Eye-candy Leaves

At least for me!
A Cecropia or Guarumo leaf with its exquisite shape, color and lighting in this case. Captivating to me.
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort, San Ramon, Costa Rica

A dying banana or other tropical plant leaf
with its vibrancy of change in color, contrast and life/death
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort, San Ramon, Costa Rica
On the Sidewalk
Atenas, Costa Rica

Recycling older photos that may or may not have been used on this blog. For more see

the photo gallery  FLORA & FOREST  that has more than just leaves!  🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Chapel at Villa Blanca

Mariana Chapel  
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Chapel    
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Chapel   
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Chapel   
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Chapel   
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Flowers in front of Chapel   
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica
Oxcart in front of Chapel  
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Villa Blanca’s Mariana Wedding Chapel was the 50th anniversary-wedding gift from former President Rodrigo Carazo Odio to First Lady Estrella Carazo Zeledon. Its unique hand painted ceramic ceiling depicts the history of the Virgin Mary when first introduced into Latin America by Christian missionaries. It is located on a grassy knoll overlooking the farm village and hacienda of Villa Blanca. The Chapel’s backdrop is the 840 Ha (2000 acre) Los Angeles Cloud Forest, with over 300 listed bird species included within a variety of flora and fauna in this protected habitat and serene mountain setting. The chapel, a replica of a 17th century chapel in Rome, features a high beam ceiling composed of 840 individual ceramic plates, all of them hand drawn and painted with high temperature enamel paints. Each side of the ceiling has 15 panels of 28 plates divided in two vertical rows of 14 plates. Each one of the columns formed by the 14 plates conveys a theme allusive to a Latin-American virgin and her country of origin.

My trip gallery: 2017 Villa Blanca
My reviews of other Costa Rica Lodges & Hotels  if exploring this fun country. Note that at Drake Bay I stayed at the sister hotel of Villa Blanca, Aguila de Osa – both are Greentique Hotels.

Hotel Grounds & Vistas – Villa Blanca

One of many vistas from Villa Blanca

The main building seen from the chapel. 

sign at entrance gate

Traffic on the road coming up to Villa Blanca. 

One view from outside dining area. White spot is chapel on the campus.

You can come here each morning and milk a cow if you wish!

One of many hiking trails.

Trail exit to a hummingbird garden

One row of cabins. There are a total of 36.

Greenhouse

There are nearly always clouds in the cloud forest! 
My trip gallery: 2017 Villa Blanca
My reviews of other Costa Rica Lodges & Hotels  if exploring this fun country. Note that at Drake Bay I stayed at the sister hotel of Villa Blanca, Aguila de Osa – both are Greentique Hotels.

My Cabin at Villa Blanca

All rooms here are cabins – 36 of them!
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
 20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

Morning Fog is Common in the Cloud Forest!

Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

Fireplace felt good some nights!
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

Comfortable Bed 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

View out my front door
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

View out my back door
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

Stained Glass Window in my Cabin
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel
20 km North of San Ramon, Costa Rica

My trip gallery: 2017 Villa Blanca
My reviews of other Costa Rica Lodges & Hotels  if exploring this fun country. Note that at Drake Bay I stayed at the sister hotel of Villa Blanca, Aguila de Osa – both are Greentique Hotels.
And oh yeah, I’m home now, writing this Friday night to post Saturday and it will be emailed out Sunday morning around 2 am. I still have several more posts I want to make before I’m finished telling about Villa Blanca, the facilities, the grounds & vistas, a chapel, and a research center. 
100,000 Views is what the counter says this blog passed yesterday with 83 views that day. Thank you for keeping up with “Retired in Costa Rica” and all my adventures and photos! I love it here! 
¡Pura vida!

