As much as I love traveling around Costa Rica with my camera, I am slowing down a little this year for multiple reasons, mainly health and money! I’ve lived a long and exciting life already, mostly as a high-energy person, ready at all times for the next adventure! But with much less energy after cancer and having three pretty serious falls last year on trips, I must “start acting my age” in some respects. 🙂 Plus, my savings was cut back a good bit with all the cancer treatments and I’m beginning to feel the tightness of money more, so fewer trips and shorter trips is one part of my plan for this year with enough “wiggle room” to add a day trip at the last minute when I feel the need. 🙂 Meaning that the plans below might get a few tiny additions like the 2-night trip this week just added to nearby Xandari Resort . . .
Here’s My 2023 Travel Plans
2 nights – Xandari Costa Rica Resort, Alajuela, my #1 best location for butterflies and one of the best for flowers! It’s this week! And you can see the results of 5 previous visits by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, 2022, 2020 (twice), 2019 & 2018. 🙂 I will be giving them gifts of two copies of one of my newest photo books, Butterflies!
The Hidden Art of Xandari for them to add to the only complete library of all Charlie Doggett photo books.
4 nights – Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero National Park. This will be my 4th trip to Tortuguero but my first time to this Lodge which is a sister lodge to Monteverde Lodge & Gardens I visited in 2019 and considered a little nicer than the more rustic lodges I visited here before, Turtle Beach Lodge in 2019 and Laguna Lodge in 2016 with a friend from the states visiting here, the same lodge Caravan Tours used on my 2010 tour of CR. Tortuguero is often called “The Amazon of Costa Rica” with most nature hikes by boat. 🙂
5 nights – Maquenque EcoLodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada. This is in some ways my favorite lodge because of the large number of birds and other wildlife I’ve photographed there and because they have treehouse rooms from which I’ve photographed both birds and monkeys in the nearby trees. But for the first time there I’m staying in a ground level cabin, one on the lake which may give me different wildlife photos from my room and I will be in less danger of falling down the 50 metal steps going up to the treehouse room. 🙂 You can see the results of my 3 previous visits there by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, 2022, 2020, & 2019. 🙂
5 Nights – Esquinas Rainforest Lodge which I’ve visited only one other time, also in the rainy season with one of my largest collections of bird photos in a 2018 visit when I was the only guest most of my days there. It is a small, quiet jungle retreat in the rainforests of Piedras Blancas National Park on the opposite side of the park from the more touristy Playa Cativo Lodge I visited last July, also for my birthday! 🙂 This is run by Austrians in conjunction with their rainforest research station there. Being the rainy season, it will definitely not be crowded and again I could be the only guest! That would be okay with me! 🙂
6 nights – Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Limón, South Caribe. This is my annual Caribbean Beach vacation, staying always in “The Howler Suite” room overlooking the rainforest property and beach where I get great sunrise photos each morning plus lots of butterflies and birds and other wildlife including Sloths. It is my most relaxing place to visit and I have no pressure to do anything, plus the food is good and I can walk to most places, but they have their own tour company to take me further if I want and of course to and from the Limón Aeropuerto. I always fly there as I will also to Esquinas in July, near Golfito. My only 2 flying trips this year. Walter will drive me everywhere else I go this year. You can see my photos of 5 previous visits to Banana Azul by browsing through my Costa Rica Trips Galleries, 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, & 2017.
6 Nights – Hotel Savegre Lodge & Reserve, San Gerardo de Dota. And this year I will spend Christmas in another favorite lodge, in the most beautiful mountains with the 5th purest/cleanest river in the entire world – Rio Savegre! And the best place in Costa Rica to photograph the Resplendent Quetzal birds along with many others! Plus terrific food, rooms and hiking trails! See my photos from there on my 2021 Visit, plus I was in the same hotel in 2009 (smaller then) and I have visited two other lodges in San Gerardo de Dota.
So fewer trips this year, but each one comes at a time I will emotionally need it and all in places I’ve been before and really love! I’m the luckiest guy in the world to get to spend my final years living like this in the most beautiful nature places in the world! Nothing could be better!