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The Twelve Eco-Zones of Costa Rica

Three visits - 1996, 2008 and 2015


View Five Visits to Barbados & Bermuda & 2015 Costa Rica (plus 1996 and 2008) on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In 1995, when our daughter-in-law said we should drive from Baltimore to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, my husband announced that we would go to Bermuda for Thanksgiving and to the Virgin Islands for Christmas. After we got home, and I found that he was serious, I said that I really didn't want to travel at Christmas, but I'd like to go to Costa Rica to see the rainforests in February when it was cold up in the states.

Map of Costa Rica for tourists

Map of Costa Rica for tourists

I knew that in 1947, the biologist L.H. Holdridge introduced a system of classifying vegetation types or "zones" by analyzing combinations of temperature, rainfall, and seasonality. Each zone has a distinctive natural vegetation and ecosystem. Costa Rica has 12 such zones, ranging from tidal mangrove swamps to subalpine paramó, with its stunted dwarf plants above the timberline atop the high mountains. Within the rainforest area, botanists have made distinctions between 30 or so different types of rainforest. The species that live and grow in each type is determined by temperature and rainfall. Tropical evergreen rainforest exists in areas of high rainfall (at least 200 cm) and regular high temperatures averaging no less than 77 deg. F. In Costa Rica, the lush tropical evergreen rainforest of the Caribbean lowlands gives way on the Pacific side to a seasonally dry evergreen forest in the well-watered south, and tropical deciduous forest--dry forest--in the northwest. When I was teaching Science to sixth graders, I found out about the various climate zones and I was anxious to see a zone that does not exist in the U.S.

This trip was taken before I had a digital camera - all the photos were taken with film cameras. Some of these cameras could take a modified panoramic photo. The biggest problem was that in the rainforest it was dark and we needed high speed film, and when we were in boats when it was bright, the high speed film was too fast and photos would be over-exposed. Also all those photos had to be digitized from prints.

Panoramic photo 1996

Panoramic photo 1996

We visited the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica by cruise ship in 2008 in the dry season,

Howler monkey in 2008

Howler monkey in 2008

and our last trip was in 2015 in August (the green season). I had hoped to see turtle nesting in August, but it was not to be. We did have a nice visit

Sloth moving through the trees-2016

Sloth moving through the trees-2016

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:32 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

February 1996 - First Visit

Rainforests and Volcanoes on Film


View Bermuda & 2015 Costa Rica (plus 1996 and 2008) on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

For guidebooks, I used the Lonely Planet Guide to Costa Rica - also "The Essential Road Guide to Costa Rica" which has the bus schedules etc, and was necessary if you were driving to anywhere off the beaten track (before the GPS era). I also had THE bird book for Costa Rica, "Birds of Costa Rica" by Stiles and Skutch., the Costa Rica half of Fodor’s Belize and Costa Rica, "The New Key to Costa Rica" by Blake and Becher (a kind of so-so book) and "Costa Rica’s National Parks" by Franke, which should have been good, but basically was a waste of space.
View of San Jose in 1996 from the Jade Museum

View of San Jose in 1996 from the Jade Museum

San Jose -1996 Feb 18-19

We flew in Sunday 1996 Feb. 18. We did not have to pay for our tickets because we got passes from our daughter who was then a flight deck officer at a major airline. That made the trip very affordable although CR is more expensive than some southern countries. Thirteen days in Costa Rica NOT counting air fare cost the same as 5 days in Bermuda including air fare. We booked the land portion through Pat Hewitt of Costa Rica Travel. 1-800-256-0124.

Initially and between trips we stayed at the Hampton Inn across from the airport for about $71/night. There was a pool, a free shuttle to the airport, and a free shuttle to local restaurants, and free breakfast. You can make a reservation with their 1-800 HAMPTON number, or call the hotel directly. The girls on the desk were amazing, and very helpful. We left our extra cash and passports in the hotel safe deposit box and stored half our luggage when we went off on trips. We each had two carry-on bags. I took two cameras, and Bob had one. We each had binoculars, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, and canteens. We took about 18 rolls of film-5 of slides.
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Sea and Engines out window (and my finger) in 1996

Sea and Engines out window (and my finger) in 1996


After we landed, in the afternoon, we took a taxi to San Jose (the capitol) for $8.00,
Taxi in San Jose - San José

Taxi in San Jose - San José


and went to the serpentarium ($2.55 @), and walked around and saw some of the sights of San Jose. Since my job at the time involved health and safety violations, I took photos of construction sites to bring back to my workplace.
848285966221746-Construction..San_Jos233.jpgConstruction on a San Jose street

