Palo Verde National Park and Rancho humo reserve

8 -15 December 2018

Going from the Heliconias Lodge to Palo Verde National Park, we definitely go to the Pacific side. We quickly feel the warmer and drier climate.

In Palo Verde, we stayed within the national park in the biological station.

A heaven of peace far from mass tourism. The accomodation is very basic but we are easily satisfied with it given the beauty and proximity of the wilderness.

Palo Verde is a national park on the RAMSAR list that includes extensive swamps, tropical dry forests and part of the Termpisque River. This park offers beautiful hiking trails through the forest. Unfortunately, the only observatory that existed in the wetland is now unusable, but observation remains possible and of good quality from a pontoon and around the marsh. Crocodiles and Herons are omnipresent in this area.

Some of our exceptional sightings were the Limpkin, the Glossy Ibis (very rare in Costa Rica), the Reddish Egret that we will not see again elsewhere, as well as the Double-striped Thick-knee and the elegant Trogon.

On the paths of the station, we could observe scorpions every evening, the only ones of the trip.

It was not the right season in the region to observe the snakes but a huge Boa constrictor did us the honor of cutting us the road when leaving the park. We did not hesitate to pursue it in the undergrowth to photographe and admire it.


On the other side, an old farm called Rancho Humo, now transformed into a luxury hotel, also protects the swamp. A little publicity for this magical place with a perfect welcome but anything but economical :

There is no other alternative to freely access this marsh.

We observed, among others, the emblematic Jabiru, the Bat Falcon and the Southern Lapwing.

We have included in this chapter the Chomes salt pans, which are essential for observing Nearctic shorebirds, and the Ensenada lodge, which is not very welcoming but where we were able to observe some exceptional species in less than 24 hours, such as the Pacific Screech-Owl, the White-throated Magpie- Jay and a small group of Honduran white bat under a banana leaf.


The other visited regions :


 -Arenal Volcano and Heliconias Rainforest Lodge (Red-eyed treefrog and other tropical beauties)

- 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)