Lindblad Expeditions - From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama - Max Vindas, naturalist
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From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama

Dec 3, 2012 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Great blue heron (Jeffrey Munoz, photo instructor/naturalist)
Scarlet macaw (Max Vindas, naturalist)

Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

We finally arrived at the famous jungles of the southern Pacific of Costa Rica, so of course we had to wake up early to make the most of a day in one of the most diverse places on earth… The sunrise was very wet, but what else would you expect in a rain forest? We had planned a pre-breakfast Zodiac ride and just as we were getting our rain gear ready, the rain stopped and the day began to shine!

The Zodiac ride in the Agujitas River turned out to be an outstanding trip, not only for all the bird sightings but also because we found, for most guests, the first monkeys of the trip, a troop of howler monkeys. After breakfast we repositioned to Caletas Private Reserve. At this location we hiked through the gorgeous rain forest on a longer trail or walked along the coast in more open country to look for images to photograph.

Along the beach trail you could see several tripods, cameras and various-sized lenses, and if you listened closely, the nature sounds were accompanied by numerous click, click, clicks. Everybody on this trail was waiting for the magical words “macaw, macaw, macaw,” when two scarlet macaws landed right in front of the anxious photographers, just as if we had planned it that way. The rest of the story you know: click, click, click. What a show!

After an amazing picnic lunch at the beach (what a treat), we visited the world-famous Corcovado National Park. We put on our hiking shoes for the real jungle; two trails were waiting for us, one called the “Pargo” trail and the other one was the waterfall trail. The Pargo trail offered not only a great jungle with mud, but great sightings of unusual birds such as the tawny-crowned greenlet and the endemic black-cheeked ant tanager. The waterfall trail offered a chance to photograph the waterfall of the San Pedrillo River and the reward of a swimming hole. One thing these two trails shared in common that made our day was great views of spider monkeys.

Back on National Geographic Sea Lion we had so much to share and talk about over cocktails at recap. Some told stories about the birds they saw, the roots they went over, the river they crossed, but the prime scene of the evening was the multiple laptops with images of the gorgeous scarlet macaw.

About the Author

Max Vindas·Naturalist

Known for his passion for nature and dedication to conservation and ecotourism, Max Vindas has been guiding natural history trips in Costa Rica since 1993. On his first trip to the rainforest at age eight, Max realized his love for the outdoors and wildlife observation. Since then, he spends as much time as he can in the forest, sharing his knowledge with visitors to his country.