Construction on a San Jose street


We had dinner at a little chicken place Avicola Portela ($2.68@ for a quarter chicken combo with a flour tortilla, and a coke)
Chicken sign 2015

Chicken sign 2015


near the bus station in the CocaCola district, and took the bus back to the airport (45 cents @).
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1996, Feb. 19th Monday

We took the shuttle to the airport and took the city bus in,
Bus stop - San José

Bus stop - San José

Looking into a shop from the bus - San José

Looking into a shop from the bus - San José

Market area from the bus - San José

Market area from the bus - San José

Crowded street from the bus - San José

Crowded street from the bus - San José


walked through the street markets, shopped (but didn't buy anything), changed some money (cashed traveler’s checks at the bank),

cathedral

cathedral


did a tour of the National Theatre (which was being renovated, so it wasn’t really a tour, and we didn’t pay for it because the guard at the entrance wasn’t there) and had lunch there ($12.91 for 2 including tip), and
National Theatre

National Theatre


more construction

more construction


walked to the Jade Museum (free)
Ceramic Horse in the Jade Museum

Ceramic Horse in the Jade Museum


which was then on the 11th floor of an insurance building, and was very interesting as well as having good views of the city.
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The Gold Museum, which I wanted to see was closed on Mon., and we got there too late to get in on Sun.
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Then we took a taxi ($1) to a butterfly farm (in the city behind the zoo) call Spyrogyria. The admission was $5@ which I thought was steep. They had lots of butterflies and hummingbirds, but I couldn't focus on the hummingbirds enough to identify them.
Butterfly

Butterfly


Hummingbird feeder

Hummingbird feeder

Foliage and bird feeder

Foliage and bird feeder


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(The 'farm' is an area covered with screening.) They export butterflies. We saw a tape on butterfly culture and there were exhibits of the various stages of butterfly development. Then we took a bus back to the center of the city, had a milkshake ($3.96 for two) at Pops, and took the bus back to the airport.
Buses across the street from the bus terminal - San José

Buses across the street from the bus terminal - San José


We had a pizza delivered from Pizza Hut ($10.59 including tip).
Pizza Hut - San José

Pizza Hut - San José

1996 Tues., Feb. 20th- Tortuguero

We checked out of the Hampton Inn at 5:00 am,
Hampton Inn sign in 2015

Hampton Inn sign in 2015


and took a taxi (which we were reimbursed for) to a hotel a little closer to San Jose. The bus then picked up additional people in San Jose and proceded through Braillo Carillo National Park. The tour had breakfast at 9:30 (gallo pinto which is beans and rice, scrambled eggs, toast and Guava jam, melon, juice and coffee or tea). At that time some folks that missed the bus in San Jose caught up with us. Then we went through banana plantations to a boat, and took the boat to Parissima Tarpon Rancho. The guide didn’t know a lot about the route as he was a substitute and thus didn’t show us all the stuff that the brochure said we would see.

The whole trip, all transportation, all food, all tours and 1 night accommodations cost $330 for two. Among other people besides us on the tour was a Swiss man with not much English although he could speak some Spanish, a Costa Rican couple and 18 month old son, a Dutch couple, a Frenchman, and American couple, two American men and a (Swiss ?) girl. This was a pretty typical group for a Costa Rican tour. We met some Canadians and Brits too, as well as other Europeans.
Horses in a field near the boat dock

Horses in a field near the boat dock


Canals in 1996

Canals in 1996

We switched from the bus to the boat.
Trip to Parismina in 1996 - Bob's elbow and monkey

Trip to Parismina in 1996 - Bob's elbow and monkey

On the boat trip in we saw a white-faced monkey, and some howler monkeys (which we saw many of, and heard them too at the Lodge). I also saw a gallinule type bird that I never identified (Northern Jacana?). I saw birds which could have been Crakes (Ruddy or Uniform), and possibly a Rufus Backed Wood Rail. We had lunch immediately on arrival (meatloaf), and then rested during the heat of the day (we'd gotten up really early). Then we walked down a jungle path, and along the beach (Caribbean),

Water tower From porch of the lodge with flag

Water tower From porch of the lodge with flag


There was too much undertow for much swimming (although I waded), and walked through the village.
Dog on Beach in Parismina

Dog on Beach in Parismina

Beach at Parismina

Beach at Parismina


The only way in or out is by boat or helicopter. It was VERY hot and humid. On the beach we saw two sandpipers that I couldn’t identify, one small and one large and pelicans
Cabins - Parismina

Cabins - Parismina


Then we sat on our veranda and identified (with the help of Birds of Costa Rica). flycatchers, a woodpecker, and a Hepatic Tanager. We also saw hummingbirds, a woodpecker, a redstart or an oriole, a small bird like a titmouse (Dusty Antbird?), a grackle, and 2 kinds of swallows which went too fast to be identified. Our room had a shower, and a ceiling fan, but no plug for an electric razor, and no screens. There were mosquitoes in the rain forest areas, but we weren't bothered at the Lodge. We had fried chicken for dinner.

Then we took a night boat tour. The guides had powerful search lights to find alligators and crocs, but they also ran down the river in the pitch black with NO lights. We saw a small crab (in the water), and some Yellow Crowned Night Herons, and a Boat-billed Herons. They also captured (and released) several caimans- one a good 5 feet long.
catching caiman

catching caiman


Guide catching a cayman

Guide catching a cayman


Caiman caught on night boat trip

Caiman caught on night boat trip

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Guide with a small caimen

Guide with a small caimen


We also saw bats, one bat flew through the searchlight with a raptor in pursuit. The guide said it was a falcon, and I suppose it could have been a bat falcon, but I suspect it was an owl.

1996 Wednesday Feb. 21

After breakfast, we took another river and canal tour and saw the Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Cattle Egret Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), Green Backed (Green) Heron , Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata), and Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), plus anhingas holding their wings out to dry. In the forest we saw lots of mosquitoes (the back of Bob’s pants were black with them), some poison arrow frogs, (2 kinds)
Poison arrow frog

Poison arrow frog

blurry photo of a poison arrow frog 1996

blurry photo of a poison arrow frog 1996

Seen on the forest walk 1996

Seen on the forest walk 1996


and a toucan (Canphastos swainsoni) eating fruit and dropping the seeds down onto the path. We also saw trees with long nasty spines on their trunks.
Unusual tree trunk 1996

Unusual tree trunk 1996


I sweated so much I got sweat up my nose!!

Along the river, we also saw a crocodile about 5 feet long, spider monkeys and when we came back to the camp, there was a huge (3 foot) iguana in a tree over the landing, and also howler monkeys. After lunch, we took the boat back to the bus. Because a bridge was washed out, and there were strikes because of the floods and bad weather a week previous, the bus had to ford a stream. We saw a two-toed sloth. The guide whistled at it to make it turn its head. The bus dropped us off at the hotel (we were late because of the detours and fording the stream, and the bus driver lived in the next town so he didn’t make us find our own transportation), and we had Big Macs for dinner (delivered on a motorcycle). ($9.39 + tip).

1996 Thurs. Feb. 22, Arenal

We got a tiny 4WD car from Elegante, which was about $54/day (45372 colones for 4 days with two drivers and insurance - the colones were about 190/$ when we were there). All are standard shift cars - ours was too small for more than 2 people.

We picked up the car about 0945 to drive to Arenal to see the volcano. At 1045, we stopped at Sarchi,
Painted bridges - Sarchí

Painted bridges - Sarchí


and I bought gifts for everyone,
Folding rocker

Folding rocker


Cocktail server sized ox cart - Sarchí

Cocktail server sized ox cart - Sarchí

decorated ox cart

decorated ox cart


and we had lunch. We parked in a guarded lot, and tipped the guard.
Church in Sarchi

Church in Sarchi

We got underway again at 1321 and after 33 km, we stopped at Zacario at 1404 for about 15 minutes to take pictures of the topiary in the square in front of the church.
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Bear on bum and street

Bear on bum and street

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large_7479084-Parque_Francisco_Alvardo.jpgPlayground next to the church - Zarcero

Playground next to the church - Zarcero

Nativity Scene by the church - Zarcero

Nativity Scene by the church - Zarcero

We parked on the street next to the square and Bob more or less stayed with the car while I wandered around to take photos. Then we left to go to Arenal
Rainforest lumber

Rainforest lumber


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Eight km farther on, we had to stop for roadwork as they were paving the road.
road paving traffic jam

road paving traffic jam


Long distance bus in trouble

Long distance bus in trouble

We passed El Tanquie (a bull ring) at 1615 and the Tabacon baths at 1631.

We arrived at the Arenal Lodge gate (with the one way road) at 1647 (87 km from Zacario). There is a guard at the bottom of the hill so we don't meet anyone coming down when we were coming up. It took us 10 minutes to get up that road.

We had a room at Arenal Lodge (2 tortuous km up from the main road) which faced the volcano. We could sit on our porch and look out at the garden,
Our porch at the Arenal Lodge

Our porch at the Arenal Lodge


Another balcony view

Another balcony view


and see lots of birds, humming birds and butterflies but none I could identify.

