We, at Elemento Natural, also love photography: nature and landscapes are always the main photo objectives of our trips, so we are picking for you the places you can not miss in your list of spectacular photos of Costa Rica and therefore we are recommending: the 5 best photography spots in Costa Rica.
1. Cultural city center in San José
If you visit Costa Rica for the very first time, you will likely start your trip in the capital city, San José, which is an ideal place for taking short distance pictures of some of the most recognized city landmarks of Costa Rica: the National Theater, the Gold Museum, the Melico Salazar theater, the Costarican Center for Science and Culture (Children Museum) and the National Museum are all uniquely beautiful and colorful, which will make a good set of photos. On top of making excellent photography spots, you will have the experience of learning deeply the history and culture of this centralamerican country.
If your field is documentary photography, don´t skip the Central Market or the Artisans Market where you will find lots of friendly and Pura Vida people! You can engage with people, talk to them and have meaningful conversations and of course take their pictures; “ticos” are often accesible and friendly so you will probably get a good smile and a good impression, on top of the photos.
2. Poás, Alajuela
Definitely the main attraction of the area is the Poás Volcano crater: not a bad start for your tour in Costa Rica´s northern region! If you want to get a good shot of the crater, our first recommendation is to make an early visit to the national park so you can get the morning light: the park opens at 8:00 am so you will still get a good lighting for your shot. During the hike on the trails of the park you will enjoy the plants and wildlife and the beautiful lagoon.
Once you leave the Poás Volcano National Park, you will notice a spectacular view from atop the mountain, with the greenest country side, strawberry fields and a few traditional houses; just a perfect set up for a surprisingly good photo.
As you continue going down you will reach the Heredia crossing, and you will take the road to Vara Blanca and Nueva Cinchona, to reach the amazing La Paz Waterfall, visited by thousands of tourists that come here every year.
3. North Pacific
Some of our favorite destinations to photograph the beach life and the astonishing sunsets are located in the north side of Puntarenas, taking the ferry boat to cross the Nicoya Gulf, and in a couple of hours you will get to paradise! Once in Cóbano just take the road to Playa Del Carmen, Santa Teresa and you will start getting a landscape of the ocean with many surfers, a pet-friendly beach, and that will be your first photo objective.
Schedule your route and make sure to include the rocky beach at Mal País, where the sunset with its incredible colors virtually poses for your pictures. You will also profit from the different animals that wonder around you and the shells and beach rocks on the beach.
Last but not least, don´t forget Montezuma, where the forest and the river with its spectacular waterfalls will complete you collection of Costa Rica photographs. Take a break, a short walk on the beach, visit the little village, taste the local food, enjoy the nightlife and the crafts of the local artists: in the end you will have a good set of ´lifestyle´ photos, that will make a good fuzz in your social networks!
The costarican caribbean is rich because its afrocaribbean culture, where the color is king and the smiles of its people are always present: the South Caribbean is a must for photography lovers because it gives you a combination of beach, rainforest and abundant wildlife, on top of the carismatic people and the flavorful gastronomy.
A good start is the beach at Manzanillo, with animals, birdwatching, trails and beach: once you get to the ´mirador´, you will know you have to take that picture of the coastline!
Continue on to Punta Uva, another exquisite combination of rainforest and ocean, ideal for some underwater pictures (if you have the right equipment). Howler monkeys might show up for your wildlife photos. Keep going and visit Cocles Beach, the meeting point for surfers, so your perfect spot for sport photography: you can spend here many hours capturing lots of action!
5. Chirripó Hill
If you want to indulge your wanderlust, then you must plan a trip to Costa Rica´s highest peak. However, a visit to Chirripó National Park has to be carefully and timely planned, since this is one of the most remote protected areas, the entrance must be authorized and the spaces in the lodge inside the park and the guides are very limited.
The journey starts with a highland forest and outstanding trees; save your energies and your pixs since you are only starting! You will see from water springs, to dryer landscapes, including the forest of the burned trees, and the ´old man beard´lichens…just to mention some of the exiting photo objecitves in this 14.5 km route to the lodge.
Once you reach the lodge, you can continue hiking to Crestones Hill, Ventisqueros Mount, Las Morenas, the Lions´Sabana or the Rabbit´s Valley! This national park offers too many different landscapes for your photographs!
But the biggest reward will be unveiled once you reach the highest peak in Costa Rica at 3820 meters above sea level! A picture will probably make it to one of the main walls of your house!
If you want to visit this destination in Costa Rica, or any of the others we suggested, just contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you plan your travels and vacations!
Jose Tenorio for Elemento Natural.