Flowers in Tortuguero

I know that the flowers I show from different Costa Rica locations are often the same species but they are all different to me with each individual flower a particular work of art with its own personality! So here’s a few from my 3 nights at Tortuguero Turtle Beach Lodge – most in their gardens but a few photographed in the wild rainforest where there are especially a lot of Heliconia. Click to enlarge or start manual slideshow. Enjoy!

The Amen of nature is always a flower.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

And that will be the “Amen” of my Tortuguero reports until I finish the photo gallery to send you to and then the book which will cover all 3 trips there. I always have something fun to work on!    🙂    And you might like seeing some of my other Costa Rica flower photos in my FLORA & FOREST Gallery. Or if particularly interested in Tortuguero and the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, then the sub-gallery CARIBBEAN COAST  flowers gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Turtle Beach Lodge

After two visits to Tortuguero at the Laguna Lodge (2010 & 2016), I felt I needed a change or to at least see what one of the other lodges is like. After an internet search I chose Turtle Beach Lodge. Two out of a total of about 12 to 15 is not the total picture but I at least can compare these two and I like them both. Laguna is larger, housing about 300 people while Turtle Beach houses about 150, depending on how many persons to a room of course, but that is the dining room sizes. Larger is not always better.   🙂

Its been 3 years since at Laguna, but I vaguely remember their food being better or at least a lot more choices beyond the typical Tico food buffet at Turtle Beach where you get rice & beans at every meal plus “mixed vegetables” (boiled cabbage & a few other veggies) along with a change in meat from fish, chicken, pork and beef in rotation for both lunch and dinner and one little meatless pasta. Turtle’s salad bar is skimpier than Laguna’s and had more flies. So overall I remember Laguna having better food.

Housing is very similar in both with basic screened-in cabins, camp-like firm beds, and a ceiling fan plus basic bathroom. Both have a swimming pool and beach access, while Turtle also has a pool table in the bar and most of the buildings seemed newer or more modern. Both have WiFi only in the public areas (dining room, lobby, bar, etc.) They are about the same with the same tours, nature and wildlife offerings and jungle living experience. Though Turtle Beach excels on the canoe or kayak option with their private canal.

I would be hard pressed to recommend one over the other though I lean toward my most recent experience with Turtle Beach, being smaller where you get to know the staff better and I easily got a private birding tour that included the guide paddling me in a canoe while I photographed. I did not ask for that at Laguna but it is probable there too. I also like Turtle Beach’s private canal better than Laguna being on the main river. And I stayed 3 nights at Turtle Beach which really makes a difference over the one night or two night stays before! To get the most out of a place you need more time there and that is my approach everywhere now, with 6 nights more common at other lodges.

Bottom line is that Turtle Beach edges out Laguna Lodge in all but the food which was better at Laguna. Now here are a lot of shots from Turtle Beach Lodge in four slideshows by my categories:

My Room

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Lodge Facilities

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Private Canal & Boat Dock

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Art on the Grounds

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The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul.   

~Nicholas Kristof

 

EXTRA NEWS ON WILDLIFE OF COSTA RICA:

A Chat with Nat Geo’s “Untamed Costa Rica” Producer

“Costa Rica has one of the few places in the world where a wild ocean and a wild forest can converge simultaneously with one another.”          ~Filipe DeAndrade

¡Pura Vida!

OTHER WILDLIFE – Tortuguero

And there were more! A wetland rainforest like Tortuguero has many animals and this is just a sampling from the River Otter to the Spider Monkey – a lot more than just my birds! To keep it simple I’ll use the auto-slideshow today, randomly presented and the name of each animal appears at the bottom of photo. This is part of the beauty of Tortuguero National Park – enjoy!

OTHER WILDLIFE – Tortuguero

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“A forest’s beauty lies with its inhabitants.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

 

Turtle Beach Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

BIRDS at Tortuguero

This is not all the birds seen but the ones with a halfway decent photo, 26 photos here of 23 birds – 2 shots of the Boat-billed Heron since one is mother with chick and other the nest-guarding father, two of the White-crowned Parrot because the images are so different, and separate male & female shots of the Grackle. My only “lifer” or first-time-seen bird was the Agami Heron and he was at night meaning not a real good photo. Now that my Costa Rica Birds Gallery is up to 301 species, it is getting harder to find a new species I haven’t already photographed, but thus far every trip in 4 years has had at least one!  🙂

Since my first trip to Tortuguero in 2010 on the Caravan Tour I have liked the rainforest/Amazon atmosphere of living on the water and what I’ve always thought was a lot of birds. Nine years later I have discovered several places with more birds and better food in the lodge, but I still like Tortuguero and will return again someday.  I’ll do a lodge post later and compare the two lodges I’ve stayed in here.

I’m sharing the photos in a gallery format rather than the auto-slide show because you can see the image larger when you click on it or at same time start a manual slideshow. Also hover your mouse pointer over an image to see the bird’s name. Photos are being shown in random order.

BIRDS at Tortuguero

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.