Iris in the restaurant courtyard

Iris in the restaurant courtyard


We could hear the volcano rumbling, and twice we saw the lava which the clouds cleared away for a couple of minutes - once right after we’d arrived and once at 3 am, we were able to go out on the balcony and see the lava and eruptions. (I had been warned that the time the volcano 'unclouds' are usually 4-5 pm, 11pm, and 3 am. We saw the afternoon one, but were unlucky at 11 pm. I slept with on eye on the volcano, and so was able to catch it. Unfortunately, neither time did I get a picture. The first time I was unpacking, and at night I just couldn’t find the camera in the dark.
Room from the balcony

Room from the balcony

Looking out from the bed

Looking out from the bed

Bed in the Arenal Lodge

Bed in the Arenal Lodge

After dinner, we took a tour and went swimming in the hot springs at the foot of the volcano There were two places to swim - one was at a hotel with a swim-up bar which was much more expensive. We went to the less fancy cheaper place across the road. That was fun. ($4@). The water was almost too hot.
Another tourist pulling his SO out of the water

Another tourist pulling his SO out of the water


After we got dressed, we went and waited for the clouds to go away so we could see the volcano erupt at 11 pm, but it didn’t happen. Probably because I had my camera ready.

1996, Feb 23 Friday, Monteverde

We left the lodge at 0830 and drove on down to Monteverde. At 1015, after 26 km, we stopped at the Arenal Botanical Gardens.
Plants in Arenal Botanical Garden

Plants in Arenal Botanical Garden


Native Costa Rican Begonia

Native Costa Rican Begonia

Costa Rican plants

Costa Rican plants


Road from Arenal Gardens

Road from Arenal Gardens


Lake Arenal from the garden

Lake Arenal from the garden


We left the gardens at 1104 and circled Lake Arenal. I saw a big bird with a crest by the side of the road, but couldn't identify it.
windmills on the hill

windmills on the hill


Lake Arenal from the road

Lake Arenal from the road


Lake Arenal with kayaker

Lake Arenal with kayaker

Road by the lake

Road by the lake

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Lake from across the drivers seat

Lake from across the drivers seat

After 2 hours and 15 minutes and 31 km (an average of 14 km/hr), we stopped for lunch and fuel in Tiliaran. We had a hard time figuring out how to get the gas cap open.
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We picked up the Tico Times twice a week at hotels, the airport or whatever and I think Tiliarun was one of the places..
Landscape in Costa Rica

Landscape in Costa Rica

Fence by the road from the car

Fence by the road from the car

We left Tiliaran at 1320 and it took us 2 1/2 hours to drive 74 km because the roads were so bad. Bob said it was like a cobblestone street with many cobbles missing. You have to go slow because otherwise you risk breaking an axle, because if it has rained (which it does - this being a rain forest area) you don’t know just how deep that puddle you see is.
Hills from the road

Hills from the road

Looking over the barb wire fence

Looking over the barb wire fence


You can get a bus to Monteverde, but the buses will take a lot of time - only one a day- and the area at Monteverde is pretty spread out,
Map of area - Monteverde

Map of area - Monteverde

so that you almost need a car to get around (there is no local transport). We arrived in Monteverde at 1604 and checked into the Golden Frog Hotel, and had dinner there that night.
Golden Frog cabins

Golden Frog cabins

Bob walking down to the parking lot

Bob walking down to the parking lot

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Our balcony

Our balcony

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Banana tree next to our room

Banana tree next to our room


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1996 Sat Feb. 24,

The next day, we left the hotel at 0636 and went to Stella's Bakery early for breakfast (I had a sort of garlicky bagel which I didn't like). It cost 1240.5 colones which I think at the time was about $6.55.

We left Stellas at 0709 and went to the Monteverde Cloud Forest (admission $16 @). I also bought a guide book, post cards and a map (about $1.50).
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Because I can't walk very far, we went into the rain forest on our own without a guide, and did not hike up to the waterfall from whence we could have looked back at the Arenal Volcano. We went early because they limit people in the rainforest at any one time to 100.
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We saw a semi-tame coati mundi at the entrance,
Coati Mundi at Monteverde

Coati Mundi at Monteverde


and also saw a tinamou crackling among the leaves, but I'm not sure which one. (It reminded me of a schmoo from L'il Abner, only brown) We also saw various orioles, a large crow -type bird with a light belly, a thrush-sized bird with a yellow-green back, and blue (?)swallows. I'm sure if we'd gone with a guide, we would have had more plants and animals identified for us.
Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest


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Elephant Leaves

Elephant Leaves

Bob in raincoat ahead of me

Bob in raincoat ahead of me


Bob's photo of me

Bob's photo of me


We left the reserve at 1035 and we visited the cheese factory. It was pretty much like cheese factories I inspected at home.
Cheese factory

Cheese factory


Then I tried to mail some things at the PO at 1129, but it was closed because it was Sat. We bought some bread, butter, peanut butter, cheese and pasteries, and went back to our room for lunch. (We had a refrigerator in our room. We also ate breakfast and lunch the next day from things we bought.) We also went to the Artesanias gift shop, but didn't buy anything.

