Exploring Tortuguero

Green Basilisk or “Jesus Christ Lizard” (because he walks on water)
It is also called emerald, plumed, or double-crested basilisk (Nat’l Geographic)
From a boat on Tortuguero River – CLICK TO ENLARGE

We are busy & upload is slow, so I’m saving the bird photos for when we are home tomorrow or later this week. Lots of birds! Good tours today! I recommend Laguna Lodge at Tortuguero!

And if you are going to the west coast or especially Manuel Antonio, I recommend our guide for these 3 days who usually works over in Manuel Antonio National Park. His name is Robert Umaña, robert.uma8@gmail.com or call (506) 8881-2240. He is very personable and well organized and good at finding birds. Though I have had guides more knowledgeable of birds, he is going to continue getting better as a young man. And he is real good about taking a picture for you with your cell phone through his spotting scope, which I find very impressive for most people from the U.S. And he is very patient with people which is important for a professional guide. Guides here are trained by the government and certified which means most are good and that is a big plus for Costa Rica tourism! I’ve never had a bad guide, just some are better than others. Robert’s one of the best!

Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of his visit here! He is not into birds like me or the wildness, but he likes the adventure and the opportunities to make photos and share them just like me! So we are both having a good experience in “The Amazon of Costa Rica.”   Pura Vida!

Last of Tarcoles Animal Photos

I got a few more photos, but not really good enough to show (and maybe some of these neither!)

Tarcoles River before flowing into the Pacific Ocean, an hour+ drive from Atenas.
Adjacent to Carara National Park, the last transitional rainforest in the Americas.
Tarcoles, Costa Rica
Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Amazon Kingfisher, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Boat-billed Heron, a better photo than shown first day.
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Royal Tern, Tarcoles River Mouth, Costa Rica
Black-crowned Night Heron, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Snowy Egret, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
(With trash all around him!)

White-tailed Hawk, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Brown Basilisk (Striped Basilisk), Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Mangrove Crab, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

Juvenile American Crocodile, Tarcoles, Costa Rica

See also my Costa Rica Birds PHOTO GALLERY

Costa Rica Reptiles  PHOTO GALLERY

“That’s what people do when they find a special place that wild and full of life, they trample it to death.” 
― Carl Hiaasen, Flush

I’m hoping that won’t happen to Tarcoles River, but during Dry Season it is full of tourists coming to see the crocodiles and what is worse, the government is building two hydroelectric dams upstream on the Tarcoles River. Plus it has already been labeled “the most polluted river in Costa Rica” as many Central Valley towns dump their sewage and industrial waste into it. Wildness is slowly disappearing everywhere, even in one of the “green” countries! And the lack of rain thus far in this year’s rainy season has been shocking to me!

Tarcoles Catch-up Photos

On March 24, our first night at Manuel Antonio, we had a slow internet connection and I only shared one beach sunset photo. Here’s a few of many from our stop on the Tarcoles River enroute to beach.

Yellow-headed Caracara
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Striped Basilisk
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Common Black Hawk
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Tiger Heron
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
Black-necked Stilt
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
American Crocodile (Great Egret in background)
Tarcoles River, Costa Rica
This was my third time on the Tarcoles River and we always see and photograph more than 20 species of birds along with the promoted crocs and usually basilisks and iguanas plus some other lizards. That night I got lots of different kinds of beach sunset photos. Here’s one more I just have to show: 
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean
Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

Wildlife Morning

White-faced Capuchin Monkey behind our hotel on the beach before breakfast.

Kevin with two monkeys behind him, not posing!

We said “Goodbye” to Manuel Antonio Beach and went to breakfast.
And while eating breakfast we see . . .
Striped Flycatcher from breakfast table

Cherrie’s Tanager seen from breakfast table

Striped Basilisk seen from breakfast table. 

Then we drove back to Atenas with stops in Quepos, Jaco, and Tarcoles to help Kevin find those last minute souvenirs and gifts for Robbie. Though the one by Crocodile Bridge is good, I found a new favorite gift shop with locations near both Jaco and Tarcoles. I will take future visitors to one of these locations:

With two locations, one near Tarcoles and one near Jaco, and
the best overall selection I’ve seen in one place plus a woodwork collection
that rivals or beats the shops in Sarchi.

Kevin’s visit is helping me to get prepared for future visitors and where to go for specific things that interest you or whoever else comes for a visit. I will of course continue to refine my “tour.”   🙂