Costa Rica 2020, Day 13

Sunday, March 1

Today we were supposed to be going on an adventure tour to do ziplining and rappelling. A couple of days earlier I received an email asking if we could change our date but being at the end of the trip it wasn’t possible. We ended up having an unexpected free day but we had no problem filling it.

Mike was up before me as usual but I was up early too. The restaurant didn’t open until 7 a.m. so we sat on our deck and read. As soon as it was 7 we headed to the restaurant.

Mike and I both ordered the Huevos Rancheros. This was by far our favourite breakfast. I even tried to duplicate it when we got home but of course it wasn’t as good.

I thought the shape of the tables by the railing in TuleCafe were very clever. They were triangular so it didn’t matter which seat you took – both offered the same stunning view of the ocean.

While we were eating there was a sudden racket on the plastic and partially see through roof. A troop of Squirrel Monkeys was passing through. We looked up and saw their shadows running across to the other side. They were chattering away and sounded a bit like birds.

Video @ Cindy Southgate

They were very cute and fun to watch. This was the first time we had seen this type of monkey on our trip but not the last. Many of them live on Tulemar property.

We headed back to our room to prepare for our beach day. I wanted to get down there early to hopefully snag the chairs under the tree that the sloth was hanging out in.

We enjoyed the scenery on the way down to the beach. We knew as long as we were going downhill we were going in the right direction. Even so, we took one wrong turn. Some of the signs we saw were entertaining.

We were the first people to get to the beach. We claimed our chairs under the sloth tree.

Overnight we had had some rain. This is what the poor sloth looked like in the morning. I spent a lot of time watching her. She spent some time grooming herself until her fur was straightened out.

Video @ Cindy Southgate

After reading and relaxing we took some kayaks out along with our snorkel gear. I have very small feet and I have a hard time finding masks that don’t leak so it’s easier to bring my own gear. The beach concierge told us that there was a spot to tie our kayaks on the other side of the bay.

While snorkeling beside the shore we noticed this tiny beach so of course we got out to explore.

This view is looking back towards the resort. As you can see the houses and villas are well hidden.

When the beach waiter started his rounds we ordered our lunch. They brought the food down from the restaurant. I also ordered a cocktail. Those were made at the beach bar and I was disappointed because they couldn’t make me a Pina Colada without electricity. They have strict rules about how close plumbing and electricity can be to the beach.

After lunch we did a bit more snorkeling. We explored around the rocky areas to the sides of the beach but there wasn’t much to see. Then we spent a bit of time playing in the waves.

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading and watching the sloth and I may have ordered another tropical drink.

Video @ Cindy Southgate

We headed back to our room to change for dinner. While we were at our room we saw some monkeys using the rope bridge.

We wanted to stay by our room to watch the sunset and take some more pictures so we went up to dinner a bit later than usual.

Dinner was great as usual! It was our second last night so we both ordered a fancy drink. Mike’s was a non-alcoholic version of mine.

Fun Fact: If you are visiting from North America or Europe you don’t need any shots before visiting Costa Rica and the tap water is safe to drink.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 12

Saturday, February 29

Today we said goodbye to Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula. We gathered our things and Erik drove us down to the restaurant where we had our breakfast each morning. It is right on the beach so we could wait here for the ferry that would take us back to Sierpe.

Again the ferry ride was more like a tour. During the hour long ride the captain stopped a few times to point out monkeys as well as the owl on the tree stump that we saw when we were heading to Jaguar’s Jungle. I started to wonder if it was actually real but it moved it’s head so I knew it was. The captain drove the boat quite fast for the ocean portion of the ride but then went slowly through the mangroves. Some of the channels are quite narrow so big waves from the boat would have disturbed the wildlife. We really enjoyed the slower pace so we could take in the scenery.

Our favourite driver was at the dock waiting for us when we arrived. We were excited to be heading to our final destination – The Tulemar Resort. http://tulemarresort.com This hotel consistently ranks as one of the top 3 hotels in the world on Trip Advisor. I read many great reviews and decided we would splurge a bit for our last three nights. The room we chose was their standard villa and wasn’t super expensive at about $260 a night.

Tulemar also has the Sloth Institute on their property. They study sloths and have a release program on their 33 acre grounds. As a resort guest you can sign up for the “Sloth Walk” and tour the grounds with one of their researchers.

