Orosi/Tapantí Trip Book

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This was not my most exciting trip nor favorite lodging, but I got 10 new species of birds photographed on this trip, so a big deal! Sometime in the future I will return for 3 or 4 days birding at El Copal when I can get a reservation in their lodge. The two oldest churches here are enough reason for a visit or the spectacular miradors or vistas! That’s if you are not interested in birding.  🙂

I also discovered one really good restaurant with a hotel attached or visa versa, “Tapantí Media” on the highway going out of Orosi toward Tapantí National Park. It is a first class Italian Restaurant with excellent pizzas and pastas and much more plus great service. It will be my hotel next time I need to stay in Orosi. The B&B was simply too far from restaurants and the 3 big dogs and 2 cats are not my cup of tea! Nor the do-it-yourself breakfast. I’m now spoiled to full-service hotels. 
The bus trip there was easy even if it did take 3 buses and more than 3 hours! Atenas to San Jose to Cartago to Orosi. As a senior adult 2 of the buses were free and one cost only 500 colones or about 75¢. Not bad!  🙂  One of the perks of being old here!
¡Pura Vida!

Churches in Orosi Area

Paraíso Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción del Rescate de Ujarrás
Paraiso, Costa Rica

Iglesia de Loaiza de Cachi 
Cachi, Costa Rica

Iglesia de Cachi
Cachi, Costa Rica

Iglesia Catolica Palomo de Orosi
Orosi, Costa Rica

Iglesia de San José de Orosi  (1767)
Orosi, Costa Rica

Steeple of Iglesia de San José de Orosi  (1767)
Orosi, Costa Rica

The Oldest Church Building in Costa Rica, built 1580 – A National Historic Park
Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Costa Rica
I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, 
but God declared: “Go down again – I dwell among the people.

~John Henry Newman
See all of my Orosi Trip photos in the TRIP Gallery: 2018-February 6-10–Orosi/Tapanti

Or my gallery Churches – Costa Rica          

The above is my last post from the Orosi trip.  
And a month before the next trip!  🙂  


I’m not a big fan of Nadine, the Happier than a Billionaire younger girl and her husband who moved here about a year before me and her making money off books about living here, but she has some interesting posts!. The above link is to her latest blog post and a “free” chapter from her next book. It is about “dawn” and includes a beautiful (if oversaturated) photo of a sunrise. Someone considering a move here might enjoy her blogs and website and even the books that are somewhat humorous tales of the couple adjusting to pura vida, changing locations, building a house, etc. 

It is getting harder for us Democrats to get away from Trump in Costa Rica!  🙂   The leading candidate for President here is another hateful Trump-type person, with his main platform being Anti-Gay Marriage and he is an Evangelical revival preacher! Sad! 
Political Cartoon in one Online English Newspaper

Sad because Christianity (especially evangelicals) already has the reputation of being bigoted people who hate other people who are different from them. I believe that attitude along with Trump and the horrible Republican Party is destroying the United States from the inside now, with obvious help from Russia! 

And yes, I hold NRA-financed Republicans responsible for the school shootings because of their continued refusal to pass basic gun controls and gladly allow a teenager to walk into a gun store and buy a military machine gun (unlike any other developed country in the world). The U.S, is the most violent and dangerous of all the developed countries in the world. No where in the world are people daily in danger of gun violence like in the states, and it continues to get worse. There are more legally owned guns in the states now than there are people! That is scary!
Nor are the immigration rules and attitudes as bad anywhere as in the states. Republicans will have a lot to answer for to God on judgement day! The U.S. is a very broken nation! Sad! Sad! Sad!

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica
Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica
Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica
Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, Orosi, Costa Rica
This exact same set of photos in my TRIPS photo gallery:  Las Ruinas de Ujarrás
Or see all of my Orosi Trip photos in the TRIP Gallery: 2018-February 6-10–Orosi/Tapanti

Back Home Buses

Orosi Scouts in Cartago (through a dirty bus window)
These five teens are Scouts from Orosi who rode the bus with me to Cartago, for an event I imagine.
Girls and boys are all in the same Scout program here, wearing bright blue shirts & navy pants + scout neckerchiefs.
But note the two girls and one of boys have on jackets because it was in the 60’s farenheit this morning.
And yeah, that is very cold here! And they got off the bus earlier than me is why the bus window shot.
Cartago, Costa Rica

“Coca Cola” Bus Station in San Jose
It is on the site of an old Coca Cola bottling plant and thus the name.
I waited only about 10 minutes for this bus to load and no wait in Cartago!
But the bus from Cartago went to the Lumaca Station and I took a taxi to here
which was another 10 minutes!  Note the row of pay phones, a disappearing sight, even here.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Most working people in Costa Rica travel by bus rather than by car (only rich people have cars) and thus it is a good way to get to know people and culture here, not to mention the language! I used my rough Spanish a lot this week since not too many in Orosi cater to English-only North Americans. 
It has been a good week and both bus trips were good and fairly easy. My biggest learning experience on this trip was that I will try to avoid B&B’s in the future. First because I prefer to have a “built-in” restaurant and/or close to good restaurants. Second, she had 3 big dogs and 2 cats and thus almost no birds and the animals hovered a lot when I was out of my cabin, wanting my attention. Plus she did not mop the bathroom the whole 4 nights I was there and provided only one hand towel and the one knife in the kitchen was not sharp enough to cut the peeling on all the fruit she provided for my breakfasts. Not my favorite lodging in Costa Rica, but the birding and local tours were great and I have a lot of photos! The Orosi area is a beautiful and great place to explore AND bird!
¡Pura Vida!

