Day 12 |
Mar 27, 2012

Quepos, Costa Rica 

By Maria Patricia Silva Rodriguez, Ornithologist

Co-ordinates: 09°30’N, 84°10’W
Weather: Humid and incredible warm with a clear blue sky and no wind
Air Temperature: 30°C to 35°C

Early in the morning we started our third day in Costa Rica, and the day was already hot when we disembarked in the small port of Quepos. It was only a two-minute Zodiac ride from the Silver Explorer to the floating pier. Our tour to the mangrove started through the town. Quepos was nice and colorful, a charming sea-level village with houses, a school, a church, a soccer field and a population of 14,000 inhabitants. After half an hour the bus stopped at the local embarkation area where we took a local boat to start the fantastic boat ride for two hours into the Mangroves.

Mangroves are fragile ecosystems where mixing waters of the ocean and the rivers make a unique place for the development of a diverse wildlife. The area is an incredible place for bird watching, and, as an ornithologist, the place was like a bird paradise. The driver, Don Antonio, stopped many times to identify different bird species like kingbirds, kiskadees, yellow warblers, black vultures, pigmy kingfisher and the very fast hummingbirds. The boat ride was great fun, and together with all these beautiful birds, I heard the sound of the monkeys. In one of the trees, very high up, the local guide pointed out a silky ant-eater, locally known as “Serafin de Platanar”. These mammals belong to the order edentata and are closely related to armadillos and sloths. The ant-eater was having a nap in the tree but everybody was very happy to see it, and will be certainly very popular in the pictures.

Continuing with the visit… more surprises! I was lucky to spot many species of egrets and herons like the Great Egret, the Great Blue heron, Green backed heron and the White ibis. The most beautiful bird this morning for me was the Roseated Spoonbill with such an amazing pink plumage. After this “feast” of birds the tour continued all the way to the end of the river where the buses where waiting for us.

The Mangrove tour was an amazing and unique experience for everybody. On the way back to the ship, we made a quick stop for some refreshments and wonderful fresh local fruit. Back into port, zodiacs were waiting at the pier to take us back to the Silver Explorer for lunch.

After lunch it was possible for all guest to come back into town for a visit or a plunge into the warm waters of the Doradillo Beach. Some guests opted for a relaxing afternoon aboard the Silver Explorer.

At 18.30h we gathered in The Theatre for the final recap and to watch the videos and photos taken by our onboard photographer Ray. He did a fantastic job and looking at the pictures of the voyage with the music was very emotive.

Tomorrow is the last day of the voyage in Puerto Caldera, and I will get ready for our next adventures in Costa Rica and Panama.