After lunch, we visited the Children's Rain Forest, which is at a lower altitude. The entrance fee was $4.00, but they were out of printed guide material!
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They had tree trunk cross section as path stepping stones, and I stepped on the edge of one, and it flipped up, and slid me off the end of it, and I fell on my butt. In the children's rain forest, in addition to the usual strangler figs,
Strangler fig

Strangler fig


and epiphytes, we saw a Blue Crowned Motmot (Momotus momota), (which was gorgeous but no photo) and a variegated squirrel which was the size of a large cat.
Varigated squirrel above us in the branches

Varigated squirrel above us in the branches

horses

horses


Stable area in the evening

Stable area in the evening


That evening. we went down to a nature talk at another hotel (Monteverde Hotel) passing the stables on the way. It is primarily a large tour group hotel and the food was OK but sort of ordinary. After dinner we saw slides of the things we saw (or didn't see). We've driven 16 km since we checked into the hotel yesterday.

1996 Sunday Feb. 25,

Before we left, we took a walk into the forest reserve behind the hotel,
25-0812_00001942.jpgbanana leaves

banana leaves

garden

garden

flower

flower


Who lives here?

Who lives here?

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Bob ahead of me on the trail between banana plants

Bob ahead of me on the trail between banana plants


and then at 1030, we started driving down. The first section of the road was a toll road (120 colones).
Toll booth on the way out

Toll booth on the way out


The distance down to the highway was 35 km. and it was 1221 when we got down to it. There were people on horseback on the road and a lady tried to flag us down to take a woman and her luggage down to the highway, but there was no room in our car. Once we were down off the mountain, it was hot again. We ate lunch next to a river at 1255.
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Approaching town

Approaching town

After we got back (1455), we fueled the car (we've driven 242 km since Tilaran) at the airport. It took 27.48 liters for a fuel usage of 8.8 km/l), and checked back into the Hampton Inn.

I didn't feel like doing any more sightseeing, so we relaxed at the hotel all afternoon and watched a movie with Shelley Long in dubbed in Spanish. It was the one about ghosts. The actress who dubbed the Spanish for Shelley Long had a deep rich voice - not the light soprano voice that Shelley has. Since we had a car, we drove to a local restaurant for dinner. (Tipping the parking lot attendant)

1996 -Monday, Feb. 26th - Drakes Bay

Airport hangers in 1996

Airport hangers in 1996

Waiting for the flight in the hanger

Waiting for the flight in the hanger

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We returned the rental car and the rental car van took us to the airport. I left my coat in the van and had to go back and get it.

Then we flew in a tiny (7 passenger) plane to Palmar Norte.
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Fields around the airport

Fields around the airport


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At the airport in Palmar we saw doves and a Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus). (We had also seen this bird in Bermuda.)and a Nicaraguan grackle (Quiscalus nicaraguensis) . Then we got a school bus type bus bus

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through banana plantations to a dock,
English couple at the waterfront

English couple at the waterfront


and a boat through the estuary to Drake Bay Wilderness Camp. This establishment has now changed its name. The boat ride was somewhat exciting because we had to go through our the river entrance where there was surf, and our boat motor wasn’t working quite right. So we went back and put all the luggage in our boat, and all the people in other boat.
switching boats

switching boats


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After we got to the camp, we checked into our little screened hut.
Small cruise ship anchored in Drakes Bay 1996

Small cruise ship anchored in Drakes Bay 1996

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They had solar hot water.
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At Drake's Bay all food, lodging, laundry, transportation and tours were included for $1040 for two for 4 days (3 nights). At the camp you could canoe, or kayak or SCUBA or fish or swim or ride horseback or sit in a hammock and watch the sunset. They had happy hour each evening, and the meals were family style at big tables. One night one of the fishermen shared his catch with their whole table.
Monument to Sir Francis Drake

Monument to Sir Francis Drake


Then, we took a canoe ride (just the two of us) and saw Jesus Christ lizards (so-called because they run across the water).
Suspension bridge from the canoe

Suspension bridge from the canoe

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Also saw kingfishers again. Bob went and poked around in the tide pools along the shore, and I went swimming. There were three spider monkeys that hung around the camp which were pretty tame. We had to be sure to keep our doors shut as they were pretty mischevous and would get into your stuff if they could. At
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Drakes Bay we saw both Black Vultures - lot of them, and Turkey Vultures. The Black Vultures hunt by sight, so they hang around places where they may find dead things to eat. The Turkey Vultures hunt by scent - they are the ones that circle around in the updrafts.

