Important UPDATES to last post

My last post dated January 5, 2020 – Ranking Birding Lodges  (image above) was incomplete and I have just edited it to include two more high bird-count places and complete the list with all the lodges I’ve visited regardless how few birds. For the birder at least, it is now much better or more helpful! So please go check it out again by clicking above link!   🙂   And for others I’ve added more comments on the hotel or lodge facilities, food, other activities, etc.

Costa Rica is more than a vacation destination; it is an interactive sensory experience.     –

¡Pura Vida!

My Cabin & Lodge Facilities

I cannot explain why I never photographed the main building with dining room, etc. But I didn’t!

My “Cabin” or actually 1 of 4 rooms in this building with me alone.
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

My Porch & Hammock   
   Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Inside my Room   
   Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Part of the 200 acres of forest behind my cabin to explore 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Trail between my cabin and dining room & dock 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Birding Tower – My Favorite Place Maybe 
 Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Dining Room & Lobby
Featuring the Mike Smith family of Nashville, my old hometown! It’s a small world!
Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama

Danta Corcovado

Whale’s Tail Beach
Uvita, Costa Rica

Landing Strip
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Driving Out of Puerto Jimenez
On 30 Minute Drive to Danta Corcovado
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

My Huge Bedroom!
A pleasant surprise when shown to my cabin.
Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Outside Entrance to My CabinDanta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Daaaaa – viiiid
Welcome receptionist, bartender, waiter, and sometimes cook!
Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Unknown Lizard (I will look him up when I get home, probably an Ameiva)
Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

Unknown Insect (Look him up at home too!)
On my cabin screen, outside!
Danta Corcovado Lodge, Costa Rica

At 6:45 AM my driver takes me through suburban traffic to the airport and the start of one of my more pleasant experiences here, flying in a small plane over the magical mountains to the ocean, Pacific this time. Though the pilot was too close, I still got a different view of “Whale’s Tail Beach” at Uvita and a different view of the landing strip in Puerto Jimenez.

A thirty minute drive to Danta Corcovado is a whole lot easier than the rough hour and a half drive to Carate on the other side of the park (my 2009 trip). Like everywhere in Costa Rica all the people are so welcoming and always smiling. My driver Eduardo helped me with my Spanish and got me to David (pronounced Daaaaa-viiiid here) as the receptionist and later the waiter and bartender in the restaurant. He arranged three tours for me and also put up with me speaking Spanish poorly to him. I later met the birding guide who is also named David.

By noon I was hotter than I can remember ever being here but a little afternoon shower has cooled it down and the two fans in my room help! Ooops! Just as I got to the WiFi spot in lobby the little shower turned to a long and heavy downpour!

I was expecting more primitive housing, though some of you might consider this primitive. I’m basically in a large screened-in porch on a platform above ground with a solid tin roof. Plus I have mosquito netting for my bed. Only cold water, but in the hot tropical humidity, that is what one prefers. The bed is very comfortable and the bathroom is chic primitive and big!

Tomorrow is my morning bird hike and evening night hike. Thursday will be the hike into Corcovado Park – all day! Friday and Saturday will probably be around the property here unless I decide to add another tour. And for unknown reasons Sansa canceled my Sunday flight back, so I am now on a Saturday evening flight home, meaning one less night here. And now you are all caught up on this trip for now!  –  The adventure continues!

Hotel Lobby, Restaurant & Activities – Villa Blanca

On top of the hill, the center of everything that happens at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel:










My trip gallery: 2017 Villa Blanca
My reviews of other Costa Rica Lodges & Hotels  if exploring this fun country. Note that at Drake Bay I stayed at the sister hotel of Villa Blanca, Aguila de Osa – both are Greentique Hotels.

