Golfito and Casa Orquideas

Jan 16, 2019 - National Geographic Quest


Crossing from the Caribbean Coast to the Pacific through the Panama Canal, we woke this morning in Costa Rica’s southern port town of Golfito. Once there, we wasted no time breaking from the ship to explore the coastline and the adjacent mangrove forest. 

That afternoon we ventured toward the famous botanical garden of Casa Orquideas. The garden sits deep inside the Bay of Dulce and is accessible only by ocean. Surrounded by an expanse of primary forest, Casa Orquideas is its own small paradise. This garden was created and is managed by Trudy and Ron McAlister, two American expats who have made this tropical sanctuary their home for the past 35 years. Casa Orquideas showcases an incredible diversity of colors, florals, fruits, and spices the tropics have to offer. 

A great first day in Costa Rica to be sure!

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About the Author

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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