Nature

Exploring the Forest Through Our Senses

Exploring the Forest Through Our Senses

An abridged audio recording of this walk is available at the end of the post.  “They say that sounds give us the story of the forest,” says Jeff. We all close our eyes and open our ears. We’re standing at the threshold of a path leading into the Costa Rican jungle, listening attentively to the six directions […]

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

The Remarkable Trees of Nosara

I recently wrote a short post about the great bird-watching day we recently had in Nosara—while on a hike with the deeply knowledgeable Felipe, a conservation biologist studying biodiversity in Nosara’s tropical dry forest. But birds weren’t the only fascinating part of our day: we also learned a lot about the plant species, especially trees, […]

Good "Bird Karma" in the Nosara Forest

Good “Bird Karma” in the Nosara Forest

While here in Nosara for three weeks, researching for an interactive, environmentally-engaged art project, we were lucky enough to get to hike though a nearby forest with an extremely knowledgeable conservation biologist.  Felipe López, who’s doing a biodiversity study of the area, took us through the various zones of the diverse tropical dry forest biome, […]


Postcard from Nosara

Postcard from Nosara

  The sun lights up the Pacific as surfers (and their dogs) catch the last waves of the day.  

Restoring Our Watershed

Restoring Our Watershed

Filmmaker Joe Foster of Dapp Design House traveled to Costa Rica to produce short films for One Fund Costa Rica, a nonprofit with the mission to support good people doing good work around the world. Using storytelling, crowdfunding, and networking, One Fund finds genuine organizations within a community and creates videos to secure funding, resources, […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

Based in Nosara, Gecko Architecture has an emphasis on sustainable design.  The Hacienda Trinidad features green roofs to create habitat for climbing plants and to keep the building cool during the heat of the day.  The home faces prevailing winds, maximizing internal air movement; with high ceilings and openings on opposite ends of the building, […]


Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

You see movement on the ground beneath you, and when you look closer, there is a parade.  Small ants carry bits of green leaves, several times the size of the ants themselves, above their heads.  They are farmers, used to hard work.  They carry their prizes down the trunks of trees, along vines and branches, […]

Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

Video Game Developed in Costa Rica to Protect Pink River Dolphin

A new video game has been developed in Costa Rica titled Apu, el espiritu del rio, or Apu, the Spirit of the River.  This game is designed to raise awareness about threats to river species in Latin America, including the manatee and the Amazon river dolphin.  These animals are threatened by illegal fishing and habitat […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

The wind was strong when I went kayaking in Lake Arenal’s warm waters beneath the Arenal Volcano.  A large, dreamlike, lone tree with orange blossoms stood on the lakeshore.  With my kayak nestled between the wind and a marshy island, I was surprised to hear the familiar call of the Red-winged Blackbird.  I saw Great […]


Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

Here is the perfect place to rest after a day of travel.  The surrounding trees are filled with butterflies and birdsong; the Heliconia flowers attract hummingbirds.  From the hammock, it may be hard to concentrate on the book you brought, because the sunlight shining through the leaves shimmers and captures your attention.  The forest around […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

There’s nothing I love more than a fiddlehead, perfectly curled with potential and about to unfurl into full-leafed beauty.  Maybe I have a special place in my heart for ferns.  They blanket the forest floor in my woods at home and my father used to dig one or two up and bring them home and […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

At the fruit stand, I was in heaven.  I ate mango: sun-warmed, sweet, juicy, a piece of the sun and earth.  With sticky fingers, I tried guayaba, tough, seemingly unripe, and filled with small, hard seeds.  The caimito, a fruit I had never seen before, was three consecutive experiences.  First: soft and sweet, tender; second: […]


Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

I found several beautiful green feathers littered on the forest floor before I found the Emerald Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) camouflaged amidst the green leaves of the canopy.  Smaller than the colorful Keel-billed Toucans we saw flying over an open field, these birds still have impressive beaks, used to pick fruit and capture invertebrates such as […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

