Vibrant Costa Rica is operated by Tomas van der Weijden (Netherlands) and Juan Manuel Sanabria (Costa Rica), two passionate nature and landscape photographers that met through their mutual love of capturing Costa Rica’s vibrant landscapes. They are excited to share their favorite landscape locations and knowledge through their uniquely crafted tours with fellow enthusiasts.
Tomas van der Weijden
Tomas grew up in a quaint village, just outside the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, Netherlands, where as a child, he was obsessed with nature and simply being outside. It was on a trip to Japan some years ago that he truly fell in love with photography. After his trip, he discovered that combining his passion for the outdoors and photography offered him infinite opportunities to learn more about both, and challenged him in new and exciting ways - which, even after all these years, is still true.
It was kismet that after his second visit to Costa Rica in 2017, he would be presented with a chance to live and work in the coastal town of Santa Teresa, in the Guanacaste province. Living across the road from the Pacific Ocean for a year, he spent as many (often magical) sunsets as he could chasing the light and shooting seascapes. When time permitted he’d venture out to neighboring towns and other regions to discover the variety of landscapes Costa Rica has to offer.
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Juan Manuel Sanabria
Juan is a Costa Rican Photographer, a lover of traveling, adventure and nature. He started his photographic journey years ago armed with only a compact camera. Over time, and over many more kilometers of traveling, he became inspired by other landscape photographers and YouTube tutorials, and upgraded his camera, skills, and techniques - even winning some regional awards.
Through his lens he is able to capture what his eyes are experiencing and portray it with a deeper artistic and personal touch. And, at times even capturing more that what we are capable of seeing with our naked eye, as with astrophotography. It is with photography that he aims to inspire others to leave their comfort zones, travel, learn new things, and enjoy nature, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our precious environment, in a way that motivates and encourages others.
Some of his most memorable photographic experiences took place in his very own native Costa Rica, camping near the Turrialba Volcano in full eruption, the long, Milky Way-filled nights at the highest point in Costa Rica in the Chirripó Mountain Range, and photographing the Quetzal, one of the most beautiful and hard-to-spot birds in the world.
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At Vibrant Costa Rica we are proud members of Nature First Alliance, and we put nature ahead of potential selfish photographic goals, striving to always respect wildlife over our own desires.
Whether professional or recreational, our impact on the environment as photographers, has the potential to be damaging. It’s our duty to obey laws, post locations cautiously, not feed wildlife, and adhere to the Leave No Trace principles. With every click we have the budding responsibility to show the natural world, and with some luck convey it in a way that inspires others to love and respect it just a little more.
The Nature First Principles:
Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
Use discretion if sharing locations.
Know and follow rules and regulations.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
Actively promote and educate others about these principles.