Photos from a Nature Excursion to Costa Rica

My husband Aamer Hasham and I visited Costa Rica in January 2017 and found it to be a beautiful country of misty forests, waterfalls, and sandy beaches. It has also taken important conservation steps such as protecting around a quarter of its land as national park and banning sport hunting. That said, deforestation poses a major threat to the country’s biodiversity, much of it due to cattle ranching and animal agriculture. In the photos below, ranging from the stunning to the strange, you’ll learn how tiny bats survive and why trees in Costa Rica show, but don’t tell, their age.

At a charming ecolodge and wildlife refuge where we stayed, Arenal Oasis, the large and small among the feathered kind dropped by for fruit. Their favorites were banana and papaya.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Birds and Fruit
A line of birds

One of the most beautiful birds we came across, the motmot, an amalgamation of iridescent teal, orange, and green.


A cheerful little green bird stopped by our plate to finish off our fruit at breakfast—two days in a row. Size doesn’t dictate courage.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Green Bird on Plate
Enough food for everyone

These bats are proof that all kinds of animals exist on earth, with all kinds of survival mechanisms. Tiny, the size of the palm of the hand, they’ve formed a row along a tree trunk. When they see a predator, they move in unison, such that they appear to be a shifting snake.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Bats
Bats or a snake?

Many of the trees were hundreds of years old, several towering  more than ten stories high…

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Sonia and Tree

Their age, however, is often difficult to discern. In countries with distinct seasons (like Canada and much of the United States), trees have circular rings inside the trunk. In countries without distinct seasons, they can look more like this log in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Tree Age

Butterflies abound

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Butterfly

Even cloudy days are beautiful in a tropical paradise…

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_A Cloudy Day

…Especially when they result in rainbows.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Rainbow!

It’s a good idea to learn new things—woodwork, in this case.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Learning Woodwork



A fine sheet of rain over the forest.

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Panorama

A photo of a photographer.

The two of us!

Costa Rica_Sonia Faruqi_Sonia and Aamer