Bahía de los Piratas

Bahia de los Piratas is a hidden gem in Guanacaste; not many people know of it’s existence, and those who know talk about just how incredible it is. So it is not surprising that when To The Wonder’s workshop called “Estrellas y Piratas”, I signed up right away. I wanted to see it with my own eyes, and take some pictures that I would remember forever.

It was a long ride, lasting about 5 hours from San Rafael de Alajuela. Luckily, our driver Memo is very knowledgeable and kind, so the ride was in no sense bad. We did rest for about one hour after arriving to the hotel, before going to the beach to try our luck with the sunset. Better to be in shape, otherwise one could slip into the water.

So at 5:00 pm, we were at the beach with Luis Solano Pochet, Alvaro Cubero and Adrian Zamora. The tide was still high, so a few of us got their boots wet early on, while the rest were more cautious and stayed farther away from the shoreline. We set up our tripods, wide angle lenses and Neutral Density filters, hoping to get nice water trails from the waves as they crashed into the rocks. Sadly the typical sunset coloration did not appear at all, all we had to work with was a dull gray sky. That also meant that we could not see any stars at all during the night. But the only thing that means is that I gotta return to this place.

On the next day, we were ready at the beach by 5:00 am. We set our gear for the sunrise, but again the sun failed to deliver the incredible colors we were hoping for. Nature is unpredictable. Still the lighting got interesting at 6:00 am, illuminating some of the rocks with golden color, as well as one of the islands, which is covered in a dense forest. I tried my luck with a zoom lens, and got an interesting picture of water as it rebounded out of one island.


The waves were low, but they crashed onto the rocky shore with enough force to slightly move the tripod and camera


The coming and going of the tides creates small crevices and passages through the rock and sand. Everyday the landscape looks different.


Just a few meters from the place above, this other formation appears, with bare rock that is a lot darker.


These rocks showed leading lines, which I can only wonder how they came to be. The rock is pretty hard, so it can’t be carved so easily.


Blue hour shot with a small wood piece that was most probably brought by the early morning rising tide.


Just the moment prior to having my feet soaked in seawater. But the joy of photographing landscapes is more powerful than any inconvenience.


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