Chorreras Waterfall

20191017_095055-A-WEBJust a 4 km walk yesterday morning – to breakfast(0.5 km) and afterwards directly to the Chorreras Waterfall through parts of the Hotel farmland and other scenery (1.5 km), watching employees arrive by bus, bicycle, motorcycle and walking. A pleasant walk down a dirt farm road that became rocky and steep on the hill by the river and waterfall. Then the 2 km return with a friendly dog.

As the first one to the Falls that morning I was greeted by the barking dogs and very helpful security guard, Norman, a friendly young man from Nicaragua. (Costa Rica doesn’t chase its immigrants away or put them in cages.) And as in this case, immigrants help make life better for all of us here!   🙂    I love our immigrants!  (And of course I am one myself!)    🙂

Like most Latin Americans, Norman showed a great degree of respect for my age and seemed a little surprised I was hiking in the mountains and climbing down steps to the waterfall, offering to help me of course. Evidently not many 79 year-old people are as adventurous!    🙂

We talked about the difficulties of me learning to speak Spanish and him learning to speak English. Then he shared a quote with me in both English and Spanish to encourage me in my language learning (probably someone used to encourage him), which I include in both languages at the end of this post. Great advice from a young man that I will take to heart!  “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Wow! I love living here! All the neat people! And places!

My dog companion walking ahead of me here.

No rain the previous afternoon or night, thus the Falls not as full Norman said. After visiting with Norman awhile I walked back and one of the guard dogs decided to walk back with me, all the way to the Adventure Tours station, nearly 2 km, where they said he does that frequently with guests – every creature is friendly here!    🙂

Chorreras Waterfall


Birds on the Walk

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Hotel Grounds on the Walk

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Flowers on the Walk

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Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Vive como si murieras mañana. Aprende como si vivieras para siempre.

~Mahatma Gandhi     –     Given to me by Norman at Chorreras Waterfall to encourage me with my study of Spanish.     🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Hacienda Guachipelín

La Victoria Waterfall

Santiago, left, & his dad Javier

One of the 5 waterfalls on the hotel property is where the whitewater tubing adventure begins but I did not want to do the tubing, so the adventure tours staff let me ride on the early guide’s bus (5-miles) to the falls and ride back on the return bus.

I just photographed the falls which included a short hike down the mountain to the falls with my guide Javier and his 8-year old son Santiago (asst. guide).  Fun guides that also took me to the butterfly garden and snake exhibit after the waterfall + birding along the way. A very good morning before it started raining! Bird, butterfly & snake photos will come later.

Quebrada Victoria (a small stream) forms the waterfall at the point where it flows into Rio Colorado and at that juncture is where the tour staff & participants depart on the whitewater tubing (in big tractor inner tubes) down the rocky Colorado River – see feature photo above. Easy enough for families with children to participate. I did that growing up in Arkansas as a kid and had a day-long tubing trip on a similar river when in college and decided it was not needed again!   🙂

The tours here also include a serious whitewater rafting trip down a bigger, wilder river with class 3 & 4 rapids, but I’ve also done that in TN and once was enough!   🙂

La Victoria Waterfall

It was not the prettiest but one more check off the list!


Javier insisted on making a photo of me with his son, who, like all Tico children and youth, was very respectful of age and very helpful, polite & friendly! A joy!

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Santiago & Charlie on the trail to Victoria Waterfall.


“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.”

– Lovelle Drachman

This happened yesterday. Today I have another guide (Johnny) + Javier taking me birding here & then on a tour of the national park. Lots more photos!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Morning & Night Make a good Day!

I planned to post the report on Rio Sierpe Boat Trip today but still not finished – so just a quick glimpse at today, another nature day!    🙂

A Roadside Hawk at hotel on my 5:30 AM Hike.
This morning moon reminded me of what a beautiful world we live in.
Another rainy-cloudy sunset tonight colored my daily dreams living in nature – beautiful!


“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”     – Edgar Allan Poe

¡Pura Vida!

Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita

This trip gallery:  2019-September 13-21–Cristal Ballena, Uvita

“The ‘Eagle’ Has Landed!”

The only problem – he is not an eagle! On my first walk at Xandari for more than 2 hours up and down the hills through the jungle here I got a photo of the above bird perched on a dead tree and personally thought it was some kind of hawk. But when I got back an American woman and my Tico bellman both just knew it was an eagle. Well, there are 3 types of eagles in Costa Rica, all three rare and I quickly eliminated them with my bird book. An internet search got me to the right ID which I should have known, though all I’ve seen before now have been on big rivers. It is a Yellow-headed Caracara, (link to eBird description) a fairly common bird in Costa Rica and south through much of South America. See more of my photos of them in my gallery.  He is beautiful and you can see why non-birders would think him an eagle. A couple of shots from my hike today with more photos in the coming days. Too tired tonight!


“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.”

~Richard Rohr

Xandari Nature Resort

¡Pura Vida!

Sunrise Hike

This morning I did my birding hike at Macaw Lodge and kind of liked this photo of the sunrise along our trail. Thought I would share it in addition to the birds I photographed which will be in another blog post.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” 
― Jo Walton

Macaw Lodge

¡Pura Vida!

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Yesterday, 23rd, was a full day with tour of the park and the night hike here at hotel wildlife refuge – thus I did not get photos all processed until today, the 24th, the anniversary of me living in Costa Rica four years now.


I think I have said this before in the blog, but I will repeat that Manuel Antonio National Park is the most visited of all 28 or so national parks in Costa Rica and thus generally my least favorite because it is “loved to death” with too many people (think Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the states with the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge mess). My last time here was in 2015 with Kevin Hunter and the park tour was different in that we saw some different animals and probably had a better guide who grew up in the area. We saw squirrel monkeys then which we did not this time nor the parrot snake I photographed on that visit, but otherwise similar. And this time we went to all three beaches in the park, while only going to the one main beach last time.

If an animal is spotted by one group, all the other converge on that spot. Too many people!

And this time there are now more trails and a really nice series of bridges or elevated walkways through the mangrove swamp, handicap accessible with braille signs! Though behind the U.S. in handicap accessibility, Costa Rica is moving fast in that direction!


I go mainly for the wildlife, so that is the main slideshow below, but many people come here for the three different beaches inside the park and pay the $16 admission just to spend the day on one of the beaches, so a shot of each of the three beaches is in the second slideshow. Overall, Manuel Antonio is just too “touristy” for me and I have no desire to return here. The hotel with its own wildlife refuge is nice and I love the views from the hillside, but it too is rather “touristy” and overpriced, so I don’t see myself returning here either. But glad I’ve had all these experiences! The Costa Rica tourists see.

Manuel Antonio Wildlife

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Beaches of Manuel Antonio

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“Adventure is worthwhile.”



See this TRIP GALLERY   2018 December Si Como No.

A Day in Corcovado National Park

These are the general or scenery photos. For the main events see my photo galleries on Corcovado  Birds   –   Other Wildlife   –   Los Patos Waterfall


The Lodge converted a farmer’s tractor & trailer for hikers/tourists 
This took us the 6 km from lodge to ranger station where others must hike along river
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Rio Rincon or the Rincon River 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


I was the old man traveling with two young couples from Europe
as here, we sometimes drove in the river bed.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


And about 15-20 times we forded the river
When walking or riding a tractor, it is slow, even 6 km!
Plus we stopped for birds a few times, so an hour or so each way on tractor.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


River is park border, thus one side is private property like this house above.
When I got back I was showing the waiter/bartender David Venegas these photos and
he said, “Oh! That is my grandfather’s house!” Small little world down here!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


This young man couldn’t use his bike along river but was headed to the graded gravel road 
And note the machete strapped to his side, a basic tool all over Costa Rica!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We finally leave the river and enter the woods to the ranger station. 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


At our hiking trail entrance near the ranger station 
After we registered and signed in at the station, we hike rest of the day.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


“Velcro Plant” is what Jairo called it!
See next photo for why.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


School children cut pieces of the “Velcro Plant” leaves and stick on their shirts to make lots of images!
 Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We are quickly in a thick virgen forest.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


There are still plants here not identified. 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


More species in this park than in any other one place in the world! 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


I want to photograph everything I see – but simply can’t! 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


“Monkey  Brush” 
Jairo explains how monkeys use this fruit/seed of a tree to brush insects out of their fur.
Then one of our two girls demonstrated by brushing her hair. Incredibly good brush!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


We stopped to see this “Stink Flower” 
which smelled awful! Like a dead animal!
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


