Day 12/23


The whole night, storm Alenga has been raging around the cabin. When I wake up, everything is white because of rain and low hanging clouds. There is still a lot of wind. If forget about thee plan of yesterday evening to return to the hanging bridges for a couple of canopy photographs. Not alone will there be lots of movement in the trees, but I also feel the walk of yesterday still in my legs. Around 07:30 I get a typical Costa Rican breakfast with rice, fruit, beans and a corn pancake.

Hereafter, I return to the butterfly farm of yesterday evening for a couple of photographs of the Heliconia flowers, the bats and the treefrog.

The bats are difficult to photograph, de banana leaf moves wild in the wind en the light is quite dark under neath. Far from ideal conditions for a sharp photograph.
A very bad photograph, but just for the idea


Somewhat further is another leaf with some bigger bats underneath, but this location has the same problem as the other one. A sloth high in the tree is moved wildly around, while he is doing his 20-hour nap.

The Torch of the Queen

Queens Torch

Red Ginger.

Red Ginger

The Torch of the Emperor.

Emperors Torch

Heliconias come in hanging…


…and standing variations…


…both hairy…


…and bold.


Pink Ginger.

Pink Ginger

A closer look at the Torch of the Queen.

Queens Torch

The Green Tree Frog.

Green Tree Frog

Then we go to the part with the Heliconia’s where I am allowed to shoot for a while on my own. The Heliconia’s seem to be large flowers (50 cm and bigger) but these are in fact coloured leaves. The real flowers are in between and are very small. Colibri’s can reach inside with the long beak and tongue to get to the nectar. The light is good here and the flowers only move a bit in the wind. There are two other flowers here that they call the staf of the Emperor and the staf of the Queen. I am not sure whether these are Heliconi’s but I think they are not.

Back to the frogs. They are sleeping on the underside of the leaf. I shoot a few pictures quickly without tripod. The guy seems to have other things on his mind and I don’t want to bother him any longer. Taking really good photographs would take to long here.

I make a reservation for tomorrow at the Mirador de Quetzales. I hope I get to see a Quetzal. They seem to be very beautiful.

Within three hours I am back in Arenal. The volcano is still covered with clouds, but there is more to see than the first time. Time to have lunch, maybe the clouds will go away later.

Indeed they do and for a while it seems that the top will come free of them completely, but soon after the clouds lower again. I shoot some photographs for a while, hoping that I can end up with a composite showing as much of the mountain as possible, but I am afraid that I started too late shooting photographs.

Arenal Volcano

Somewhat later in the afternoon.

Arenal Volcano

Lake Arenal close to sunset.

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

The top has never been free of clouds completely. Such a shame, because that one is really photogeni.

The weather collapses completely and around twilight, some heavy showers break the sky. Alenga takes another round.

The restaurant by the way is completely in Christmas atmosphere.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Costa Rica Dry Season 2011, Day 12

Download the original gpx file here.