J. Michael Alexander's Trip to Costa Rica

My vacation in Costa Rica from 20 January 2001 to 1 February 2001:
Video - Mine is titled "White Face Capuchin Monkeys" by Alexander333.
List of Animals Spotted

Sat Jan 20
Flew from Seattle to Dallas/Fort Worth to San Jose, Costa Rica on American Airlines.

Cariari Hotel

Sun Jan 21
Took a small plane to Tortuguero National Park which is on the North Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. This park is a major nesting site for sea turtles. This wasn't turtle season. The plane went from the International Airport to a small airstrip in the jungle. At one airport, probably this one, little boys carried our suitcases. They were pretty strong for little guys. Short boat ride on the river to the lodge.

Searched for wildlife from a boat. Don was the pilot who also searched for wildlife. Saw 3 caimans and a bunch of birds.

Tortuga Lodge

Mon Jan 22
Short hike to see poison dart frogs. They were small red frogs. These were less poisonous than other poison dart frogs, so you could pick them up.

Flew a small plane to Peninsula de Osa at South Pacific corner of Costa Rica. Bus on dirt road. Rode a boat for 90 minutes down a river and across the ocean to Marenco Lodge. Steep climb on foot from the beach to the lodge. This lodge had no hot water.

Marenco Lodge

Tue Jan 23
Hiking in Corcovado National Park. Swam in fresh water near a small waterfall. This might be the day when I saw the foot long poisonous snake (fer de lance). The person in front of me either stepped on it or almost stepped on it. I think it was Debbie who was the third person. I was the fourth. The snake went scurrying off the trail. It took a couple of seconds to tell whether it was a lizard or snake. Fortunately, it went across the trail, instead of forward or back towards people. It hid under some leaves with its tail sticking out. I called Gustovo who pulled one of the leaves away to identify the snake.

Marenco Lodge

Wed Jan 24


Went to the beach Lots of rocks on the beach which makes walking barefoot painful. Snorkeling to see fish. I think that this was the day we saw the white face capuchin monkeys.

Marenco Lodge

Thu Jan 25

90 minute boat ride, bus, small airplane back to San Jose. Met Ricardo who was our bus driver for the rest of the trip. Road the bus to Tilaran Area. We saw Lake Arenal from the bus. We were hoping to see the Arenal volcano from the lodge, but it was foggy and cold.

Lake Coter Ecolodge

Fri Jan 26

Bus ride over dirt roads to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Hummingbird Feeders.

Fonda Vela Hotel

Sat Jan 27

Found the Resplendent Quetzal 3 times in the morning. Good views of their back sides through spotting scopes, but not close enough for photography. Sky Walk in the afternoon.

Fonda Vela Hotel

Sun Jan 28

Butterfly garden. Few than usual, because of recent cold. Drove back to San Jose

Cariari Hotel

Mon Jan 29

Others flew back home. I went into San Jose in the morning with David and Yvonne Straley. A taxi to downtown costs $10. Walked around downtown and bought T-shirts. Ate at Pizza Hut and went back to the hotel. Switched to the Herradura Hotel. It is a lot like the Cariari in that it is big, but it costs half as much ($80 a night).

Herradura Hotel

Tue Jan 30

White water rafting on the Pecuare River. More dangerous than expected, but we saw some great scenery, a sloth and lots of vultures. Was that a bad omen? Stuck in a recirculating hole (play hole) for 5 to 10 minutes (estimate). When we first went into that hole, one guide flew over the top of the other guide and out of the boat. The remaining guide tried to paddle our way out, but couldn't. Eventually, someone on shore threw us a rope. The woman next to me was crying, because her leg was twisted the whole time. I rode with two sisters and the husband of one sister. All were from Canada.

Herradura Hotel

Wed Jan 31

Visited National Museum, Numismatic Museum (Gold Museum), and Zoo in San Jose. Flash photography is not allowed in the National Museum. No cameras are allowed in the Gold Museum so I put my camera in the locker. The zoo is not a good place for photography, because it has lots of cages.

There were filming an exercise show in the plaza in front of the National Museum. When I came out an hour later, they were in a different location in the plaza, but still filming.

Herradura Hotel

Thu Feb 1

Flew Home through Dallas/Fort Worth.