El Viejo Wetlands – Guanacaste – Costa Rica

Yesterday Molly and I visited the El Viejo Wetlands. The day trip was fantastic for both the birder (me) and non birder (Molly) alike! A family who own a large sugar cane plantation decided years ago to set aside 6,000 acres of wetlands adjacent to the River Tempisque. At the family’s Hacienda … 16k by bumpy dirt road from Filadelphia, one may take a river boat cruise and/or enjoy a nice luncheon at the open air Hacienda.

In our case we did both … cruise and lunch! Arriving by 8:15 am (90 minute drive from Las Catalinas) we were able to be the first people out on the water. Given tour buses often arrive later in the morning, an early arrival is advised. First, animals and birds are more active in the first few hours of the day, and second … you get the River almost to yourself. We had an excellent private guide named Kevin. Between him and our boat driver, Caesar, they spotted lots of wildlife I would never had noticed. Our cost was $73 per person plus well earned tips for our guide and boat driver. The money was well spent.

Finally, after lunch make certain you walk around the grounds below the Hacienda. Although many other people were present at lunch, only Molly and I explored the grounds. Big mistake. Yes it was a hot hike, but we found plenty of shade trees and more wildlife. While it may have been hot during our walk, it was very pleasant out on the river. The boats have a roof shade, and there was a nice breeze.

Here are just a few photos from El Viejo: (not pictured, but we also saw real cool sleeping bats, and two different species of monkeys … howler and white faced)

Green Iguana

Bare-Throated Tiger Heron

Black-Necked Stilt With a Snack

Tri-Colored Heron

Green Heron

Alligator Catching Breakfast

Turquoise-Bowed Mot Mot Excavating a Nest Hole

Flock of Snowy Egrets

Grooved-Billed Ani (type of Cuckoo)

Dino the Dinosaur (5 foot long Green Iguana)

Kung-Fu Fighting

Little Blue Heron (immature)

Crested Guan

Scenes from the River Cruise

One thought on “El Viejo Wetlands – Guanacaste – Costa Rica

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *