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sierpe river wildlife tour

Sierpe River Wildlife Tour

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Sierpe River Wildlife Tour

We recently met a couple at BINGO in Ojochal who recommended that we take the Kokopelli Sierpe River Wildlife Tour in Sierpe --in fact, they've gone on it at least four times and take all their visitors on the tour. That was impressive enough for me to book a tour with them.

Kokopelli Tours specialize in small groups (min. 2 people) for mangrove and wildlife tours on the Sierpe River.  We contacted the tour company, via email, on Wednesday afternoon, and they responded within 30 minuntes. It was great to hear that they have tours every day of the week, so we could make the tour fit into our schedule.  We set up our tour for Monday 8:30am.

kokopelli tours
Kokopelli Tours

Tour Basics

My husband and I were the only two people on the tour; along with the guide/boat driver.  Our tour guide was:

  1.  English speaking
  2. Very knowledgable about the wildlife; and
  3. AMAZING at spotting the animals for us to see!!

The tour left a little earlier than 8:30, since we were the only guests and we were there and ready.  The tour lasted 3 hours!!!! and we were provided 2 drinks each (either water or Tropical brand fruit juice).

The boat was a smaller size, which was nice; as we were able to go down some of the smaller river pathways that other boats couldn't---however, the seats in the boat were on the sides and faced inwards, so it made it difficult to sit comfortably and see all the animals (as the boat is cruising down the river).  Don't get me wrong, we SAW all the animals, and the guide made sure to slow down/stop, back-up, and even turn around to ensure we got a good view--and as long of view as we wanted.

sierpe river wildlife tour
Sierpe River

The Wildlife

Lizards

Right after pulling away from the dock behind the tour building, we stop next to the shore (by someone's house!!) and we see at least 15-20 green iguanas.  Big ones, fat ones, males, females, some sitting, some crawling, some in the trees....and some eating!!!  I have never seen so many iguanas in one area out in nature!  It was amazing--tour would have been worth that alone!

It seems that there may have been some food left for them, hence the number of them in one area.

two iguanas sierpe
Two iguanas photographed on the tour.

We saw several other green iguanas sitting on tree trunks, along the river during our tour.  But we were also able to see two different Jesus Crist lizards--one posing....and the other one was running on top of the water (hence their name).  I wish we could have got a picture of it running on water, but hence that's not how pictures work!

During the course of the tour, we saw many other green iguanas sitting on tree branches along the river; however, we were also able to see 2 Jesus Crist lizards!!  One was posing, but the other one was running ON water (hence its name)!  I wish we could have gotten a picture of that one--but movement doesn't show well in pictures and not to mention it was FAST!

sierpe river wildlife tour iguana
One of many iguanas we saw

Birds

We saw lots of birds, but some specific, unique and rare ones we saw were:

  • Green Kingfisher
  • Green Heron
  • American Pygmy Kingfisher
  • Amazon King Fisher
  • Wood Stork
  • Yellow Crowned Night Heron
  • Boat Billed Heron
  • Barn Owl
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Little Blue Heron
yellow crowned night heron sierpe
Yellow crowned night heron

Do bats count as birds??? I know they're mammals but heck, they fly, right? LOL  maybe I should have used the title "flying things".

bats tour
Bats on a tree.

Things in trees

Probably the best part of the tour (for me), was seeing the animals in trees... monkeys, sloths, and raccoons (okay I'm from the USA and I could see these nightly on my back deck, but the ones in Costa Rica are smaller and cuter!).

I love that I got to see these in real life versus at the sanctuaries here!

Monkeys

We were able to see 2 of the 3 monkey species found in Osa Peninsula; Squirrel Monkey and Howler Monkey.

howler monkeys sierpe costa rica
Two howler monkeys
howler monkeys sierpe
Howler monkeys climbing on bamboo trees
squirrel monkey sierpe
Squirrel monkeys in bamboo cluster.

Two-toed Sloth

two-toed sloth sierpe costa rica
Two-toed sloth

Things in and near the water

Okay these are the animals that give me the creepy crawlies....and sometimes nightmares---yes, the snakes--but guess the crocodiles are pretty cool--since I've never seen them in the wild!

We saw two different Tree Boas ---or course sleeping!

snake costa rica
Tree boa constrictor

Yep we saw a crocodile--and they can get up to 18 ft long (average is 14 ft)--this one was a little smaller at only 9 feet!! YIKES!!

crocodile sierpe costa rica
Crocodile in the Sierpe River

Scenery

While the animals were amazing, we don't want to forget about the scenery!

sierpe river wildlife tour
Siere River
bananas sierpe
Bananas

We LOVED this Sierpe River Wildlife Tour and give it a 4.8 out of 5--and we'll definitely bring our guests to enjoy this amazing hidden gem in Osa Peninsula.

Amy & Jason


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southern zone international airport

Costa Rica Southern Zone International Airport Opinion

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First published February 2017 & Used with permission

My first trip to Costa Rica was in March 2005. During that initial trip, the local real estate agent told me about the “New international airport that will be built soon.” Here we are twelve years later and still not another international airport.

