Tenorio Volcano National Park
The reason we went to Tenorio Volcano National Park was to hike to Rio Celeste Waterfall. This we did, and we were lucky that it did not rain much on the days before our trip, so the water was sky blue (on rainy days the water can become muddy).
(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)
Near the trailhead, I saw a Ruddy Ground Dove, thus already tallying a new bird for this hike.
A few reptiles -- a snake and a pair of Brown Anoles -- greeted us farther down the trail.
The trail can be quite muddy in places; we could only imagine what it would be like when it rained.
In due time we arrived at the waterfall, arguably the most iconic scenic image in Costa Rica. The minerals dissolved or suspended in the water reflect incident light, making it a surreal sky blue.
Rio Celeste Waterfall
Rio Celeste Waterfall
I much preferred to stay there a little longer, but the viewing area of the waterfall is rather small and it was crowded, and our group had to push on. So we continued on the trail. At one crossing over the river, a group of noisy White-faced Capuchin Monkeys arrived. Through the dense foliage and against heavy backlighting I took this picture. I would get much closer to these monkeys later on this trip, but I was pretty happy with this shot at the time.
We eventually hiked to Blue Lagoon, the Mixing Point (where a clear stream merges into Rio Celeste and where mineral deposits collect at the bottom of the river) and Bubbling Pool (where sulphurous gases of volcanic origin rise to the surface of a pool).
A fallen log over the river
Strangely enough, I did not see many birds on this trail, perhaps because of the time of the day and the fact that the trail was rather crowded. Near the end of the hike, I did see a pair of Black-throated Trogons though (the following picture is of the female).
At lunch, though, I got really close views of a Collared Aracari that came to the feeder. I took many pictures of it in excellent lighting, as well as of a Blue-gray Tanager.
On the shuttle ride back, the group stopped at a place to see the giant Arbol de la Paz (Tree of Peace), I snapped a few pictures of some soaring Swallow-tailed Kites. Just then the driver pointed out a Gartered Trogon perching on a power line, I gladly added this new bird to my list.