And here Jairo collects some “Red Beans” 
He gave each of us 3 of the red beans or seeds and said
that tradition is they will bring us good luck if carried in pocket.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Meanwhile David is looking for birds & found many! 
See the trip Birds Gallery for some I photographed.
And the trip’s Other Wildlife Gallery for other animals
photographed both in the park and at the lodge nearby.
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


Passion Flower as one of many wildflowers seen 
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica


About 4pm we were back to ranger station and on slow tractor drive back to lodge by around 5pm
Los Patos Ranger Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

This was just a brief overview of an all day hike that included the beautiful waterfall in a separate post yesterday and many birds and other animals shown earlier. Corcovado is truly an incredible place! See the bigger picture through my TRIP Gallery 2018 March 13-17 – Danta Corcovado.

Note that this trip was on the northeast side of park labeled “Los Patos.”
My trip last year was in northwest corner labeled “San Pedrillo” near Drake Bay.
And in 2009 I visited the south side of park at “La Leona.”
¡Pura Vida!

Los Patos Waterfall

Our hiking lunch break was at this beautiful waterfall!
Los Patos Waterfall
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

David and I Ate Our Sack Lunches Immediately! 
 Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

While this Swiss couple were anxious to get into the water!
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Actually the German guy was first to dive into the water, while his girlfriend ate first.
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

And here is my guide David Vargas diving in off the big rock (a belly buster!)
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

First one girl and the other in next photo diving in
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Sorry I didn’t get the names of the two couples, the German couple here
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

And before we knew it, time to dress and head back up the steep trail!

I had to make a portrait of my excellent birding guide David Vargas first!
Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

And I think Jairo made this shot on David’s cell phone camera which he posted on Facebook. 
Since I’m a birder and the two Euro couples are not, Jairo assigned David to me as the birding guide.
 Los Patos Waterfall, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
I have hiked into Corcovado National Park three times now and this was the best! Both Jairo and David made it so as well as it being an excellent wilderness with fewer visitors. It was more difficult to hike with lots of steep hills or ups and downs which they say is the meaning of the Spanish word “Corcovado,”  –  “up and down”  though my online dictionary just translated it “hunchbacked” which is maybe a harsher version of the same thing?  🙂  My other two visits to this park were both on flat land near the ocean, La Leona and San Pedrillo and with different trees, plants and animals, though I saw more here – giving credit to Jairo and David. See the three locations on the map below.
I made a lot of other photos on this one all day hike, so check out the different category sub-galleries like birds, other wildlife and general Corcovado folder in my TRIP Gallery: 2018 March 13-17 – Danta Corcovado for a lot of fun images from this great wilderness.
Only one more Ranger Station I can visit – Sirena.  It is illegal to enter at any other point.
And Sirena requires a very long & difficult hike or boat or seaplane trip. Maybe someday!
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!
I love this place!

Too Tired to Report on Biggest Adventure

Tractor Cart takes 5 of us and two guides into one of the wildest of parks.
It was all day with two “lifer” birds and swimming at a waterfall.
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Possibly my best park visit yet and with two of my favorite guides and two lovely couples, one from Switzerland and one from Germany. And all six young people doted on this old man. But I just finished dinner and too tired to sort and label nearly 1,000 photos, so the report might get spread over the next few days. I’m exhausted and off to bed at 8:00! And tomorrow I return to Atenas, so it could take awhile. 

¡Wow!   ¡This place is great!

Sunrise at Drake Bay

Sunrise from my cabin at Aguila Inn
Drake Bay, Costa Rica
You generally awake early here with 5 am sunrise, birds singing and today howler monkeys! Three of us guests had a 5:30 am two-hour birding walk down the bay to town of Drake Bay, up in the hills, and back to lodge for 8 am breakfast. A good morning, seeing a lot of birds, though my only camera is the cellphone, which means not as many photos. My camera has been in a bag of rice for two days, and still doesn’t work, so it may not be humidity. Just don’t know. 
Relaxing around the lodge the rest of today with maybe a walk through forest. I’m posting this in the morning today, Friday, my last full day here. Tomorrow a relaxed morning here and a 2 pm flight back to San Jose and home by 4!
I highly recommend Aguila de Osa Inn! Relaxing place, fantastic food, great tours and other possible activities.

My TRIPS Photo Gallery on this Drake Bay Trip

About Corcovado National Park (Wikipedia)  and  About Drake Bay (Wikipedia)