1996-Feb 27 Canos Island

On Tuesday., we took a 40 minute boat ride to Canos Island. On the way in, we saw Magnificent Frigatebirds (in the air) and dolphins (in the water).
Twelve Miles by Boat

Twelve Miles by Boat


The way they get in to a beaches is a little strange. They come in, and then turn the boat backwards just before they hit the beach, and pull the outboards up so they don’t hit. Then people jump out of the boat and wade in.
wading out to get on the boat

wading out to get on the boat


Bob's hat for sun that I bought him for Costa Rica

Bob's hat for sun that I bought him for Costa Rica


The whole beach was covered with hermit crabs. We had a jungle walk which was supposed to be to see some of the mysterious round stones,
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rainforest

rainforest


but I chickened out and we went back. After lunch we went snorkeling. That was fun, and I saw some fish.
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Underwater at the beach

Underwater at the beach


Sergeant major

Sergeant major

Little fish

Little fish

Angelfish

Angelfish

Fish from above

Fish from above


rocks and fish

rocks and fish


Angelfish - maybe a King Angelfish

Angelfish - maybe a King Angelfish


After I’d done more snorkeling, I realized that what I saw here was not such a big deal, but it was fun at the time.
Beach at Canos Island

Beach at Canos Island


When we were eating lunch on Canos Island, an immature Common Black-Hawk (Butegallus anthracinus) grabbed a sandwich out of a lady's hand, giving her a scratch, and hitting Bob on the head with his wing. We saw flying fish on the way home.

1996, Feb 28

The next day, Wednesday, we went to Corcovado National Park.
Map - Corcovado National Park

Map - Corcovado National Park


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Boat trip to the park

Boat trip to the park


Some English folk who were very snooty apparently didn’t want us on the trip with them, so the camp was forced to send another guide with another boat so they wouldn’t be held up by how slow I was. In addition to Bob and me, another couple was in our group. They were highly indignant at how the English couple had behaved.
Bob with the other couple

Bob with the other couple


Beach area

Beach area


The main objective of the English couple was to see a scarlet macaw. Their group went up to the waterfall, and our group took a hike along the beach to the river in the morning.
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In front of the park headquarters, hanging from a tree over a picnic table were a bunch of bats. We also saw some in tree cavities on the Caribbean coast. We saw white faced monkeys
Monkeys

Monkeys


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and coati mundis (wild). Bob said he saw Violet Ear (hummingbird- Colibri delphinae), and Black-tailed Flycatcher (Myiobius atricaudus) which had nest in a tree on an offshore is land, along with Brown Boobys (Sula Leucogaster). We walked along the beach and through the forest next to the beach, and then swam in the river pool.
Forest pool

Forest pool


In the afternoon the other couple with us did the hike to the waterfall, and the group with the English couple did the forest walk. Bob and I stayed around headquarters and watched the grackles.

Sitting around park headquarters - Corcovado National Park

Sitting around park headquarters - Corcovado National Park


Beach at park headquarters

Beach at park headquarters


On the way home, we saw a flock of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) in the trees along the shore. The other group didn’t see any!!

Back at the camp,
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one of the group, a French-Canadian played with the baby spider monkeys
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Baby spider monkeys at our cabin

Baby spider monkeys at our cabin


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Me relaxing while spider monkeys fight

Me relaxing while spider monkeys fight

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1996 Thursday, Feb. 29

We returned to San Jose in the same manner that we went - boat, bus, plane.
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Boatload of people back to the airport

Boatload of people back to the airport


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29-0935.jpgOne of the stone balls near the Palmar Norte airport

One of the stone balls near the Palmar Norte airport


Although we had a long wait for the plane because one of the pilots got sick,
29-937.jpg29-1034.jpg29-1103.jpg29-1223.jpgwaiting at Palmer Norte airport

waiting at Palmer Norte airport


Bob and 2nd passenger  walking to the plane

Bob and 2nd passenger walking to the plane


and one of the little planes which had a pilot had to make two trips for the 6 of us because it held only two persons (one of each group sat in the co-pilot's seat).
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Leaving Costa Rica -1996-March 1

