More Wildlife

Last night I had not gone through my boat trip photos, so my “Other Wildlife” shots (non-bird) missed the American Crocodile and the Green Iguana which are both important animals in the wetlands of Maquenque Lodge and Reserve. And I’m saving the best for last, the BIRDS will be coming soon! Then my online photo gallery of what is now one of my favorite lodges! And maybe I will write about all the wonderful Europeans and Ticos I have met here at Maquenque – not a single other American – all others here are from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Costa Rica. A delightful mixture!   🙂

Click image to enlarge.


¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque Wildlife

Here are some shots of non-bird wildlife I haven’t already shown on the blog other than the monkeys and frogs that got their own blog posts earlier. A real rainforest like this is full of wildlife of all kinds and the photo ops are numerous and I’ve seen more than shown here.


The photos of my main target, birds, is almost overwhelming as I now have gotten photos here at Maquenque of over 50 different species and with new lifers my total Costa Rica collection is close to 300 species now, though not tabulated yet. I am still sorting and labeling photos and may be for days,  🙂    but will soon have a blog post and an online gallery of Birds at Maquenque. That will include 2 manikins, 2 trogons, plus a Little Tinamou and a Water Thrush as lifers plus more new ones for me!

¡Pura Vida!

Howler Monkeys Visit My Treehouse

Yesterday afternoon before I got ready to leave for dinner and write last night’s blog post I had a family of Mantled Howler Monkeys visit my treehouse – browsing for nuts and possibly other food in the trees on two sides of the tree house which is built around an almond tree. Here are a few photos I managed to get before leaving. Photographing up in the treetops is not as easy as you might think because of many limbs, leaves and shadows all around through which one must photograph, seldom getting a clear view of a monkey or bird! But here’s my effort! Click an image to enlarge it.


Life in a Costa Rica Treehouse!


¡Pura Vida!

Night Hike Frogs

Last night I went on the lodge’s “Night Hike” with about 8 other guests. It was similar to most other lodge night hikes and I have learned that my big camera is too much trouble on a night hike, so depend on my cell phone for photos. In addition to these frogs I got some insects and tried to photograph a coral snake we saw but failed at that. One of these is a new species of frog for me, the Red Webbed Tree Frog which has red-colored webs between his fingers and toes. Look close and you can see them. Click image to enlarge.


¡Pura Vida!

King Vulture

Yesterday I went with Sergio to his house where he has a blind or what he calls a “Hide” next to a cliff where he uses meat to attract vultures, particularly the King Vulture. Here are just a few of my many shots:


And shots of Sergio’s Blind:


¡Pura Vida!

In My Treehouse

It is a long drive (4+ hours) to Boca Tapada and beyond for the lodge plus we had to stop for a car repair and then lunch, but here by about two where I crossed the river by ferry to a truly isolated rainforest lodge you cannot get to by car. At check-in were two types of toucans and many other birds to greet me and I was taken to my most unusual room, a steel structured platform (secure) 20 meters above the ground built around giant virgin almond trees, thus my cabin name (español) Almendro. Three flights of stairs and a lot of steps! And so amazing! I am literally among the birds and other tree life! Writing this at dinner as the only place with Wifi. And in the jungle is luxury cream of squash soup, tilapia with risotto and pineapple flambe for dessert.

The Treehouse Up Close

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My 1st walk through the grounds

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What Sunset looks like through a rainforest canopy


¡Pura Vida!

Why I Travel CR

Tomorrow I will begin exploring the virgin rainforests & wetlands of Maquenque Lodge & Reserve in Boca Tapada, Northeast Costa Rica though still in Alajuela Province, yet on the Caribbean Slope, not far from the Nicaragua border. The link on name above is to their website, telling their story. The first video clip below is about their



I have one of the treehouse rooms . . .

living like Tarzan!   🙂

Their WELCOME to Maquenque Lodge:

NOTE: They have WiFi only in public areas, not in the rooms meaning I will be more limited on doing a daily blog post, but I will try! Maybe at dinner?

¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica


My 2019 Nature Adventures

A different hotel/lodge every month except April when a gang from Nashville come to volunteer in the children’s home here in Atenas. 4 lodges are repeats but such great places they will be totally new experiences! I start this month near the Nicaragua border sleeping 5 nights in a treehouse and from there it is everything from Whale Watching to Tapirs and of course lots of birds! There will be new wildlife this year and also its the year I expect to top 300 bird species that I will have photographed in Costa Rica! What a life!   🙂

And you may wonder why I am planning so far ahead? Well, it was not far enough for some places I wanted to visit, especially for next Christmas when my first two choices were already booked. Costa Rica and its best lodges and hotels are very popular and stay booked more than a year in advance.