Our driver didn’t rush to get us to our hotel. Check in wasn’t until 2 so we were able to relax and take our time. He wanted to show us Ventanas beach. I mentioned that we had already been there but I’m not sure he heard me. I didn’t have the heart to say we didn’t want to stop because he seemed quite excited to show it to us. We stopped there for a short break and checked out the caves again. The tide was out this time so we were able to walk deeper into the caves.

We really enjoyed having a driver. Today’s 2 hour drive didn’t feel long as he told us stories about his family and answered questions we had about his country. I was very glad I wasn’t navigating for Mike because once we got off the main road, we made many turns. With no street names it would have been quite confusing. Once we arrived at Tulemar our driver helped us bring our bags into the lobby.

While they were checking us in, I checked out the gift shop. They didn’t have much in the way of souvenirs but I found some really cute books for our 3 granddaughters. We both got a hat as well. Our room was ready at 11:30 so they delivered our bags via golf cart to our room. We got in the shuttle van to drive to our room.

Tulemar has several vans that circulate the grounds. There are phones beside the road in many places so you can call to be picked up. They will take you to your room, the beach, the restaurant or the office. The resort is spread out over a fairly steep mountain. This ensures privacy in your room but it also makes walking up towards the office a bit challenging. Mike and I are very fit so we only called for a drive when we were in a hurry. Our room location was perfect – an easy uphill walk to the restaurant and a longer downhill walk to the beach .

Our room was beautiful and so was the view! You can lie on the bed and gaze out at the ocean through the floor to ceiling windows. No one can see in unless they are standing right at your door. We loved sitting on our deck but unfortunately the hammock wasn’t very comfortable.

After checking out our room and unpacking a bit, we walked up to the restaurant for lunch. We ended up having almost all our meals there because no matter what we ordered it was excellent and the service was outstanding. The staff were very friendly. They noticed our Ironman tattoos and mentioned that one of the other waiters was an Ironman as well. We kept hoping to meet him but unfortunately his shifts didn’t match up with when we were there.

When we finished lunch we went pool hopping. There are four pools on the property. They are all different and there for all guests to enjoy. We decided to start at the top and work our way down to the beach. We managed to get lost a couple of times – because the paths are on a steep hill and there is a lot of foliage, you can’t really see where you are going.

The first pool we went in was the adults only pool and spa area. There was no one there the entire time we were there. It was very tropical and serene.

Now we began our walk down towards the beach. There were a few people in the next pool.

The third pool was beside the restaurant. This tended to be the busier pool because parents could get food and drinks while their children played in the water. Even though we didn’t have children with us the children there never disturbed us.

This was one of two infinity pools. It’s always fun to sit at the edge and admire the view.

The fourth and final pool was the closest one to our room. It also had a small bar. There were several people playing in the water at this pool. This was the second infinity pool.

On our walk through the property we saw lots of interesting things. There are ropes connecting the trees so that the monkeys and sloths can make their way all over the property without climbing on the buildings. We also saw all the different kinds of accommodations here. There are quite a few large houses for rent as well as different villas. One of the houses looked very interesting – inside the house by the front door there was a walkway surrounded by water. Families with very small children are not allowed to rent that one.

I also liked that they had several signs identifying some of the plant life.

Next up was the beach! All beaches in Costa Rica are public but this one can only be accessed from the hotel property. Because of this it was never crowded. It’s in a small bay so the water is calm enough to swim safely. They also had kayaks for guests to borrow.

The sand here is much whiter than the sand around the Osa Peninsula region. We liked this beach because it had some trees so you could get out of the sun. There was also a nice picnic area in a treed area. The only downside was that the restrooms were a bit of a walk up the hill. There is no access to plumbing this far down the hill and also no electricity. Costa Rica has a regulation about the distance that plumbing and electricity has to be from the water.

This beach also had a fun surprise – a sloth hanging out in a tree!

We played in the small waves for a while and then started the climb back up to our room. We had to get ready for our evening activity – a sunset stand-up paddle tour that we had arranged through the hotel.

We were driven down to the pier where we met our paddle guide. We were the only ones on the tour. The water looked a bit rough and there was a lot of rock where we were entering the water so I was a bit nervous. This was the roughest water we have paddled on and I had a hard time relaxing on my board because of it. There was also an area where we had to pass between some rock outcroppings and the waves were larger there. Amazingly, Mike and I both made it through the whole tour without falling off our boards.

We paddled out of the small bay and waited for the sun to go down. The plan was to sit and watch the sunset from our boards.

We paddled around for a while waiting for the sun to go down. Our guide took our camera and took lots of pictures for us. Then it was time to sit and relax.

