Bosque Del Cabo Detailed Info and Pictures

Old Feb 17th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Bosque Del Cabo Detailed Info and Pictures

Well, I promised a more detailed trip report and pictures, so here goes. Be warned, this is long.
We stayed at Bdc last week for 6 nights. I have decided to do less of a trip diary and instead provide details for people planning their trips so they know what to expect, how to plan, and where to find cool things at BDC.
If you are reading this report because you are unsure whether or not to go to BDC, then this paragraph sums it all up..If you like nature, close wildlife, great food, good people and don't mind the humidity and the possibility of critters in your cabina then go book your trip now because you will not be disappointed by BDC. All the other BDC reviews out here are correct, it IS that great! Here are some things to consider while planning your trip and while at BDC:

Pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/j4aT7T

Getting to Bosque Del Cabo from San Jose:
- I guess some people may want to drive or take the bus. I wouldn't. Opt to stay overnight in San Jose after your international flight arrives and at the end of your stay before you fly back home. It really makes the day better than dealing with the International flights and the small flight to Puerto Jimenez the same day. We stayed at a B&B called Casa Laurin in Escazu which is 10 minutes from the Aiport used by Nature Air. The B&B arranged round trip airport transfer for us which was very convenient. The Nature Air flights were exactly on time and it is really enjoyable seeing Costa Rica from the air.
- The 45 minute Land Rover ride from Puerto Jimenez (PJ) to Bosque is rough, bouncy, bumping and maybe even slightly nauseating if you are prone to motion sickness. So, be prepared. You ford 3 rivers that are small in the dry season but can overflow and cause delays in the rainy season.

Where to Stay at Bosque:
- Read all the reviews carefully to see what is best for you. For a couple, I would recommend a Deluxe Cabina. You have an ocean breeze and are much closer to the restaurant and bar than if you stayed in the garden or houses. For a family I think a house is best but I didn’t actually go into any of the Casas.
- We stayed in the Congo Cabina which is second from the end (Mariposa is the end cabina and I think has the most privacy). The Congo cabina has an awesome Pacific Ocean view. The only caveat with this Cabina is that the shower seemed to be the least private since I am tall and could easily see and even converse with people walking by if I wanted to. Most other showers have plants that help block the shower from the back, but this one has nothing but the wall. Don't get me wrong, the outdoor showers are incredible. The experience of showering with monkeys over you and toucans flying by is great.

Food, Service, Staff
- In a word - exeptional. Everything you have read is true so I won't repeat it. Do try the banana pancakes, tuna melt and daily specials at the bar. They are all worth it. My favorite food was the fresh pineapple. They have both white and yellow and it was so sweet….

Wildlife: It is everywhere including right around your cabinas. Here are some thoughts on what to look for:

Monkeys: The monkeys move constantly so just keep looking. We found the spider monkeys make the most raucous in the trees because they tend to swing a lot on the less thick branches. If you see tree limbs swaying back and forth and hear things that remind you of Jurassic Park, then that means the Spider Monkeys are around. While we were there, they hung out each night and morning around our cabina. The howlers are pretty easy to find, just follow your ears. The Capuchins and Squirrel monkeys are tougher to spot since they tend to move along the thinker braches so there is less movement. But, we saw at least 3 species of monkeys every day that we were there. They are great fun to watch.

Birds: They are everywhere. The Toucans and Macaws hang out by the restaurant and the Deluxe Cabinas while the parrots hung out in the tropical garden. Our driver Kevin stopped on our way home because he knew where some Trogans were on the way back to PJ. Even the smaller birds are colorful. The tropical garden and on the main BDC grounds provide great birding.

Coatis: On two separate occaisions, the males sniffed around our cabinas right in front of us. They are roamers so just keep your eyes open. I think that they tend to hang out near the houses because they try to raid them for food

Frogs: Black and Green poison dart frogs were spotted daily (6:30AMish) in between the creek trail turnoff and the bridge. We saw the rare Gulfo Dulce PDF (poison dart frog) on the Pacific trail at one of the points where it crossed over a small stream. There are large toads and frogs and the ever popular red eyed green tree frog at the small pond next to the road. We only saw them there at night after dinner. I am sure the bigger pond has them too but that was too far for us at night.

Sloth: Well, I think my neck is permanently in the tilted back position because we looked everyday on every trail because this was the animal that we really wanted to see. We ended up never seeing one at BDC. We did have lots of false alarms with termite nests in the trees and even a balled up silky anteater. However, once again, Kevin came through and stopped on the road back to PJ our last day to see a female 3-toed sloth and bambino in a tree. That made our trip complete.

