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La Playa
La Orquidea Locos (Those Crazy Orchid People in Costa Rica)

Strangler fig at Bosque de Paz. One of the many \"Ents\" in the forest.Strangler fig at Bosque de Paz. One of the many \"Ents\" in the forest. (Mary Jo Gilsdorf)
Our last National Park to visit on this trip. Our last full day of orchid hunting. And you know what they say - save the best for last! A short walk from the hotel to the gates of the Park, its popularity was evident by the number of people there to visit. Our guide, patient with our orchid hunting antics, was wealth of knowledge on the local flora and fauna. Turns out, she too had an interest in orchids and happily contributed to our search. Along the way, we also saw sloths, capuchin monkeys, iguanas, frogs and a variety of birds. But when we got to Playa Manuel. Antonio, we saw why the spot was so popular. Pristine white sands in a protected cove with gentle waves. Arching trees extending over the beach providing shade, laden with Brassavola nodosa, Cynoches and Epidendrums. And Capuchin monkeys carefully calculating how to steal some food from the visitors on the beach and entertaining everyone all the while. Of course, we thought they were really hunting more orchids for us to see!

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