    1. Author
      Diana K

      Hi Frances, We don’t have another workshop planned yet, but would love to do more if scheduling permits.

      1. Frances Kuelz

        Thank you Diana for getting back to me. I sure hope you are able to fit it again next year. I am on Matt’s mailing list so hope to hear about it. Frances

  6. Jay Gosdin

    I have knee issues that limit hiking at this time. I can get around though fine- just no long walking. Will I be OK? Is this mostly shooting from the beach and from the cars?

    1. Author
      Diana K

      Hi Jay,

      No, there’s no hiking involved in the photo shoots. Most of the locations we will literally just pull off the road when we see animals. At the beach locations, there will be some walking, but unless you want to not a long walk.



  7. Terri Dermody

    Hey, Matt, this may sound like a crazy question, but are the animals in this resort wild animals that are not “contained on the property”? Just want to make sure that it is nothing like a Triple D Ranch (in Mt) where many photographers take clients to get easy shots of “tame wildlife”.

    1. Matt K

      Hi Terry – every animal on the resort is wild and free. Nothing is contained or captured. So if you want a challenge, you’ll have one 😉 I chased Toucans around for hours and still barely got a decent shot of one 😉

  8. Mary-Lynne Alberry

    Do you make any attempt to match up singles so we can get the double occupancy price? I’m a single lady…not sure how many other females attend these

    1. Author
      Diana K

      Hi Mary-Lynne,

      There are a couple of single ladies that have signed up for the workshop, but haven’t asked to be paired up. I’d be happy to let you know if I hear of anyone that would like to room with someone though. Also, if you’re interested the price for single occupancy is $4357.85.



    2. Terri Dermody

      Hi Mary-Lynne,
      I made a general reply about rooming with someone before I realized that I can email you directly. I am a soon to be 66 year old (wow that sounds “old”!) woman from Des Moines, Iowa, and would like to share a room if you have not already found someone-:)!

      1. Mary-Lynne Alberry

        Oh Terri that would be soooo perfect…I’m 66 and from Omaha Nebraska…we are practically neighbors!!!! This year is not going to work for me, but I definitely want to do this workshop. Hoping Matt has others. If you are interesting in a delay, I’m good to go as your roomie!!!

  9. Terri Dermody

    Hi, Mary-Lynne,

    I am a single lady going on the trip, and want to share a room-:)!

  10. Marty

    Matt, I would like to go and I am not bringing anyone else with me. What is the single occupancy rate?

    1. Terri Dermody

      Hey, Marty! I am a single woman who would like to share a room, also. I just emailed another lady who had posted about the same thing. I am 65…live in Des Moines, Ia, and have been doing photography for 6 years. Love taking wildlife shots, and have never been to Costa Rica!

    1. Terri Dermody

      OK, I am embarrassed . Thought I was contacting Marty and Mary Lynne directly-:).

  11. Chuck Alexander

    Shooting in Costa Rica and attending one of your workshops are both on my hit list. Unfortunately I am already booked to Hawaii during the time of your upcoming Costa Rica workshop. I would have loved to attend. I hope you will offer this trip again next year.

    The earlier the notice the better.

    Chuck Alexander

    1. Matt K

      Thanks Chuck. I’m sure there will be another one 🙂
      And Hawaii isn’t such a bad place to be either 😉

  12. Carol Keller

    I’m a 70-year old woman with two replaced knees. I can walk reasonably well but not as well as when I was younger. I am strictly an amateur photographer and wouldn’t want to hold up the group, but I would love the opportunity to come along. I would be traveling alone. Do you think I would fit in OK?

    1. Author
      Diana K

      Carol, yes you’ll fit in perfectly. There’s no hiking involved in the photo shoots. Most of the locations we will literally just pull off the road when we see animals. I’m going to send you an email with more information.

  13. Anna Glenn

    Yay! I’m so excited…I just made my payment and booked my flight!! I can’t wait!
    Matt, Can you forward a list of suggested lenses/equipment we should bring for this trip?
    i.e. zoom, macro, wide angle, etc? tripod? I have a Nikon D610 full-frame and a Nikon D7000 crop camera.

    1. Author
      Diana K

      Hi Sharon, yes this trip is filled, but hoping to do another one in the future 🙂 Diana

  14. Darcy Pino

    Hi Matt,
    My name is Darcy Pino. I am Costa Rican/American but lived in Costa Rica and basically have been going there all my life. I’ve been giving tours there since 1991 and photo workshops since 2005. I take 2 or 3 groups every Jan, Feb or March depending on availability and itinerary. The trips are always a lot of fun and exciting. I have a bus that seats 32 participants (of which I never take that many) and my driver. And of course, I am fluent in Spanish and know the area very well. If joining forces is something that would interest you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 🙂

    I have discontinued my longtime website for the time being and have created a simple one so I’m still learning how to use it and still working at it.

    Pura Vida,

  15. Bertie Murray

    Please notify me if you have another workshop in 2018 or future workshops.

  16. Jill Bergeron

    Hi, I feel I’ve known you through all the videos of you thatviv watched. We are currently booked to Costa Rica late January, Early February. Dates don’t coincide with your workshop and I’m wondering if my husband booked us at a poor time for weather and to experience the wuldlife. I took my other website down, because I shoot only for myself now. I have been a member of PPA and PPWM – Professional Photographers of Western Michigan. Are you likely to schedule other workshops in Costa Rica for 2018? Thank you, Jill Bergeron

  17. Wayne McChesney

    Hi Matt
    I follow your courses on Scott Kelby and find them very useful.
    My partner and I are taking our first photo vacation this coming September in our own
    Rocky mountains in Alberta.
    I was wondering if you will be doing any future photo vacations.
    We are both retired and looking to getting into landscape photography.
    I look forward to hearing from you Matt and keep those courses coming.

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