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HomeNewsCosta Rica Camera Trap Experience - Come Check Cameras with Me

Costa Rica Camera Trap Experience – Come Check Cameras with Me

Around five years ago after I started my camera trapping adventures through Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring I found myself alone, deep in a forest in Guanacaste. After a two-hour hike through a tropical dry forest I slid down an embankment to a large, quickly flowing stream. The surrounding forest was brown and leafless due to the dry season heat but the area around the stream was breezy, shady, and green.

I leapt from the bank and hopped across a series of rounded gray stones until I reached a boulder in the middle of the stream. I shrugged my backpack from my shoulders and took a seat on the cool surface. Just as I thought ‘This couldn’t be more beautiful,’ a group of spider monkeys appeared high in the branches on the opposite side of the stream and began to expertly swing their way to the other side. My immediate thoughts were, ‘I wish my dad or best friend were here to see this. They would love it just as much as I do.’

As I had more and more opportunities to trek forests and attempt to record their inhabitants throughout Costa Rica, I continued to be presented with incredible experiences. Sometimes the scenery was the star of the show, fast-flowing rivers, volcano views, or the biggest tree that you can imagine.

Other times it’s the excitement of flipping open a camera trap and finding that you recorded something so exciting that you literally have to shout. Most of the time I have been alone for these experiences but sometimes I had someone with me that I could share the moment with and demand a high five from.

Since it’s impractical for my dad or best friend to move to Costa Rica and hike into the forest with me, I started to consider who else might appreciate an experience like this. Are there enough folks out there who are interested in hiking into the forest with me and reviewing camera traps? It’s my favorite thing to do in the world and I think it’s the very best way to share Costa Rica’s tremendous biodiversity, so I’m going to give it a shot.

For the last several months, I have been working the Estación Experimental Forestal Horizontes to create a tourism-based camera trap experience. Horizontes is a 17,000 acre protected area within the Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), a conservation area that covers all of northern Guanacaste. Horizontes is enormous, full of an incredible amount of wildlife, and is one of my favorite places on Earth. It being the site for this activity is ideal.

Here’s the plan. You and a few other nature-lovers come to Horizontes. I nicely greet you and give a short explanation of how the project works, then we hike through two different areas, one forested, the other forested with a lake, and review seven camera traps. I’ll bring a laptop into the field, and we can see how a whole host of species, including (hopefully) pumas, tapirs, and jaguars, were recently standing exactly where we will be standing.

I can’t guarantee that we will also see wildlife during the trip, but I have seen a tapir, a jaguarundi, and something like 30 deer during my last few trips to Horizontes. We can take our time walking the approximately 2.5 mile route that I have laid out.

This camera trap project has many goals. The main objective is to bring you into the forest and use the cameras to demonstrate the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica, but there are many other benefits to this project. The information collected by the cameras will help the staff of Horizontes better manage the property, the videos will be made available to any researcher who can find the information useful in their studies, and I will use the videos in environmental education programming with local students.

The fees collected from the study allow me to run the project and replace malfunctioning camera equipment and a portion of the money goes directly to Horizontes, helping them financially support the huge number of activities required to protect such a large area.

This is the first tourism-based project that I’m attempting and a unique way for the general public to experience nature in Costa Rica. If this pilot project proves to be successful, I have the go ahead to expand farther into the 17,000 acre property. Before you know it, we’ll be riding ATVs and horses deep into the forest to review camera traps monitoring tapir swimming pools.

I’ve had a lifelong passion for nature and wildlife, and I’m hoping that this project is a way for me to share that passion with you. If you’re interested in participating, you can find more information here. The first trip with a maximum of 10 guests will be scheduled for Saturday, July 6th. You can contact me for more information or to schedule trips for private groups. I look forward to seeing you in the forest soon!

To learn more about Vincent’s Camera Trap Experience tour, check out, email him at or send him a WhatsApp at 8497 0083.

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