Costa Rica- Braulio Carrillo National Park and Rio Sarapiqui boat tour (Day Three)

Alright, day 3!  We headed to the Quebrada Gonzales section of Braulio Carrillo NP after confirming that a potential Snowcap spot was not open (sad face) but then the park was also not open yet.  Luckily a trail on the opposite side of the road, El Ceibo, seemed open enough.

LL Bean!  

Mealy Parrot

White-whiskered Puffbird!

At some point I was trying to see a bird and instead found a snake moving slowly on the side of a tree. 

My super helpful yet super-made-fun-of laminated folding guide to Costa Rica Wildlife identified this as an oriole snake, Spilotes pullatus, a common snake in CR. It crept slowly down this tree and crossed the trail behind us.

Steve vs. snake

 Bye, snake

Soon after the snake encounter we came across a nice mixed flock in these trees:

 Tawny-crested Tanager

 Black-and-yellow Tanager

Most birds were too quick for photos but it was a fun spot to watch for awhile.

Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner

Before finishing this trail a group of howler monkeys caught our attention.  I lagged behind to finally get shots of a younger one.

We crossed the highway to the main entrance which was now open so we could check out another trail, Las Palmas.

Around the guard station were tons of these spiders:

Trichonephila clavipes again? 

On the trail, a Blue morpho butterfly sat still for once.

Buff-rumped Warbler

Spider monkey flower face

White-ruffed Manakin

Our complete checklists from this park can be found here and here.

For lunch we stopped at a soda t√≠pica where I had my first and maybe only quesadilla of the trip.  While we sat there, kinda tired and hungry, Caroline (I think) noted a bird sound and said that sounds like macaws.  For some reason we kept sitting there for a few seconds till Steve got up to investigate, and sure enough, Scarlet Macaws were flying over.  Pretty cool!

After lunch we had a boat trip scheduled on Rio Sarapiqui.  I had very low expectations for this trip but we ended up having a great time.  


A two-toed sloth was hanging out in a tree by the river.

Our tour guide, Carmela, wasn't *the best* birder but she did fine and we saw good stuff.

Long-nosed bats

 Mangrove Swallows


Amazon Kingfisher

Black Vulture pointing the way

Anhinga pointing at its butt

Black river turtle (Rhinoclemmys funerea)?

Green Kingfisher

Spectacled caiman

Close up

Soon after this a Sunbittern appeared on the river bank!  I had not expected this bird on this boat ride and it was the only one we saw on our whole trip.



Good boat trip!  Complete checklist here.

That night was our last at Hotel Gavilan and we decided to look for frogs again.

Blue jeans poison dart frog

Red-eyed tree frog
One-eyed toad (cane toad?)

Good haul!  We also noticed this poop that we later determined to be sloth poop.  Yay!

Good times!!


  1. Enjoyed all the creatures you saw the snakes and all! I think the boat trip was a great idea. Not many trips like that around in this country! The Sunbittern is a beautiful bird! Very exciting stuff.


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