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Getting to Tiskita

As I mentioned last week, Tiskita is in the bottom part of Costa Rica, almost near Panama.  There are several ways that you can get there.  The most common way is to take a small flight from San Jose to Golfito and then take a taxi from Golfito to the lodge.  We decided against this because it takes three hours and would have required staying overnight in San Jose, which is a busy town with few birds.  Next, you can take a eight hour taxi ride.  That is way too long and the roads in Costa Rica are bad so there is a chance you could get lost.  In fact, we talked to people who took a taxi to the lodge (from a different part of Costa Rica) and they got lost twice!  Third, you can fly to Jiminez and take a boat to the lodge.  They didn’t say how long this would take, but it sounded like a lot of planning.  Lastly, you can take a charter flight directly to Tiskita.  We chose this option.  Here is the plane.

It’s a very tiny plane.  During the flight we actually thought we were going to die because the plane flew at a very low altitude and the turbulence was extreme.  I didn’t take any pictures during the flight to Tiskita because I was focused on experiencing my last moments on earth.  But we survived (obviously) and I did take pictures on the way back so I can reconstruct events.  The picture below is not as scary as what we saw flying down to Tiskita because the second plane flew at a much higher altitude, but you get the idea.

To get out of San Jose, we flew near some mountains that were extremely close.  It was beautiful but terrifying.  San Jose itself is extremely built-up.  You can see why I didn’t want to bird there.

But once you’re south of San Jose things are much less crowded and incredibly beautiful.  These pictures don’t do justice to what we actually saw because they were taken through the window of the plane, which makes the pictures blurry.

Our concern was exacerbated by a pilot that didn’t speak to us and seemed to be lost or confused because he kept fiddling with the controls.

The trip back was much better.  The plane was much nicer and there were two pilots who spoke to us and warned us when there would be turbulence.

If you choose to take the flight option make sure your flight arrives early in San Jose because they won’t fly to Tiskita after 2pm.  This is because the landing area in Tiskita is a grass airstrip that’s kept trimmed by grazing horses.

But they do have a very helpful sign directing you where to park the plane.  It’s called “Terminal A.”

 

2 Responses to “Getting to Tiskita”

  1. Tiffany says:

    What a trip! I can definitely see why you left San Jose to Tiskita. Did you go swimming….the water looks dreamy.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, we went swimming several times. After spending all those years in Northern California it was nice to be able to swim in the water. It’s funny, all the shorebirds were ones I’ve seen before. But I’ve missed seeing the Brown Pelican so it was all good.