Golfo Dulce, Casa Orquideas, Playa Blanca

Mar 24, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

Our second day of exploration in Costa Rica took us into one of the most diverse regions found on the southernmost part of this unique and diverse country. Golfo Dulce or “sweet gulf” is the deepest gulf of the eastern Pacific and is surrounded by several protected areas including Piedras Blancas National Park and many others privately owned sites. Our morning destination included an extraordinary visit to Casa Orquideas, an exuberant botanical garden containing hundreds of bird species and vegetation known in this region. Our guest were delighted with the avian diversity that includes tanagers, toucans, macaws, and many more. After a nice walk in the garden, we all had an opportunity to swim in the refreshing waters of the gulf.

Later in the day, we headed to Playa Blanca, where we visited the facilities of LAST (Latin America Turtles Association). This is an NGO that promotes conservation of marine turtles through education and raising awareness of the critical status of the species in their natural habitat.

It has been an unforgettable experience, and one we look forward to resuming first thing tomorrow!

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About the Author

Deibys Fonseca


Deibys Fonseca was born and raised in the mountains of western Panama. From a very young age, his interest in nature led him to become a volunteer guide for La Amistad International Park in the administrative headquarters of Chiriqui. His knowledge in geography and flora and fauna led him to participate in multiple wildlife research projects in his community, among which highlight a population census of bats, birds and plants developed by ANCON.

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

Julio Rodriguez

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in Ecuador, the son of Spanish and American parents, Julio developed a passion for storytelling and environmental conservation at an early age. After majoring in History at Carleton College (Minnesota), with a thesis on the Basque anti-Franco movement, he taught English in Spain and made short promotional films for an energy efficiency company in India and two environmental conservation NGOs in Greece and Galapagos. 

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