Once the sun was down we headed back into the bay. We paddled close to the shore. Our boards had lights under them so we could see a bit under the water. They didn’t work super well but we did see a few small fish.

To finish the tour we lay down on our boards to gaze at the stars. It was very relaxing and peaceful with the sound of the ocean and the gentle rocking of our boards.

After a quick snack of pineapple we were driven back to Tulemar. We spotted this mom and her baby Sloth crossing the road on our way to TuleCafe Restaurant.

We enjoyed a late dinner. We were pretty hungry so I forgot to take a picture of our meal until we had gobbled up most of the vegetables. The dinner was excellent!

With help from a flashlight we made our way back to our room.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica has two main airports. One is in Liberia and the other is in San Jose. You can choose the one closest to your destination or if you are moving around the country you can fly into one and out of the other.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 11

Friday, February 28

This was one of our favourite days. We spent most of the day hiking along the coast towards Corcovado. We covered 8 kilometers on the way out but that includes all of our stops to explore the beaches and climb over the rocks. The hike back was only 6 kilometers. We packed lots of water and snacks and I wore my SPF shirt and tights so I wouldn’t have to worry about the sun.

We walked down the hill to the beach. Then we headed west: we would have to pass two hotel properties before the real trail started. It was very pretty walking through there. On this well used path we saw many beautiful trees, plants and flowers.

We also saw some odd looking rocks.

After a small amount of climbing we had to go down this very narrow cement path.

Next we had to cross a hanging metal bridge. The Rio Agujitas was very calm and quite pretty.

Just before the first beach there was a small stand of Bamboo. Bamboo is very strong and is sometimes used in Costa Rica as a building material. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world and can grow up to 90 centimeters in one day.

After passing through here we were finally on the ocean side trail. From this point on we only saw a handful of people. Just the way we like it!

Each time the trail reached a beach we went down towards the ocean to explore. There were many separate beaches each with their own character. One of them had a lot of dark sand and no footprints but our own.

Other beaches had more rock…..

A hike in Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without a few White Faced Capuchin monkeys having fun!

Some beaches had interesting artifacts……

Two dogs showed up when we were staying at Jaguar’s Jungle that had just wandered in even though it was miles away from any other hotels. We saw this thin dog and assumed it was a stray. We were having a snack at the time and offered some chips to the dog. He wouldn’t eat it, so then we guessed there must be a hotel hidden somewhere nearby.

This beautiful area had a lot of rock. Some of the rocks had tunnels through them.

We saw a few small boats in the water here so we assumed there was a lodge up the hill in the forest.

Some of the rockier beaches also had many tide pools. Some of the bigger ones were fun to hop into to cool off.

Some of the tide pools even contained small fish.

Tourists are warned to be careful entering the ocean where there are no life guards. Rip currents are not uncommon here. If you do get caught in one you are advised to swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and then make your way back towards shore. It was fun watching these waves breaking on the rocks.

One of the beaches we stopped at had some interesting pink stone.

Before we arrived some horses crossed this beach. We saw some hoof prints in the sand. I love the contrast of the golden sand with the vivid green trees and the turquoise water.

There was a small river here that emptied into the ocean. The flow was very light because it was the dry season. On the other side of the path we found a small pond with lots of tadpoles.

The final beach we stopped at before turning back required a small climb down over the rocks.

On the way back we stuck to the path and kept our eyes out for wildlife. Other than the monkeys, we only saw a few birds and basilisks.

Scarlet Macaws, Basilisk, Pelican

“Costa Rica : a Place of Peace and Love”

Back at our cabin we relaxed on the balcony before heading out for dinner. I spent over an hour in the hammock listening to the waves and watching the birds go by. I spotted this little guy with a bright red back – I think it’s a Tanager.

We had dinner at the Choza Bar. Mike chose ribs again and I had a chicken wrap. We found the containers funny – the yellow one contained mayonnaise and the green one was ketchup.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica’s motto “Pura Vida” translates to “pure life”. It can be used as a greeting, a way of saying “great”, or to say goodbye.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 10

Thursday, February 27

After spending five nights at Jaguar’s Jungle it was time to head to our next destination – Pacheco Cabins in Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a small seaside village that is located at the northern point of the Osa peninsula. It is home to some budget and mid-range hotels as well as some more luxurious and expensive ecolodges. It is a great place to see a large number of birds as well as a variety of species.

