Though I was planning to ask the gardener at the hotel Monday after I arrive, I’m satisfied that I have now identified “the big tree” at Best Western San Jose. First, my driver Walter told me that he was pretty sure it is a “Laurel de la India” tree (“Indian Laurel” in English), I decided to research it online. One of the sites had a photo of its seasonal yellow berries and I said to myself, “That is it!” I then checked my photos of a female Hoffman’s Woodpecker (eBird link) and sure enough, the same berries and leaves in both photos. Tree positively identified! 🙂
In this age of the internet, I again find that different websites have different information on this Indian Laurel Tree, also called a Ficus microcarpa on some websites, but if you look up the Spanish name, Laurel de la India, they call it a Ficus benjamina which would be Benjamin Ficus in English or a first cousin to the other Ficus, but still a little confusing. 🙂
And, if you are really into trees, see my Costa Rica Trees photo gallery.