Tambor Tropical Resort...
Birdwatching on the Rio Panica


Spending time on the Nicoya Peninsula...

Tambor - a bit of a contrast to some of more lively places along the coast - beach towns like Montezuma and Santa Teresa... became a favorite place to visit.

And yes - about halfway up the bay, along the edge of the water, just on the other side of a very tiny center of town -- you'll come across a beautiful place...

Looking on to the Pool, at Tambor Tropical
Looking On to the Villas, Over a Mosaic-Tiled Pool

The Tambor Tropical Resort.

Six uniquely-designed villas (12 suites in total - one top and one bottom per unit), hidden amongst an assortment of bright green tropical plants, and centered around a gorgeous, crystal clear, mosaic-tiled swimming pool...

Please read on to learn more, about this special little spot in Tambor Costa Rica - and also... about the incredible diversity of birds and other wildlife you can see here - as we observed in person, with Nick Hawkins...

Biologist, tour guide, and photojournalist.








Tambor Tropical Resort

Coming in from Cobano, less than a minute from the resort - taking place each Saturday morning, right in front of the marina at the southern-most end of Tambor Bay...

The Market in Tambor
Organic Market, in Tambor

Is the organic market.

A great place to find all your fresh, farmer-direct fruits and vegetables...

*Shipped all the way down from the Arenal Volcano region, with its rich, fertile, volcanic soils...

Including some of the harder-to-come-by items on the peninsula - extra-healthy eats like kale, swiss chard, and goat cheese...

It begins at around 9am, and as the day progresses... moves on to Montezuma, and then Santa Teresa.

And yes again, very close to the hotel itself - it's here out of Tambor Marina (stop by to pick up some 'catch of the day') - where a number of different adventures can begin...

Looking Out to the Pacific in Tambor
Tambor Marina, at Twilight

Those like snorkeling trips to Tortuga Island...

Dive excursions near the Curu Wildlife Refuge...

And even the chance to observe whales and dolphins - swimming freely in their natural environment.

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A little ways north following around the bay to the opposite side of town - and there amongst a string of towering palms - feeling almost secret and hidden, tucked in behind - a variety of large tropical plants...

Is the Tambor Tropical Resort.

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Made out of teak and mahagony - six rich-looking, two-story, octagon-shaped, villas - 12 suites in total...

Tambor Tropical at Twilight
Tambor Tropical. At Night. Poolside.

I can still remember my very first time walking around the premises - two years prior.

There's an incredible calm in this area, and out here at the Tambor Tropical Resort...

The peace and quiet experienced - coupled with the sound of waves, gently rolling throughout the day, and those especially calm sea breezes...

Is simply a bonus, to such a beautiful, clean, and well kept place.

Again, the grounds are immaculate!

Of course, knowing Juan Carlos Cruz (manager of the resort) - someone who goes over and above for the community, working on projects which include volunteering and helping to raise money for the Tambor Bay School...

A project (securing the land, building and founding the school) that was supported by the hotel itself, as well as by some of the local parents - so much time, effort, and care invested...

I can't say I was too surprised.

Kathy Hagood, Volunteer - and Students
Kathy Hagood, Volunteering in Tambor

And yes, something that certainly shouldn't go without mention...

Is that Tambor Tropical, and the Tambor Bay School - are very much, closely related.

There's even a program in place, where visitors may voluneeter as teachers - offering a truly authentic, natural, cultural - experience.

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On to the rooms now (we stayed in Suite number 6, by the way), it was great to have so much space.

One very large room (along with a bathroom, situated off to the side) - its perimeter taking on the shape of an octagon, same as the villa...

Inside Our Room at Tambor Tripical
Arriving to Our Room, by Golf Cart

We were especially impressed by the kitchen area - complete with a wrap-around bar-style counter, stove, and a thoughtful assortment of kitchen utensils - even a juicer.

With all the fresh fish you can find at the marina, and also - with the organic market taking place every weekend...

Dinner at the Tambor Tropical
Dinner by Candelight, at Tambor Tropical

We couldn't help to think what a perfect place this would be...

