Today we entered the second country of our journey, Costa Rica. We came into the Southernmost Gulf called Golfo Dulce – the Sweet Gulf – and into amazingly green and lush tropical rainforest covered mountains. Even deep into the dry season, this area offers green dense vegetation to meditate. Early this morning we had Golfito Port authorities check us into the country, and we began with our activities. First, in hand the kayaking or Zodiac ride amongst the Golfito estuary and in the afternoon onto the beautiful Casa Orquidea Botanical Garden.

Off we went early in the morning to enjoy the scenery of the mountains surrounding Golfito and we hoped to spot some wildlife in our kayaks or Zodiacs. We were not disappointed; both outings had the chance to see many animals, from birds to mammals to reptiles: howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, little blue-green and tricolored herons, great and snowy egrets, American crocodile, yellow-headed caracara, common black hawk, and many more. Back on board for a presentation in Costa Rican history, lunch and a quick rest to get ready to disembark onto Casa Orquideas.

Ron and Trudy McAllister have been living in this area for the past forty years. They left their homeland to go south and this is as far as they reached. They fell in love with the lush forests and the nice people and decided to stay, live and raise a family. Into the garden we went, and were not disappointed: heliconias, orchids, bromeliads, aroids, giant palms, toucans, macaws, flowers and fig trees welcomed us into their realm. What a great way to start our trip in Costa Rica.