We spent the weekend at La Cusinga Lodge on the southwest coast. This place was beautiful, with bungalows set among the trees, blending in with the jungle perfectly. Everything was made of local wood and stone and offered a fabulous view of the Pacific. The food was all organic and local and our group had the whole place to ourselves, a little Christmas oasis.
Today we left La Cusinga and arrived at Hotel Villa Lapas, slightly farther north. It is a larger compound with about 80 rooms, group in units of 6 rooms each. The rooms are your typical hotel fare and of course there are many other people here. The grounds are very nice and there’s nothing wrong with the place, it’s just quite different from where we’ve been.
Our guide tells us that nearby Carreras National Park, where we are going tomorrow, is one of the best birding spots in the country. The group’s total count has topped 200; the previous record for this trip was 165, but there are some serious birders in this tour. Doug and I and several other people are skipping the morning “bird walk” (walk 5 paces, look at trees for 10 minutes, exclaim over sightings, walk 5 paces….), in favor of the afternoon “hike” (walk at a normal pace, but stop if anything interesting is sighted). Also, I need sleep. La Cusinga was beautiful, but between the bugs, our resident gecko (who knew they were so loud???) and the 4am howler monkey alarm, I did not sleep well.
After tomorrow, we had to Arenal Volcano for a few days and then return to San Jose.