1-7 December 2018
The Arenal Volcano is a major birds hotspot where lots of species at their limit of distribution can be observed. In addition, the animals are not really shy and let themselves be observed very closely. The best is to stay inside the National Park, at the Arenal Hotel, but it is expensive and always full. The influx of tourists is very important, but the many kilometers of path and the multitude of animals that we observed there made us relativize the crowds… Many rarities are noted there every year! A primary forest is a few hours walk away, the Cerro Chato Volcano.
Heliconias Rainforest Lodge is located 3 kilometers from the small town of Bijagua, at the foot of the Tenorio Volcano. They own a beautiful tropical forest with very well marked trails and three suspension bridges that allow you to observe the canopy with its flora and fauna. This place is off the beaten track in the middle of well preserved forests and an incredible naturalistic richness!
The owner’s son, a teenager, is passionate about snakes and spends his evenings in the forest looking for them. We spent a long evening with him walking the jungle, which will remain engraved in our memories. Four species of snakes, many Amphibians and Invertabrates of all sizes in all possible and imaginable shapes, each more mimetic than the next. Note that this mountain has a very high rainfall and a totally unpredictable climate… It rained everyday during our stay ! It is happiness for the tropical forest but a misfortune for our gear...
The other visited regions :
- Palo Verde National Park and Rancho Humo (Pacific coast dry forests and swamp)
- Tarcoles river and Carara National Park (American crocodile)
- Osa peninsula, Punta Marenco (dream beaches)
- Osa peninsula, La Tarde (our favorite place! Sloth and snakes)
- San Gerardo de Dota (Quetzal and magic mountain forests)
- El Copal biological reserve (Lots of Tangaras and very big Terciopelo)
- Cahuita National Park (tropical beaches, racoons and poison frogs)
- Selva Bananito (snakes portraits and few nice birds)
- Tortuguero National Park (little Amazonia)- La Selva (biological station with an intense natural wealth)