A quick half-day trip to Tapantí last week brought an enjoyable outing with visiting friend, Ben, a Scotsman now located in San Jose, California. Unfortunately, we only had time for the Arboles caídos trail, which is steep up and then down through thick forest. As is usual in a dense tropical forest, the birds sang us some lovely tunes but, with the exception of a few Common bush-tanagers, with their white spot-behind-the-eye, and one beautiful Spangle-cheeked tanager, they remained hidden in the undergrowth. However, anyone interested in plants would have a field day.
The Parque Nacional Tapantí is easy to access via a good 8 km dirt road out of the town of Orosi, which is itself located in the beautiful valley of the same name. The Sanchirí lodge, just outside Paraíso, is a good place to stay nearby because its rooms have fantastic ceiling to floor windows giving a great view of the Orosi valley. It’s not really expensive either. I think it cost $50 for a double last time I was there. They also serve quite nice meals (not cheap, however) and have a butterfly garden.
The park is composed of extensive thick forest, through which runs the rocky river Orosi, but it has the usual $10 entrance fee for foreign tourists. For my next visit I will enter on foot from Pejibaye or from Refugio La Marta (see my earlier blog on that great place), since I discovered that it takes about 4 hours on a rough road that is actually passable for a good four-wheel drive vehicle. That road actually connects just outside the park entrance, but large tracts of the park must be accessible en route (I hope!).
Photos to follow once Ben gets them to me!