Trip Report - Costa Rica Adventure
For our summer holiday this year, we decided to head to Costa Rica. With my wife booked on a yoga teacher training course for just over a week, I was on point to enjoy some downtime with the kids, plus take some pictures! We started out with the long flight from the UK to the Guanacaste area, close to Liberia on the west coast of Costa Rica. For all of us, it was our first time to this area, so we decided to add a little time on to the trip and cash in some old Marriott hotel points. We were excited to stay at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, revelling in the climate, hospitality and the excellent pools for the kids.
After a few days of relaxing, we took some time to explore the local area, travelling into the Mangrove Forest on a boat tour and exploring the wildlife in the area. I was excited to try out a new Nikon 80-200mm 2.8 lens I recently purchased, allowing me to get some closer images of birds, alligators, crabs, monkeys and other wildlife, below are some highlights.
After really enjoying the wildlife and boat trip, we headed back to the hotel to relax and I was able to persuade the family to hit the beach and what looked like it would be a fantastic sunset, and sure enough it was! Using a Hoya variable ND filter for the first time (I bought it to augment my Lee Filters), I was able to get one of my all time favourite images. I love the effect the filter has to slow the shutter speed and really capture the movement of the ocean, which when added to the colour of the water, sunset, and the darkness of the sand on the beach, creates a really nice and moody image. I have this image available in my print store if you would like a copy!
With a great image in the bag, I enjoyed a couple more days relaxing with the family before we headed south to the retreat centre in Nosara, about 1.5 hours to the south.
The Blue Spirit Retreat Centre is a purpose built yoga and meditation retreat centre is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile white sand beach that is protected as a turtle refuge. With a series of purpose built cabins, a central hotel plus even camping options, the centre caters for different budgets and the fantastic vegetarian cuisine is served at each meal. It was quite a challenge for me to spend 10 days eating no meat and drinking no alcohol! To say that the location of Blue Spirit was beautiful, wouldn't quite be enough, the whole place is amazing. Although I was on parent duty for 10 days, with the kids being a little older, I did get some time to take some pictures while they played in the tide pools or ran on the beach. We also had some time to do a couple of visits into the local town and with wildlife all around us in the almost jungle, I got lots of pictures of monkeys and giant creepy-crawlies!
If sunsets and beach scenes are your thing, this section is for you:
If wildlife, nature (and a Tuk Tuk driver) are your thing:
Lastly, I also had an opportunity to capture some architectural and interior style images of the Blue Spirit Resort.