Everywhere I go in Costa Rica I’m captivated by the flowers! Here’s a few from my recent visit to Manuel Antonio, park, hotel grounds, and other locations, Click an image to enlarge it or start a manual slideshow:
NOTE TO OTHER WP BLOGGERS : This is my first post with the new WP5 Editing Software called “Guttenberg.” For now I’m staying with the Theme “Twenty Seventeen” which means my pages still look about the same. Their new recommended default Theme is called “Twenty Nineteen” and designed for the new editor, but does not have the right column I’m used to, so debating over that change, but may try it. The biggest difference on this post now is that the “Quotation Block” looks different and is very nice though it doesn’t seem to allow color typeface like I was using with dark red. But I like the softer quote look. And the “Button” to click for a link to my gallery (or other places) is new and I like that very much. All our different worlds are constantly changing! 🙂
This morning I left Si Como No Hotel in Manuel Antonio after 6 nights at Christmas time. They call it their “Flagship Hotel” of the Greentiquechain of 4 eco-hotels in Costa Rica. Their marketing department or ad agency is doing a fabulous job with websites (which hooked me) and other advertising, but they touted so much that the actual experience was a let down at Si Como No.
I had two other experiences with Greentique which were very positive, so I got here more because of those experiences than their marketing of this location. Back in May 2017 at Drake Bay (link to my photos) I stayed in the Aguila de Osa Hotel(link to hotel site) which was pricey but not as expensive as Manuel Antonio’s Si Como No. I loved Aguila better in every way! I got all the nature tours I wanted and did not here. The room was bigger and better with equal ocean view and the food was so much better there!
Then in November 2017 at Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort(link to my photos) nearer me at San Ramon, I was one of few guests still in the low season and got fabulous service and nature experiences and again much better food! Villa Blanca(link to hotel site) is on an old farm and is a much quieter, relaxed setting than either of the other two, but again I liked it better and felt like it was worth what I paid. Si Como No is way overpriced for what you get!
Now, with all of that said and maybe only the second time for me to be negative (I didn’t like a B&B in Orosi), let me show you some photos of my room and the grounds of this old but nice hotel or you can see my total experience at 2018 Christmas at Si Como No trip photo gallery. And I must say this was maybe my best ocean view anywhere and one of the better sunsets anywhere. Just bad service and food!
My Room at Si Como No
Hotel Grounds at Si Como No
All good hotels tend to lead people to do things they wouldn’t necessarily do at home.
I have really enjoyed the sunsets here from my room and try to be there between 5 & 5:30 every evening when our sun sets here pretty much year around. Tonight I used a real camera instead of the cell phone and it does make a difference I think, though I did not try to make the trees green tonight but let them silhouette into black. That is another difference with more contrast.
That’s a Fiery-billed Aracari in above feature photo which is the rarest bird yet for me here, shot from the deck of my room. I’m doing this as a separate birds post from what I will see tomorrow on:
Damas Island Estuary Boat Trip
Discover the complex estuary system of Damas Island. From your covered boat, you’ll wind you way through coastal mangroves for up-close looks at the abundant wildlife, including a variety of sea birds and tropical birds, reptiles, and monkeys. ~from the hotel website Tours descriptions
Note, that even with their own “Wildlife Refuge” at this hotel, I have seen fewer birds here than most of the lodges I visit and in this national park the only bird photo I got was of the stationary Hermit Hummingbird nest. I did see a Kingfisher and Woodrail on the hotel night hike but no photos. I expect my most bird photos tomorrow in the mangroves.
Si Como No Birds:
Stripe-throated Hermit Nest
Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.
This was last night’s hike at Si Como No Greentique Wildlife Refuge and as with all night hikes, photography was difficult and our conscientious guide would not let us shine lights on sleeping birds or a couple of other animals. I would loved to have gotten a photo of the sleeping Kingfisher and the sleeping Gray-necked Wood Rail. We saw but could not photo a sloth and a Kinkajou (too high in tree & moving). None of these pix are particularly good, but they give an idea of what you see on night hikes all over Costa Rica. Though I think my Red-eyed Tree Frog, Glass Frog, & Bullfrog are pretty good. There were also a lot of insects, especially spiders & scorpions of which I got no useable photos.
On the hotel property’s “Wildlife Refuge” or nature trail is a “Butterfly Garden” like you find all over Costa Rica, a big, high ceiling cage with lots of flowering plants and continuously hatching butterflies. Here’s some of the ones I saw there today in a simple little slideshow. I do not have my butterfly book with me, meaning I could have mis-labeled one or two and there is one I have no idea of the name and there was no attendant to help me label them. Most I already knew from all I have photographed all over Costa Rica. Enjoy what Robert Frost calls “Flying Flowers!”
“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
¡Tranquilo! is a favorite Spanish word in Costa Rica and is used in many ways to encourage or recognize tranquility and the easy-going ways here (except in the big city). My day started with a little bit of stress (in the big city) but ended very tranquil! (in a forest)
A different driver than expected picked me up early today which was good because of pre-Christmas traffic, but when I got to the airport the new girl at the counter told me my flight had been cancelled. What?! (Feel the stress building? She did.) But fortunately the supervisor she called over was exceptionally kind and helpful and not only got me on another flight but gave me a discount! Then I go and wait and wait for the plane which was 40 minutes late leaving with a driver waiting on me in Quepos. And being a Tico, he was not upset that the plane was late. ¡Pura Vida! Then when I got to my expensive hotel they could not schedule all the tours I wanted for various reasons (grrrr), but fortunately . . .
The Spa had space for one more person this afternoon and I got my “Relaxation Massage” and then went to a lovely dinner with monkeys entertaining and the nice sunset beside the building my room is in, with an ocean view by the way! 🙂
Phone Shots Today
I love flying over the mountains!
And the rivers!
Palm plantation that destroyed forest.
The runway is gravel here!
Monkeys around the pool at dinner.
Sunset from poolside restaurant, my room upper right.
The above photo is one of my sunsets at Manuel Antonio National Park in 2015, my first year here! I go back to celebrate 4 years living here! Photographing new birds and other animals, walking forest trails and one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, getting one or more relaxation massages, and eating gourmet food every day for a week as I create more Costa Rica Nature Photos! That is my kind of Christmas Celebration and I anticipate a fabulous week! Here’s one of the resort’s several videos: