What can I say about the Hotel Quelitales? This place is so beautiful that I'm fantasizing about selling my home in Los Angeles and moving there! Not practical, I know, but it is definitely a fantasy. The hotel is located just outside of the small town of Cachi in the Orosi Valley, Cartago.
José Alvarez, the owner and manager and chef (yes, he is a great cook, too!) greeted us with a drink and took us out to show us his garden. José loves hummingbirds and has planted a large garden with many nectar-rich plants and several feeders, all in the proximity of a beautiful waterfall. There is a platform built next to the waterfall with tables and chairs, so you can relax in the shade while you're looking for the Green-fronted Lancebill hummer that is frequently seen perched by the falling water.
The entire property is planted with beautiful flowers, so hummingbirds were everywhere. I could see that I would have plenty of photo opportunities. José showed me to my room "Mariposas" which was complete with an outdoor shower!
View from my Room "Mariposas"
We looked forward to meals, where José was always surprising us with his abilities in the kitchen and at tableside, where he has mastered the art of tableside flambé.
We spent two days photographing on the grounds. José took William and Lalo out early one of the mornings so they could have the opportunity to see some rare birds that visit the property. I stayed in the gardens photographing the hummers.
I got what I think is my best image of the entire trip right outside of the restaurant window. A male Purple-throated Mountain-gem perched for several minutes and he posed perfectly for me in just the right amount of light. Hummingbirds are not always this cooperative!