Zephyr Palace

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 . . .

Zephyr was 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.

Zephyr Palace

CLICK an image to enlarge


Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows.

  • Thomas Gray, The Bard

¡Pura Vida!

Monday Sunset

Here’s the photos of Monday’s Sunset with no rain!  🙂

Sunset at Villa Caletas July 29

Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there’s something good about feeling both.

~Amy Grant

¡Pura Vida!

Colorful Creatures

Well . . . my goal for today was to photograph a toucan and a macaw. Goal accomplished! Plus some other colorful creatures before, during an after breakfast, with several butterflies included and a most interesting blue-winged insect on my breakfast table! Remember, nearly all restaurants in Costa Rica are alfresco! Enjoy my photos from Villa Caletas today.

Colorful Creatures at Jaco

CLICK image to enlarge


Color is like the finishing touch on everything.”

~Marc Jacobs

See all my butterflies in my Costa Rica Butterflies  Photo Gallery!

Or all photos from this trip at 2019 Villa Caletas, Jaco Photo Gallery


¡Pura Vida!

1st Night’s SUNSET

It was raining the whole evening – all of these photos made in a light rain and that may partly account for the changing colors. Sunset at Villa Caletas.

If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.

~Nathan Phillips

¡Pura Vida!

A Wow Hotel

Villa Caletas is an older hotel and old-style upscale, old-style architecture, and old-style service with big staff, lots of young people anxious to wait on you. So far I like it even though the trail down the mountain is closed because of rainy season damage. It was raining when I got here and has rained most of the time, which I thought meant no sunset, but boy was I surprised! It’s late & I’m tired, so I will post the sunset photos tomorrow. Here’s my first impressions of the hotel in photos without photos of the toucans and macaws flying around when I didn’t have my big camera out. All of these are cell phone photos:

Hotel Grounds

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My Room

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My Room’s Vistas (Before Sunset)

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Room’s Praying Mantis

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Tomorrow I Post the First Sunset Photos!

And maybe some birds!

¡Pura Vida!

In Search of the Perfect Sunset

Most of my trips within Costa Rica are in search of more birds! And most give me at least one new species. But I also love photographing other nature, vistas, waterfalls, and of course Sunrises & Sunsets!

Multiple expat friends here have told me that the best sunset vistas and photos are from the restaurant & theater at a hotel on a hill near Jaco, just an hour away, Hotel Villa Caletas. It is upscale or expensive, so only 4 nights which is not as long as I prefer to stay to really see a place, but that will still be 4 sunset opportunities, Sunday-Wednesday nights, weather cooperating. I’ve had more than one sunset rained out or covered by clouds, but that’s part of the adventure!

Villa Caletas is different from the nature lodges I usually visit, but still immersed in nature with hotel birding trails and a jungle trail down the mountain to their beach with shuttle rides back up the hill. It is close to Punta Leona which had very good birding and also close to the Carara National Park (good birding) which I may or may not visit again – been there 4 time now! Just going to take it day by day after I get there. A serendipity trip!

I think I already have some pretty nice sunset photos in my gallery called   VISTAS, BEACHES, SUNRISES, SUNSETS CR . The featured image above is one of mine of a sunrise on the Caribbean side which I like to use because so many people here think everything is better on the Pacific side – well, maybe just more expensive!   🙂   And most can’t see a difference in sunrise or sunset.

What I get at Villa Caletas will go in the Pacific Sub Gallery of the above linked sunset gallery and then we can compare to see if they really have the best sunsets on the Pacific coast!   🙂   My favorite on the Pacific so far is the one I took from a Sansa Airplane  (on return from Danta Corcovado). And they weren’t too bad from a hillside hotel in Manuel Antonio last Christmas! Yep! I love sunsets!

While the Atlantic or Caribbean side is mostly for sunrises, I have been pretty lucky over there too! (Where I go again the end of this August.) You just have to get up earlier to see sunrises!  Yawn!    🙂

And to be fair to Villa Caletas, here is one of their website photos of their sunset which is very nice! Hope mine will be as good or better!   🙂

Sunset photo from Villa Caletas online. — Not my photo.

¡Pura Vida!


When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.

~Mahatma Gandhi

Here’s The Science Behind The Magical Colours of Sunsets And Sunrises


Tragedy in Paradise

Some of you know that my favorite charity in Atenas is Hogar de Vida, a children’s home for abused and abandoned children. I contribute or participate in limited ways. In April 2018 a group of Senior Adults from First Baptist Nashville came for a week work project that I joined and helped facilitate. You can see some of the 2018 photos in my gallery.

Matt is the director of the children’s home and I just got a message from Matt which I think you can see at the link. In short:

A youth group with adult sponsors from Matt’s home church in Omaha came to do a week’s project just like we last year. And just like us, they had a “tourist day” where they went to Jaco for the beach and ziplining (just like us). But unlike us, the teens wanted to spend time in the ocean where Costa Rica has many warning signs about “riptides,”  “undertow” or “rip currents” that can be quite dangerous. Well, 5 of the group got pulled into the riptide and underwater. One did not survive. One of the adult sponsors and mother of one of the teens drowned. Matt has of course handled everything lovingly and professionally. But it is horrible for a family, a church, a group of youth, and the children’s home here, especially difficult for Matt. Your prayers are requested and appreciated. And the photo above is of Jaco Beach where it happened.

Sometimes pura vida has its ugly side and riptide drownings is one of those.

Tourist Day for Mission Team

Pam Stockett, our fearless leader and example on the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
And 8 of the 10 in mission team geared up for the zipline!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica
Dinner at Jaco hotel at sundown in the rain!
FBC Nashville Mission Trip to Costa Rica