Kekoldi is a natural reserve and an indigenous community in the vicinity of Talamanca Mountain Range, to the south east of Costa Rica. It is most famous for the Bird of Prey migration that happens twice a year, first from September to December in the winter migration of birds going from North America to South America, and then from February to May during the summer migration, this time the birds returning to their breeding ground in North America. It is estimated that more than 3 million birds of prey pass above the reserve during the winter migration, mainly composed of four species: Turkey Vultures, Swainson’s Hawks, Peregrine Falcons and Broad-winged Hawks, although other species occur in much lower numbers. The behavior of this huge groups of birds is amazing, in that they rely on warm air currents to lift them up in circular motion (the vortex), and when they reach the top of the air current, they take off in a straight line towards the next air current (the line).
But Kekoldi is not just the migration, it also offers great possibilities in terms of landscape photography and hiking. The sky has lower light pollution that most other places in the country, helping to get great shots of the night sky and the milky way during the right time. The area is surrounded by forest in a 360 degree fashion, and there is a waterfall that can be reached after a moderate hike through the reserve, where you can relax while taking some nice pictures.
Yorkin is another territory for indigenous people at Talamanca. To reach it, after a 5 hours drive from San Jose, you need to take a boat that will ride you against the natural course of the Telire river. The skilled “boteros” (as they are called) know which places are the safest around the river. They mostly use motors, but there are areas where the water level is too low, so they either get in the water to push the boat, or use wooden sticks to propel it using rocks.
Once in the place, we were treated to delicious food and started our walk in the trails, in search of birds, reptiles and bugs. But the grand prize was the river, which we explored on Sunday. The water has a cool temperature, but it is worth to spend some time bathing in it. And for landscape photography, the fact that some of the bushes and trees had red leaves was a blessing.