Playa Blanca and Rancho Quemado

Dec 10, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

This morning National Geographic Quest arrived at Playa Blanca and we went out to visit interesting local entrepreneurs organized by a local association called Caminos de Osa.

They have been working with locals from this region to establish sustainability in the activities they do here. Tourism has been a good resource for local people to make good use of their lands, and this has shifted the economy that in the past was more dedicated to farming and agriculture.

The local businesses were eagerly waiting for our arrival. Some groups hiked in a gorgeous nature reserve this morning, while others explored; they visited a heart of palm plantation, a chocolate plantation, gold panning and a sugar cane family business.  The outcome was great and we grasped what it was like to live like a Costa Rican in this region.  We could see how the locals co-exist with wildlife and how tourism has become a way to make a living.

After the morning excursions, we had an amazing lunch on the beach where the guests witnessed a local show of kids dancing Costa Rican traditional dances, most of them from elementary school. It was a super highlight for many of our guests.

Different excursions were offered in the afternoon and we were very happy with how everything developed in the beautiful paradise of Costa Rica.   

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About the Author

Gabriel Ortiz


Gabriel grew up in the outskirts of Panama City and became member of the Panama Eco tourism family back in 2007.  He has led many expeditions in Central America and South America working as a naturalist.  His expertise in natural history has inspired travelers to understand and appreciate travel to the neotropics, an area he considers a gift, as one of the most productive parts of the planet with vast arrays of traits and interactions among species.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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