Daytime Nature Hike

Our guide told us a lot about plants as well as animals.
 I’ll do a separate post about plants & flowers in the forest.
The 2 young men behind the guide are from Chicago. 3 of us on hike.
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Parsa or Synchlora gerularia Moth 
 I’ll research more when I get home.
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Unknown Insect, a little beetle
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Unknown Insect, a little beetle
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica
Stink Bug
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica
Unknown Caterpillar  
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica 

Unknown Caterpillar 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica
Unknown Butterfly  
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Glasswing Butterfly
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Red-tailed Dragonfly
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Walking Stick Insect
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Paw Print of Ocelot 
At least our guide thought so. See three toe prints right of beige leaf.
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

And the next morning this guy was in hotel garden – he fits with day hike varmits:

Hooded Mantis
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

Hooded Mantis
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve 
 San Ramon, Costa Rica

We saw a lot more stuff and he told us about plants used for medicines, not only by natives, but also by modern pharmaceutical companies. Interesting but I will never remember most of that!  🙂

My Trip Photo Gallery:  2017 Nov 6-11 Villa Blanca

Or go through my general Costa Rica Gallery for subsets on insects, butterflies, plants, etc. 
Or see the Villa Blanca Website  And several more blog posts with more photos!

Birds From Morning Walk

Orange-bellied Trogon female 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
 Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Silver-throated Tanager
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Tropical Kingbird
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Broad-winged Hawk
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Yellowish Flycatcher
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Green-crowned Brilliant Hummingbird
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Bay-breasted Warbler juvenile female
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Rufous-collared Sparrow
 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

And of course as on all bird walks, we saw many more than I photographed. Some are too small or too far away or I try and don’t get a usable photo. The last 2 photos were actually shot on  my first afternoon here while exploring, but we did see both of them on the morning bird walk. The three new birds for me are the Silver-throated Tanager, Bay-breasted Warbler and Broad-winged Hawk. Plus the photo of the Orange-bellied Trogon female is my new best photo of that species. Every trip has its rewards even beyond new birds and this one is no exception!  Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort & Nature Reserve

And of course the new ones will soon appear in my Costa Rica Birds photo gallery.
My Trip Gallery on this visit  (being developed now)

Night Hike Creatures

Masked Tree Frog
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Masked Tree Frog
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Masked Tree Frog
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Unknown Frog 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Slim-fingers Rain Frog 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica
Bullfrog   (Really Big!)
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Pug-nosed Anole 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

One of 3 Species of Walking Stick Insects
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

One of 3 Species of Walking Stick Insects We Saw
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

One of 3 Species of Walking Stick Insects We Saw
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Wolf Spider
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Forest Floor Millipede 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

White-crowned Parrot Sleeping 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Reserve
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Obviously this night hike was dominated my many kinds of frogs. I do the night hike every time it is offered in one of these nature lodges and they are all very interesting and very different. On this trip we saw two snakes but I did not get a usable photo. We also saw some other kinds of frogs not shown here, lots of other insects, and heard even more. It was about 2 hours in the dark with our only light being flashlights, even for the photos, which explains partly why these photos aren’t so good. And this was unusual to not see a red-eyed tree frog, but we had the masked tree frogs which I guess you could call blue-eyed!  🙂  We also saw no mammals including no bats, no owls or other birds beyond the sleeping parrots. Each hike is unique!

I still have many other interesting photos from the first day which will just have to come later! This morning was the bird hike and I’ll show those photos tomorrow. I like it here! Not touristy and not many people! Their website link again:  Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort and Nature Reserve.

My Trip Gallery on this visit


¡Pura Vida!

Arrival at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort

Stained Glass Window in my Cabin
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

The One Traffic Jam Enroute to 
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

The View in All Directions fromVilla Blanca Cloud Forest Resort
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Me at the entrance gate
Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

Rufous-collared Sparrow 
 Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort
Near San Ramon, Costa Rica

I have loads of photos I would like to show, but will settle for these “just arriving” shots now. Left Atenas about 10:15 and arrive around 11:30-11:45, had lunch, explored grounds, made many photos yet to show, 6:00 to 8:00 Night Hike and late dinner with two other guys. The hike was great with more species of frogs than I’ve ever seen, a flock of parrots sleeping, 2 snakes, gobs of strange insects, and I’m sure something else. That will be one whole post! So this quick post and off to bed for an early morning birding hike before breakfast. This place is wonderful!

My Trip Gallery on this visit   and   the Hotel Website