Costa Rica Dazzles One Last Time

Dolphins in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, put on quite the show for our Dolphin Watching excursion this morning. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Dolphins in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica, put on quite the show for our Dolphin Watching excursion this morning. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

As usual, Windstar CruisesStar Breeze dropped anchor this morning in another gorgeous little bay off the shores of Costa Rica. Today, we find ourselves yachting around Golfo Dulce, near Corcovado National Park and the town of Puerto Jimenez. Puerto Jimenez is decidedly larger than some of the other towns we’ve anchored adjacent to; a collection of prop-planes has been zipping into and out of some hidden airport in the jungle all day.

The elegant Star Breeze... Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

The elegant Star Breeze… Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...at anchor this morning in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…at anchor this morning in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

As our Star Breeze voyage progresses, I’m convinced it has more in common with classic expedition cruising than some of the line’s other itineraries. That’s a good thing: expedition cruises are immersive experiences that are designed to take travellers to off-the-beaten-path destinations. This weeklong itinerary, with three ports of call in Costa Rica and four ports in Panama, is just that: an immersive experience. You won’t find duty-free shopping, but you will find an enormous connection with nature.

Today, I explored that connection with nature by taking Windstar’s four-hour Dolphin Watch excursion. At $139 per person, it would spend three hours cruising the waters off the Osa Peninsula – a place named by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense area on earth.”

Watching for dolphins on our excursion that departed bright and early this morning. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Watching for dolphins on our excursion that departed bright and early this morning. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...we didn't have to wait long. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…we didn’t have to wait long. Star Breeze is in the background. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

National Geographic got it right, at least in terms of the dolphins: we saw dozens upon dozens. After teasing us with a lack of sightings for 30 minutes, they came out in droves, dancing, playing and chasing the ship through the small wavelets that graced the otherwise calm surface of the water.

As if the dolphin encounters weren’t impressive enough, we were fortunate to spend another hour on a remote, pristine beach before heading back onboard Star Breeze. The ocean water was hotter than I’d draw my bath; it felt like taking a dip in nature’s whirlpool.

Some images of what was an excursion to remember:

Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

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Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze continues tomorrow from our exclusive private Windstar event on Isla de Coiba, Panama! Be sure to follow along with our adventures on Twitter @deckchairblog.

 

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