There is an abundance of wildlife in Costa Rica, and while traveling with a naturalist guide, we were shown the best hiding places for elusive animals.  Though I usually looked to the trees for birdlife—quetzals, toucans, toucanets, hummingbirds, motmots, and more—one look up led me to this Mexican hairy porcupine (Coendou mexicanus).  A nocturnal, arboreal, […]

New Glass Frog Species Discovered in Costa Rica

New Glass Frog Species Discovered in Costa Rica

Scientists have recently described a new species of glass frog found in the Caribbean foothills of Costa Rica.  Named for lead author Brian Kubicki’s mother, Janet Diane Kubicki, Diane’s Bare-hearted Glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium dianae) is Costa Rica’s fourteenth species of glass frog.  This is the first time a new species of glass frog has been discovered […]


Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

Walking through the rainforest at night leads to many surprises.  I went on a night hike with a naturalist guide and his ten-year-old son, who easily caught tiny frogs before the rest of us recognized their whereabouts.  We were searching for frogs, in fact, and I searched for small snakes in each bromeliad I passed, […]

Hideaways

Hideaways

With a variety of accommodations, Tree House Lodge has a focus on sustainability.  The buildings are built with fallen trees, the furniture is handcarved with sustainable wood, and one of the bathrooms is built around a living 100-year old Sangrillo tree.  Water is gravity-fed and heated by solar panels, cleaning materials and detergents are biodegradable, […]

Postcard from Costa Rica

Postcard from Costa Rica

On a search for the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, my group heard its distinctive cooing high in the canopy.  We kept turning our heads, following the sound, until finally we saw the beautiful bird fly over a gap in the canopy, its long, elegant tail feathers trailing behind the rest of its body.  It landed in […]


Hideaways

Hideaways

Within driving distance from Volcano Arenal, this tree house is surrounded by mineral-rich, natural hot springs.  The tree house sits in 35 acres of surrounding rainforest filled with two-toed sloths, iguanas, capuchin and mantled howler monkeys, tree frogs, toucans, hummingbirds, and butterflies.  An afternoon on the balcony observing the sights and sounds of the rainforest […]

Costa Rica goes 75 Days without Fossil Fuel

Costa Rica goes 75 Days without Fossil Fuel

For 75 straight days (and counting), Costa Rica has met 100% of its power demand with renewable energy.  Most of this energy has come from four hydroelectric power facilities, due to heavy rainfall this year.  The country supplements this energy with other sources of renewable energy, including geothermal, solar, biomass, and wind sources.  Costa Rica […]

Rima de Vallbona

Rima de Vallbona

Rima de Vallbona has written twelve books of short stories, novels, and essays.  These include Mundo, demonio, y mujer, Polvo del camino, Noche en vela, and Cosecha de pescadores.  Among her several literary awards is Costa Rica’s Premio Nacional Aquileo J. Echeverría. She is the author of “The Chumico Tree,” a story that shows the […]


Hideaways

Hideaways

Does this childhood dream ever go away? For many of us, apparently not. A Colorado couple made their dream a reality in the Costa Rican rainforest by creating a treehouse community called Finca Bellavista, a fantastic yet real treetop paradise where people can live out their dreams. The whole of the property is now close to […]

José León Sánchez

José León Sánchez

José León Sánchez, in a plan to reclaim the Virgin’s riches for indigenous people, attempted robbery of the Basilica de los Angeles in Cartago.  At age nineteen, when he entered prison for his crime, Sánchez was illiterate, but he went on to write fourteen books.  Among these are Tenochtitlán, La isla de los hombres solos, […]

"The Carbonero"

“The Carbonero”

Carlos Salazar Herrera has a second story published in Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion.  “The Carbonero,” originally published in De amor, celos, y muerte: tres cuentos is translated by James Hoggard, who also translated “The Bongo.”  Hoggard is the author of eight books and seven produced plays, and his translations have been widely published. […]