Pack Your Camera

Capture Costa Rica and Panama and take the best photos of your life


“Costa Rica and Panama are home to a great diversity of wildlife and never disappoints. My favorite thing in Costa Rica is seeing a flock of wild scarlet macaws flying through the rainforest canopy. That is until I hear a troop of howler monkeys echoing through the trees, seeing squirrel monkeys leaping from branch to branch, or a three-toed sloth climbing in slow motion. Photography in the dark and sometimes damp conditions is both challenging and rewarding. "

Ralph Lee Hopkins, Director of Expedition Photography 

Exclusively ours, Expedition Photography program
Each National Geographic Quest voyage offers the services of a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. Your photo instructor is specially trained to assist you with camera settings, the basic elements of framing, composition and lighting, and tips to ensure you go home with fantastic photos. Gaining confidence and skill, you will have the chance to take some of your best-ever photos!

More specialties and personalities
You’ll have the opportunity to shoot amazing wildlife and scenic photos, and you’ll have the services of a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor on every Costa Rica and Panama departure. This veteran naturalist is specially trained to assist you with your camera and the basic elements of composition––and to use his/her knowledge of the wildlife to make sure you capture great moments.

Our Expedition Photography program is designed to help you take the best shots of your life. Whether you think of yourself as a photographer, or just someone with a point-and-shoot, you’ll go home a better, more confident, image-maker.

Top 5 Reasons to Photograph Costa Rica and Panama

1. Explore tropical rainforests in search of monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds, including the endangered scarlet macaws. 

2. Experiment making close-ups of orchids and other tropical flowers with your macro lens.

3. Bring a waterproof camera and linger on a remote, white-sand beach, or snorkel bench the turquoise sea. 

4. Learn how to shoot in the dark at high ISO during our special night transit of the Panama Canal.

5. Join the land extension and visit the cloud forests of Monteverde and coastal waterways of Tortuguero.

What to Pack for Costa Rica and Panama*

  • Camera with high-ISO capability, from DSLR, Mirrorless system, to compact Super Zoom
  • Selection of lenses or a compact camera that zooms from wide-angle (16-35) to telephoto (up to 400mm)
  • Camera backpack with rain cover, and also a rain cover for your camera
  • Consider bringing your laptop for downloading and selecting images for the guest slideshow, or use our on-board computer workstation

  • Monopod or tripod is key for stabilizing your camera when shooting images in the dark forest 

*Note: Photography in the rainforests in Costa Rica will challenge you with fast moving wildlife subjects in the dark rain forest. A camera with high-ISO (1000 and above) capability and longer zooms with fast auto-focus are recommended.


Get even more on a special Photo Expedition
Photo Expeditions are specially designated departures, custom-tailored for immersion in photography—whether you’re a beginner, advanced hobbyist, or serious shooter. Explore Costa Rica and Panama with an expert at your elbow to give you the tip you need, when you need it—and all the time you need to get your shots right. This expedition will feature outings timed to take advantage of the best light—aboard expedition landing craft for up close encounters with marine mammals, or on trail hikes. Plus, unique “share and learn” opportunities like onboard clinics, one-to-one critiques, and inclusive “laptop gallery” events to see the shots of others onboard

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