Other: We saw a peccary on the Titi trail. I don't think anyone else saw one during our week stay. However, there were multiple sightings of a Tayra on the Titi trail, but we didn't see it.

Lizards/Snakes: Lizards, Geckos and Anoles are everywhere. We had 4 geckos in our cabina. We saw only 2 snakes and both were around the small pond next to the driveway at night after dinner.

Activities
- We did no paid activities. One reason for this is that Phillip was on vacation so some activities were not offered. One staff member said that they have stopped doing the night hikes after dinner because people were disappointed. So, my wife and I went out with flashflights 4 of the nights on our own and never were we disappointed with what we saw
- If we didn't do any activities, then what did we do?...We hiked every trail at least once. We did a before breakfast hike (6AM to 8AM) a before lunch hike (10AM to 12:30PM), a late afternoon hike (3PM to 5 or 6) and a night hike after dinner. You can hike the same trail 4 times in one day and see different things that still make it worth while
- For what it is worth, other people there did many of the activities both on and off site and I never heard anything but good experiences.
- Remember that most offsite activities involve a 90 minute round trip to PJ on the "road" which I think adds $60 to the cost.

Bosque Trails:
For all the BDC trails, take a walking stick. They have them available as well as umbrellas right near the office. The walking stick comes in handy for the walks that are more up and down or have stairs but more importantly you can use them to gently knock away the cobwebs that constantly cross the trails. I didn't use a walking stick and instead picked up a small stick at the start of the hike off the ground to use exclusively as my "spider stick". I did this on day 2 after being tired of running into webs on day 1. Both the Pacific Trail and Gulfo Dulce trails are a rough round trip. For us, the Pacific Trail steps back up paled in comparison to the walk on the beach in the blazing heat with no wind. Plus, we never found the waterfall or hot tub like tidepools, so ask someone before you go who has already been there. For the Gulfo Dulce trail I recommend you get a ride back so the walk is only one way. You can arrange the ride back at the office.

Night Hikes: In case they continue to not offer this hike, don't be afraid to go out on your own. My wife and I did this 4 times and after people heard about our first night we had company every other trip out. The small pond next to the driveway is a great place to go at night because it is close. Do look under leaves and go around back of the pond to find lots of interesting things (frogs, toads, big spiders, snakes, etc). Wear closed toed shoes though and watch where you step. Also, we walked to the bridge twice at night and saw some amazing insects (caterpillers, beetles, scorpion, firefly, whip scorpion, etc). This path is well maintained so you don't have to worry about stepping on anything.

What about the bugs?
- I was bit maybe twice, my wife maybe a dozen times in a week. In all fairness, all bugs within a 50 mile radius flock to my wife. She mainly got bit on a day in which she didn't put on the 6% deet repellent that we brought. I think that is enough deet since bugs were never really a problem for us or anyone else we talked to.

What to Pack (things you may not have thought of):
- Quick dry clothes saved us. We were able to rinse them out in the sink (we brought a baggie of soap). We hung them outside and they were typical dry 24 to 36 hours later. This let us shower multiple times a day and still have clean/dry stuff to put on. We had quick dry shirts, shorts and socks.
- 1 good flashflight per person. You can borrow flashflights, but I would buy mini-maglights and take them. I packed them in my extra shoes in the checked bags. They are extremely powerful for night hikes or just getting back to your cabina. Plus, you may want to do a "bed check" at night to be sure you have no company in or around your bed. A strong flashlight really comes in handy especially if you want to leave you main lights off to minimize attracting bugs (which is what we did at night)
- Nython string - used to hang/dry clothes
- Snacks: specifically granola bars and crackers. They are great on hikes or if you have a between meal urge. Remember to keep them sealed in bags so as not to attract a guest. We never ate in our cabina because we didn't want to create crumbs.
- Platypus water bottle: This water bottle flattens out when empty so that you can pack it easily but will hold 32 ounces I believe. We filled one and used it to refill our smaller water bottles while hiking
Shoes: We took a pair of Merrills which we used the most since it didn’t rain at all the week we were there. We also have Salomon Amphibian shoes which were great for the beach. Be careful where you step with open toed shoes because the ants can get on you quickly if you aren’t careful.

