In March 2009, I traveled to Costa Rica to seek an experience in a tropical environment and to photograph its landscapes, animals and plants in their natural habitats. This trip was organized by Costa Rica Expeditions, which put together a 9-day itinerary that included three unique regions: Monteverde, Arenal, Tortuguero.
At San José, the capital, I met the other travelers in my group: a family of four from the Massachusetts state in the United States. Our friendly and very knowledgeable driver, Mauricio, drove the minivan for us during this trip.
These photos are my personal favorites from the trip. I only picked the best ones.
Expert naturalist guides were invaluable in revealing animals which were hidden from my untrained eyes and ears. They carried spotting scopes on sturdy tripods which they deftly deployed to help me observe the animals. Unfortunately, I did not record all the details regarding specific animals. If you can identify the contents of these photos, please email me.
Monteverde is a small town on a 4600-feet high plateau in the Puntarenas province. Reaching it required a long uphill drive on a dusty gravel road. I stayed at the Monteverde Lodge amid beautifully landscaped gardens. The weather was pleasantly warm during daytime and cool at night.
I visited the Ecological Sanctuary Wildlife Refuge, Hummingbird Gallery, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.
The Monteverde Butterfly Garden has three distinct habitats for plants and butterflies. Each habitat is completely covered by nets.
The wildly popular 5200-feet tall Arenal Volcano is located near the town of La Fortuna in the Alajuela province. It is amazing how a volcano caused all the tourism and economic development around it. It is a gift from nature to the people of Costa Rica. I stayed at the beautifully landscaped Hotel Arenal Manoa with unobstructed view of the volcano. I traveled on horseback to see La Fortuna Waterfall and soaked in the Eco Termales Hot Springs. This lowland region was warm and humid.
Arenal Hanging Bridges are located near the Arenal Volcano. Inside this nature preserve, I walked across eight beam bridges and six hanging bridges stretched across the rainforest canopy. I literally walked at the top of the forest.
Our driver drove to the end of a long and badly-maintained gravel road through a vast banana plantation and reached the tiny outpost of Caño Blanco on the Caribbean coast in the Limón province. Then I boarded a flat-bottomed boat and navigated through the Tortuguero River toward the Tortuga Lodge inside the 47000-acre Tortuguero National Park. Only boats and planes can reach the park's interior. The weather was hot and very humid.