Playa Blanca, Pto. Jimenez, Osa Peninsula

Dec 05, 2017 - National Geographic Quest

After cruising around the Osa Peninsula on the southern end of Costa Rica’s pacific coastline, the National Geographic Quest dropped anchor in front of a calm surf and long sandy beach.

Our day was packed with activities. Some guests visited Kobo Farm, which is known for the production of cacao (chocolate) among other crops. Others went a bit inland to the small town of Rancho Quemado, where they visited a hearts of palm family plantation run by two strong ladies who harvested and sold delicious, freshly cut hearts of palm.

The last destination was a couple of hours away by motor coaches to a Biological Research Station. Just the drive through the lush rainforest was full of great bird sightings: caracaras, parrots, macaws, hawks.

By the time we arrived at the research station, we had already spotted three out of the four monkey species present in the country: the spider monkey named after its long spider-like limbs, the howler monkey, and the white-faced capuchin. And that was not even counting everything we experienced on the trail itself. Towering trees, ancient long twisty vines, thick jungle understory.

After a couple of hours, we returned to the station for a delicious lunch made from ingredients grown or raised on the station’s farm, from the chicken to the tomatoes and cabbage. As we finished our dessert of sweet papaya and watermelon, we were lucky enough to spot an elusive squirrel monkey that was swinging, jumping and doing acrobatic moves in a nearby tree. Spotting Costa Rica’s four monkey species only hours apart in the same forest was more than expected. A fitting end to our last day in Costa Rica.

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About the Author

Margrit Ulrich


Affectionately called "Machita" ("Blondie"), Margrit is one of our most cosmopolitan guides with a family that hailed from Switzerland, France, and Germany before settling in Costa Rica's capital city San José where she was born and raised. Hence she blends the well-organized, perfectionist, and detailed personality of a Swiss watch with the easiness and effervescent enthusiasm of a simple tropical girl.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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