Casa Orquideas & Golfito, Golfo Dulce

Jan 08, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Today we disembarked in one of my favorite places along the Costa Rica/Panama itinerary.  The Casa Orquideas Botanical garden exhibits a beautiful sample of tropical plants from all over the world. This place is the home for a wide variety of colorful flowers, palm trees, tropical fruits and medicinal plants. At the same time, while enjoying the vibrant colors and delicate scents, guests got the chance to observe the scarlet macaws in flight as well as the amount of tanagers and honeycreeper birds that visit the garden with the promise of feeding on the bananas carefully placed in Ron and Trudy’s house, the owners of the property.

Later on, as we navigated a little further still in Golfito, the next adventure was about to take place. The area is a perfect location to explore the tranquil waters of the Golfo Dulce, where conditions in water and topography compare to a tropical fiord and make this place such a special ecosystem. At the time, guests could participate in either an active kayak tour or a Zodiac cruise along the very well preserved mangroves while enjoying the scenery and the occasional sighting of brown pelicans, little blue herons, snowy egrets, and more. The mangrove is a very productive and important ecosystem that is part of the local fishing economy. At the end of the day, it is time to go back to the ship. National Geographic Quest slowly departs Costa Rican waters and enters the Panama territory for more adventures to come.

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About the Author

Adriana Diaz


The oldest of three sisters, Adriana was born in Alajuela, Costa Rica and still lives in this same province. Her interest in biology started at a very young age when she was immediately attracted to the beauty of nature and the secrecy within the forest elements. After taking part in several volunteer programs related to biology subjects, she was later inspired to study biology with an emphasis on tropical ecology and sustainable development. By 2010, Adriana obtained a bachelor’s degree at Universidad Latina de Costa Rica.

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.

About the Videographer

Dexter Sear

Video Chronicler

Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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