S: COSTA RICA - JUNE 30 - JULY 16, 2012 vs. 6
FC: Memories of Costa Rica | Harrell Rentz and Eric Hyman | ¡Pura Vida!
1: Thank you, Eric, for creating such a memorable trip after our 20 years of anticipation.This trip would never have happened in the wondrous way that it did without your planning genius. Harrell | GRATITUDE | 1 | August 2012
3: June 30 - July 16, 2012 | Many tourists visit Monteverde, Arenal Volcano, and Tortuguero in the north. Instead, we chose five less-traveled locations in the south: 1) Turrialba, 2) Cerro del Muerte, 3) San Vito, 4) Drake Bay, and 5) Uvita, with an airport departure from Heredia. On our sixteen-day trip we saw 219 species of birds and twelve different mammals, as well as the following places and sights of interest: Lankester Botanical Garden 4 Rancho Naturalista 10 La Mina 16 Cerra Silencio 16 CATIE 16 Ujarras Lookout 18 Trogon Lodge 20 Wilson Botanical Garden 30 Las Vegas "Watering Hole" 38 Pirate Cove Hotel 40 Corcovado National Park 42 La Cusinga Ecolodge 48 The Tail of the Whale 54 Hacienda of Don Miguel 56 Carrara National Park 58 Bougainvillea Hotel 58 Farewell Sunset 72
4: Lankester Botanical Garden | 4
5: July 1: After breakfast with our travel agent, Karen, we traveled to Rancho Naturalista. Randall and Natalie transported us to Lankester Botanical Garden on the way.
6: 6 | 8
8: 8 | 8
10: Rancho Naturalista | 10
11: July 1-3: Lisa (above left) runs Rancho Naturalista which proved to be an amazing first location. Bird guide Cali (above right) was excellent. We saw Turrialba volcano (below far left) and a trogon (below far right).
12: 12 | Feeders on the observation balcony hosted dozens of hummingbirds each day.
13: 13 | Hummingbirds bathed in these pools each evening.
15: 15 | Did you know that poinsettias have tiny white flowers?
16: La Mina, Cerra Silencio, and CATIE | 16
18: Ujarras Lookout | 18
19: July 4 - Arturo transferred us from Rancho Naturalista to Trogon Lodge near San Gerardo de Dota. En route, we viewed the oldest church in Costa Rica from Ujarras Lookout. | 19
20: Trogon Lodge | 20
21: July 4-6: The Trogon Lodge property, nestled beautifully between two hills, is bisected by a refreshing waterway which spills into the trout pond. Our cottage, perched atop the highest plateau, offered spectacular views. Carlos and Isaac introduced us to the quetzals and other birds of the region. Sendero Candelita featured ferns in abundance.
22: 22 | Our cottage offered spectacular views, sculpted towels, and fresh flowers.
30: Wilson Botanical Garden | 30
31: July 7-8: Palms, bromeliads, heliconias, and ferns were abundant in this extraordinary place. A toucan and an agouti greeted us as soon as we arrived. Nana, our guide, introduced us to the birds. We enjoyed lively meal-time conversations with the researchers at Las Cruces Biological Station. | 31
38: Trip to Drake Bay via Sierpe | The Coconut Guy | Boruca Indian Masks | 38
39: July 9: On the boat trek from Sierpe to Drake Bay through pleasant mangrove waterways, we met newlyweds Heidi and Steve. Heidi was traveling with a broken leg sustained on the day before her Cancun wedding. Where the Sierpe River meets the Pacific Ocean rough waters jostled us on the last leg of our voyage.
40: Pirate Cove Hotel at Drake Bay | 40
41: July 9-11: Our dining room was roofed with no walls. The red cottage walls were made of canvas. A rickety wooden stairway led to the beach and a lagoon inhabited by a crocodile.
42: Corcovado National Park Osa Peninsula | 42
43: We looked for tapirs on the airplane runway at a field station ... no luck! | Gustavo was our guide. | 43
46: Return Trip to Sierpe ... headed to Uvita! | 46
48: La Cusinga Ecolodge | 48
49: July 12-14: La Cusinga was an amazing penultimate destination. The stonework was incredible; the views were unsurpassed; the food was the best we found anywhere. Adam was our host; Susannah was a terrific naturalist/guide. We LOVED it here!
54: Visit to "The Tail of the Whale" | 54 | 54
56: Visit to the Hacienda of Don Miguel
57: Susannah guided us on the Mora Trail which featured unusual fungi and ancient trees. She introduced us to Don Miguel who offered juicy mangoes as a morning snack. | 57
58: Carrara National Park en route to the Bougainvillea Hotel | We sighted an iguana at
59: July 15-16: At the Hotel Bougainvillea we enjoyed our final day and the most beautiful hotel garden we have seen! | 59
72: "This was Costa Rica ... Part One"
73: If you go anywhere in Costa Rica without your binoculars and your camera, you'll soon wish you had not left them behind. Over 800 species of birds creep, dart, fly, hop, hover, hum, perch, swoop, and warble everywhere you go. Ferns (Harrell's favorite), orchids (Eric's favorite), gingers, heliconias, begonias, and anthuriums thrive. The Ticos we met were always happy to share their country with us. We met many people who seemed to love life and their occupations. Eric and I have been traveling together since our first trip in 1992 to Egypt. Since then, Australia, New Zealand, Panama, as well as Canadian and US locations, have all captivated us. Each trip is the "best one ever." In that spirit, Costa Rica was the best trip ever ... until the next one! As Eric said, "This was Costa Rica ... Part One!" Mucho gusto, Costa Rica. Harrell and Eric | 73
74: Souvenirs | Boruca Indian Masks | 74
75: Boruca Indian Totem | Quetzal Coffee | 75