Sunday, November 4, 2018

Winter Escape--Costa Rica

beach, Costa Rica
Beach, Costa Rica
The days are getting short and the wind is chilly. So I daydream about sunny warm places.
For example, Costa Rica.

I had never been in the tropics when I went there in 1972. It was magical. I have been back five times since.  It remains wonderful.

golden shower tree, Cassia fistula
golden shower tree, Cassia fistula
In terms of escaping to sunshine, there are beaches:

On the Pacific side, in Guanacaste Province, this time of year is the dry season and it is hot and sunny every day, perfect beach weather.

Playa la Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
There are beaches on the Atlantic side and lots of beautiful sunny hours despite the high rainfall.

Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Beach at Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Everywhere there are big tropical flowers

heliconia behind its big leaves, Costa Rica
heliconia behind its big leaves
blue trumpet vine, Thunbergia grandiflora
blue trumpet vine, Thunbergia grandiflora
And the pollinators they attract.
moth, Costa Rica
this moth was as big as my hand 
Costa Rica has many national parks protecting native animals. The animals are quite easy to see because they are used to crowds of people. And, compared to North America, the animals are different, from agoutis and iguanas to kinkajoos and tapirs.

iguana, Costa Rica
On the stump, a big iguana, seen from a picnic bench,
Manuel Antonio National Park
I'm too slow to have decent photos of birds, but the birds are awesome, some 890 different species (all of North America has 915). Parrots, hummingbirds, bell birds... On the dead tree below, a pair of scarlet macaws (better pictures of scarlet macaws link).

These photos do not begin to capture Costa Rica. The mountains reach over 10,000' creating all sorts of different ecological communities as you go up in elevation or cross to the other side of the continental divide. The central plateau with the capital has an absolutely wonderful climate. The focus on ecotourism provides outdoor experiences from bird watching to zip lining to hiking. And of course there are beaches on each side for swimming or water sports or just walking. And more.

A wonderful place to visit, dream about and/or remember.

beach, Costa Rica

Comments and corrections welcome.

Previous blogs on plants and environments mentioned above:
Hibiscus - link
Heliconia - link
Costa Rican rainforest trek, 1986 - link
Costa Rican rainforest visit, 2013 - link 
Northwestern Costa Rica (Guanacaste Province) link

Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist

No comments:

Post a Comment