In my agent’s defense, there had been government publicity, an article in The Tico Times, with a map, about the airport and he was simply repeating what he had read. Again, in 2007, then-Costa Rica President Oscar Arias held a public relations event whereby he signed a decree to move forward with an international airport in Osa.

southern zone international airport arias
President Oscar Arias initiating the feasibilty studies for airport (Palmar Norte, 2008)

In the past 18 months there has been a lot of talk about a new international airport to be built in Orotina. From contacts I have, as recently as six months, after the formal announcement had been made, no wind studies or environmental studies had been conducted. I find it hard to believe that the Orotina airport is as much of a ‘slam-dunk’ as is being reported. The latest news is that we will all know more by the end of 2017. Below is an artist rendering of the Orotina airport.

orotina-international airport-design

Will the Southern Zone International Airport Be Built in Osa

Is the airport going to be built in Osa? I would guess no.

As much as I would love to have an international airport 30 minutes away from our development (believe me, prices would go up quickly!), based on what happened the past 10 years from Oscar Arias announcing it, until now = very little of anything has happened. Osa currently doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to handle a project that large. I could argue it is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. The large hotel chains haven’t built here yet because there isn’t a reason to without an international airport. The feasibility studies would show that the region isn’t equipped to handle an international airport since there aren’t any large hotels in the area. It’s a circular argument.

In addition, after the signing of the document [airport decree] by Arias, the people of Costa Rica voted on Costa Rica’s participation in CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) or TLC as it was known in Costa Rica. The Osa region voted against the measure, and it has been speculated that in retaliation for not supporting him, President Arias pulled the project out of Osa. By contrast, Limon on the Caribbean side, voted “Si” (yes) for the TLC, and soon after the vote, the Limon Port expansion was announced (Limon Moin Container project).

Regardless of the real reason why the airport was never started in Osa is still up for debate today. I have spoken with Osa Mayor several times, and he is continuing to try and push the project forward. However, he understands the difficulty of getting the politicians in San Jose, four hours away, to listen.(Central America Free Trade Agreement) or TLC as it was known in Costa Rica. The Osa region voted against the measure, and it has been speculated that in retaliation for not supporting him, President Arias pulled the project out of Osa. By contrast, Limon on the Caribbean side, voted “Si” (yes) for the TLC, and soon after the vote, the Limon Port expansion was announced (Limon Moin Container project).

Perez Zeledon International Airport

Another option that has quickly, and quietly, been worked on is to build a new airport in the San Isidro de el General, Perez Zeledon. Although not technically in Osa, it would be a great advantage for owners in Las Villas de San Buenas. The reason why this would be great for Las Villas de San Buenas is that currently San Isidro is only 75 minutes away. I have it confirmed by several sources, that the Osa municipality and the municipality of San Isidro are in late planning stages for improving and paving the road from the southern area of San Isidro that leads into Uvita. When this road project is completed, the trip to San Isidro will be cut down to approximately 45 minutes.

southern zone international airport

San Isidro (Aeropuerto PZ) has numerous advantages over Osa for the airport. Several include:

  • Large population base (~150,000 people) that may use the airport for outbound flights.
  • With the large population base, there are dozens of hotels already available.
  • A very entrepreneurial region of Costa Rica. There are 1,000s of business owners in the region who support commerce and trade.
  • By building the airport in San Isidro, the Osa region would still benefit due to the Pan American Highway that is already in place connected Palmar Norte to San Isidro (by way of Buenos Aires).
  • Plenty of flat land is available.
  • The project is not just an airport. The local government is planning on a multi-faceted development plan, including tax incentives for business to move there and other project tied to the airport.

Here’s a video that shows the concepts for the Perez Zeledon international airport:

Regardless of which location is chosen, it will be a benefit to us here in the Osa region. I can’t guarantee when or where exactly, although I would estimate that the timelines are at least five years away. The one thing I can guarantee, is depending on where the location is chosen, land prices will go up quickly or VERY quickly.

UPDATE December 2018

My thoughts have not changed regarding the feasibility of a southern zone international airport - I don't believe it will be built in Osa...I don't believe it will be built in the province of Puntarenas. At this point, based on conversations I've had with administrators and politicians, the best bet is still Perez Zeledon.

San Jose's Juan Santamaria International airport continues to expand - as of last week they have signage for 20 gates, although only 15 are open and operating. One can see the work that is being done right now to expand it to 20. The new domestic airport terminal has been completed next door to Juan Santamaria, solidifying at least some flights will continue to be flown out of the current airport location.

What are your thoughts on the southern zone international airport? What have you heard? At this point everything is just rumors. Send me your thoughts below or directly to me at nick@osapropertymanagement.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Pura vida!

Nick


Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal Property Management

Osa Property Management Experts  have lived and managed homes in the region for over 16 years. Not only do we live here, but we are one of the few LEGAL property management companies in the area with legally working, full-time, and fully insured employees (this protects YOU from potential legal problems also).

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