Costa Rica and Panama Elderhostel Cruise January-February 2006

Cruise Day 4 to Golfo Dulce (January 26)   To view cruise map, click here

On Day 4 of our cruise, we tied up overnight for refueling and supplies at the Port of Golfito.  In the morning we visited Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens on the beach in Golfo Dulce. This is the homestead of Ron and Trudy McAllister, who began landscaping their property with a great variety of tropical plants over 20 years ago. A pair of Scarlet Macaws thrilled us by flying over as our Zodiac landed. We especially enjoyed the collection of orchids and other flowering plants, and tasted several varieties of fruits previously unknown to us. Daniel Fernandez served as our naturalist interpreter. He was a pleasant and knowledgeable communicator.

--Click on pictures for full-screen views--
Casa Orquideas Entrance
Daniel and group

In the afternoon we visited another beach, the site of Cana Blanca, a private reserve and rehabilitation center for Scarlet Macaws and Monkeys operated by Carol and Earl Crews. The crew brought a bag of towels for us to dry our feet after washing off the sand, but a young Spider Monkey jumped on top of them and wouldn't let anyone use them!  Carol held a baby sloth that had been orphaned. The friendly monkeys interacted with us, and we were surrounded by colorful macaws.

Monkey on towels
Carol with baby sloth
Mary with monkey
Scarlet Macaws

Next Day: Cruise Day 5 to Isla Granito De Oro in Coiba National Park, Panama (January 27)

We awakened in Panama, having set our watches ahead 1 hour to EST. Granito De Oro means "Little Grain of Gold," which aptly describes this little island with its white sand beach, appearing like a cartoonist's rendition of a deserted island in the the dawn light.  We snorkled among beautiful coral reefs (the park has 15 species of coral and at least 69 species of fish). Ken circumnavigated the island solo in an ocean kayak. In the afternoon we set sail for 19 hours to the Darien Jungle.

Isla Granito de Oro
Beach sign
Ship from Beach
Rocky beach
Birds seen from the pier in Golfito: 8 Species (1 New)
Birds seen at Casa Orquideas: 8 Species (6 New)
Pale-vented Pigeon*
Royal Tern
White Ibis
Great Egret
Ruddy Turnstone
Spotted Sandpiper
Great Blue Heron
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Scarlet Macaw*
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan*
Palm Tanager*
Roadside Hawk*
Cherry's Tanager*
White Hawk*
Red Phalarope (en route to Cana Blanca)

Continue to Next Stop in Darien Jungle

Return to first page of our journey

Visit Ken and Mary Lou's Pages at ROSYFINCH.COM