It was about a 30 minute boat ride to Drake Bay from Jaguar’s Jungle. It was a bit stressful because our boat was late. We had arranged with Erik Pacheco to store our luggage so we could head out on one of his morning tours. Fortunately it didn’t turn into a problem. When we arrived I called him and he drove down the hill to the beach to meet us. His cabins were at the top of the hill, so it would have been a bit of a challenge walking up with all of our bags.

Mike at the entrance to Pacheco Cabins

We spent two nights at Pacheco Cabins. (Pachecotours.com). There are three cabins here. We were excited to have air-conditioning after five nights without it. Cabin 3 was very nice and had a queen bed and bunk beds. We had a lovely balcony with some chairs and a hammock. Mike made use of the balcony each morning because he gets up earlier than I do. It was a perfect spot for him to sit and read as the sun came up. He enjoyed the view as well as watching all the birds passing by, including a large number of pelicans.

We dropped our bags off in Erik’s office and joined the others that were waiting to go on the Floating Tour. Our transportation to the drop off spot was a bit unusual for us: we ended up sitting in the back of a pick-up truck, something I had never done before and believe is illegal in Canada. It was actually fun and added to the Costa Rican experience. The mud roads were pretty bumpy!

We had to drive fairly far. We needed to start at the far end of the river because we would be floating back down to the ocean. Once we arrived we still needed to do a decent hike to get to the river. The trail was a bit technical but not too difficult. We did however, have one woman in our group that didn’t really have appropriate hiking footwear and seemed rather out of shape. We had to keep stopping to wait for her. I later found out that she didn’t know that there would be hiking involved. I really enjoyed the hike because it wasn’t a well maintained trail so it was much more natural and secluded.

When we reached the waterfall it was time to prepare for the float. We were given life jackets and shown how to put them on like diapers so we could sit in them and float down the river feet first.

We were here in the dry season so the floating tour was more of a float and scrabble tour. Every so often we would have to climb over rocks where the water wasn’t deep enough and then get back in the water. This was our only day without full sun. We had a bit of misty rain during this part of the tour. It was very warm and humid and we were already wet so it didn’t really matter.

When we got closer to the ocean the water became deeper and the skies cleared. As I floated I enjoyed talking with the slow woman. Mike got into a conversation with her male friend and they were the last to exit the river.

Now we had to boot it back to the truck. We were running late for lunch so the guides set a very fast pace. They were walking so fast I couldn’t really stop to take any pictures. Fortunately we would be hiking up this beach the next day. In their hurry the guides failed to check on everyone and the slow woman actually got lost. We waited for her for quite a while and then a guide went back to find her.

We enjoyed our lunch at Choza Bar. When we were finished we walked back to our cabin.

There were only two roads in the tourist area and it took about 15 minutes to walk the entire length. We stopped in a couple of shops. It was very interesting to see how different it was from back home. One store was packed floor to ceiling with merchandise with odd things grouped together like gas and pool toys. I wanted to pick up some hair conditioner but the containers were all in Spanish. The people working there didn’t speak English well so it took a bit of time to figure out what to buy.

We saw some interesting things on our walk. There was a guy riding a motor bike while holding a full sized cake in one hand. We also saw multiple people sharing a motorbike including small children without helmets. I wanted to take pictures but thought it would be rude.

When we arrived back at the cabin, Balloo, the owners dog, was hanging around our door. We put our plastic coke bottles out for recycling and he grabbed one and started playing. We let him come in our room and had fun watching him. We later found out that he prefers these over dog toys. We got our things ready for the next days hike and then relaxed on the balcony.

After that we headed back down the street to find somewhere to have dinner. Even though Drake Bay is very small, there are several places to eat. We chose a restaurant near the end of the road that looked a bit fancier than the rest. All of the restaurants are open air. We found it quite hot while we were eating and were jealous of the staff at the bar with their fan. This was the first time our bill wouldn’t be added to our room bill and we remembered to ask for it when we were ready. It is considered rude for the waiter to bring the bill before you ask for it.

Mike ordered ribs and I had steak- both of our meals were excellent. After dinner we wandered back to our room and relaxed with a book. I brought a couple of books down with me that talked about the history and wildlife of Costa Rica. It was fun to read them while here. While here, I heard about a book by Roman Dial that tells the story of him and his family. His son came alone to hike in Corcovado and became lost. Although a sad story, I enjoyed reading it when I got home.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica has two health care systems. One is public and even tourists can use it for emergencies. The other is private but apparently quite affordable.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 9

Wednesday, February 26

Today would be our second visit to Corcovado Park. This time we were headed to the Padrillo Ranger Station. My original plan was to visit the Padrillo area and to do the Llorona waterfall tour. Unfortunately the latter was the location of some illegal activity, so we were not permitted to visit there. We also had a bit of trouble finding a guide. No one is allowed into Corcovado without one. I told Brian, the hotel manager, that I really wanted to visit Padrillo. On our last day he arranged for a group of us to go with one of his staff members, who wasn’t really a certified guide. She was very knowledgeable about the area though and proved to be a great guide.

