|A Spider Monkey lazily collects dew drops from the leaves|
|Emerald Toucanet-one of THE MOST DIFFICULT BIRDS to spot because of its coloring!|
Prepare for mosquitoes and some muddy hikes if you go during the wet season. This park is well worth the visit. If you have a bucket list, this place should be on it. I felt safe hiking with all my camera gear out, and I was able to relax a bit with other park officials around the area who could help me out with bird ID questions.
I noticed several falcons going after the hanging Montezuma Oropendula's nests. Tourists walked past me not even caring. I had no idea how rare this bird was in the wild. I stood and watched it go back and forth thinking to myself, "This isn't a Bat Falcon." A park official noticed me observing the bird and was kind enough to share with me some park data they had on the OBFA.
|Juvenile Orange-breasted Falcon|
We continued to trek through the rain forest. I was answering my friend's questions about the Mayans and Tikal, when I felt my spider sense go off. Something was watching us from the canopy of the forest.
If you've done some independent travel before and don't mind reading the signs, following the paper map they give you etc, skip the tour guide and group that goes with it. If you'd like a little wildlife with the history, get yourself the guide. All of us bird differently and this should be an experience you will enjoy. Just keep track of your time. You don't want to miss that last shuttle back to Flores:)
We chose the independent route. I never get any of my "work" done with people around because I too can be social and distracted easily:) Bring plenty of water. I had my camelbak on the entire time. I think that was my only real concern while on this trek.
So here's another tip. Go during the cooler times(which is now until April). Now I know the word "cooler" means various things for each of you in your own part of the world, but generally the summer (June-August) is a balmy cool in the morning to a lovely hot moist by afternoon. It can be downright uncomfortable. Rain happens mid to late morning in the summer. Sometimes it will come and go....and come again. Photography can be a real trick in Central America. I had to change my ISO settings often due to poor lighting conditions. I should also mention that my camera lens liked to fog up while exiting the A/C run shuttles or hotels while entering the humid world outside. This was one of the greatest challenges of our trip during the summer months. Tropical bird activity also adapted to the constant weather fluctuations making the birding a challenge. There's nothing quite like getting stuck in the middle of a rain forest with your camera gear exposed:) A rain poncho is important but should be lightweight so it doesn't weigh down the hike.