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Where do you go for the best wildlife spotting in CR?

Where do you go for the best wildlife spotting in CR?

Jul 29th, 2008, 02:54 PM
  #1  
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Where do you go for the best wildlife spotting in CR?

For us, so far, the Osa is hands down our number one choice, followed by the Cano Negro tour we did in Arenal. Can you guys recommend any other area where it's very natural with almost non-stop wildlife?
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Have you thought about going on a trip on the Amazon river to jungle lodges? For wildlife viewing, it's the best. It is very much like Osa, only more dense, with more critters. There are some reasonable tours down there, although the air ticket is more expensive than Costa Rica.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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No, Marcia; I hadn't thought of that, but thanks for the great suggestion. I've had my on Tortuguero and Belize, but that's a new idea.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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That should read "had my eye on" - lol.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Well, there seemed to be quite a lot at Selva Verde. Not all "big ticket" viewings, but lots of birds, monkeys, snakes and beaucoup frogs! I mean, it seriously got where I just stopped getting my camera as I know I would pass easily a dozen from one point to another.
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Jul 29th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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We saw a wonderful variety of wildlife at Tortuguero. Howler monkeys and white faced capuchins. Toucans, storks, spoonbills, and loads of other birds I can't recall at the moment. Turtles, otters, and caymens. And, the impressive of all: the green sea turtles laying eggs on the beach at night. I am an Africa wildlife fanatic, and I did not go to Costa Rica spefically for wildlife, but I absolutely loved the wildlife viewing at Tortuguero.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 02:16 AM
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tully, thanks for that info. Can you remind me where Selve Verde is?

Dana, I keep hearing such good things about Tortuguero. We met several people on this last trip that just raved about it. It sounds amazing - like one big Cano Negro tour.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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RAC
 
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You don't hear much about this place, but the Curu reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula has lots and lots of wildlife, with virtually no human beings hanging around. We saw basilisks, spider monkeys, TONS of capuchins (two of whom got into a confrontation with a coati and pulled its tail), agoutis, otters, crabs, several species of birds including a black-headed trogon, two turquoise-browed motmots, etc etc.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 06:43 AM
  #9  
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Another good suggestion - thanks, RAC! I haven't heard much about this one at all.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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the osa peninsula holds 2.5% of the whole worlds biodiversity. You can watch the 4 species of monkeys in 2 mile walk in the morning and go watch dolfins in the afternoon. is wonderfull how it happens all the time.

however is in danger from foreign explotation in seas and land. but still you can watch an incredable amount of life. is a place to learn from wildlife, sustainabilty, community,etc

we only try to advice people to visit local ecoturistics places, make a difference in the place by being conscious.

Right now is good time to visit since there is turtle, dolfin and whale season and is low season so prices are lower.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Yes, cs; we've been to the Osa and loved it very much. Seems like it will be hard for other areas to live up to it.

RAC, thanks for posting the pictures!
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Jul 30th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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VG-
We heard Cano Negro was very similar to Tortuguero, which is why we did not do the Cano Negro tour while in Arenal. In Tortuguero you don't have to drive to the start of the canal tours, you just walk out your door (or at least while staying at Mawamba you do), board a boat and cruise along the canals. We did this both early morning (by far the best time of day) and mid afternoon. Being right there, during the morning tour we were actually on the water by 5:45 a.m. It was amazing. Hopefully I'll get some photos posted soon.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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That sounds great, Dana - how much does it cost to do the morning cruise tours on the canals? Is it something you have to book ahead? I'd love to see your pictures!
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Jul 30th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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vg - it's in the Sarapaqui area, about 2 hours drive from the airport. Is also neat La Selva OTS, about 10 minutes away, very nice for a tour.

May also want to look into Cabo Blanco park, about 45 minutes from Mal Pais, the hike can be hard but saw lots of birds & monkeys, but very very different than the Osa that's for sure. I could find animals so easily there just because it was so dry every move they made caused a rustle.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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vg - Sounds like you are already planning your next trip - right after returning from one. I love it!
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Jul 30th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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volcanogirl, I'll answer for Dana, if you're someplace like Mawamba they've got it all mapped out for you, i.e. board the boat with your group at 6:00 in the morning your first morning there, back for lunch, then again you can go on another boat/hike in the early afternoon.
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Jul 30th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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I know - I have Pura Vida fever. Not even back 3 weeks, and already planning again - lol! Thanks to all of you for the help.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 03:36 AM
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Thanks, Monica - it sounds like you get assigned to a group and that you just do things according to a certain schedule. Do you stay with the same people the entire time? How big are the groups? Do you guys eat all your meals together?
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Jul 31st, 2008, 05:34 AM
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They have set times for various activities, and while you do not have to participate, if you don't then you are on your own. You can walk on the beach, explore the grounds of the property, hang out by the pool, get a massage, or hunker down with a good book in one of the hammocks on the deck next to the water. We found we had enough time between arranged activities to do those other things, so we participated in everything they offered and had a wonderful time.

They assign you to a guide, and that guide leads an activity, so yes, you are basically assigned to a group. There are tables set up for meals, by guide, so you would sit with the same group. However, meal times are pretty broad (i.e. dinner from around 5 or 5:30 to 7 or 7:30, I don't remember exactly), so you don't necessarily all sit down at the same time.

On the canal tours there are several boats so you may or may not be with your main guide. Also, on the evening turtle tour groups are limited to 10 people and set up by the park service. The guide is a park guide, not your Mawamba guide, and the groups are set up on a first come first serve basis, so they may or may not be the same people you are with on the other activities.

I do not like "canned tours" and while all the activity and meal times were pre-arranged, this did not feel like one of those canned tours to me.

We all had a wonderful time at Mawamba. I would return in a heartbeat. And, like Monica, I've only been back for a very short period of time and am already wishing I could return.

Monica-thanks for your tips about activities and not bothering to go into town (on a prior thread). You were right, they kept us very busy at Mawamba.
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