Destinations: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

The sun sets on the Osa Peninsula. Sunsets here were incredible almost every night. We marveled, drinks in hand, as they approached.

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We spent the majority of our time in Costa Rica at the Saladero Ecolodge, a beautiful and relaxing spot in the Golfo Dulce. Like many of our trips, photography was not a primary focus and in researching the photographic opportunities of the spots we were to visit, I knew early on that I would not have an easy time of it. The Golfo Dulce is an incredibly lush and bio diverse area and presents excellent opportunities for those wishing to photograph birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, the area’s photographic strength is my visual weakness. The birds and other animals in the rain forest blended into the foliage so well that I simply could not find them to photograph them. Of course, most photographers have much better sight than mine so my issue should not be a deterrent for them in any way.

A heron found this colourful perch to fish from

With that said, where I normally develop a bit of photography plan when traveling, I photographed quite casually on this trip.

Bats were a regular fixture on the outer walls of our cabin.

The weather changed constantly through the day.

Harvey, one of our hosts at Saladero, took the group on an amazing paddle through a mangrove forest. Here we’re traveling along the coast to a section of mangrove forest.

Our group in kayaks in the mangrove forest

There are a lot of things that can kill you in the rain forest. I’m not sure if this spider is one of them but it was an absolute monster

Harvey and Susan showed us how to make chocolate from cocao pods that grow right on the Saladero property. It is quite a process and a rather boozy one as well.

This is the main kitchen and social area at Saladero.

Really, my only decent brush with wildlife was from the deck of our cabin in the trees. Howler monkeys regularly traveled the branches in front of the deck. I was able to hear them coming a long way off and simply hung out of the deck at the ready. Although it was very dark in the forest, and the monkeys held still for just a second or two at a time, I managed to get a few decent images. The howlers were amazing to watch and to hear.

This howler was perhaps 50 feet away and was still a challenge for me to spot in the tree.

Coconuts are plentiful at Saladero. This area served as a repository for the fallen fruit

Although the Golfo Dulce didn’t work out all that well for me photographically, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Photographers with a good eye, in the literal sense, and fast glass will make out just fine.

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