OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK TOUR DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2024

Photo Tour Testimonials

"I recently spent six days on a private landscape photography trip in Costa Rica with Scott and his local guide Jason.  Frankly, I don't know why more photographers don't go to Costa Rica for landscape photography as it is a country with many different climatic zones and many different types of unspoiled forests, lakes, streams and waterfalls.  In six days we barely scratched the surface.  Scott's trips are in fact the only ones I know of that treat Costa Rica as a destination primarily for landscape rather than wildlife photography. 

Since Scott lives in Costa Rica six months out of the year and has many local contacts, he is very familiar with the areas and can get you to both well-known as well as off-the-beaten-track locations and he packs a lot of shooting into each day.  Since I was working mostly in infrared, I spent a lot of time looking for scenes that would photograph well in IR and Scott and Jason were very patient and bent over backwards to make my days productive.  They were also great traveling companions and we had a lot of fun traveling between locations.  Some locations were a little physically demanding, so it does help to be in reasonably good shape but they were definitely worth the effort.

~ Jonathan S. | Massachusetts

"For reasons of time, vacations and economy, I took three day tours with Scott - The Palouse, Ancient Lakes and White River Falls.  They were very beautiful places and each one was very different.  I chose the places according to the website, and I don't regret it.  Since I first had contact with Scott, he sent me all the recommendations as well as advice on where to stay.  He is a very professional, punctual and helpful person.  I also had the opportunity to learn and get more out of my camera in terms of focus, light and photographic art.  I highly recommend Scott." 

~ Susana T. | Washington, DC

"We spent 9 days with Scott and Jason in Costa Rica.  My wife and I were celebrating a milestone anniversary – I love adventure photography and she loves the views we get when doing it!  We did the ‘Pura Vida’ tour to start (arriving in Liberia), then added an extension that brought us inland and eventually left through San Jose.  We did a private tour.  We had an absolutely lovely time and would like to share some of our experience with you!
 

Planning:  There was extensive pre-trip planning involved.  We discussed what we liked, what we wanted to see, and how intense we wanted the trip to be (more on this below).  Scott clearly has his tour pre-planned as you can see on the website.  But even in that, there are (difficult) choices to make – you only have so much time in a day!  We made some decisions up front, and left others to be made ‘live’ during the trip itself.  Scott provided an extensive ideal equipment list, suggested clothing and shoes (bring water shoes!!), and then provided a detailed itinerary that included locations, travel times, sunrise/sunset times, and more!  We felt very well prepared when we arrived. 

Hotels:  All of the hotels were excellent!  They were clean, spacious, and luxurious.  Note that they were not 7* hotels but rather 4-5*.  Considering how much time we spent in them, that was perfect for us.  There were pools for those interested, and one of them had their own hot springs! 

Food:  The food was so fresh, delicious, and as importantly, authentic!  I ate Ceviche every day, ordered every Salsa Picante I could get my hands on, and fell in love with Patacones (fried plantains).  The range of food included fresh seafood to rice and beans and everything in between!  They were able to accommodate food allergies without much difficulty.  We came home thinking we were going to be 15lbs heavier, but good thing we had a lot of hiking! 

The Photography:  This is truly a beautiful country.  There is so much to see and photograph.  We came home with over 3300 photos.  You are welcome to see the fruits of the trip at my website here: www.cutyerheartout.com.  Scott’s knowledge of the locations helped us get somewhere and start shooting almost immediately – he knew the falls, knew the angles, and was not afraid to push my photography along.  It wasn’t overbearing, and it was certainly not hand-holding (though I imagine if you wanted that he would).  The first time I got in the water waist deep with my camera and tripod, I’ll admit, I needed a little encouragement!  We would actively discuss composition, lighting, use of HDR, and more.  He would periodically suggest changing lenses to capture a different perspective.  He also has his camera and tripod in tow, so it was also fun having someone to shoot with. 

