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  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 1 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Travel Weekly contributor Nadine Godwin recently visited Costa Rica, sampling many typical shore excursions the destination has to offer. Activities ranged widely but the as the photos demonstrate, the country can be very compelling for birders. The slideshow starts with an overview of San Jose, Costa Rica's capital, on a sunny morning. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by Godwin; posted April 11, 2012.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 2 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Costa Rica's port of Limon. The cargo dock area seen in the photo will serve passengers after an overhaul of the port area, a project expected to take five years.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 3 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Mountain scenery visible from the port at Limon.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 4 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A two-toed sloth spotted hanging from a tree near the port of Moin.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 5 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A three-toed sloth hanging from a tree alongside the Tortuguero Canals, a sightseeing destination for cruisers docking on Costa Rica's Caribbean side.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 6 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Caregiver Jeffery Rochte holds 12-year-old Mille, one of the rescued two-toed sloths at the Costa Rica Sloth Rescue Center. Many cruisers visit the center, from the ports of Limon and Moin.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 7 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A northern jacana, seen in a brisk food-gathering walk at the Costa Rica Sloth Rescue Center.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 8 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A traveler palm tree, seen at the Sloth Rescue Center near Limon.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 9 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Scores of banana stocks are brought from the fields for processing at the Filadelfia Packing Plant. The blue plastic protected them from insects and acted as small greenhouses while they were maturing. The banana plantation tour is one of several types of plantation tours offered to cruisers.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 10 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A little blue heron, photographed alongside the Tortuguero Canals, which are close to Costa Rica's Caribbean shore.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 11 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A snowy egret seen at the Tortuguero Canals.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 12 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A boat typical of those used by cruisers for touring the Tortuguero Canals.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 13 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    This photo and the two that follow were taken within the same 60 seconds. In the first photo, the author, Nadine Godwin, is at the back among rowers on the right, invisible in the second photo and visible again in the third. The group was traversing Class III rapids. Photos by Fernando Torres, Adventuras Photographicas

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 14 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 14 of 22

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 15 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 15 of 22

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 16 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    View of the gondolas on the aerial tram at the Rain Forest Adventures Pacific Park.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 17 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    An anhinga, photographed on the Tarcoles River. A cruise along the Tarcoles is offered to cruisers whose ships dock on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The next five photos also are of birds seen on the Tarcoles.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 18 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A trio of black-necked stilts, lined up like showgirls.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 19 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A juvenile boat-billed heron.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 20 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    A great egret reaching out for a snack.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 21 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Roseate spoonbills, which get their pinkish color from the shellfish in their diet.

  • Costa Rica: A birder's paradise - 22 of 22

    Costa Rica: A birder's paradise

    Scarlet macaws perched in a group well above the river.

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