Las Ruinas de Ujarrás

 Las Ruinas de Ujarrás
This 1580 church ruins is the oldest to be found in Costa Rica near Orosi/Paraiso.
It is now operated as a historic national park of Costa Rica.
Paraíso Canton, Cartago Province, Costa Rica

Yesterday I lined up my taxista from Tuesday, Luis Martinez, and he met me at my B&B this morning at 8:30 and I got quite a tour from someone who has lived his whole life here and all in Spanish language of course! We could have gone all day, but I wanted a more relaxed afternoon and to not spend a fortune on a taxi! So we quit at about 11 AM. 

Beyond this historic old church, Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, the other highlights were two miradors (vistas) Mirador Ujarras & Mirador Orosi which were both spectacular, Casa del Soñador or wood artisan shop in a historic log cabin near Cachi, several churches I had him stop for my photos of, and he added little extras like the oldest street and bridge in Orosi alongside which was his grandmother’s house where he was born! I chose to not see the botanical gardens this time which can take hours. But I have lots of photos to share in a future post and in my online photo gallery when I return home and have better internet connection. 
Then I had a late lunch in a wonderful Italian Restaurant a longer walk from my B&B, but more than worth it and discovered that it is also a hotel (with this great restaurant) and it is where I will stay next time here if not at El Copal Lodge for birding. B&B’s are nice and quaint, but I’ve become spoiled to full-service hotels and lodges! Even in the jungles!
Tomorrow is the adventure of three buses home and who knows what I will see this time? 
¡Pura Vida!

Birding Near El Copal

Enroute to El Copal area we passed this vista or mirador of Reventazón River below the clouds.
Most of the rivers around Orosi and Tapanti flow into this which flows into the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean.
Today was kind of like hiking through “Middle Earth” in The Lord of the Rings. As much of Costa Rica is!  🙂
Reventazón River, Costa Rica

We went further away today and did more mountain walking for a longer time, so I am quite tired! For those who know the area, El Copal is a famous private reserve in these mountains the other side of Tapanti where we were yesterday. The reserve takes visitors on a limited reservations system and they were not even open today, so we did not go inside the private reserve. But we birded all around it and saw about as much as I can handle in one day!  🙂   There is a rustic lodge in El Copal and in the future I will schedule a 4 or 5 day visit there with Cristhian. And yes, that is how he spells his name which I spelled wrong yesterday. I have two friends in Atenas who spell it Cristian, but in this culture (or language) they never spell the name Christian which would be considered English.

We drove and walked on dirt roads through the jungles of this mountain area in south-central Costa Rica most of today. Quite an experience! I just love it here! We even walked by Cristhian’s hermit uncle’s little cabin in the woods. Cool! There is so much to explore in Costa Rica!   🙂
Tomorrow I explore some more of Orosi with the old colonial church ruins expected to be the highlight and the Orosi Mirador.

¡Pura Vida!

An unusual jungle flower today. Click to enlarge.

Tapanti Today

Another national park seen today and it is one of the largest going up into the mountains.
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
At 6 AM this morning another new Tico friend named “Cristian” picked me up in his old red Chevy Tracker for the 9 km drive to the park and we took nearly 2 hours to make that 9 km since we got a lot of birding done along the country road to the park which doesn’t open until 8 AM. And by the way, I get in national parks free because I’m over 65 and a resident!   🙂
Birding guides are professionals here with college training and government licensing. Cristian is part of a local guiding group here in Orosi area called Peregrinus Expeditions with their office in Turriable, so they cover a large area. With only one day experience, I can enthusiastically recommend them and Cristian specifically as an excellent and very knowledgeable birding guide. We saw or heard more than 30 species of birds today in and near the park with me getting photos of 15 and 3 of those are new or first-time species for me! My list keeps growing! 
Tomorrow Cristian takes me an hour’s drive away to the El Copal Reserve and/or nearby birding sites on the other side of Tapanti. Friday I have my taxi driver lined up for a tour of some sights in Orosi like the Ruins of Ujarras. It all came together quickly and easily after I got here and it will be a good week! (Even if the internet is slow here! 🙂
Expect lots of bird photos next week! Pura vida!

Starting Orosi Visit

Extremely slow internet service where I am staying, so only one photo a night after this. Sorry!

Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi 
This is the oldest continuously functioning church in all of Costa Rica, colonial built.
Orosi, Cartago Province, Costa Rica 
I got off the bus a block from this church across from the soccer field, the two things every town in Costa Rica has. 
Friday I plan to see the ruins of the very oldest church ever built in Costa Rica, the Spanish Colonial church grounds are also here in Orosi as a national park, Las Ruinas de Ujarras. 
Poro Tree
These beautiful trees are blooming now all over Costa Rica, but I saw more here today than anywhere.
They are usually growing in coffee farms for some particular reason I don’t remember.
This one I can see from the road in front of my little B&B 2 miles outside the village of
Orosi, Costa Rica

I will do more posts and many more photos when I get back home after the trip or next week. This one was a three-bus trip, one from Atenas to San Jose (1:30 in rush hour), one from San Jose to Cartago (50 min still rush hour) and the third from Cartago to Orosi centro (45 min) where I got off and had lunch and saw the oldest still functioning church, then a taxi to my little cabin for four nights. And learned that the bus goes within the equivalent of 1 block from my little hotel. But I saw the church and had a good Tico lunch or “casado.” I also met a couple from Canada in town who are here for a Spanish immersion school for several weeks.

I’ll tell more about the B&B when I post photos later, but it is small with it looks like only 3 or 4 little cabins in the country 2 km outside Orosi, operated by a very congenial multi-lingual French girl, thus the name Chalet Orosi. But the funny thing is that Costa Ricans or maybe all Spanish speakers don’t pronounce it the French way, “chal-lay” but “chal-et” just the way it is spelled!  🙂

Maelle arranged my two birding trips for Wednesday and Thursday and I am going to use the nice taxi driver I met today for seeing several other sites in Orosi on Friday, like the ruins, a couple of miradors (vistas). gardens, and maybe something else. So my time is planned. The best seafood restaurant in town is just a block away and a pizzaria a little further. The full-service hotels and lodges I usually stay in have spoiled me to onsite services, but this is already turning out to be a good different experience. The only other guests here tonight are a couple of 20-something guys from France, “seeing the world!”

I got photos of only two birds today, but the next two days are my birding days. Hoping for some new and different ones! There is a family of oropendolas living outside my cabin and a few smaller birds but the chalet owner has two cats, so not a birding residence!  🙂


Longest Zipline in the World (in UAE) Built by Costa Ricans

Includes a thrilling VIDEO – a must see!
And the Tico builder says a brief word in the video!  🙂

Orosi Valley Tomorrow

Orosi Valley

Note to those who get this blog by email (about 50 of you) that each post is emailed out at about 2AM in the morning automatically by a computer after the day I post it. So I am doing this for Monday posting and you receiving Tuesday morning while I am traveling by bus from Atenas through San Jose and Cartago to the little village of Orosi in the Orosi Valley next to Tapanti National Park. Here is the link to my Google Search on

Of course I plan on photographing birds in the Tapanti National Park and at the B&B grounds plus maybe other locations like El Copal depending on transportation options. Then there are the ruins of the oldest colonial church in Costa Rica there plus the current Orosi Church is the oldest still-functioning church in Costa Rica. There are supposedly good restaurants in Orosi, a botanical gardens, waterfalls, and other sites that will be surprises for me when I get there!  🙂   So the next few days should have posts of what I am seeing daily there, assuming I have internet connection. This is a whole new area of Costa Rica for me to explore and I understand another popular place for retirement.
¡Pura Vida!
Retired in Costa Rica

A Bonus Note:
And if anyone noticed that we had our presidential election (1st round) Sunday past, Two of the many candidates made it to the runoff election which will be on Easter Sunday this year, meaning no special events beyond mass and worship services allowed like the usual Catholic Processional Parade through town. No competition to voting, yet even with that only about 60% actually voted. Democracy is difficult to make work everywhere, but I think 60% is probably much higher than the U.S. voter turnout. 
And those two winners? Well the older and most “conservative” is Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelist and gospel singer who is a non-politician and surprise winner because he is rabidly anti-gay during a time that most Latin-American countries are starting to legalize gay marriage. This mostly Roman Catholic country is generally homophobic and that is the only reason this unqualified Trump-like jerk was selected. Amusingly, the other candidate in the runoff is also named Alvarado, Carlos Alvarado, a young man who will accept gay marriage and some other liberal ideas. This morning’s newspaper headline was something like “Two Alvarados in Runoff!”

And here’s today’s article in one of our online English Language Newspapers titled:
Evangelical Candidate Leads, Country Heads to a Second Round  This is really a big deal in a majority catholic country! 

It will be interesting to see what happens. (If I were a gambling man, I would say homophobia wins here and thus the unqualified evangelical.) But if much of the younger generation, like my Spanish teachers, get their young friends out to vote, it could go the other way, plus some catholics will have trouble voting for a non-catholic. No one really needs a singing evangelist as their president even if you don’t like gay marriage – that could be almost as bad as having Donald Trump! (Though thank God there is no racism here! But homophobia is alive and well!)
Why can’t I vote? I’m a legal resident but not a citizen which is a much more complicated process and at my age – not a goal! And “Not my problem!” is another way I stay sane and tranquil!   🙂