First we followed a small river to a couple of small waterfalls.The trails on this tour were much more fun than the last tour. They were a bit rougher and more interesting. We enjoyed picking our way across the river while trying not to slip in!

Our guide stopped a few times to show us different types of plant life and trees.

Our next stop was at the waterfall for a refreshing dip. The water was quite cold so we didn’t stay in for very long.

After our dip we backtracked a bit and then took a different trail back towards the Padrillo Ranger Station. These trails were a bit quieter than in the Sirena location. The small river running along side the path was very pretty.

There are 69 types of lizards and 137 different kinds of snakes found in Costa Rica. Twenty are considered “dangerously venomous”. Our guide spotted this non-venomous Tiger Rat snake….it has a very long, skinny tail and can be found on the ground or in trees.

We also saw this Anole and some more Capuchin Monkeys.

We stopped at the Ranger Station to use the facilities and have another short break. They had a display of skulls from many of the animals found in the park.

On our way back towards the beach we saw a large group of Coatis. They didn’t seem to mind us walking along beside them. We enjoyed watching one of them attempt to break open a coconut.

After about four hours in the park and 10 kilometers of walking we were ready to head back to the hotel. We just had a little more time to explore the beach and watch some parrots in a nearby tree.

In the afternoon we covered another 6 kilometers on the trails near our hotel.

Our last sunset at Jaguar’s Jungle.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica does not have names for their streets but has numbers for the highways. There are no addresses.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 8

Tuesday, February 25

For Mike and I a free day rarely means a lazy day. This was our opportunity to do some exploring on our own.

After breakfast we loaded up our packs with water and snacks and set off to explore the trails that lead towards Corcovado park.

Being long distance runners, we have a lot of gear for carrying water and clothing to help deal with heat and humidity. We also brought bug spray but discovered we didn’t need it. Even in the forest flying insects didn’t seem to be an issue. I had been worried about mosquitos, particularly when I noticed many of the screens in our cabin had holes in them. We didn’t see any mosquitos during this vacation. Perhaps they are more of an issue during the rainy season.

We started our hike on the path behind our hotel and started heading uphill. I found the plant life similar to what we saw in Hawaii. Everything seems very large and lush, almost larger than life.

We walked along the ridge trail keeping an eye out for spots where we could get down to the water. We found a couple of spots that were fun to explore – small secluded beaches with not another soul in sight.

There was one trail that we tried but when we got close to the beach there was quite a drop off. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to climb back up so we backtracked to the ridge trail.

I love exploring these secluded beaches where the only footprints in the sand are our own.

One area we climbed down to was quite large and had a lot of lava rocks as well as a couple of caves.

It was a bit tricky getting into one of them. When the waves came in they covered some of the rocks so knowing where to step was a bit tricky. It was a good test for our balance.

We had to keep an eye on the tide as it was coming in. Some of the waves were quite large. It was fun to watch them breaking on the large rocks, but we didn’t want to get knocked over trying to leave the cave.

We continued on the trail until we came across another hotel: Casa Corcovado. They had many nice cabins deep in the forest. We enjoyed visiting their gardens and then headed back to the trail. We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw lots of interesting trees and plants like the twirly one below. We did not see any people!

We saw a ton of leaf cutter ants and found this giant pile of sand some ants had left behind.

While we were hiking we could hear various bird songs as well as the very loud howler monkeys. I reminded Mike not to put his hand on a branch or tree without looking at it first. He had already tried to grabbed a tree for balance and discovered a vine with many thorns wrapped around it.

You also have to be on the lookout for poisonous frogs, spiders and snakes. I kept my eyes peeled for sloths but didn’t see any. It is best to have a guide when you are on the hunt for wildlife. They are much better at knowing where to look and at spotting them. Neither of us spotted a sloth on our own until the day we were heading home.

These large black things were a common sight and we were told different stories about their origin. They were either caused by termites or a reaction by the tree to the salt from the ocean.

We hiked at least part of all of these different trails.

