Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula
Happy New Year!
This brand new year, we arrived early in the morning to our last destination in beautiful, lush Costa Rica.
Just at the break of dawn National Geographic Sea Lion quietly navigated into Golfo Dulce Bay. Golfo Dulce is another one of these remote and pristine areas of Costa Rica; its calm deep waters are protected from the open Pacific Ocean by the Osa Peninsula. Navigating into Dulce Bay is always quite spectacular to the senses. Sky, ocean and thick green forest with no civilization in sight!
Our first adventure this year took us to the renowned Casa Orquidas Botanical Garden. Trudy and Ron Macallister, two American expatriates living in this remote part of the world, have lovingly created Casa Orquideas over the last 30 years,. Something that started as a hobby blossomed over time into a full-fledged showcase of tropical exuberance. Orquideas is located in a small valley nestled between hills covered with primary forest and well-manicured trails that are very easy to walk. Walking here we can easily observe a vast variety of tropical plants and colorful birds that fly above and through the abundant foliage. We observed a mix of orchids, heliconias, scheffleras, hibiscus, a wide assortment of palms, and bromeliads, spiced up with many different species of tanagers, flycatchers, trogons, toucans, parrots, and more.
Among some of the birds that are really worth mentioning this morning are toucans and scarlet macaws, iconic tropical birds, large, colorful and active. The macaws were particularly active this morning, constantly flying overhead back and forth, while loudly squawking and screaming, making sure that we didn’t get away without noticing their presence.
After the morning visit we repositioned to nearby Golfito meaning “small bay,” deeper inside of Golfo Dulce. Golfito is a perfect harbor with a small dock that used to be an important port for the exportation of bananas in the 70s. We set up during this afternoon to explore the forested edges of the bay and its very important mangrove forest, either by Zodiac or paddling on kayaks. It was a hot and sunny afternoon today but we had good opportunities for observing great egrets, little blue herons, white ibises, spotted sandpipers, yellow-headed caracaras, ruddy turnstones, and other birds while learning how the mangrove forest works. But the afternoon highlight consisted of a tiny little mangrove hummingbird sitting in its nest.
All in all, a great start for a new year and a trip full of promises.