~Robert Lynd

 

Turtle Beach Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Flying From Tortuguero

Knowing from past experiences that the return trip by boat and bus to San Jose is more tiring and less of an adventure, I chose to try flying back this time and not that early 6am flight!  🙂   But rather I took the 12:40 afternoon flight – and here is

The Story in Pictures

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The Tortuguero Airport Parking Lot . . . A boat landing. My lodge “driver” dropped me off here and I walked over to the landing strip.

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The Tortuguero Airport Terminal. 🙂

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Just another bunch of tourists, European & Canadian.
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I love taking off alongside a beach! (Like in Limon)
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Up over the village of Tortuguero . . .
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. . . and over some of the rivers & canals I traveled this week.
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And the beautiful Costa Rican Farms.
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Our one stop before San Jose was at La Fortuna with Arenal Volcano towering above.

 

Sometimes I think I live a charmed life getting to see such beautiful sights! (Even though my suitcase did not make it on our overloaded flight and is suppose to be delivered by taxi sometime this evening.) I love being “Retired in Costa Rica” and I’m still processing the bird and other wildlife photos from this Tortuguero trip – but coming soon!

 

Turtle Beach Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

River Roads

Getting to and from anywhere in Tortuguero is only by boat with outsiders able to use the Tortuguero Landing Strip to fly here by small plane. All week I have been traveling around this rainforest park by boat including my private birding trip in a canoe this afternoon with Ricardo doing the paddling and me making photos!  🙂   One photo below is from that canoe trip. It is a different world, a water world! Tomorrow the lodge takes me by boat to the Tortuguero Landing Strip for my flight out which is a relief since the gravel roads between Guapiles and the boat dock are in bad condition right now. It is only the second time I’ve gone to an airport by boat with the other being at Drake Bay.

River Scene Shots

 

Wilderness is a necessity there must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque The Book is Published

Maquenque Book
Click image to Preview free online.

Or go to the book in my Bookstore at:

http://www.blurb.com/b/9282399-maquenque-ecolodge

A New Favorite Lodge

I hesitate to rank or say there is only one favorite birding lodge, but this is in the top 3 or 4 best easily based on both the number of birds I photographed (53+) and the new birds I photographed for the first time or “lifers” of which there were these 7:

This is also one of the best or easiest places in Costa Rica (the whole world?) to get close photos of the King Vulture. My previous photos were made through a spotting scope, so I was thrilled to have Sergio pick me up at the lodge and take me to his blind on a nearby bluff where the King Vultures hangout and from his blind that he calls a “hide” I was about 20 to 30 feet from King Vultures.

Plus the lodge guides are excellent birding guides and found birds I would never have found on my own plus on the night hike I got a photo of the rare Red-webbed Tree Frog which is on the cover of my book. The DIY trails are excellent also for birding where I got several birds on my own.

The food is very good with excellent wait staff and by planning ahead nearly a year I got one of the 4 Tree Houses as my Treehouse Room for the week – an unbelievably unique experience which yielded all the Howler Monkey photos in my gallery (by climbing up 55 steps to my room). Or see my entire “Trip Gallery” 2019 Maquenque Ecolodge.

And check out the lodge website: Maquenque Ecolodge   a true experience in nature! I highly recommend it for all nature lovers and especially for birders! Just be aware that it is not near anything familiar, a 4-hour drive from my house in Atenas to a river on the Nicaragua border.

¡Pura Vida!

Rainforest Flowers

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” 
― Georgia O’Keeffe

These flowers were photographed both in the wild and in the gardens of the Maquenque Lodge Rainforest randomly presented:

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Yes, there’s an abundance of orchids both wild & in the gardens. Slideshow has up close.

 

NEWSFLASH:  Pope Francis: Costa Rica has ‘the world’s best coffee’  – stated to the new president of Costa Rica at World Youth Conference in Panama this week. And some of the best is grown right here in Atenas! 🙂

More of this rainforest in my TRIP GALLERY:   2019 Maquenque Eco Lodge

Or check out my Flora & Forest photo galleries

And check out the lodge website: Maquenque Ecolodge

¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque Waterscapes

Lots of water adds intrigue and adventure to any landscape or outdoor experience and that is an important element at Maquenque Lodge from the moment you cross the river to get to the lodge until your bags are carried across the lagoon to your cabin while scores of birds fly overhead. Click an image to see it larger:

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

My photo gallery 2019 Maquenque Ecolodge Visit

 

PERSONAL NOTE: Right now I’m writing my posts at least one day in advance and scheduling them for 5 am publication the next morning or future morning. I prepared the above Tuesday the 29th in morning. This afternoon I am scheduled for my second skin cancer surgery at a clinic in Alajuela. It will be “Mohs” surgery where there is a second doctor, a pathologist, running a continuous biopsy until the two of them are sure they got all the cancer. This one is on my face next to my left eye and is a more complicated and difficult surgery than the last one on my arm. But I have confidence in my Dermatologist and will give a report later.

¡Pura Vida!