Arenal Park is #6 in the World!

You’ve heard me brag about the forests of Arenal Volcano National Park several times and now it is not just me! 🙂 TripAdvisor just released their list of the “Top 10 National Parks in the World” (Tico Times article) with Costa Rica’s Arenal Park #6 on the list, right there with Maisa Mara of Kenya and the Grand Canyon of the United States as most popular by their volunteer reviewers. And I’m glad I’ve been able to see all three of those! 🙂 And especially to explore the forests that surround this beautiful volcano . . .

The best way to see the Arenal Volcano National Park is in the only lodge that’s inside the park, Arenal Observatory Lodge, which you may remember is where I was Christmas Week and it just so happens, because of pandemic airline changes, I’m going again this year in May! Yay! And to see why I like it so much, see my photo galleries from three past trips there:

But Tonight I Return to El Silencio

This short 4-night trip starting today is because the owner of El Silencio Lodge & Reserve liked my photo book about his hotel so much he gave me two nights gratis. And of course for me two nights is not enough anywhere, so I’m adding 2 more! 🙂 Makes it half price! 🙂 And I’m using my gift now! 🙂

There are two more waterfalls outside the lodge property I want to photograph and as always more birds! Hoping for more lifers. I got 4 lifers when there last September! And I get excited with just one! So it is obviously a good place for birding! Meaning that the rest of this week and probably longer will be more photos from El Silencio! 🙂 I’m so fortunate!

¡Pura Vida!

Rancho Naturalista – The Place

One of the friendly staff at
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My excellent young Birding Guide, Mercedes! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Main Lodge & Dining Room (office, kitchen, library, etc.)
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

My Cabin for the Week 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica
Tile steps invite me down from my cabin
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Observation Deck above the bird feeders and vistas
I had coffee at 5 AM each day here

One of the Vistas 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

“I never get tired of blue sky.”  -Vincent Van Gogh
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

Early Morning Fog adds Mystery to the Forest! 
 Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And Recognition is Good!
Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

And their website: Rancho Naturalista

“The earth has music for those who listen.” 

George Santayana

My TripAdvisor Reviews Read by 61,000+!

In case you didn’t know, I write reviews of places I visit on the TripAdvisor website. I think you can see all my reviews at:  try it. The address is from my member page, so hope it works for the non-member. I have mixed emotions about TripAdvisor, which is good for some things but not all. I don’t recommend it as your main trip planning source. If a hotel, lodge, park, restaurant, etc. has its own website, then your best information is going to them directly. Don’t believe the promise of big discounts from TripAdvisor. And for turnkey trips in Costa Rica I have had good experience with My Costa Rica ( ) at reasonable prices. And if you want to get acquainted with Costa Rica, the absolutely best tour of the country at the very lowest price is from  from $995 including all meals and hotels! And of course my friends have me as an possible personal guide or trip planner, though I don’t have the discounts these big companies have. But my advice is free!  🙂

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Hi Charlie Doggett
Level 86 reviews 12,492 total points
Your advice has helped thousands
Charlie, 61,888 readers have read your reviews – impressive! As a leading contributor, your advice has really made its mark in our travel community. You’ve also earned a Readership badge with TripCollective. Congrats.
Good advice travels fast – so keep on sharing to see how many more travelers you can help!
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