The links on the hotel/lodge name is to that hotel’s website, if you are interested. And the map gives the approximate location of each visit this year using the month number for when I visit that spot and listing indicates lodge or national park visited that month.

  1. Maquenque Eco Lodge, Boca Tapada
  2. Doubletree San Jose & Turtle Beach Lodge Tortuguero
  3. Hotel Punta Leona, Jaco Beach
  4. Hogar de Vida Children’s Home, Atenas
  5. Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui  *
  6. Macaw Lodge (Nat Geo), Carara National Park
  7. Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela  *
  8. Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Caribe (Carnival Week)  *
  9. Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita (Whale Watching) Ballena NP
  10. Hotel Hacienda GuachipelinRincón de la Vieja National Park
  11. Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park  *
  12. Tapirus LodgeBraulio Carrillo National Park

*The 4 starred hotels are repeats for me, meaning I really like them!  🙂  And this is what it is like to be Retired in Costa Rica, the name of my blog! Pura vida!

For those who know Costa Rica the map helps understand where I’m traveling this year, my first to not go to Osa Peninsula, as I explore new places.


2018 in Review – Photo A Month

One favorite photo from each month of 2018 – And I had trouble picking just one! Thus the header photo above is an extra one from October and the only one here from Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, my #1 lodge this year. 


January 2018 – My Discovery of Calle Nueva in my own neighborhood!
February 2018 – Visiting Orosi Valley & this Mirador de Ujarras along with Tapanti National Park & more!
March 2018 – Red-eyed Tree Frog, Danta Corcovado Lodge, Corcovado National Park, Los Patos
April 2018 – A group from First Baptist Nashville on my front porch. They came a volunteers working in the Hogar de Vida Children’s Home for a week. I’m not allowed to show children faces, thus picked this photo.
May 2018 – Mantled Howler Monkey, just one of many great shots from Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park.
June 2018 – Golden Collared Manakin at Tranquilo Bay Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama.
July 2018 – Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela for nature hikes, art and spa!
August 2018 – Emerald Toucanet, Soda y Mirador Cinchona, Alajuela Province
September 2018 – 3-Toed Sloth, Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica Caribbean.
October 2018 – Keel-billed Toucan on my Terrace for Breakfast, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
November 2018 – Snow Egrets’ Ballet, Rancho Humo, Palo Verde National Park on the Tempisque River
December 2018 – Blue Morpho Butterfly, Si como No Resort, Manuel Antonio National Park & Quepos

Wow! This was too hard to do! My very best photos were probably all in 3 or 4 months, so I will try something different next year, like maybe my top 5 or so favorite photos. I think I will also try to rank the hotels/lodges/parks I visited this year.

Ranking My Top 7 Lodges in 2018

I rank for all aspects of the lodge for a birder and/or nature lover, not necessarily in this order: number of birds and other wildlife seen, quality of guides, quality of overall service, restfulness of room, quality meals, overall ecology consciousness and sometimes the extra services, depending on the place and situation. My 2018 Top 7 lodges and hotels in order of my preference or enjoyment:

  1. Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, north of Golfito
  2. Danta Corcovado Lodge, Corcovado National Park, Los Patos Ranger Station
  3. Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal Volcano National Park, inside the park
  4. Rancho Humo, Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste
  5. Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo
  6. Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama
  7. Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela

¡Pura Vida!

Manuel Antonio Flowers

Everywhere I go in Costa Rica I’m captivated by the flowers! Here’s a few from my recent visit to Manuel Antonio, park, hotel grounds, and other locations, Click an image to enlarge it or start a manual slideshow:

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.

~Gerard De Nerval


NOTE TO OTHER WP BLOGGERS : This is my first post with the new WP5 Editing Software called “Guttenberg.” For now I’m staying with the Theme “Twenty Seventeen” which means my pages still look about the same. Their new recommended default Theme is called “Twenty Nineteen” and designed for the new editor, but does not have the right column I’m used to, so debating over that change, but may try it. The biggest difference on this post now is that the “Quotation Block” looks different and is very nice though it doesn’t seem to allow color typeface like I was using with dark red. But I like the softer quote look. And the “Button” to click for a link to my gallery (or other places) is new and I like that very much. All our different worlds are constantly changing! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!