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Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica


Atdahl
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I promised a while back to post our past trip reports to Costa Rica. We have been 4 times and each time we have gone to Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula. We keep telling ourselves we need to go somewhere else in Costa Rica, but we haven't been able to do that so far when each trip to BdC is better than the one before. Links to 3 of the trips are below (I never did a report for the first trip back in 2007 :( ).

 

Costa Rica, Feb 2009

 

Costa Rica, May 2011

 

Costa Rica, May 2012

 

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the trips to give you a taste of what can be seen. If anyone has any questions about Costa Rica, please don't hesitate to ask. It is a wonderful country with warm and friendly people and AMAZING wildlife watching opportunities.

 

One of the great things about BdC is that the lodge is on a bluff overlooking the ocean. I took this picture from our cabina deck as a couple of the many pairs of Scarlet Macaws did a "fly by". This rare bird is common on the grounds and is one of our favorites:

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White-nosed Coatis are also quite common. We have seen them on each trip and they are great fun to watch.

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There are 4 kinds of monkeys on the grounds but not all of then taunt photographers like this little White-faced Capuchin:

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Speaking of monkeys, when we see all four species (Capuchin, Howler, Spider, and Squirrel) in one day we call it "going card". I'm not sure why, it's just one of those silly things you come up with. We "went card" on each of our 4 trips. I don't think there are too many other places in Costa Rica where you can do that as consistently as the Osa Peninsula.

 

 

The Northern Tamandua can be seen on the grounds as well. We have seen two so far (in CR...we did see one in Belize for the record). We were lucky enough to see a Silky Anteater during our first trip so we have seen all the anteaters that Costa Rica has to offer.

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And of course, there are the sloths. How could you NOT love this face?

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Costa Rica is a birder's paradise. I was never really into birds until visiting the rainforest. Our backyard only attracts robins, finches, jays and maybe a bluebird or two. But, one trip to CR and you can't help but become a birder:

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There is also a huge variety of herps to be seen (yes, we have run across lots of snakes including venomous ones, but nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like a snake!). I posted a few herp shots in the photography forum here.

 

So, if you are looking to make a trek to Central America, the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica would be a great choice.

 

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Spectacular photos! We will be making our 2nd trip to Costa Rica in April, first to the OSA Peninsula. We are staying in Drake Bay first, spending one night in the Corcovado National Forest, then heading over to Bosque del Cabo for 4 nights - can't wait!!

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Holy Moly on the photos. I see Feb and May is when you have gone. Can you give a commentary on your choice of months to travel and pros/cons of those times? Bosque del Cabo on the Osa Peninsula does seem to be where it's at for max wildlife in Costa Rica.

 

Thanks for linking those reports and posting. I'll be checking out your reports but with some trepidation because I'm certain they will heighten my interest getting to Osa ASAP. Oh dear.

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@@Atdahl Just finished reading the first TR - I was really rooting for you to find a puma! The owls are adorable and they really look like wood! Sloths are probably my favorite of the animals I saw in CR the last time, though all the monkeys are adorable and fun to watch. This trip I'm hoping for peccaries, tamandua and of course, if I'm really really lucky, a puma! I'm wondering if you've actually seen a puma there, or do I have to read all the TRs to find out? :)

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Great to see the wonderful photos from BdC. We visited for 10 days in July 2012 and had the time of our lives. I fully understand why you keep going back, it is a magical place.

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Fantastic pics! Just love that expression on the sloth.

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Thanks for the kind word everyone.

 

@@SafariChick, I think you will love BdC. The wildlife is amazing. Hopefully, you are checking their Facebook page to see what wildlife is around. They are really good at posting regular updates and the trail cam video they post is typically very cool. Unfortunately, we have not see any puma there (or anywhere else for that matter :( ). But, we keep hoping. They tend to have a couple sightings a month so you never know. The place to see puma in that area has been Corcovado so maybe you will get lucky there.

