I have posted a few of our better shots that exemplify some of the things that we saw, but this blog post just scratches the surface of what we observed. I will keep text to a minimum so that you can just enjoy the pictures. I am still working out some of the identification of the wildlife we saw, so if you know better, please let me know!
For context, we flew into Liberia, Costa Rica and spent our first night at Playa Hermosa. Personally, I found the town unappealing; it reminded me of a typical rundown town in Mexico, and the area was so dry that, as Pat had told me before, it was "one match away from going completely up in flames". Nonetheless, the beach was matchless and we had a great time in the waves (until some huge ones came and we lost my hat, Caitlyn's sunglasses and her earrings). After that it was 2.5hrs inland up into the lush mountains adjacent to the Tenorio Volcano National Park and the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel for the remainder of our stay.
|Playa Hermosa beach|
|Great Kiskadee - the most common bird we saw in Costa Rica|
|Mantled Howler Moneky with baby on the back!|
|Common Black Hawk|
These next shots are from the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel. This is the nicest and most well run hotel I have ever been to.
|The paths at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel|
|Our balcony view!|
|Relaxing on our balcony|
|Caitlyn feeding a Coatimundi a banana!|
The water of the Rio Celeste River!
We went on a night hike the first evening we arrived, and headed into the jungle with our guide Pablo. We were the only one on this and nearly all other tours that we did through the hotel! Caitlyn was able to (mostly) get over her fear of snakes!
|Northern Cat-eyed Snake (non-venomous)|
|Short-nosed Vine Snake (non-venomous)|
|Fer de Lance! A very venomous snake responsible for most of the snake fatalities in Costa Rica. This one was young and was quite small. We gave it a wide berth!|
|Tarantula! I am not sure what kind, but it was huge!|
On the second day of our adventure we did a hike through the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Here is some of the wildlife and scenery we saw!
|Huge spider by the park office|
|Leaf bug of some sort|
|Female Bare-necked Umbrella Bird|
|Great Currasow -large, turkey like bird.|
|Carmiol's Tanager eating a Cicada|
|The blue lagoon!|
|Caterpillar of some sort|
|Sloth!! This guy hung out right outside the hotel entrance basking in the sunlight.|
|The most common Tanager - Passerini's Tanager|
|Treefrog of some sort on our balcony railing.|
|Common Tody Flycatcher|
|My favourite bird of the trip - Keel-billed Toucan!!|
|Strawberry Poison Dart Frog AKA Blue Jean Frog|
We did an outing to Cano Negro near Lake Nicaragua. It was like being on a safari!
|Caiman were very common along the river|
|Note the caiman heads poking out of the water!|
|Turtle of some sort|
One of the highlights for me was seeing this Basilisk Lizard AKA "Jesus Christ Lizard" since it can run across the water! We even saw it run across a short stretch of water.
Wildlife was also abundant in this area, and I tallied numerous new bird species here as well.
|Rio Celeste Trail|
The last morning at the hotel, we got up very early and went birding. The rain overnight had created foggy conditions.
|Laughing Falcon - drenched|
I wish I had time to tell all the stories and show all the pictures, but there was just too much to include in a blog post! Maybe I will dig out some of the other stuff we saw in future posts. Suffice it to say, we will be returning to Costa Rica, and some day I would like to go back to this area. It was so rich in biological diversity, and the people were very kind. I would recommend Costa Rica to everybody!