Wednesday, December 7, 2022—Sleepless in Sarapiqui

It seems to happen every time I travel outside the US. Just after midnight last night, I woke with an upset tummy. Hoping it was just a 24-hour bug, I tried sleeping, to little avail. Whatever I had progressed to the point that it was the worst stomach virus ever, with intensive vomiting, diarrhea, and fever! Nevertheless, I made it out to breakfast and then traveled to a nature pavilion for bird photography. The driver offered to take me back to the lodge, and I quickly accepted. That pretty much ended my day as I missed a couple of lectures, lunch, and a guided nature walk. I proceeded to sleep 19 hours.

Subtle colors define this beautiful Blue-gray Tanager
Clay-colored Thrush (aka Clay-colored Robin)
Green Honeycreeper
Montezuma Oropendulas
Keel-billed Toucan
Blue-gray Tanager

Sarapiquí is Costa Rica’s northern lowlands. Traditionally, the Sarapiqui region was a farming and ranching area. Still, large pineapple and banana plantations abound, as well as scattered strawberry fields. It is a region characterized by its vibrant rainforest and wildlife. It is home to several natural reserves, national parks, and protected areas. These lowlands have several rivers of great affluence and historical importance. Its biodiversity and ecosystem draw the attention of scientists and biologists around the world, who come to do their research at the study centers and biological stations in the area. Braulio Carrillo National Park, the La Selva Biological Station, and the La Tirimbina Rain Forest Center are all located in this region. Ecotourism is big here, in addition to adventures such as rafting and tropical rainforest exploration.

This region is very flat and characterized by several different rivers, both slow-moving and full of rapids. Birdwatchers love this area for the many birds that live and migrate here, including both Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws. The Selva Biological Station boasts over 2,077 species of plants; 125 species of mammals, including 72 species of bats; 470 species of birds; 48 amphibian species; 87 species of reptiles; and 45 species of freshwater fish.

Children playing in the Sarapiqui River downstream of Puerto de Viejo Sarapiqui
Caiman sunning in the the Sarapiqui River

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