Some of you know that I prefer traveling solo; maybe it’s selfish or maybe it’s the results of 20 years of marriage. 🙂 I also enjoy eating solo, reading my Kindle or just observing what surrounds me. Occasionally in the informal lodges people invite me to join them at their table and never wanting to offend, I often accept. This group from Florida asked me to join them on the second night and I think I told them I would, but for dinner only, since I liked to read at breakfast and lunch. They have also invited others to their table like this couple from St. Thomas with a teen son. It’s been interesting as long as I ignore political statements! 🙂 Our waitress made this image on a couple of our cellphones for us last night.
Like pretty much everywhere in Costa Rica (except San Jose) all our meals here are open air, just under a roof because of mucho rain! 🙂
The El Silencio Lodge & Reserve is a very special and unique place! And I say that having spent nights in more than 45 lodges & hotels in Costa Rica. For service, food, room quality, and the natural surroundings it is definitely now in my top 3 favorite lodges and maybe even my #1 favorite! (Remember – different lodges have different priorities!) And also it is my most expensive! 🙂 But with waterfalls like La Promesa at right near your cabin, it is worth almost any price! 🙂 And of course nothing is perfect . . .
My only two complaints at checkout were that the bathroom sink drained slowly because the stopper was installed incorrectly (CR is not famous for great plumbers) and the gourmet chef who served great food served me limp, lightly cooked bacon. Bacon must be crisp in my book! 🙂 Though, in his defense, the night I asked for a well-done steak, he did that very well! 🙂 And I had not specifically asked for the bacon to be crispy! (Had I, it probably would have been! Never assume nothin’!))
I mainly walked, but they have golf carts and drivers who will pick you up anytime, day or night and take you anywhere on campus free of charge! They also have two fleets of bicycles you can use for free, with a handful actually electric! Then they have several vans to take you off-campus to outside waterfalls or other attractions like Poas Volcano, two national parks, birding trips as far as Cañon Negro included with the cost of a guide for the trip. But believe me – there’s enough to do on campus to fill a week easily and their 3 beautiful waterfalls are as good or better than the two outside ones I paid extra to see! But still glad I saw them!
With nature my focus, I don’t get a lot of hotel shots, but here are a few with a separate gallery for my room or villa shots . . .
Included are shots from their “Rainforest Trail” which is a fairly dense forest with a lot of old growth big trees which is refreshing but difficult to photograph birds in because of all the limbs and leaves! 🙂
I did not show my room this time but the rooms are on the hill just above the restaurant and pool seen at top of feature photo above or in the pool photo below at upper left. Rooms 10-14 look directly over the ocean and sunsets, while other rooms like mine have garden views with partial ocean views. (My room views are seen in gallery Day Vistas.) I got more birds from my garden view but the premium rooms have better sunset views (cost more) and with clouds & rain every afternoon in rainy season there is not much sunset to see. See the hotel website for more information at https://www.cristal-ballena.com/
Cristal Ballena Hotel, Uvita
CLICK Image to Enlarge
Ocean Views from Everywhere!
Yoga Chapel? Hmmm!
Birds Slide Show in Bar When No Ball Game
Hotel Seen from Ocean Boat
Restaurant by Pool w/ Meeting Room Above
Hotel on a Hill
In a Beautiful Forest
Banana Plant Flower
Stairs up to Rooms
Old Growth Big Trees
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― Lord Byron
Early this morning I used my favorite driver, Walter, to take me on an hour and a half drive up the mountains near Poas Volcano (which will reopen by December if no more eruptions). I have been hearing about a little Soda (small family restaurant) for a long time that everyone says I must visit for the wide variety of birds at their feeders and one of the most beautiful waterfall vistas.
I was not disappointed! Here is a slideshow of some of what seen and you can go to my TRIPS Photo Gallery for a gallery of today’s trip, Soda y Mirador Cinchona that will give you larger and more photos to see of one more great place to visit in Costa Rica! Birds are presented in the order found in the book The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide.
And I just added another sub-gallery to my Christmas in Atenas 2017 photo gallery showing the limited “Decorations at My House” if anyone is interested. Not much since I went away for Christmas Week, but a bit of the spirit still lingers even at home! 🙂 Now it’s a New Year!