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Pura Vida Costa Rica

rain 26 °C

Pura Vida meaning 'pure life' is the motto of Costa Rica for a good reason. Due to its policies on sustainable power production and its preservation of natural habitats Costa Rica is consistently placed among the top three greenest countries on earth. Its entire travel industry is based on eco-tourism, although there is no shortage of adrenaline filled rides on ziplines, bungees, white water rafts and tarzan swings, for those who just don't get a big enough thrill out of seeing birds like this beautiful scarlet macaw...
Macaws are the largest of all parrots. While they are not rare in Central and South America we were lucky to see one so close. The other iconic bird in this part of the world is the toucan...
This chestnut mandibled toucan was feeding on the seeds of a tree overlooking our hotel in Quepos.
The macaws and toucans are very large colourful birds so are easy to spot above the jungle, but many of the birds rely on dull plumage in order to remain incognito. So, in the interest of fairness, we thought we should include this handsome vulture...
There are nearly a thousand species of birds in Costa Rica and we haven't scratched the surface. We hear birdsong everywhere but it takes a keen eye, and a fast lens, to catch them out in the open. Luckily, this pretty little yellow fella was quite happy to pose in the evening sun...
While this guy thought he'd found a good hiding place in the jungle...
The colourful tropical flowers are far more obliging and here's a couple of big ones...
Few, if any, of the fantastic flowers that we see are truly wild: most have been propagated at some time. But, we were surprised to learn that even the fabulous macaws were genetically 'improved' by breeding programs a thousand years ago when the indigenous peoples valued their exotic plumage for ceremonial head-dresses.

We left the hot, dry, Pacific coast and drove six hours into the central mountains yesterday. It is still pleasantly warm but we are in an area of tropical cloud forests where rain is almost a daily feature. We are here to see the volcanoes – especially the lofty Arenal volcano. It is here, just behind the church in the touristy town of La Fortuna...
And, if the rain stops and the clouds clear, we might get a picture of it in a day or so.

Posted by Hawkson 11:12 Archived in Costa Rica

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What a beautiful place.....so far...I'm looking forward to pics of the volcano xxx

by Amanda

Such beautiful birds and flowers. I am gathering no zip line rides for the two of you. Maybe just bus rides to destinations is enough.

by Sue Fitzwilson

We could use that vulture to deal with the stinky sea lion carcass in Lock Bay right now.
Prefer your temperature to Jennifer's today (she just arrived in Bangkok where it is 36 degrees!).

by R and B

Wow. Those birds are extraordinary. And the flowers are no less lovely. Through your lense it’s a fabulous place.

by Tom

Costa Rica is on my bucket list after seeing your lovely photos and reading your narrative.
Cold and very pregnant rain clouds.

by Christine Lloyd

We loved your pictures. They were all amazing. We have named one of the birds Jim. Can you guess which one?

by Keith Myers

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