Arenal Park is #6 in the World!

You’ve heard me brag about the forests of Arenal Volcano National Park several times and now it is not just me! 🙂 TripAdvisor just released their list of the “Top 10 National Parks in the World” (Tico Times article) with Costa Rica’s Arenal Park #6 on the list, right there with Maisa Mara of Kenya and the Grand Canyon of the United States as most popular by their volunteer reviewers. And I’m glad I’ve been able to see all three of those! 🙂 And especially to explore the forests that surround this beautiful volcano . . .

The best way to see the Arenal Volcano National Park is in the only lodge that’s inside the park, Arenal Observatory Lodge, which you may remember is where I was Christmas Week and it just so happens, because of pandemic airline changes, I’m going again this year in May! Yay! And to see why I like it so much, see my photo galleries from three past trips there:

But Tonight I Return to El Silencio

This short 4-night trip starting today is because the owner of El Silencio Lodge & Reserve liked my photo book about his hotel so much he gave me two nights gratis. And of course for me two nights is not enough anywhere, so I’m adding 2 more! 🙂 Makes it half price! 🙂 And I’m using my gift now! 🙂

There are two more waterfalls outside the lodge property I want to photograph and as always more birds! Hoping for more lifers. I got 4 lifers when there last September! And I get excited with just one! So it is obviously a good place for birding! Meaning that the rest of this week and probably longer will be more photos from El Silencio! 🙂 I’m so fortunate!

¡Pura Vida!

December 2020 Arenal Gallery

Just in time! The night before I leave on another trip I finished my photos from the Christmas 2020 trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge with more than 50 species of birds! And 5 are lifers for me! Plus a whole lot of other photos from this favorite lodge. For now the birds are presented alphabetically by their English Common Name. Later I will make time to arrange by species families according to my birding guide book. Overall I’m pleased with this collection of photos and moving on to the next collection! 🙂 To see gallery CLICK above link or the image below:

¡Pura Vida!

Wilderness Bridges

The several swinging bridges at Arenal Observatory Lodge connecting the many trails are a lot more secure than those rope bridges we made in Boy Scouts, but just as thrilling! 🙂 Here’s some shots of two of the hanging bridges I hiked over during my Arenal Visit Christmas Week. CLICK an image to see larger . . .

 “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”

― Douglas Adams

Tomorrow Begins Another Adventure . . .

I don’t plan or intend to have trips just 3 weeks apart! It takes me longer than that to process the photos! 🙂

But because I had to reschedule this next trip, originally set for a March-April overlap week, just as the Pandemic was taking over . . . Soooo I told them to “reschedule it around the middle of January, not thinking about my Christmas trip – But anyway . . . I’m shifting gears from a rainforest at the base of a volcano to a cooler Cloud Forest in San Gerardo de Dota, starting tomorrow at the Savegre Hotel and Nature Reserve. (NOTE: their website is under reconstruction and only the home page shows for now.

This is one of the lodges I stayed in on my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009. It’s the best place in the world to see and photograph the Resplendent Quetzal bird. And the coldest place I’ve been in Costa Rica with fireplaces used at night. Since no rain in January, it is a little warmer at 13° C or 54° F average low to high of 27°C or 81°F, but hey guys! I freeze to death here in Atenas when it gets down in the 60’s F. 🙂

The new lodge website linked above is under construction, so instead of their photos, you can see my photo galleries of 3 previous visits, all a very long time ago 🙂 . . .

¡Pura Vida!

Flowers & Other Nature – Arenal

I enjoy photographing all of nature so much that it is difficult to stop or reduce the number of photos I share on this blog and I know that fewer can be better and simpler but here I go again, with only one more blog post on Arenal tomorrow, then I will begin another photo adventure – so get ready for more but different nature! 🙂 And the above feature photo is the morning walk guide explaining the Breadfruit Tree with a close-up of a breadfruit in “Other Nature Shots” below. And yes, it is edible, mostly by monkeys but some humans cook it and use with other more tasty foods. 🙂

Flowers

Other Nature Shots

“Choose only one master—nature.”

~Rembrandt

My Related Photo Galleries: Flora & Forest or inside it Lichens, Leaves & Nature Things! 🙂

And the LODGE WEBSITE for Arenal Observatory Lodge.

¡Pura Vida!

Enamored by Trees

Towering above me, ever-present, at Arenal Observatory LodgeTREES! – – – Just one of so many reasons I love the Observatory! I still haven’t mastered how to photograph the beauty and grandeur of trees, but will keep trying. Here’s a few of my shots and you might be interested also in their own website/blog article The Rainbow Trees of Arenal by my friend & fellow Atenas resident, Shannon Farley. Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus deglupta) were a part of the award-winning sustainable hotel’s reforestation program along with many more native trees in this natural rainforest area.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees at Arenal

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees at Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica

Evergreen Forest Surrounding one Villa

And so Many More . . .

A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.”

― George Nakashima

¡Pura Vida!

And maybe My CR Trees Gallery for many more!

Part of my bigger Flora & Forest Gallery

Lake Arenal Views

Here’s a few views of the big lake below Arenal Volcano. There is a boat taxi that will take you across the lake to a car taxi that will take you up that mountain to Monteverde. The lake is also a favorite for local fishermen. My May 2018 trip here gave me better sunset photos of the lake – time of year does make a difference!

CLICK an image to see larger:

¡Pura Vida!

Volcano Views

I thought I had more different views than this but it is no longer new to me, so didn’t take as many photos and the one I took from the butterfly garden didn’t take so here’s 2 from my room, one from a hotel garden and one from the road in front of the Butterfly Conservatory.

¡Pura Vida!

Other Wildlife at Arenal

Wednesday I shared my photos of “Other Wildlife at Caño Negro” which was a different wetland world on a day trip away from Arenal and the 3 Monkey species seen there were shown in two separate posts. Now sometimes there are more monkeys and other animals in Arenal Observatory, but this trip I photographed 10 species and I’m sharing just 8 of the “other animals” (not birds or butterflies). All were seen on the grounds of Arenal Observatory Lodge, one of my favorite places. Later I will have my trip galleries completed and will summarize here all the amazing wildlife and other nature seen and photographed on this Christmas week trip. CLICK an image below to see it larger:

“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” 

– Charles Lindbergh

See my photo galleries OTHER WILDLIFE.

¡Pura Vida!

Danta Waterfall

After seeing the monkeys but no birds, I hiked on past some beautiful scenery that I’ll share later and on down to the Danta Waterfall. It was a sunny day but evidently the wrong time for the best photographs. For better photos, see my gallery 2018 Danta Waterfall or even the 2019 Shot was better than these. Next time I will come here in April or May which seems to be better for photos. 🙂 CLICK image to enlarge:

¡Pura Vida!