Our daughter called and advised us that we should fly home Friday because the planes were full Sat. and oversold. So we took the free ride into San Jose to the jade selling place on the Friday morning March 1st (I bought a jade fish for our son-in-law), and had the driver drop us off in the shopping area afterwards. We did our last souvenir shopping. I had been told to get wooden carved creche figures and one problem was figuring out how to explain to people what we wanted.
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We then took the bus back to the hotel
last photo of Construction in San Jose

last photo of Construction in San Jose


and flew out that afternoon. It was a wonderful trip.
Statue of Juan Santamaria -airport

Statue of Juan Santamaria -airport

By March 2nd, we were back
in Baltimore

in Baltimore


We could have identified more birds if we had been dedicated birders (of which there were many). But we were interested in doing a variety of things, and I think we managed to do that

For Thanksgiving 1996, we went to Barbados

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged rainforest volcano Comments (2)

2008 Puerto Limón by Ship

Caribbean Port


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2008 Panama Canal on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

I had signed up to do two excursions - the 7 am Tortugero Canal trip (easy) which I wanted to revisit from our trip 12 years ago and the noon Aerial Canopy zip line (listed as hard) which Bob had expressed an interest in. Both 4.5 hours. But we got a notice that they changed our time on the Aerial Canopy to 7:15 which meant the excursions were at the same time. I asked to switch to the afternoon canal trip and they said that was full. Bob first said he wouldn't go on an excursion without me, so, since I wasn't absolutely sure I could handle the Aerial Canopy zip line (not the height but the climb to get there), I picked to skip that one and take the canal. After I did that, Bob indicated that he would have done the zip line by himself.

Bob's ticket and the letter changing the time

Bob's ticket and the letter changing the time

Oh well

We had to change our clocks back because CR is central time zone, and meet in the theatre at 0650. Some of the tours - like the ones to San Jose where they had a 2.5 hour bus trip going to the city and coming back from the city - had an even earlier departure. Several of the people on that tour left a wake-up call for 0430. Except that the wake-up call software wasn't changed to central time, so everyone was called at 0430 eastern time. Boy were they unhappy.

I changed the computer time, but not my watch or the camera.

I did want to see when we came into Puerto Limón because the Lighthouse Directory said there was a harbor light there, but no description of location. So I was out on deck early to see if I could see it.

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Port early in the morning

Port early in the morning

Eventually, I figured out that the light was in front of the big cranes of the commercial pier next to it.

Harbor light

Harbor light


Harbor light (lighted)

Harbor light (lighted)


Puerto Limón aid to navigation

Puerto Limón aid to navigation

Caribbean end of the pier

Caribbean end of the pier

Vehicles at dockside

Vehicles at dockside

End pylon

End pylon

We had breakfast in the Lido as the dining room wasn't open that early. From the Lido deck, we watched as the line handlers complained that the ship was not giving them the big dock lines, but was sending over wire cable.
Handlers attaching the lines

Handlers attaching the lines


Looking down on the dock

Looking down on the dock

My excursion ticket

My excursion ticket

They gave us our stickers early and we walked off the ship

Dock lines

Dock lines


Stern of the ship

Stern of the ship

Bob lining up for the tour

Bob lining up for the tour

Port welcome tent

Port welcome tent

and got onto the bus first and sat in the first seat behind the guide, whose name was Ivan. On the other side were seats for handicapped. It was
a kneeling bus

a kneeling bus

We drove to the dock. There was a band there
Music

Music

We got onto a covered boat.
Ramp down to the boat

Ramp down to the boat


Leaving the dock in our tour boat

Leaving the dock in our tour boat


Canals from the excursion boat

Canals from the excursion boat


View of the side of the canal

View of the side of the canal


Tortuguero Canals

Tortuguero Canals


Boat landing

Boat landing

small bird

small bird

It was cloudy, but did not rain. We did see a few mosquito's, but most of the wildlife we saw was mammals and birds.
Flowering tree

Flowering tree

We saw
Howler monkeys

Howler monkeys


Howler monkey

Howler monkey


and a couple of sloths.
Sloth in the trees with green fur

Sloth in the trees with green fur


A sloth with brown fur

A sloth with brown fur


Green furred sloth

Green furred sloth


We saw a squirrel but didn't get a photo.

