Yesterday I hired Walter to drive me to the three hotels within an hour and a half from my house to deliver the photo books I made about the three hotels: Jaco-Carara Birding Hotels. (Click to preview the book.)
I visited these 3 hotels in March, June and July this year and because they are all in the same area of Costa Rica near Jaco Beach and Carara National Park I decided to do one photo book instead of three, thus the title and combination of photos. A nice book if I do say so myself, with a large variety of coastal and forest birds and other wildlife plus the best sunset photos yet and an interesting sunrise photo I used for the front cover. Check out this book about Punta Leona Hotel, Villa Calletas Hotel and Macaw Lodge by clicking the above link. An electronic “Preview” is free!
Walter picked me up at 10 am and I was home by 3:30 pm which included a super lunch at Villa Calletas which the book notes as the best of the three for food (according to me)! 🙂
Why would I spend as much money on delivering 3 copies of the book as I did on printing them? Because I’ve had 2 hotels not receive their book through the mail and most of all I’m passionate about making nature photos and sharing them, especially with the people who helped me make them and love the nature of their surroundings as much as I. One young hotel employee was thrilled to see his work surroundings depicted in a photo book – his smile alone made the trip worthwhile! 🙂
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ― Mother Teresa
From expansive beaches to overpowering vistas and sunsets dotted with colorful tropical birds – my newest photo book captures the magic of where I live as well as any! With it my photos show the adventure of birding in three hotels just an hour from Atenas — Punta Leona Resort, the Macaw Lodge and my recent visit to Villa Caletas, all with easy access to beaches, Carara National Park and Tarcoles River plus each having their own private forest reserve and trails. Nature at its best! All in one beautiful photo book!
You can preview the entire book electronically online at:
It is difficult to avoid the attraction of tiny seashells when walking along the seashore as I did this past week. Here’s a few photos of some tiny ones. I especially liked some that are shaped conical like little miniature mountains or volcanoes. 🙂
My next two trips (August & September) are also to seashores, meaning more such photos as I feel the tranquility of wet sands between my toes and sleep with the music of ocean waves in the night! Puerto Viejo Caribe on the Atlantic and Uvita on the Pacific for the next two adventures of this old retiree in Costa Rica! 🙂
“Who needs snowflakes when you have seashells.”
Check out my Photo Gallery, Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA for more beautiful alternatives to the violent, rich, racist, hateful, NRA-Republican America! I think you will like my alternative! 🙂
As the first and only customer in restaurant for a 7 AM Breakfast I was greeted not only by the friendly waiters but by a couple of Scarlet Macaws in the nearby trees. The major group of other guests here is a group of vacationing Mexicans and the waiters said that they like to party late and breakfast late! 🙂
But anyway, I got a few shots of the Macaws before they flew off and all the other customers missed them! 🙂 They are hard to photograph – always on the move and when they land it is behind limbs and leaves! Pura vida! 🙂
CLICK image to enlarge.
I head back to Atenas this morning. My little 4-day excursion in search of sunsets was a good one! It was relaxing, with some good photos, even one lifer bird and my best photo yet of a Gray Hawk.
Plus now I am knowledgeable of another beach-view hotel at Jaco. It is too expensive for me normally and not that great for birds, but some of the best food I’ve had and the sunsets are great! Thus I recommend Villa Caletas for a relaxing vacation if money is not an option.
And I have started working on my “Trip Gallery” 2019 July Villa Caletas which will soon have my collection of photos from here, maybe by tonight. 🙂
Slowing down a little – here’s my shots from the last full day at Villa Caletas and a very relaxed 4 days. The featured image is of a hotel worker walking up the street in front of my room towards the Zephyr Palace.
The prettiest things here along with the vistas . . .
No gardens, just pots and plantings around buildings.
Such as there were today . . .
This is not the very best birding place even though you do see toucans and macaws. The concierge never worked out my two requested birding hikes because no others here wanted them and they don’t do for one person. No problem! I’ve already been to Carara NP 4 times and Rio Tarcoles about 8 times! Hanging out here was more relaxing and it was a good time on the mountaintop!
CLICK image to enlarge.
All shot from my room before dinner.
“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.”
No two alike, yet all are similar! 🙂 Here’s my Tuesday night sunset photos from Hotel Villa Caletas. My cell phone camera could not capture the deep, dark blue we had tonight. That black image was really a dark blue. The brighter blue in feature image was not really that bright, but a deeper blue. Anyway–Enjoy!
The little trip to the beach gave me some different birds than the many toucans & macaws around the hotel, plus I saw a new type of Euphonia today in a tree off my room terrace, just not a good photo, but a “lifer” for me! (First time to see that species.) Only 6 birds but interesting ones:
CLICK image to enlarge.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
This morning I used the shuttle run to the mostly private Caletas Beach (technically all beaches are public) down the paved drive onto a gravel road along which I got my hawk photo (in a separate post) and onto their private hotel property adjacent to the beach which is a fabulous private park with rancho, rest rooms, restaurant, picnic tables and even a bonfire already built and ready to light for the next group wanting such. My plan was to walk their hiking trail down the mountain and drive back, but rain has heavily damaged the trail they say and thus it is closed. I decided not to walk the road but could have.
I explored with my camera where I got more butterflies than birds but I’m doing a bird post next anyway. It is mostly a rocky beach with a seawall along part of it and even a boat ramp. I got some cool seashells, the photos below and a wonderful fresh fruit bedida (smoothie) in the restaurant before the driver returned with a European couple on his hourly run to the beach from our mountaintop resort and I returned with him after one hour. Been there done that now! 🙂
CLICK an image to enlarge.
“Rancho” or meeting or picnic pavilion
Paradise must have a sailboat & speedboat!
Bonfire is ready!
My driver and restaurant operator.
The rock beach
Cactus on a beach still seems strange to me!
A little sand beach
Multiple areas so people can spread out.
Lots of chaise lounges & umbrellas
All beaches are pretty to me!
Typical beach warning.
If this beach looks empty that is because it nearly was – one Tico family picnicking on this beach and as I left that European couple came on the beach from the hotel to replace me. High season (lots of people) is December through April. May to October is rainy season and “low season” for tourists. There’s maybe only a dozen or so of us in the hotel now. I like that!
Also I don’t always go to such touristy places as a guy who prefers the forest and jungle lodges, but I had been urged to see the sunsets here and I am! 🙂
One of the big attractions at this hotel is almost another hotel: an events facilities for weddings, big parties, family reunions, business meetings, retreats, whatever with its own set of luxury rooms and villas, infinity pool, large meeting spaces, etc. It is called “Zephyr Palace,” named after the Greek God Zephyr . . .
Zephyrwas the Greek god of the west wind, which was considered the gentlest wind, especially if compared to the colder north wind, Boreas. The warm west wind brought the spring season. Even today the name of the god means a warm and light breeze. Zephyr was the father of two immortal horses, Xanthus and Balius.
Costa Rica seems to like Greece and Greek culture. I live in Atenas which is actually the Spanish name for Athens. Up the road north of us is another larger town named Grecia, Spanish for Greece.
My villa here is at the beginning of the road to Zephyr Palace that is lined with greek columns. In fact all of the buildings here have greek columns including my room! Monday morning late, when the maid came in my room, I walked up the road to Zephyr Palace. Here are some photos I made with my cell phone.