Expedition Stories

Our fleet navigates the world in search of adventure. These are the stories they bring back…

Golfo Dulce, Casa Orquidea and Playa Blanca

Eric Wehrmeister, Video Chronicler

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 27 Nov 2019

Golfo Dulce, Casa Orquidea and Playa Blanca, 11/27/2019, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia

Our last stop in Costa Rica was its southernmost tip, Golfo Dulce. Boarding Panama and surrounded by pristine mountainous rainforest, Golfo Dulce is one of the ultimate isolated and pristine remnants of forest. After breakfast, our first outing is Casa Orquidea, a favorite stop over the years, where most guests rave about the exuberant tropical gardens loaded with spectacular plants and birdlife, easy for all to capture great pictures. Our hosts Ron & Trudy McAlister are always happy to welcome us and share their artistic garden display of tropical flora, designed with love over 40 years and nestled into the pristine surrounding.

For a naturalist it is a pleasure to walk amongst so many different plants. Tons of explanations and observations of great bird life. As we entered their property, we were greeted by a white hawk perched up in the forest canopy, yellow-throated toucans flying in the surrounding forests and many other animals like a Central American agouti and various species of insects and reptiles. After a wonderful time appreciating the garden, we went back to the ship to enjoy a wonderful buffet lunch.

The afternoon was also full of surprises, as we repositioned the ship to our destination; we enjoyed the waters of the gulf leading us back to Playa Blanca. Most of us went out for the afternoon to meet our friends from LAST, a sea turtle and habitat (mangroves) conservation project that has its research site right in Playa Blanca. They had two turtles they had caught that day for measurements and data taking and we could share the experience with them by releasing them back into the sea. We also helped the mangrove conservation project by learning about the importance of mangrove forests and planting a red mangrove seed.

Sightings of Pantropical spotted dolphins completed our day. We said goodbye to Costa Rica with great photos and even better memories.

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