We saw a couple of Jesus Christ lizards lying on branches,
Jesus Christ Lizard

Jesus Christ Lizard


aka Basilisk Lizard

aka Basilisk Lizard


,
bird with the yellow tail (I forget the name)

bird with the yellow tail (I forget the name)


a Toucan

a Toucan


Night heron

Night heron

Night Heron

Night Heron


green herons,
Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron


a great blue heron and a Gallinule and a cormorant.
Tricolor heron

Tricolor heron


Egret

Egret

Egret

Egret


Great Egret

Great Egret


Great Egret

Great Egret


Northern Jacana

Northern Jacana


Anhinga

Anhinga


Male anhinga drying his wings

Male anhinga drying his wings


The boat pilot went onto land and found a poison arrow frog with a red body and blue feet for us to see.
Stuffed frog on the boat front window

Stuffed frog on the boat front window


It was called a Blue Jeans Frog
Captured frog on a leaf

Captured frog on a leaf


We also saw the railroad trestle and while we were there, the little train went across it.
in the distance

in the distance

Looking across the boat to the railroad line

Looking across the boat to the railroad line

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going under the trestle

going under the trestle

Railroad trestle

Railroad trestle


Jungle Train

Jungle Train


Narrow gauge train

Narrow gauge train

Picture taking was not quite as successful today. Either the bird moved before I could get focused, or the camera focused on the branches and the bird was blurred. I got back with about 300 photos (23 of Bobs and the rest mine), and immediately deleted about 65 of them as too bad to use. Then I segregated another 60 as not good enough to show anyone - just good enough to have a record.
Not so good bird picture - Tortuguero

Not so good bird picture - Tortuguero

After we finished the boat trip, we had a chance to buy souvenirs, which I did.
Wooden place mats

Wooden place mats

Wooden Puzzle boxes

Wooden Puzzle boxes

Wooden puzzle box

Wooden puzzle box

Painted wood Jewelry cases with four drawers

Painted wood Jewelry cases with four drawers

Wooden trivet

Wooden trivet

I also bought some coffee for various adult children.
Coffee

Coffee

Then we went to a banana plantation and saw the process there.
Corm at the Base of the plant

Corm at the Base of the plant


Bananas

Bananas


Banana plants

Banana plants


Cross section of a banana plant stem

Cross section of a banana plant stem

bananas growing

bananas growing


Undergrowth

Undergrowth


Of course since it was Sunday, none of the machinery was working.
Machinery in the plant

Machinery in the plant

Shipping containers

Shipping containers

Spanish rules for workers

Spanish rules for workers

fuel tank and the back end of the bus - Puerto Limón

fuel tank and the back end of the bus - Puerto Limón

Alternative transporation?

Alternative transporation?

The guide told us not to give money to the kids who were there because they didn't want them skipping school when the cruise ship was in, so we didn't, even when they brought out a pet sloth for us to see.
Sloth as a pet

Sloth as a pet

Then on the way back to the ship, the bus driver stopped at a roadside stand
Roadside flower and butterfly

Roadside flower and butterfly


market from the bus

market from the bus


and bought a cocoa pod
cocoa pod

cocoa pod


and showed us the beans,
beans inside the pod

beans inside the pod


and lady finger bananas.
Lady finger banana

Lady finger banana


There was also a pod which had a red dye inside that you could paint your face with.
Pods with red dye

Pods with red dye


Pods

Pods


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Town from the bus - Puerto Limón

Town from the bus - Puerto Limón


Coming back to the port - Puerto Limón

Coming back to the port - Puerto Limón


Shops behind tarps from the bus

Shops behind tarps from the bus


Information area on the dock - Puerto Limón

Information area on the dock - Puerto Limón


When we got back, we ate lunch in the Lido because the dining room wasn't open.
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Lido plate - taking a little of each thing

Lido plate - taking a little of each thing


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After Trivia (which we didn't win again),
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Deck of the ship

Deck of the ship

Deck of the ship

Deck of the ship

I went up to the top deck to look at where there were hammocks - it was an area for teens only. Since there were no teens on board, it was deserted
Teen area with hammocks

Teen area with hammocks

People walking back from the shops

People walking back from the shops


Town from the boat with a zoom

Town from the boat with a zoom


We watched the sail-away
Waves crashing on the other side of the dock

Waves crashing on the other side of the dock

Leaving the dock

Leaving the dock


Leaving the shore at dusk

Leaving the shore at dusk


Port as we left

Port as we left

Sunset over Puerto Limon

Sunset over Puerto Limon


We went to dinner in the dining room although the Lido was having a BBQ. I had the
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escargot, blueberry soup and
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Tagliatelle Nuevo. Bob had the papaya fan with kiwi, the blue berry soup and
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cornish game hen, but he had trouble getting the carrots to go down and left dinner before dessert.
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Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:52 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

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