Memorable Moments:
-Watching the Jesus Christ (Basilisk) lizards run across the water in the big pond at the tropical garden
-Watching the spider monkeys eat fruit off of the tree in front of our cabina
-Watching the Capuchin monkeys (baby included) lounge in the trees right over the Cabinas
-Jose’s daily specials at the bar
-Finding the red eyed green tree frog
-Finally finding our sloth right before leaving the Osa peninsula

Bosque Del Cabo is a great place, so stop reading this and go book a trip!
EDH_Traveler is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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It's an incredible place isn't it? Your pictures are fantastic! Loved the Toucan's and of course the macaws, monkeys etc....loved them all!
What is a Tayra by the way?
How exciting to see a Trogan. Missed that one when we were there.
Thanks for posting, great report and pics!
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for sharing the great pictures and details! Two weeks to go!

How big was that spider in your cabina?
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Parrmt, a Tayra is related to a weasel and Otter I believe. But, people saw it climbing down from a tree. Too bad we missed it.

Janenicole, the spider was small by Costa Rican standards, maybe the size of a silve dollar including the legs.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the info and photo link.
You got some great shots!

The Manakin is actually a Red-legged Honeycreeper.

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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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The red legged honeycreeper is one of my favorite birds. Saw it for the first time last year. Thanks for sharing! I picked up a few new ideas from your post. Can't wait to get there--3 more weeks!
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for sharing in such detail. Wonderful pictures! Wish May would hurry up and get here!
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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What great photos! I agree with the sloth/termite mound thing, I don't know how many times I thought I found one only to be fooled, but yes Kevin always seems to know where they are.

I noticed in one of your pics they've replaced the plastic loungers by the pool with wood ones & cushions, how nice, never could get very comfy on the plastic ones.

Looks like you got to see a great majority of the areas creatures & critters, very nice.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the bird ID Earthtraveler. I had no idea what kind of bird that was. It came and went so fast I never got a really good look at it except through the lens.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Super pictures! They really are beautiful. Thank you for posting such a great report and sharing your pictures. It sounds like you had an amazing trip. I am so glad that you were able to see the sloth. How lucky, on your last day. We are really hoping to see one, too.

P.S. What type of quick dry shirts did you take? I was just going to bring cotton, but when you mentioned always having dry clothes to put on after showers, that sounded like an excellent idea.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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tully,
I am sure you were happy to see one of those pics! LOL

Red legged honeycreepers are quite common in CA. We even saw one last week in Guatemala. Such a pretty bird and one of the easiest to recognize once you know what they are. I think the legs give them away ;-).

EDH Easy to get mixed up with all those beautiful birds. Thanks for all those id's on the lizards etc. Your whole report was great. You are one up on me as far as critters....haven't seen the anteater yet. I have seen a Tyra. Glad you finally got to see your sloth. If you get back to CR there is a place called the Buttercup foundation over on the Caribbean side where they rescue and rehabilitate sloths. There is also a B&B there called Aviaros del Caribe where you can stay there.

We really enjoyed the Congo Cabina because of the views. It is small compared to the others but we saw tons of stuff while sitting on the deck. Even saw whales one year.

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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Wonderful pictures; I especially enjoyed seeing the sloth. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Suzie2 -- I'm checking out the Buttercup Foundation for a visit while we're there. Can you tell me a little more about i? It looks wonderful. Did you do the canoe tour on the river or just the visit to the rescue center?
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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yes Suzie I skipped right over the peccary pic!
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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We wanted to say hi to you and your wife--we were in Mariposa at BDC while you were in Congo. Your pictures are fantastic! Thank you for posting!
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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You have some awesome pictures!!

Yes, Bosque is a very special place.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Sparklegem, our quick dry clothes (and tons of other stuff) was purchased from REI. I think all of it is their house brand even the socks.

Coolbluewater, good to hear from you. Have you recovered from Jose's powerful drinks yet?
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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great photos - any tips on taking them? what kind of camera did you use? Is it worth lugging a big lens around? we will be on the other side of the golfo dulce in March and can't wait to see what we might capture on film!
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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Your pictures are amazing! They are so crisp and colorful....I can't wait for our trip in May!

Thanks for the trip report and the helpful suggestions! It sounds like you had a great time!
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Sounds like we might have overlapped a little. We just got back from BdC - we were there from Sat 2/10 to Thurs 2/15 and had a FABULOUS time! Plan to do a trip report shortly... but I can't say enough how much we loved this place. We stayed in Casa Teca (in the garden) for the first 3 nights and then La Palma (deluxe) the last 2 nights - and loved both experiences equally. Great trip report - liked your layout.
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