Preparing a delicious meal with friends and family.

But of course...

The dinner menu at the resort, is something else not to be missed...

Especially when you can enjoy it poolside, by candlelight - in such a nice setting.

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No question - Tambor Tropical is a favorite spot on the Nicoya.

It's beauty and seclusion - coupled with an incredible diversity of wildlife along the Panica River, and also amongst the mangroves just behind the resort...

Make it definitely worth the visit.

More on the wildlife now - and especially birds...




Birdwatching on Rio Panica

Early rise, as is often the case - prior to another adventure into the wilderness, here on the Rich Coast...

Nick Hawkins, Birdwatching in Tambor
Inspiring Future Birders

We met up with Nick Hawkins - biologist, photojournalist, and yes - also our tour guide for the morning...

Eager to learn about the amazing diversity of wildlife that he had been talking about, the night before...

Thriving amongst the mangroves of the Panica River.

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Originally from New Brunswick, Canada - a place where apart from his studies in science, he worked as a tour operator - whale watching on the Bay of Fundy, known for having the highest tidal range of anywhere else on earth...

Nick is easily, one of the most enthusiastic and passionate people I've met - when it comes to wildlife conservation, photography...

Nick Hawkins, Birdwatching
Wildlife Photojournalist Nick Hawkins, in His Element

And birds.

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And yes, birds - lots of them...

Are something we were able to actualize in person - sighting so many different kinds on our tour with Nick, both along the Rio Panica...

A Caimen Amongst the Mangroves
We Spotted this Caimen, Behind Tambor Tropical

And in behind the resort - along a series of well-marked trails.

Leading directly into the mangroves - the trails were built with the help of the local community...

Not only so that visitors could enjoy, the immense wildlife in the area...

But also to connect local businesses, and promote ecotourism.

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Quite significant, I feel it's really important to mention - that Tambor is like a "secret birding oasis", here on the Rich Coast.

Tambor Wildlife Guide
A Guide to Wildlife in Tambor

Opportunities to see more than 270 recorded different species (all, right near the hotel)...

I recommend that when visiting, you pick up one of the specially-made "Tambor Wildlife Guides" at reception.

Photos and names of nearly every single bird and animal in the area (over 217 illustrations - just over 130 of them, birds) - the $8.00 cost, goes directly back into the community, helping (much as I mentioned about Juan Carlos before)...

Tambor Bay School, and the futures of those who attend.

Juggling Aracari in Tambor
"Juggling Aracari" by Nick Hawkins

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More on the birds, again...

There are so many different kinds you can see.

From quite popular (and in some cases more common) types...

Those like scarlet macaws, toucans, aracaris, kingfishers, yellow-naped parrots, and yellow & black kiskadees...

To perhaps, even more significant finds - ones like trogons, motmots, tanagers, and personal favorites - like the mangrove black hawk, and the unique-looking "boat-billed" heron...

Birdwatching Contest at Tambor Tropical
A Valentine's Day "Bird Count" One of Several Throughout the Year

And even to to some of the rarer encounters - with species like the endangered mangrove hummingbird, or the dancing long-tailed manakin - both of which Nick has captured to perfection on camera...

I have to admit - having visited places like Monteverde, Bocas Tampada (near Caño Negro), and Turrialba...

Long-Tailed Manakin
A Long-Tailed Manakin, by Nick Hawkins

It was surprising to hear, just how relatively unknown Tambor was - with respect to its birding opportunities.

Oh, I shouldn't forget...

As seen in the Valentine's Day "Bird Count" image above, tourists and volunteers are invited to take part - at various times during the year.

There's one at Christmas too, and aside from bringing bringing everyone together, and having a whole lot of fun - events like these, really do shed light, on again...

Just how excellent, the birding in Tambor is.

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Well indeed...

Do make a stop by the Tambor Tropical, next time you're out on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, and be sure to say hi to Juan Carlos, Nick and the rest of the staff.

Oh, and perhaps most important of all...

Don't forget your binoculars!