I found the
beauty of Costa Rica spellbinding on my first visit in the early
90’s. Promoting itself as an ecotourism country is a well deserved
title. Its diverse terrain required traversing the country via jeep,
bus, boat, and small charter plane. One moonlit midnight I walked a
black lava beach to watch a turtle dig her nest, unceremoniously
drop her precious eggs, cover them with a flurry of sand, and then
lumber back to the indigo blue ocean.
On one trip
local guides boated us through crocodile infested rivers which
flowed into the jungle-bordered Caribbean side of this verdant
country. Here howler monkeys would cavort through the jungle foliage
as our boat passed by.
Later we were escorted to Monteverde via an open
air jeep over deeply gutted roads. Its lush green hillsides and
woods harbor numerous exotic birds, plants, and butterflies,
reminding one of Switzerland.
My favorite respite was La Paloma Lodge, an exquisitely isolated
resort located in Drake’s Bay on the Osa Peninsula. It’s location
was so remote we had to charter a small plane, jump onto a local
guide’s boat, and glide down the Sierpe River to its Pacific
estuary. Our guide had to then navigate treacherous ocean currents
and swells to reach the inlet where our thatch roofed resort
awaited, deep in the rainforest.
balcony encircled our ranchos, complete with a hammock. From its
vantage point I watched small toucanets flit in and out of their
communal nest. Brilliantly-hued red macaws flew above in pairs. It
was thrilling to see these birds who mate for life in their natural
habitat. In the evenings an andean pygmy owl slept on our balcony.
Or was it his balcony? The mornings were spent horseback riding
through the rainforest and along the beaches. One of my favorite
moments was precariously walking a swinging bridge with our guide
over a rainforest river.
Scarlet Macaw Preening
La Paloma Rainforest