Intensity: When you are chasing waterfalls, as we were most of the tour, you have to be prepared for hiking.  Most of our hikes began at the top and we had to hike down to the base of the waterfall.  Some of the hikes were paved with beautiful stairs, and others were dense jungle with stairs made of rock, wood, spare tires, and mud.  Regardless, we did a lot of climbing every day.  That can be tough with a fully loaded camera bag and tripod.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I used every lens I brought (trinity, 105 macro, 35 prime, TC2.0), and had no regrets despite what my back was telling me.  I would highly recommend you do some training prior to arrival as it will pay off (hiking with your pack, stair machine, etc).  Also, the mosquitos/bugs are brutal, if you have that predilection.  We pre-treated all our clothes and wore bug repellant over our sunscreen.  Despite that, my legs looked awful.  At one point, there was blood running down my legs from bites (one of my funniest quotes from the week: “Why am I bleeding?? – this sent Scott into stitches!).

Jason:  Scott has worked with Jason for many years.  Jason is a local (Tico) who is a tour guide, nature guide, and driver extraordinaire.   The driving was not trivial (in time) and had its own intensity (lots of poorly maintained roads).  Jason would also pull over at any time he saw something interesting (a bird, a sloth, etc).  While on hikes, he would point out interesting plants, pull out his spotting scope for wildlife, help us get up or down difficult terrain, and help navigate the rivers when we were photographing in the water.  And on top of that, he is a great guy and we loved getting to know him!

Regrets:  We could honestly have spent more than an additional week there.  We didn’t cover the areas we visited fully, and did not even get to 2/3 of the rest of the country!  I wish I had taken Jason up on the offer to do a night tour, but was hesitant due to mosquitos…I wish we had more time on the coast getting seascapes…I wish we had more time at the volcanoes…we really just needed more time! 

Conclusions:  Our Costa Rica tour was an incredible experience, produced great photos, and was an adventure for sure.  We are not typically repeat visitors to a country (there is still so much of the world to see), but if we have a chance, we may join Scott and Jason on a tour again!

~ Nahush & Sunita M. | Ohio

"I toured Olympic National Park with Scott and it was an incredible experience. We hit all the major attractions, as well as some unknown gems, and the food and accommodations were simply wonderful.

We explored the Hoh and lesser-known Quinault rainforests and their gorgeous mossy trees and ferns. We captured sea stacks and sunsets along the Pacific Coast, at crystal clear Lake Crescent, and near the snowcapped Olympic Mountains. We hiked to Sol Duc and Marymere Falls, both of which are fantastic waterfalls in spectacular old-growth forests. And we photographed rushing rivers, gently cascading streams, a bit of wildlife, and colorful wildflowers, too.

The best part is that the tour was all-inclusive so I didn’t have to rent a car, drive everywhere, fill up for gas, or find hotels and restaurants on my own. Scott planned everything perfectly, and when I priced out the all-inclusive cost vs. booking everything myself, I saved $300 and didn’t have to do a thing!

Huge thanks Scott for an amazing tour!"

~ Shelli J. | Oregon

"Scott took us to waterfalls that were fantastic and unique.  I never realized that Oregon could be considered the waterfall capital of the United States!  I believe it now.  Scott did a great job organizing the entire trip.  He went out of his way to provide us with multiple opportunities to shoot at a variety of locations.  We stayed at good hotels and ate at restaurants serving a variety of delicious meals which was a welcome sight after working hard all day taking pictures.  Scott freely shared his work flow processes and knowledge but did it in a way as to not overwhelm us with overly technical language.  We also appreciated the opportunities we had to do some post processing work together and learn that side of the business.

My son and I had a wonderful experience and we will have the memories of a lifetime.  Getting the beautiful pictures, although important, were essentially a bonus to a great overall hiking and exploring adventure.  Life is about creating lasting memories and this trip checks off the box in that regard.  Every day we started a new adventure that in some cases involved a short walk, some cases a longer walk, but the end result was a beautiful location with unique waterfalls and other landscape opportunities.  Scott's personality also allowed for a stress-free vacation experience. The photo adventure was well worth the cost." 

