|Posted on January 25, 2018 at 1:55 AM|
What a season it’s been! We’re well into the high season at Saladero and it’s warm, sunny and the sparkling blue waters of Golfo Dulce are luscious and inviting.
We’ve had just absolutely delightful guests hailing from all corners of the planet, making for fascinating and lively conversation around the table at meal times. Countries represented thus far include Germany, Ukraine, Scotland, Ireland, Malta, the UK, Canada, South Korea, Holland and plenty of folks from the Pacific Northwest and east coast of the United States. Many new friendships have formed in this beautiful paradise set on the edge of Piedras Blancas National Park overlooking the rich Golfo Dulce.
Some of the fun bird and wildlife sightings we’ve had of late include the critically endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga (of which there are only between 250 and 1000 birds remaining, see our post here!) as well as many close encounters from the kayak, stand-up paddleboard and even snorkeling with the Pacific Green Sea Turtle as we came into the height of their breeding season.
We’ve also sightings of the tamandua (a large species of anteater) that walked right by us sitting out one evening on the Beach House patio and a family of guests watched in awe as one climbed up a tree in the back corner of the garden. The Scarlet Macaws, which were reintroduced by Zoo Ave to Piedras Blancas after becoming locally extinct in this area, have provided a welcomingly colorful spectacle along the forest edges as well as lovely views of them and our iconic Chestnu-mandibled Toucan from the Tree House balcony.
A beautiful and harmless Neotropical Bird Snake gave us some closeup views in the grass behind the kitchen. We’ve had plenty of monkey sightings, the cheeky White-faced Capuchins drinking water from coconuts by the Rancho picnic and camping area, Mantled Howler Monkeys also come through on occasion and are heard roaring from the forest. We’ve even had some special sightings of the much more rarely seen Spider Monkeys which have experienced reductions in populations in Piedras Blancas in previous years.
A Tayra, a larger member in the weasel family, was seen walking in the garden above the Glamping Cabins and Collared Peccaries (wild pigs) that are an important food source for the bigger cats have made their presence known in the back gardens. Speaking of peccaries, we’ve recently retrieved the data cards from our camera traps and they were well represented on Trail One and the Puma Trail. Video was captured of groups moving across the stream on various occasions, once with even a tiny piglet in tow! Also in the cameras we had many Agoutis and a spotted Paca (similar to groundhogs with long legs, both in the rodent family).
The Three-wattled Bellbird has also come to town, making it’s annual latitudinal migratory descent from the upper mountains to the lowland primary rainforest to forage on fruiting trees while belting out it’s strange “bonk!” from the treetops.
In the Golfo Dulce, our snorkelers have enjoyed watching a managerie of fish species including parrotfish, rays, triggerfish, moray eels, butterfly fish, angelfish, jacks, golden travale and sargent majors. A frequent guest, Rob, is a scuba diver and fisherman extraordinaire. Rob has been coming to Saladero on a annual basis since the lodge first opened. Him and his brother-in-law Kurt practice catch and release but when begged, managed to have a few "keepers" for dinner. Rob taught our Ukranian guest Leon some great skills in the ways of fishing and we enjoyed one of Leon’s triggerfish in a fresh ceviche appetizer the morning he left.
The fresh sea breeze off the Golfo Dulce in the afternoons is the perfect way to wind down the day and the sunsets over the Osa Peninsula have been just phenomenal and aptly timed for our happy hour vista. Pure Vida! Pure Life, indeed!