I’m showing birds photographed at the hotel the first day and a half since tomorrow I do Carara National Park Birds and want to separate them. There will be more from hotel, like water birds at beach which I’ve not done yet. But this gives you an idea of some of the birds you can see here. Click image to enlarge or start a manual slideshow:
When the lodge in Tortuguero tells me their van they will pick me up at any hotel in San Jose at around 5am and I live at an hour+ away, getting up at 3am to get there is not appealing, thus when I go to Tortuguero (my 3rd time now) I usually use my Hilton Honor points from an American Express Card to spend the night at Hampton Inn Airport. Well, Hampton Inn was full this time for the night I needed and thus the next closest Hilton Hotel was DoubleTree Cariari, at the Cariari Country Club, also called an airport hotel (5 miles). But it used to be an independent, locally owned unique Costa Rican Hotel Cariari. And I’m glad I couldn’t get in the “cookie cutter” Hampton Inn which is an identical building/room as all Hampton Inns in the U.S. Nothing unique or Costa Rican about it except the coffee and staff! 🙂 And the Cariari is the favorite hotel of my new friends from Durango, Colorado.
My favorite transportation from Atenas, Walter’s Taxis & Tours, brought me here midday and I’m enjoying the exploration of a new hotel to me. Here are a few my cell phone photos made here:
Tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM I leave for Tortuguero National Park on the North Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.
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 Ecolodgea 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.
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:
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.
These are the most beautiful little birds and I think this is some of my better shots yet of some of them, especially the Red-legged Honeycreeper & that Blue Dacnis with both shots being made at a cultural stop on our Rio San Carlos boat trip at a small farm which was a joy in addition to these two photos, relating to a simple small farm family. 🙂 Pura vida.
Water birds are impressive and numerous all over Costa Rica with most of these found in all lowland waters on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides. I never tire of river trips or wetland visits because the surroundings are always changing and even though I see some of the same birds every time, they are never the same! At Maquenque I had both a river trip and lived for 5 days on lagoons that attract the same birds in these wetlands (el humedal en español) of the Caribbean Slopes of northern Costa Rica. A birding paradise!