The El Silencio Lodge & Reserve is a very special and unique place! And I say that having spent nights in more than 45 lodges & hotels in Costa Rica. For service, food, room quality, and the natural surroundings it is definitely now in my top 3 favorite lodges and maybe even my #1 favorite! (Remember – different lodges have different priorities!) And also it is my most expensive! 🙂 But with waterfalls like La Promesa at right near your cabin, it is worth almost any price! 🙂 And of course nothing is perfect . . .
My only two complaints at checkout were that the bathroom sink drained slowly because the stopper was installed incorrectly (CR is not famous for great plumbers) and the gourmet chef who served great food served me limp, lightly cooked bacon. Bacon must be crisp in my book! 🙂 Though, in his defense, the night I asked for a well-done steak, he did that very well! 🙂 And I had not specifically asked for the bacon to be crispy! (Had I, it probably would have been! Never assume nothin’!))
I mainly walked, but they have golf carts and drivers who will pick you up anytime, day or night and take you anywhere on campus free of charge! They also have two fleets of bicycles you can use for free, with a handful actually electric! Then they have several vans to take you off-campus to outside waterfalls or other attractions like Poas Volcano, two national parks, birding trips as far as Cañon Negro included with the cost of a guide for the trip. But believe me – there’s enough to do on campus to fill a week easily and their 3 beautiful waterfalls are as good or better than the two outside ones I paid extra to see! But still glad I saw them!
With nature my focus, I don’t get a lot of hotel shots, but here are a few with a separate gallery for my room or villa shots . . .
I have not always made trees a priority when capturing nature photos, but I must in the future! They are the giants of nature! Along with being beauties, like the fern trees and some flowering trees! I didn’t do the best job this time, since around some of the waterfalls are some of the biggest and most beautiful trees and I was just focusing on the falls. A new goal for the future! 🙂 Most of these were around the lodge. —CLICK an image to enlarge . . .
I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.
—Henry David Thoreau
I need to add a Trees Gallery. For now my FLORA & FOREST Gallery will have to do (with a few trees in it). And several of my “Trip Galleries” have tree photos.
Some wonder what I do with a whole week at one of these very remote nature lodges I visit all over Costa Rica – well, a week is almost never enough time for me to see, experience and photograph all there is in these natural wonders! First priority at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve was waterfalls, then birds, butterflies, and on it goes through nature! Today’s collection is some of those little things like an ear-shaped lichen or a fiddlehead – the furled fronds of a young fern that were the inspiration of some of the colorful Oxcart designs used in this lodge and on the famous Oxcarts of Costa Rica. Enjoy a slide show of those and 23 other designs from nature . . .
Lichens, Leaves & Nature Things!
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. —John Lubbock
It was raining every night at El Silencio Lodge, so waiting would not have helped! 🙂 But I enjoy night hikes that are provided in most Costa Rica wilderness lodges and you do see thing not normally seen in the day time. We saw less on this one because of the rain and that also made photography with only a cell phone not super good, but here’s 6 shots that are samples of even more we would have seen if not raining. Daniel was my guide on this hike and he included two miradors (vistas) which were interesting at night and sorry I did not try to photograph the views, though again the rain made it more difficult with less moonlight and no stars. CLICK image to enlarge . . .
“Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world.” ~John Muir
You might also like my Amphibians Gallery, most of which were photographed on Night Hikes all over Costa Rica! 🙂
I got photos of only 5 species of butterflies during my week at El Silencio Lodge and Reserve, all new to me and difficult to identify – with 2 still unidentified! I also saw a lot of Blue Morphos and Yellows but simply too fast-moving – never stopping for a photo! CLICK an image to see it larger.
After breakfast this morning walking back to my villa, I got one more species, not new to me, but upping my photo count to 16 here this trip. It is the Common Chlorospingus (link to eBird article) and he used to be called a “Common Bush Tanager.” There was a flock of them along the main road flitting from tree to tree.
I’m now packing and will leave around 10:30, back to Atenas!
Here’s 12 birds I photographed at El Silencio Lodge and Reserve in addition to the 3 hummingbirds shared yesterday. Of the 15 I photographed, 4 are lifers or first-time I’ve seen that species. Then there were others not photographed like the red-tailed hawk flying overhead and a Black and White Warbler. And my main reason for coming here was the waterfalls! 🙂 So it has been a very good week and I go home tomorrow morning (Saturday) to continue my lesser adventures in Atenas, but will continue sharing photos from this excellent trip.
And the lifers? They are the Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, Blackburnian Warbler, Scintillant Hummingbird, and the Black-bellied Hummingbird. I showed the two hummingbirds in a post yesterday. And the reason the Brushfinch is in a girl’s hand, he had just flown into one of the lodge office’s plate-glass windows and was still in shock. He eventually flew off.
I highly recommend El Silencio Lodge & Reserve and though it is expensive, it is well-worth what they charge! And I am not finished sharing photos from this trip, so expect more for the next few days! 🙂
The El Silencio Hummingbird Garden is like mine, no feeders, just flowers. And also like mine, there is a dominant hummingbird species that chases many of the others away from the garden and they just go to other flowers on the grounds. I only found three species in the official Hummingbird Garden, though I saw, but did not photograph, others around the grounds. Their dominant bird here is the Purple-throated Mountain Gem, but the tiny Scintillant and the Black-bellied Hummingbirds seem to hang in there with the Mountain Gems! And I photographed bees here! 🙂
CLICK an image to see larger:
I still have 10 other bird species I photographed and hope to post soon. See also my CR Birds photo gallery for all I have photographed here in 5.5 years. The Black-bellied Hummingbird and Scintillant are “lifers” for me and I got 2 other lifers in the next batch of 10 birds I will post soon. 4 lifers in one trip is very good now with my CR count up to 349! 🙂