Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Exploring Costa Rica's Bat Jungle in Monteverde
Costa Rica is home to 109 species of bats, which number fully half the mammal species in the country. You're sure to come across them during a visit. By day, certain species are easy to spot snoozing by clinging like vines to treetrunks. Another species gathers huge banana leaves together and weaves them into a kind of coccoon nest. Others, including Costa Rica's three species of vampire bats, inhabit nooks and crannies in the roofs of caves. All are communal.
My favorite species is the fishing bulldog bat, a mammoth-size critter with a wingspan 24 inches across and great gaff-like claws like eagles. It's so named for its feeding habits. Tortuga Lodge, in Tortuguero, is a great place to spot them swooping low over the lagoon to hook fish.
To learn about the ecology of these amazing creatures, head to Bat Jungle, in Monteverde. This two-year-old museum provides a fascinating insight into the lives of bats. Eight species flit, feed, and mate within a sealed enclosure–the bat flyway–behind a wall of glass. You can even don giant bat ears to gain a sense of their incredible auditory abilities.