 

@@Atravelynn, yes we have been twice in Feb and Twice in May. Here's a quick list of my pros/cons:

 

Feb Pros - Less/No rain, no mud on trails, more butterflies

Feb Cons - More expensive, hotter

 

May Pros - More herps, cooler, cheaper, less people, cool storms over the ocean

May Cons - Daily rain is likely, muddy trails

 

It's hard to recommend one over the other since all our trips have been spectacular. The wildlife sightings seem to be about the same. There are more retirees in Feb while May tends to see a younger crowd. But, everyone we ever met there is like minded and great to talk with.

 

@@Whyone? - 10 days! That's a nice block of time there. Did you ever post a TR?

 

Also, for anyone needing a place to stay in San Jose, Xandari is wonderful albeit a bit pricey compared to other options.

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@@Atdahl Thanks so much for this trip report. Love your photos, especially the birds. I just looked at BdC's website and we are now seriously considering going there. How many days would you suggest? I'm thinking a week would be about right. We love walking and would want to cover all the trails at least once plus have time for a few guided walks.

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@@Atdahl Thanks for the input. I've been wanting to go to Bosque for years, ever since we went to CR in 2011 so I can't wait! I also am super excited for the overnight in the Corcovado forest and I also have heard best chance for puma can be there but Bosque afficionados will tell you that you can see just as much wildlife on their grounds as in the forest and I HAVE heard the have puma sightings there a couple times a month. I do follow them on facebook and check often too. I'm hoping by doing both Corcovado and Bosque I'm upping my chances for puma, peccaries, anteater, tapir etc. We did see a silky anteater on our first trip which was amazing as i know they are hard to find - it was while we were on a mangrove boat tour and our guide saw it up a tree! It was sleeping but still very cool.

We are also going to do a tour that I'm very excited about when in Drake Bay (the other side of the Osa Peninsula from Bosque). It is a private dolphin viewing tour with this guide named Shawn Larkin who often finds these super groups of dolphins of like 1,000! He's been hired to escort wildlife video crews including one led by one of Jacques Cousteau's cinematographers and has guided Bono and the Edge. He's actually a really interesting guy and I can't wait to meet him. Here's an article about him (it contains a sad story having to do with his family but it's all part of what makes him interesting). http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/7/23/4546328/dolphins-costa-rica-superpods-shawn-larkin-profile

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Best chance for seeing Puma at BdC appears to be on the Tiki trail - one of the more distant from the main lodge. We stayed in Casa Miramar (which I can 100% recommend - coati's int eh kitchen most mornings!) which is ~1km walk from the main lodge (which means you see all sorts of great things walking too and from - esp. int the dark - the 5' Fer de Lance was a bit of a particular surprise when my wife and youngest some came across it on the path whilst walking back one night!). Casa Miramar is v. close to the Tiki trail, but sadly no puma sightings for us.....a shame , but a great excuse to re-visit.

 

@Atdahl - no trip report I am afraid. Perhaps I'll get around to it one day.

 

My frog pictures from BdC are here though:

 

http://safaritalk.net/topic/10172-show-us-your-amphibians-and-reptiles-from-around-the-world/

 

And some bugs here:

http://safaritalk.net/topic/10169-show-us-your-worldwide-arachnids-and-insects/

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Thanks for posting these photos and links to your blogs - wow! I have just added Costa Rica to my safari longlist.

 

Your photos are wonderful, the backdrop of the blue sea sets off the striking colours of the macaws. I particularly liked the trogons, chestnut mandibled toucan and the owls.

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@@Pennyanne, a week is definitely good. I think our "week" stays have varied between 5 and 7 nights depending on flights/overnights in San Jose etc. All have been wonderful. Even with a week though you may find that you can't cover EVERY trail. There are lots of them and some will wipe you out (I'm talking about YOU Pacific and Saino trails... ;) ) Absolutely do participate in a guided activity especially to get acquainted with the grounds. The night walk (before dinner actually) with Philip is great and he does other walks as well. The birding and boating tours with Carlos are also well worth it. The boating tour is on the Gulfo Dulce and estuary area.

 

Speaking of Philip, for anyone who doesn't know he writes an interesting blog that you can find here: http://felipedelbosque.wordpress.com/

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