Newest Book is Now Out! Caribe Tuanis

Here’s the LINK to the photo book of my trip two weeks ago: Caribe Tuanis    Click title to REVIEW the book electronically in my bookstore, all pages for free!  Best seen at Full Screen!

Jumping at Bribri Watsi Waterfall

The title is my fusion of two Costa Rica slang words and is not grammatically   correct Spanish! One Tico tried to get me to add “El” like “The” in English. No. “Caribe” is CR slang or short for Caribbean which I think is used in English some also and the slang word “Tuanis” is like the American slang of earlier years “Cool.” So my English translation of the title would be “Caribbean Cool.” 

Three-toed Sloth this year – Rare face shot

Since my last year’s book on the Caribbean was all birds and nature, I wanted to do something different this year, featuring teens jumping off a waterfall and surfers riding the waves plus Bribri Indigenous People, and of course the Rastas of all Caribbean Culture.  Enjoy!

¡Pura Vida!

Finish Caribe Posts with the Hotel & my Gallery Link

Like with every trip I make around my new home country I could keep posting about this trip and unique things about the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. But I won’t. Here’s some separate little slideshows on Banana Azul, my favorite hotel in Puerto Viejo so far. I may get brave and try some more hotels one of these days, though I have tried Cariblue and Almonds & Corals and they don’t quite equal Banana Azul in my opinion.

Tree Trimming

If you drill down into their website very far you will see that this is a “gay friendly” hotel which implies that a lot are not in this conservative Catholic country. I did not know that on my first visit and it would not have made a difference but it might to you, so I let you know. My casual observation and prominence of straight couples in the hotel indicates it is certainly not an exclusively gay hotel which I doubt could be profitable here. I did learn this time that the owners are two gay men from Canada whom I have still not met. The staff appears to be mostly straight, though can you really tell by looking at someone? I know my masseuse is straight because he told me about his daughter and the difficulties of going through a divorce with which I of course identified.

Anyway, the location right on the beach is perfect. The facilities are very good if basic and immersed in nature, and the service is better than most places plus their food is better than the other two hotels I’ve tried in the area. There is a new hotel in Puerto Viejo that claims to be upscale and have gourmet food which I may try someday, Le Cameleon, though it costs twice as much!

And I know that “Tree Trimming” doesn’t sound like an exciting activity for a slideshow, but in Costa Rica a Tico with a machete climbs a tree and wacks away. Yes, they have saws here, but this is just the way it is done, including when my trees are trimmed.  Hotel slideshows:

My Room – The Howler Suite

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Banana Azul Hotel staff

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Banana Azul Hotel Grounds

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Maintenance Tree Trimming

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Beachside Wilderness Road

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See my TRIP Photo Gallery:   2018 Caribe South, Puerto Viejo  for many other kinds of photos from this fun trip with these Sub-Gallery Names:

  • Banana Azul Howler Suite
  • Banana Azul Staff
  • Tree Trimming
  • Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge
  • Mirador Manzanillo
  • Beaches
  • Surfers
  • Waterfall Jumpers
  • Bribri Indigenous Village
  • Biking Puerto Viejo
  • Walking Puerto Viejo
  • Beachside Wilderness Road

And for more on the South Caribe see these other past trip galleries:

And what about North Caribe?

When you are talking about the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, remember that there are two other parts not included above:  (1) The port city of Limon which I generally avoid with its high-crime reputation like the Pacific Coast port city of Puntarenas where my first camera bag was stolen.  And  (2) one of my favorite places, in the North Caribbean, Tortuguero, “The Amazon of Costa Rica.” I’m returning there in February and trying a new hotel/lodge. See photos of my 2016 visit there and I even had an earlier one in 2010 on the Tour. A real jungle adventure!

South Caribe Non-Bird Animals

Everywhere I go in Costa Rica I find birds and other animals to photograph and this trip was no exception. No new animal sightings here this time for me unless that purple grasshopper is truly different from the other “Giant Grasshoppers” I’ve seen and photographed. But there are some different kinds of shots this time and 11 to 13 different species. Enjoy the brief slideshow:

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Green Iguana male with mating orange color


“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”   

~Jane Goodall


See my TRIP Photo Gallery:   2018 Caribe South, Puerto Viejo  for many other kinds of photos from this fun trip and for more on the South Caribe see these other trip galleries:

And oh yes, today is 15 Sept–Independence Day–and I made photos of the parade, but need to process and want to finish my Caribe visit posts first with one or two more. So the parade is coming here soon!  🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart. 

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

¡Pura Vida!

In the Caribe!

Yep! That little landing strip above is what we landed on, right on the beach south of Limon, parallel to the Atlantic Ocean (or South Caribbean Sea). I got here early before my room was ready, had breakfast, arranged 3 tours, walked the beach to “downtown” Puerto Viejo, photographing people and street scenes before visiting an art gallery then taking a taxi back to the hotel where my room was ready with the best deck view of all the rooms; the only one with a view of the beach. A snack, little nap, on computer and will soon go for my 4 PM relaxation massage, then dinner. Tomorrow I hang out here with tours the following 3 days and then return home.

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¡Pura Vida!

New Bromeliads + A Favorite Road

Bromeliad Pink in a Shady Area of My Garden
 I think it will do very well here & I have 6 of them!
 Atenas, Costa Rica
Bromeliad Red which I really liked, but as you see it gets some sunlight
 thus I hope it makes it. I got only 1 of these.  Bromeliads prefer shade.
Atenas, Costa Rica 

Road behind Banana Azul Hotel in the Caribbean of Costa Rica
The photo & quote that I shared with the mission team today + a Scripture verse with their’s.
Photo made in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica 
¡Pura Vida!

