Our last few weeks away were full of travel. Following the Pantanal, we headed to the Osa Peninsula, our favorite spot in Costa Rica. This was actually our second attempt on the trip; we'd gone once in June (after Panama), but some heavy flooding prevented us from getting to Parque Nacional Corcovado.
|Red-eyed tree frog from our June attempt at the Osa Peninsula|
Found at La Danta Lodge
This time, we made it to the park, and stayed at Sirena Ranger Station. We met some nice folks and took a lot of hikes. Collared peccary (or, "ze savage pork," as one French girl had called them), multiple species of monkeys, coati, and agouti were among the animals we saw. Best of all, after a brief glimpse at a shy female tapir, we came upon this male tapir as he waded into the river, wallowed for a while, then crossed.
|Note the bite marks: another male tapir? Jaguar? This tapir is a little too thin, with heavy parasitism on the ears.|
Following the Osa, we made our way back to San Jose, where we met up with the other Mike, my (Emily's) brother. With our rented Suzuki Jimny (no, not Jimmy, JimNy), a two-door 4x4 nearly big enough for three people and some luggage, we headed to Rincon de la Vieja. This volcano has some excellent features, including boiling mud pots at lower elevations. Many of the sights in this region were very impressive.
|Close-up of bubbling mud pot|
|Phallus indusiatus: one of the best mushrooms we've ever seen|
|Geothermal power plant|
Our next stop was a few laid-back beach and mangrove days at Nosara, where we stayed at Lagarta Lodge, a very nice place run by a Swiss couple. Then, we made the bumpy climb to Monteverde, where we spent a few days, followed by a trip to Volcan Poas.
|Bromeliad seen from hanging bridges in Monteverde|
Following the other Mike's departure, we spent a few days in the mountainous corridor along Rte 2, including a few nights at the friendly, scenic Paraiso del Quetzal. We also went to nearby San Gerardo de Dota in search of quetzals. We saw one very wet male...but perhaps even better, our favorite woodpecker.
|Acorn woodpecker. What's not to love about social, chattering woodpeckers?|
|Misty view from one of the roads in San Gerardo de Dota|
|Above and below: fiery-throated hummingbirds at Paraiso del Quetzal|
From there, back to San Jose to meet up with our good friends Jesse and Eyal. Spending time with them in Arenal was the perfect way to end our trip.
We just got back on the 21st, and are glad to be home. We''re not done here quite yet, though: at some point, we'll have a few more thoughts about the trip overall, including a list of the best and the worst of our travels.