~ Scott & Mark R. | Arizona

"Just returned from a day tour of White Bluffs at the Hanford Reach and it was literally a life changing experience.  The landscape is like another planet with so many different things to photograph and we witnessed the most epic sunset ever! Thank you for an incredible experience that I will never forget." 

~ Chad W. | Washington

"Thank you for an AMAZING week!" 

~ Carmen I. | North Dakota

"During my spectacular photo tour, I was able to experience every corner of Costa Rica with the best photographic artist, Scott Setterberg, and his professional, efficient team. Thanks to Scott, who showed me how to use creative compositions, filters, and exposure techniques to produce better photographs, I was able to create excellent images filled with rich color, texture, and contrast that permeates Costa Rica's landscapes. Each morning, I could hardly wait for the next adventure to begin... blue morpho butterflies resting on your shoulders, monkeys swinging like circus acrobats through the lush jungle canopy, and sensational waterfalls creating the grandest of stages. We hiked in the lush mountains, bathed in a paradise of exotic plants and flowers, and each pathway led us to light as the chant of waterfalls seduced us long before we ever saw them. 

We stayed in a variety of wonderful hotels, decorated with exquisite taste, rustic Costa Rican charm, and an air of romanticism. There were beautiful tropical gardens, refreshing pools, hot springs, spas, and incredible volcano views. We ate at some of the best restaurants and I can't stop thinking about how delicious the food was! The friendly staff at each hotel attended to us with a charisma of familiarity and one chef even shared a couple recipes with me. I also have to say that Costa Rica has some of the freshest, best flavored margaritas I have ever tasted!

This vacation was an unforgettable experience that I’d love to repeat! Thank you Scott for your excellent work, for taking care of me, improvising and finding solutions, providing outstanding food, lodging, transportation, and extraordinary places to visit. Thank you for everything and for giving me an incredible vacation."


~ Sara C. | California

"I've been back a week from my Costa Rica adventure and it was FANTASTIC FUN! It was every bit as fabulous as I’d hoped it would be and Scott’s easy going manner was so nice. His comments and sense of humor made everything from food to lush accommodations awesome! Thanks for the marvelous experience."

~ Kathleen C. | Washington

"ColorTexturePhotoTours gets 5 stars!"

~ Jason T. | Florida

"This was an outstanding and very professional experience. Highly recommended."

~ Herman R. | Illinois

"Top notch!  Gorgeous locations; nice, clean accommodations; delicious food.  I really appreciated being picked up at the airport.  Scott's photo
instruction helped tremendously and Jason is a fun nature guide with so much information about Costa Rica."

~ Charles M. | Wisconsin

"Our photo tour was absolutely incredible!  Every day was planned to perfection, and the national parks and waterfalls were all so different and stunningly beautiful. Each hotel was fantastic with immaculately manicured gardens filled with tropical plants and flowers, and the food was SO delicious!  We saw a group of monkeys, several coatis, a sloth, colorful frogs and lizards, and tons of birds and Blue Morpho butterflies. Our transportation was comfortable and our nature guide, Jason, was great!  He spoke perfect English and knew so much about all the plants, wildlife, and history of the different areas we explored. Scott's photography tips were spot-on and our images improved dramatically. Oh yeah, our gift bags and relaxing in the hot springs put a cherry on top! Thank you so much for such an amazing experience. We are telling all our photographer friends that ColorTexturePhotoTours is awesome!"

~ Aaron & Sophia M. | California

"Exceeded my expectations.  I'm considering a future trip."

~ Jonathan R. | New Mexico

"Thank you! My heart is filled with the healing splendor of nature and a wonderful reminder of how easy it is to simply connect to Source."

~ Sylvia S. | New York
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