COSTA RICA 2017

Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Waterfall Hike. This is a 1500 acre private natural reserve.

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La Fortuna Waterfall

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Sloth

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Leaf mimic moth at Tabacon Lodge

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The driver saw this and stopped while on our way to the Arenal Hanging Bridges reserve. This unfortunately dead specimen is, I believe, a Caecilian. This is a group of limbless, serpentine animals which come under the classification Amphibia and typically live underground. They have no eyes to speak of.

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Juvenile Eyelash Viper

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At the bar in the Tabacon Thermal Resort we were treated to these visitors:

Travel partners at the Tabacon hot springs which is essentially a network of hot streams which runs through several acres of manicured garden.

From here we went across lake Arenal to connect with the ground transportation taking us to Monteverde where we stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge which is basically surrounded by the park. Below, view of the Arenal volcano:

The photos below were shot just across the road from the Trapp Lodge

Bromiliad in the cloud forest at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.Bromiliad in the cloud forest at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.Bromiliad in the cloud forest at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.

Below, the twin trunks of what I believe is a matapalo tree or ‘strangler fig’.
Matapalo tree (strangler fig) at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.Matapalo tree (strangler fig) at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.Matapalo tree (strangler fig) at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.Matapalo tree (strangler fig) at Monteverde National Park, Costa Rica.

Seven inch diameter twisted vine aka ‘monkey ladder’

 

I did not know what this vertical “stick” was doing in the middle of a spider web but somehow it did not look like a random event placed it there. It was not until I touched the “stick” that a spider jumped out of line. The line is formed of forest debris and presumably old kills and the spider sits in a gap in the line waiting to ambush prey. On searching this I discovered that the spider which builds this web is called a “trash line orb weaver.”

The next day we went officially through the park entrance which is just up the road from the Trapp Lodge. Most of these photos were taken there:

From here we made our way to the Manuel Antonio area where we stayed at the Hotel Parador. On the way we saw these American Crocodiles: Crocodylus acutus:

Caught in the rain searching for the trailhead down to the ocean at night we ducked into a place for a drink and meal:

Hotel Parador pool

Map of Manuel Antonio National Park


coatimundi

just another beautiful beetle

back lit golden orbweaver


thorn spider

jumping spider

Our final stop was Tortuguero National Park and the Tortuga Lodge. This is an important sea turtle nesting area. Some species which nest here are endangered.

Tortuga Lodge official greeter


“Blue Jeans” Frog aka “Strawberry” Frog

Baby turtle tracks

Baby turtle tracks

Turtle nest

 

Golden Orbweaver

Fungi

 

As Costa Rica’s craft beer industry is in its infancy, I could not find an IPA but this was not bad – striking graphics too!

 

Harmless beetle at the dinner table

 

Old engine artifact at Tortuguero village

 

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