Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rio Magnolia Lodge -Costa Rica

Cottage at Rio Magnolia

View from lodge

View from dining room looking toward the ocean

View from our cottage

I don’t normally review the places I stay on vacation as part of my blog but I was so impressed with the Rio Magnolia Lodge that I feel a need to. We were a little nervous about a trip to the tropics and spent a lot of time trying to decide where to go and for how long. I came across Rio Magnolia Lodge during this research and it looked nice and had great reviews. The lodge is located in the pacific foothills at an elevation around 800-900m. The decision to stay here was a great one and resulted in one of our best vacations ever, if not the best. Despite the long drive from the airport with the lodges driver Eliecer (5 hours down...sometimes the ride is 4 1/2 or 5 or maybe more...traffic is tough to figure in Costa Rica) the stay was pure relaxation. We had set up our activities for the most part before going down so we had nothing to worry about. All of the bird tours and guides provided were top notch and greatly added to my enjoyment of the trip.  When we arrived the owners John and Maureen met us and immediately wanted to know if we wanted to eat despite the late hour. We dropped our baggage and came back up to enjoy the first of what would be one great meal after another. The menu was tailored to each of our particular tastes throughout and we never had a bad meal. 

The cottage on the property where we stayed (Amapola Cottage) was just perfect. It was a quick five minute walk (if you could make the walk without stopping to bird) from the cottage to the main lodge but you felt like you were all alone. The quietness of the whole area was amazing with the only sounds coming from the birds, the occasional distant Howler Monkey and the Rio Magnolia roaring in the distance. The four dogs on site each had their own personality and added a bit of home to our visit.  The long ride in (30 minutes from the paved road) was well worth the seclusion the area provided.  The lodge is perfect for just getting away from it all.  There are not enough superlatives to describe our stay that would truly do the trip justice. The location, the meals, the staff, the trips were all just great.  We have long looked for a location we would both enjoy going back to again and again and I think we have found it.  Our only real regret was not having booked a longer stay.    I have been to many locations on vacation but this one was the toughest to pull myself away from and go back to reality. If they had offered to house and feed me down there and act as a guide, I would never have left!

Just to give a taste of the bird life right around the lodge and cottage I have included a list of birds seen around the lodge.  Check out additional photos of both the lodge and birds of the area at: (sets of the lodge, birds and mammals and landscapes).


Bird list from Rio Magnolia Lodge between Dec 3-10,2011

Great Tinamou
Little Tinamou
Gray-headed Chachalaca
Cattle Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
King Vulture
Hook-billed Kite
Double-toothed Kite
Accipiter sp.
White Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Gray Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Buteo sp.
Black Hawk-Eagle
Crested Caracara
Laughing Falcon
Bat Falcon
falcon sp.
Short-billed Pigeon
White-tipped Dove
Ruddy Quail-Dove
Crimson-fronted Parakeet
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Brown-hooded Parrot
White-crowned Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Common Pauraque
White-collared Swift
Costa Rican Swift
Chaetura sp.
swift sp.
White-necked Jacobin
Green Hermit
Long-billed Hermit
Stripe-throated Hermit
Violet-headed Hummingbird
Violet Sabrewing
Charming Hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
hummingbird sp.
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Gartered Trogon
Black-throated Trogon
Fiery-billed Aracari
Black-mandibled Toucan
Olivaceous Piculet
Golden-naped Woodpecker
Plain Xenops
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Northern Barred-Woodcreeper
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Black-hooded Antshrike
Slaty Antwren
Dot-winged Antwren
Chestnut-backed Antbird
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Golden-crowned Spadebill
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Tropical Pewee
pewee sp.
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's)
Least Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Turquoise Cotinga
Rufous Piha
White-ruffed Manakin
Blue-crowned Manakin
Red-capped Manakin
Masked Tityra
Yellow-throated Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Lesser Greenlet
Brown Jay
Blue-and-white Swallow
swallow sp.
Black-bellied Wren
Rufous-breasted Wren
Riverside Wren
House Wren
Long-billed Gnatwren
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush
Clay-colored Thrush
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Gray-headed Tanager
White-throated Shrike-Tanager
Cherrie's Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Silver-throated Tanager
Speckled Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Buff-throated Saltator
Variable Seedeater
Yellow-faced Grassquit
Orange-billed Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue-black Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole
Scarlet-rumped Cacique
Chestnut-headed Oropendola
Yellow-crowned Euphonia
Yellow-throated Euphonia
Spot-crowned Euphonia
White-vented Euphonia

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