NY Handmade Collective Travels: Costa Rica

When I travel, one of my top draws to any destination is the opportunity to see wildlife and nature.  Given that, I can't believe it's taken me so long to visit Costa Rica!  Costa Rica accounts for only 0.03 percent of the earth's surface, but contains almost 6 percent of the world's biodiversity.  I was excited to see sloths and other furry creatures, but I never expected to see and learn about the incredible variety of frogs and birds populating the incredible country.  I was there for less than two weeks, and visited a few different locations throughout the country, but there's so much left to explore!

 I spent the first few days horseback riding, through small towns and countryside in Guanacaste, on a native Criollo paint horse.  This is the lovely Leyenda!

I spent the first few days horseback riding, through small towns and countryside in Guanacaste, on a native Criollo paint horse.  This is the lovely Leyenda!

 Sometimes the most entertaining animals are right nearby!

Sometimes the most entertaining animals are right nearby!

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 We moved on to Monteverde from there. The bed and breakfast we stayed in had a little forest in the back, with a very popular hummingbird feeder- there were this many birds at a time pretty much always!

We moved on to Monteverde from there. The bed and breakfast we stayed in had a little forest in the back, with a very popular hummingbird feeder- there were this many birds at a time pretty much always!

 We saw three different kinds of venomous snakes in Costa Rica, on various walks through forests.  This was the first, and he was small but deadly.

We saw three different kinds of venomous snakes in Costa Rica, on various walks through forests.  This was the first, and he was small but deadly.

 fer-de-lance, the most deadly

fer-de-lance, the most deadly

 This little agouti was a very avid snacker.  We also saw kinkajous, coatis, and peccaries (a rare sight!).  It was incredibly helpful to have a knowledgeable guide on our nature walks, to tell us about the animals and help spot them. 

This little agouti was a very avid snacker.  We also saw kinkajous, coatis, and peccaries (a rare sight!).  It was incredibly helpful to have a knowledgeable guide on our nature walks, to tell us about the animals and help spot them. 

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 Another amazing advantage of guides is that they typically have scopes that they carry with them, so in addition to spotting lots of animals, we were able to view them in incredible detail, and take photographs using the scopes (called 'digiscoping') which was really fun!  This bird is pretty numerous in CR, and his colors were so vibrant.

Another amazing advantage of guides is that they typically have scopes that they carry with them, so in addition to spotting lots of animals, we were able to view them in incredible detail, and take photographs using the scopes (called 'digiscoping') which was really fun!  This bird is pretty numerous in CR, and his colors were so vibrant.

 emerald toucanet

emerald toucanet

 We visited a butterfly and frog park in Monteverde to learn more about some of the creatures we'd seen and were hoping to see.  The camouflage on this butterfly is pretty effective, and the insides of his wings are iridescent blue!

We visited a butterfly and frog park in Monteverde to learn more about some of the creatures we'd seen and were hoping to see.  The camouflage on this butterfly is pretty effective, and the insides of his wings are iridescent blue!

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 We so so many awesome frogs, including this one which is emblematic of the country, the red-eyed tree frog.

We so so many awesome frogs, including this one which is emblematic of the country, the red-eyed tree frog.

 When the lines between nature and bathrooms blur...

When the lines between nature and bathrooms blur...

 Look at that color and shape!

Look at that color and shape!

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 Not all of the frogs we saw were full-grown... there were thousands of tadpoles in various stages of development in this pond!

Not all of the frogs we saw were full-grown... there were thousands of tadpoles in various stages of development in this pond!

 We then went to Manuel Antonio, a famous nature reserve park with a wonderful diversity of wildlife.  With yet another amazing guide, we spotted lots of new friends!

We then went to Manuel Antonio, a famous nature reserve park with a wonderful diversity of wildlife.  With yet another amazing guide, we spotted lots of new friends!

 These crabs hang out on land; I had no idea!  The ocean is almost a 20 minute walk from here.

These crabs hang out on land; I had no idea!  The ocean is almost a 20 minute walk from here.

 sleepy bats

sleepy bats

 Commonly referred to as the Jesus lizard, because he can walk on water!

Commonly referred to as the Jesus lizard, because he can walk on water!

 And finally, at long last, we saw a sloth!!  Sloths are not only adorable, but super fascinating.  There are both two and three toed sloths in Costa Rica; one is diurnal and one is nocturnal.

And finally, at long last, we saw a sloth!!  Sloths are not only adorable, but super fascinating.  There are both two and three toed sloths in Costa Rica; one is diurnal and one is nocturnal.

 There are three different types of monkeys and we saw all of them.  Here's a cheeky capuchin who had stolen a loaf of bread from some tourists and was eating it slice by slice.

There are three different types of monkeys and we saw all of them.  Here's a cheeky capuchin who had stolen a loaf of bread from some tourists and was eating it slice by slice.

 One of the most incredible things we saw was this bodysurfing iguana.  We spent almost an hour watching him catch waves and wading back to shore...

One of the most incredible things we saw was this bodysurfing iguana.  We spent almost an hour watching him catch waves and wading back to shore...

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 These were just a few of the menagerie I saw in Costa Rica, and I stayed along only part of the Pacific coast. I got so much inspiration for future watercolor paintings.  I can't wait to go back to discover even more!

These were just a few of the menagerie I saw in Costa Rica, and I stayed along only part of the Pacific coast. I got so much inspiration for future watercolor paintings.  I can't wait to go back to discover even more!

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                                                             Wandering Laur Fine Art

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