We arrived back before dinner and I enjoyed a yummy Pina Colada in my favourite spot – with my feet dangling from the bench while gazing out at the ocean.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica is only 10 degrees above the equator so the temperature doesn’t change much between the seasons.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 7

Monday, February 24

Today we went on a snorkeling tour to Cano Island (pronounced Can-yo). It’s a small, uninhabited island that is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s about 16 km from the shore and it took about 45 minutes to get there. We were very lucky to have the same tour guide we had for our tour of Corcovado park.

From our beach you can see Cano island in the distance….

We had two snorkeling stops. It wasn’t amazing but I did see a sea snake, a stingray, a turtle and lots of small fish. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in the South Pacific and did a lot of snorkeling there (which was absolutely amazing), so it’s pretty hard to impress us now.

After our first snorkel stop we spent some time on the island. Our guide told us about Cano Island’s history and showed us some relics from the island, some of which she had discovered herself.

We had some free time so Mike decided we should take the path up the small mountain. We weren’t really wearing the right kind of footwear, but Mike insisted on dragging me up to the top.

The view made the hike worthwhile!

We had a bit of time left to walk down the beach and admire all the rock formations. Much of the rock we saw here and on the mainland was volcanic in nature.

The day we visited there were two big ships anchored offshore. We were told they were both owned by some rich guy. The white boat was his private yacht that he lived on and the black ship contained all his toys- smaller boats, his helicopter etc.

We made one more stop for snorkeling. At this spot we had a close encounter with a turtle. You are supposed to give turtles some distance. When I lifted my head out of the water there was a turtle right beside me. I tried to warn Mike but he was swimming towards me and came up under the turtles fin. The turtle didn’t seem to care…

Back at our hotel we saw these Scarlet Macaws. In Costa Rica they are mostly found here on the Osa Peninsula. They can live over 60 years in the wild. Their numbers in the wild have been hurt by the illegal pet trade but with some breeding programs their numbers may improve.

In the evening we went out for a night tour. Our two guides pointed out different types of bugs and frogs along the trail. The plan was to arrive at dusk at a cave said to hold thousands of bats. As dusk settled in we saw them start to come out in search of their evening meal. At times we felt like we should duck because we could feel the breeze when they flew by us.

Part of the hike was a bit dramatic as one of the guides took a step backwards and started to slide down a cliff. Fortunately she was able to grab a hold of a tree root and then Mike and the other guide hauled her back up.

Bat cave, Stick bug, Green Tree Frog, Wandering Gecko

We learned something that I would have preferred not to know – if you shine a flashlight at a spider it’s eyes will glow. We had to cross some grass and I shone my flashlight over the area and saw hundreds of tiny lights. I assumed it was from dew on the grass but as I took a closer look they were indeed spiders eyes. It was a bit unnerving! We finished the evening with a late dinner and then made our way back to our cabin. We kept the flashlight trained in front of us so we could pretend there weren’t any spiders near us.

Fun Fact: Costa Rica is very environmentally conscious. Over 25% of the country is reserved for national parks or preserves.

Costa Rica 2020, Day 6

Sunday, February 23

I was really excited to finally be going to Corcovado National Park! I had read about all the different types of animals and birds we might see there. The variety of species here is very diverse. It is a pathway between North and South America so there are many animals from both regions. I was most interested in the animals we don’t have in Canada. Top of my list were Sloths, followed by Tapirs, Coatis and Monkeys. It would have been great to see some of the big cats, but I knew that was unlikely as they are shy and often hunt at night.

There are no roads, so the only way to get there is either by a day long hike or by boat. This trip we decided on the boat. Jaguar’s Jungle is very close to the border of the park and that is why we chose to stay there.

Our guide picked us up at our beach. After a short ride, we landed at a rocky beach. The drivers of the boats are very skilled at backing in as they have to do so many wet landings. There are no docks. There were many boats here delivering people to the park.

This area of the park is very popular and we saw several tour groups here. Our group was small and we had a great guide. It wasn’t long until we had our first sighting. There was a Sloth up in a tree, but it was so high that it was very hard to see. Heading a bit further down the path we were surprised by a Tapir and it’s calf. The calves are called hiders as they are born with stripes and blend into the jungle very well. Tapirs are rare and endangered.

We were treated to a few more sightings – a Peccary and an Agouti. Although peccaries resemble wild pigs, they are not closely related. They are usually in herds of up to 50 but separate into smaller groups to eat. They are quite small and apparently smell like bad cheese. Agoutis are medium sized and are diurnal and therefore easier to spot. They are solitary mammals.