King Louie Waterfall

Friday morning I did my birding hike with guide Carlos and after breakfast he offered to take me to the King Louie Waterfall which said could take me all day hiking, so off we went on a golf cart by the roads, not the trails! When we got there the only marked trail is to get in the creek and hike over slippery rocks up hill to the waterfall. But, he said, someone made a land trail along the side of the mountain that would be easier! Not! Someone took a pick and chiseled out a very narrow path that was all crumbling rock or sand. With every step, part of the trail would slide down the side of the mountain and almost me several times. We finally gave up before we go all the way to the 100 foot waterfall. So goes life sometimes! 🙂

Or see all four shots . . .

Continue reading “King Louie Waterfall”

Morning Waterfall Hike, Almost

This morning was to be my last “organized hike,” called the Primary Forest, led by scientist Phillip who did last night’s night hike, scheduled for 8-11. At 8 one of the employees came out and apologized that Phillip called in sick and that the hike was canceled for today. “No problem,” I said, “I wanted to go down the Pacific Trail and low tide is this morning, just right!” The guy in charge asked me to wait a minute. He made a call and then said he would be right back. He came with one of the gardeners with a name that sounded like Aniavey, and said, “Now you can practice your Spanish!” 🙂 The Nicaraguan was wearing a sheathed machete. The guy in charge said, “I simply cannot let you go down that trail alone, especially all the way to the waterfall! After you go down the very steep trail, it’s another mile hike including up another hill. I did not get incensed and thanked him for his concern, still not knowing what I was in for. And thinking I didn’t really need help. 🙂

The Old Man and His Hiking Guide

Wow! It was a steep trail with 500 steps carved into the side of the mountain and in moments my knees and legs were killing me. About halfway down or a little more, my knees gave way and I crumpled to the ground. My helper came to my rescue, helping me up and I sat on one of the steps. He took his machete out, going into the forest to cut a little sapling for a brand new hiking stick and I was soon ready to go, just slowly. But I had already decided I would go only to the beach and not all the way to the waterfall, which relieved Aniavey. And by the way, the return trip back up the hill, all 500 steps, was much easier on my knees and legs, just slowing my breathing! 🙂 On the hike we saw 3 kind of monkeys: Howler, White-faced Capuchin and Spider Monkeys!

Here’ s 4 shots and I don’t know why I didn’t photograph the trail or steps?

Continue reading “Morning Waterfall Hike, Almost”

Virtual Rainforest Hike with Iván Castillo

Earlier I shared two videos of virtual night & day rainforest hikes with one of the young female guides at Selva Verde Lodge, Melany Ocón. The kind I experience on my trips, though we see more on our live hikes than these short videos . . .

Today is a hike with one of the young male guides whom I have been hiking with before when there (an expert on frogs). We saw a lot more than they see on this video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like to hike at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve, one of my many favorite places in Costa Rica. You will see a couple of frogs, a helmeted lizard, a pit viper and an anteater, so worth your effort to watch for 20 minutes and see just a little of why I love to explore the forests of Costa Rica with guides like Iván and Melany. June 30 I head north of Sarapiqui (location of these videos) for a week at Maquenque Lodge with other guides but similar experiences. And remember that English is not their first language! They do much better with English than I do with Spanish!   🙂


“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.” 
~Peter Benchley

And for my photos of two visits to Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui:

2019-May 9-15 — Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui

2016 December 23-27 – Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui

¡Pura Vida!

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!

20191014_085210 -WEB
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!