Rancho Naturalista – The Place

One of the friendly staff at
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My excellent young Birding Guide, Mercedes! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Main Lodge & Dining Room (office, kitchen, library, etc.)
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My Cabin for the Week 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Tile steps invite me down from my cabin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Observation Deck above the bird feeders and vistas
I had coffee at 5 AM each day here

One of the Vistas 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

“I never get tired of blue sky.”  -Vincent Van Gogh
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Early Morning Fog adds Mystery to the Forest! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And Recognition is Good!
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And their website: Rancho Naturalista

“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

George Santayana

Photos of Hotel Aguia de Osa, Drake Bay

My Front Porch Hammock & Bay View
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


My Front Door & Outside Chairs
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


My Room, All those windows have only screens. High ceiling with Fan!
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


One of 3 Flights of Stairs UP to Rooms on Top of Hill
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


One of 3 Flights of Stairs DOWN from Rooms on Top of Hill
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


Exit Sign from Drake Bay Community Trail to Hotel
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


3 Meals a Day Overlooking the Bay 
 Though some trips included a box lunch on the day trip 
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


Gourmet Meals Served Three Times a Day! 
Plus Happy Hour with Appetizers!
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


Hotel’s Fleet of Boats is Important to Guest Transportation!
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


As Are the Boat Captains!
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


A Familiar Scene Coming and Going from the Hotel
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica


And the Hotel Pier is Really the “Front Door” to Hotel
You get here by boat or by walking a trail. No road for cars.
Aguila de Osa Lodge, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

I loved it here! Being gone the bulk of the daytime on adventures kept me from missing air-conditioning, which in the hot and humid coastal rainforest would have been better for resting inside during the day. But who does that with all the things to do during the day? At night the ceiling fan was more than adequate and I actually turned it off two nights and used the blanket.

The tour possibilities, guides and all other staff were simply great in every way! One family went deep-sea fishing and the kitchen cooked one of their fish for their dinner that night and the rest of us got a little as part of the appetizers! The food was excellent as was the food service. I highly recommend Hotel Aguila de Osa for anyone considering Drake Bay. Of course I have not tried any of the other hotels here to compare.  This was not my best birding location, but was very good and a big variety of total animals to see both in and out of the park. I was disappointed I did not see a wild Tapir, though people on other tours did. Wildlife is always unpredictable and sightings cannot be scheduled!
It is not easy to compare this to my visit to the southern end of Corcovado Park at Carate Village and the two inns of Luna Lodge and Lookout Inn. That was on a 2009 Birding Tour from the states and the link is to my old PBase Photo Gallery of the total trip that included San Gerado de Dota in the mountains, so more than Corcovado. It was my first trip to Costa Rica and I fell in love with the country immediately! I may have seen and photographed more birds on that trip, but this was a better and more relaxed trip with more variety. And though Luna Lodge is very nice with gourmet food, Aguila might have even better food and my room was better. But glad I’ve seen both ends of this great rainforest park! Next time I may try one of those lodges on the east side of park.

Though not made yet, I will soon have a “Trip Gallery” on this trip in a new area of my Costa Rica galleries simply called TRIPS.  And of course as always I use every trip to increase my collection of bird photos and other categories of photos in my big gallery called Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.  If interested in Costa Rica you might enjoy exploring my galleries.

And this concludes the Blog reports on my recent Corcovado-Drake Bay trip, though more photos may pop up here in the future. A 6-day trip is the longest I have made since my move here and I like longer visits in the same location! A friend has scheduled a week-long trip here soon for birding and will be in a different hotel every night. He may see more birds but will be physically exhausted by the end of the week! I’m too old for that now!  🙂   Pura Vida!

My TRIPS Photo Gallery on this Drake Bay Trip

And  my Lodges & Hotels of Costa Rica photo gallery

Costa Rica to soon unveil its first hydrogen-powered bus!

I Drove Over the “Mountain of Death” to a Retreat Lodge

Cerro de la Muerte in Spanish or “Mountain of Death” in English is what they have called one of the mountains I drove over today since pioneer days when so many people lost their lives walking over the mountain. The steep climbs and hairpin curves reminded me of childhood driving trips through the Ozarks of north Arkansas or later trips on the back roads of Colorado. And I never found a good place to stop and make a photo! Just glad when I made it to Rio Chirripo Retreat Lodge! It is a scary drive with idiots passing on curves, etc. But I’m here, safe and sound!  🙂

A warm fire in the lodge on a cool, rainy night.

My room balcony overlooks the mountain cloud forest.

I walked down to Rio Chirripo in the rain for a quick photo.

Just a few of the flowers outside my room.

Tomorrow morning I have a birding guide picking me up at 6:30 for a hike in a nearby forest. Hoping for a Collared Trogon and a Black Guan among others!