Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, April 16, 2012

Macaws and More....

Hola!  What a Day!  Alex picked us up just before 7:00 this morning...  we headed west...  Carara Nat'l Park was our first destination.  That's real close to the Gulf of Nicova....  and the Pacific Ocean.

We got to the park around 8am...  and before we even got out of the van, a guide came up to offer his services for a birding adventure.

I'm sure glad that Freddy was our guide...  he took us on a fantastic tour....
We had barely started our hike through the woods/jungle???  when Freddy heard the Macaws...  THIS was the bird we really wanted to see...  sure, you can see them in captivity...  but to see them in their natural habitat is truly awesome!

Not only did we get wonderful views of this guy, we continued to see several throughout the day.

This pair lit in a tree later...  they appeared to be grooming each other....  one of several pairs (or singles) we saw.  We thought we'd have to be early birds to catch sight of the macaws...  not so...  we must have just been in the right place.

We saw many, many new species (to us) today...  Some of them are...

 Here are two OrangeCollared Manakins....

 And this is a Slaty tailed Trogon

 A Black Hooded Antshrike

 A pair of Pale Billed Woodpeckers

Turquoise-browed Motmot

That's just a few of the colorful birds we saw.  There were some hummingbirds as well as other species.  I can only say that it was quite an experience wandering through that jungle - nearly every bird we saw was totally new to us.

We came across this HUGE tree...
For the life of me, I can't remember the name of this tree...  frankly, I'd just call him "Methusala"...  it's an ancient tree and the circumference is monster-size!

While we were in the jungle we saw this troop of capuchin monkeys ...

This one decided to relax  and just hang out for a while.

We also saw quite a few iguana...  as well as foliage that was higher than my head...  

I'll probably post those pictures later....

After our birding tour, Alex drove us up (and I DO mean UP) a fairly primitive road to the Pura Vita Botanical Gardens.

This is a beautifully landscaped resort-like area...  lots of meandering paths...  lots and lots of waterfalls.....  even more macaws!

This place also had a very nice restaurant.  We had the buffet lunch, then spent another hour or so walking around through the grounds.

While we were here, at least 2 busloads of tourists... from a Princess Cruise ship that was docked (probably in Quepos) came up for lunch and a tour.

After lunch, Bill & I continued our walking tour of the grounds.
More macaws!  There were several dozen way up in the trees...  they were performing some kind of aerial display...  maybe some mating ritual or something...  but we were just mesmerized by their gracefulness...  and in-flight maneuvers.....  amazing!

Here's Alex...  holding a couple macaw feathers that were laying along the path.  Alex was our driver today...  a young man who is in a business partnership to provide a service for tourists like us.

Of course I have dozens of pictures of the botanical gardens...  but figure your attention might already be dwindling some...

So...  we'll move right along...

To... a place a mile or so past the park....

The Crocodiles...
A face only a Mother could Love....

Bill counted 18 ..... either laying around on the banks of the river or swimming in the river...  These guys were quite big...  probably over 10' long.  I was glad we were on the bridge looking down at them.  

Speaking of such...  I was happy to find a geocache right on that bridge!  Yes Indeed!  Our 2nd geocache find in Costa Rica!

Since we were so close to the seashore, we took a little side trip over to a small town close to Jaco...
The beach here really doesn't lend itself to basking in the sun...  rocky, rough...  and frankly, not especially clean.

But if you can look past all that; take time to inhale the smell of the ocean.... look around...  you can really enjoy the gentle incoming waves and the peacefulness that the sea always brings.

We headed back to Cuidad Colon...  got into a tremendous thunderstorm.....  rain just poured down!

But...  Alex got us home safe and sound.

What a great day!  Certainly a day to remember!

That's All for Now....


  1. Wow ! Exciting day it was. Love the beautiful birds !

  2. You have an all-amazing experience. This also tells me what all the "common resort-tourists" are missing out on. Go on your own and make your own plans. That's how we like it! Great pictures!!

  3. that area has always been on my bucket list for a visit and some bird watching... thanks for sharing!

  4. Nothing beats living amongst the local folks when traveling. So few visitors really experience their trips entirely...they only scratch the surface. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Wow, what spectacular birds! It sounds like you're having a wonderful time.

  6. What an incredible experience and post. I am so envious! I have heard Costa Rica is amazing for birding and you have just proved it. And the rest of the wildlife and gardens! I look forward to seeing more pictures.

    By the way, the name of that large, very old tree is... Phillip.