Well – It has been and I hope that at least part of it will last! I’ve been coming here for 5 years and it is definitely deteriorating with development and now evidently a landfill somewhere on the peninsula north of the hotel due to truck loads of dirt and rocks and trash headed that way.
The main (only) highway runs parallel to the coast and thus most beaches but Banana Azul is on a peninsula of sorts with a narrow dirt road leading to it and a few other smaller hotels or B&Bs. Then alongside the beach are “tracks” in the dirt that I hike down into the forest with some old growth trees, marshes, and some small animals and birds. Locals come down these tracks to find a private spot on the beach and like all good things in nature it may be getting “loved to death” with too much use. My Gallery below includes a few of my shots from this trip along this beachside rainforest trail. Though the Caribbean is slower developing than other parts of Costa Rica, I’m afraid it too will go for “the progress of the area.”
Here’s a shot from the beach with forest on left going all the way to the end of that “point” or peninsula.
One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?
Okay – my last post for Xandari! You may get tired of seeing photos from there, but hopefully they reveal why it is one of my favorite hotels in Costa Rica! I never tire of it and hope to keep going back! And like other great places, the friendliness and helpfulness of the people there is one great reason I may not have mentioned much! And that has nothing to do with my photography library being there – they treat everyone like royalty! I highly recommend Xandari Costa Rica anytime you are here and need a hotel near the airport or better yet for a luxurious nature experience over a longer period of time. You need several days to hike, see, photograph, and do all there is to do in this hotel!
And one of my many reasons for liking it is the beautiful scenery I have grouped here in two categories. As always, click a photo to see it larger and then you can return or take the option to see the photos in that gallery as a manual slide show. Enjoy!
For the photo report on my latest and third trip to Xandari see my CR Trips Gallery 2020 Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela. NOW READY! And includes for the first time my visit to the Starbucks Alsacia Coffee Farm.:
Or if researching Xandari, see photos from my 2 earlier trips in both galleries and in books:
2019 Xandari Birthday Week Celebration:GALLERY –or– BOOK
More shots from Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui as I sit at my computer with another wonderful afternoon rain! It rained every afternoon at Selva Verde and it was like I brought the rainy season back with me, rain every afternoon in Atenas now! I love it! And tempted to take a little nap as I’m doing more now. 🙂
Everyday for a week I walked through the grounds of Selva Verde Lodge among these big old trees and one day across the river on that long swinging bridge to the protected old-growth rainforest where I saw those Manakin Leks and several other birds. One must have a guide to go with you to cross the river into that forest thus most of these shots are on the lodge side, still magnificent!
“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”
The slideshow photos are in no particular order, just shots from my walk around the campus this morning with no rain! And almost no birds! There were a lot more birds on the rainy days! And now at about 3 in the afternoon the rain is starting for the first time today, so maybe the birds will return. Ahhhh! I just saw two Euphonias but not where I could photograph. Tonight is my last night here and near the end of the most wonderful food that someone else prepares for me. Its been a great week!
Morning Walk Photo Slideshow
“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”
And I am just now starting the “trip gallery” for this trip at 2018 Esquinas Rainforest Lodge — but soon that will be the place to see all my best photos from this week. I have gotten 10 new “lifers” or first-time seen birds this week! That is incredible! Possibly more than on any other trip at least recently.
If you count the unofficial paths and trails there are possibly 5 miles of walking/hiking ways within the Xandari property. And I think I have walked over every portion except a little section that dead ends along the river. Around the villas and through the gardens is paved while through the farm and to the waterfalls is dirt paths, sometimes muddy this time of year! I came back to my room with muddy shoes every day! Just a sampling of trails and I did not include some grass-covered paths. Trails are a great way to immerse yourself in nature!
Today I joined a group of supporters of the new coast to coast trail called El Camino de Costa Rica Hiking an 11 km section, with 8 km uphill! Very difficult.
One of many vistas along the trail El Camino de Costa Rica
It was all on roads, mostly gravel El Camino de Costa Rica
One of the many very steep uphill climbs (2 dropped out early) El Camino de Costa Rica
We cossed and followed several streams El Camino de Costa Rica
Passed a continous flow of small, poor farm houses El Camino de Costa Rica
Had breakfast in a little rural Soda El Camino de Costa Rica
And our after-hike lunch at a rural trout farm restaurant El Camino de Costa Rica
Enough participated to fill a tourist bus! El Camino de Costa Rica
One more vista, this near end of the hike El Camino de Costa Rica
We did just one small section of a 263 or so km trail coast to coast and as the project proposes, walked through small farms in rural Costa Rica, this one in the Talamanca Mountains west of Cartago, but going through no town. See the video introducing the trail which uses some of my bird photos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7euE5oQPC8
I neither saw nor photographed a single bird, though I heard many. But it was a beautiful walk in the rainforest across the road from the lodge on a trail they created for about 2-3 km. It is a similar cloud forest to what I walked through in Tenorio Park, just fewer people! Here are a dozen photos without much comment:
Rainforest Trail Seen from Lodge Dining Room Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
One of Many Old Growth Trees Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Flower at Entrance to Trail Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Fern Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Unknown Berries Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Tree Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Tree Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Plant Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Much Grows on the Trees Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Air Plant Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Footbridge Over Stream Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica
Trail Welcome & Rules in Spanish, English & French Celeste Mountain Lodge Rainforest Trail, Bijagua, Costa Rica