From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama
Jan 23, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
After long navigation from Panama to Costa Rica overnight, National Geographic Sea Lion met the calm waters of the famous Golfo Dulce in the southern Pacific of Costa Rica. After an amazing sunrise in the town of Golfito the ship repositioned to the botanical gardens of Casa Orquidea. As we cruised to the gardens we saw an amazing wall of green rain forest protecting the emerald waters of the gulf, and upon arrival a couple of bottlenose dolphins were the welcoming committee.
We arrived to the gardens and the McAllister’s, who own the site, were there to welcome us to their lush home. We began to explore and the show began: orchids, bromeliads, palms, heliconias, etc. In other words, flowers, flowers, and more flowers! Among all of these incredible plants we discovered a great variety of birds: toucans, macaws, tanagers, flycatchers, hawks, euphonias and many more. The list of sightings was growing and growing and the memory cards in our cameras were getting full of incredible images.
After our visit to the gardens, the tropical moisture and the sun had left us warmed up! So our expedition leader had the idea to invite us for a refreshing swim from the fantail. Of course we accepted the invitation; even our captain thought it was a great idea and joined us for the swim. The refreshing activity relaxed our bodies and refreshed our minds to then attend the presentation by our National Geographic photographer on board, Christopher Baker.
The afternoon was full of fun and surprises; we did Zodiacs rides in the bay of Golfito to see the ecosystem of the mangrove forest. Hidden among the tangle roots and the rain forest we were able to see a great amount of birds: egrets, herons, kingfishers, and many shorebirds.
But a trip is never complete if we don’t see the monkeys, of course! So the guides and Zodiacs drivers started sharpening their sights until monkeys were found. Among the trees we could see the alpha male of the white-faced capuchin monkeys moving the branches, showing his power to us, as the howler monkeys simply relaxed on the branches without even noticing that we were there.
After this amazing day and exciting activities the only thing on our minds is: how are we going to make it better tomorrow?