Two More Trips Added for This Year

A follow-up to my earlier post:  Next 4 Months of Trips Planned – Retired in Costa Rica!
First to the Costa Rica South Caribe again:

“The Howler Suite” at Banana Azul Hotel
I wanted this room last September but not available – very popular!
So I now have it reserved for 5 nights this coming September!
Planning ahead sometimes pays off!  🙂
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Also on the Caribbean side, across the border in Panama is the popular tourist area of Bocas del Toro. I now have a full week or 7 nights in June at Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge:

In addition to BIRDING there are beautiful BEACHES & ISLANDS to visit by boat + SNORKELING
Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

KAYAKS available at all times for bay & rivers + miles of HIKING TRAILS for more birds!
It’s the kind of place with plenty for me to do just on the hotel grounds. Great anticipation!
Tranquilo Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama

See this cool video about Tranquilo Bay

And keep reading this blog RETIRED IN COSTA RICA as the adventures just keep getting bigger and better. I will truly never be bored here and never run out of something to do or photograph! I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t retire here! I’m sure having fun! And seldom repeat a place!

And I will keep adding photos to my gallery:  Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Kind of funny: The other day some new students of Spanish at Su Espacio were in class and saw one of my photo books there. One student said “I know him. I read his blog about Costa Rica!” So David enjoyed telling me that I am now famous!  🙂  This blog has only 80 subscribers plus drop-in visitors vary from 50 to 300 a day, so really not that big, but I’m glad that some considering retirement here are reading it plus others and hope it is helpful in your “Costa Rica decision process.”

¡Pura Vida!

Hotel Banana Azul

Too many clouds for a traditional sunrise this morning, but I thought this shot to left of the sun was okay.
Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

The Garden I face from the Dining Room  —   Bird feeder off to the right
Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

This morning I decided to not keep posting so many photos on the blog, thus began my trip photo gallery for this experience where you can find lots of photos! Since this was to be the hotel post today, I will give links to three sub-galleries on the very relaxed and enjoyable Hotel Banana Azul:

Or for the whole trip, go to my trip photo gallery called 
2017 Sept 4-8 — Caribe Banana Azul Puerto Viejo
including my visit to Cahuita National Park & Samasati Reserve

And/or check out the Hotel Banana Azul Web Page
And plan ahead! They stay booked solid much of the time,
even in the “off season” which it is now.
This new caribe gallery is the latest of my “TRIPS” Photo Galleries
where I am working backwards to document my Costa Rica trips
and neighboring countries’ trips in my bigger CR gallery: 
At the time of this posting, I’m back to July 2015 
and the trips started in January 2015!
Almost finished! Travel with Kevin is next!
¡Pura Vida!

A 6 mile Beach Walk

I arrived early yesterday before my room was ready and so I decided to walk to the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo from the hotel by way of the beach and back. My odometer showed it to be nearly 6 miles round trip, counting a walk around town. The next post will be about the interesting town. But here’s a few shots from the beach walk:

I walked from those blue hills around the bay to this town beach.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

The bend in the bay before getting to the town.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

I get to cross this stream coming into the bay and
see the one-lane bridge on the road running parallel with beach.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Approaching town there are runners & this abandoned barge.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Near every hotel is this standard sign warning of undertow.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

A faster way to get to town?  🙂
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Great Kiskadee
One of six species of birds seen along the beach walk.
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Semipalmated Plover
For birders, yes, similar to Wilson’s Plover except
this one has orange legs & orange on base of bill (click to enlarge)
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Non-breeding Western Sandpiper
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Breeding Western Sandpiper
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

 Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Brown Pelican
Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

Great-tailed Grackle male 
 Puerto Viejo, Caribe, Costa Rica

I was high-energy yesterday and did more than I should probably, but doing very little today to make up for it!  Thus I have a lot of photos still from yesterday to share and may do another post tonight. Every new place is an adventure and full of photo-ops!

The Adventure of Small Planes

Our 12-passenger plane from San Jose to Limon
Costa Rica

Sansa Terminal in San Jose
Costa Rica

I sat in the back this time to get off first in Limon.
3 of us got off and 5 more got on for the journey on to Tortuguero
Costa Rica

Taxiing off on the San Jose Runway
Costa Rica

Flying over the San Jose Passenger Terminal
Costa Rica

Farms outside of San Jose
Costa Rica

Flying over the mountains & national park
Costa Rica

Caribbean Farms, mostly Bananas, Pineapple
Costa Rica

Outskirts of Limon
Costa Rica

Oil Tankers keep these filled as our main source of gasoline
Costa Rica

One of several big docks in the Port of Limon
Costa Rica

Typically Tin-roofed house in the very poor, mostly black, Limon
Costa Rica

Limon Airport is a strip of pavement along the Atlantic coast
Costa Rica

And the very nice though small Limon Passenger Terminal
Costa Rica

This is all I can share about today (Monday) but I did a lot more with reports later. I walked 6 miles up and back the beach from hotel to downtown Puerto Viejo. Quite interesting. Photographed a lot including 4 or 5 different species of birds. Didn’t get in my room until 2 because last guests were late checking out. Got a massage on the beach to help me relax before my gourmet dinner of Sea Bass +. Exhausted and going to bed by 8 with a 6:30 AM bird hike before breakfast, then a slow day tomorrow.  🙂

My hotel is Banana Azul  which is very nice and almost always full.