Our only full day to explore Corcovado National Park and we awoke not only to a serenade of howler monkeys but to a tropical rainstorm and George soon discovered his poncho was in the luggage we left in San Jose. No worries this is a full service resort and Andre to the rescue with a loaner poncho so after breakfast we boarded another small boat for the 20-minute ride to San Pedrillo Ranger station, our entrance into Corcovado National Park. To say we had a wet landing would be an understatement, we were soaked to the bone from the rain so disembarking into the water was no big deal and besides, the water was warm and we still had to wade across a river to get to the trailhead. My thought was are there crocodiles in the river? No worries our guide said as he plunged right in.
Our guide, Manuel, led us to the trailhead for the Rio Prago (River of the red snapper). It was pouring rain and the trail was very muddy but we forged ahead; as we began to wonder what on earth we were doing here Manuel began to spot birds, a little black and white frog, another frog, a Jesus Christ lizard so called because it can walk on water, our heads were spinning trying to see what he was seeing – if only we had better eyesight. We came out on the beach where the Rio Prago entered the ocean and took a little break, so did the rain. Walking back part of the way along the beach the warm sun began to dry our wet clothes and ponchos started coming off; we were finally able to take a few pictures. Re-entering the jungle Manuel spotted a spider monkey high in a tree and as we prepared to re-cross the river back to the ranger station a howler monkey high above the river.
After a lunch break at the ranger station part of our group continued up to a waterfall seeing more birds, a sloth and right on the trail a Fer de Lance they stepped over without even seeing it until the Manuel noticed it. This was the “real” thing and luckily the snake did move a muscle remaining sound asleep as they passed but we have no picture so I borrowed one from the internet.
Remember that river we crossed? Well, returning from the waterfall guess what was lazing on the shore, yep, a crocodile – no more wading in rivers for me.
Not far from the ranger station an anteater was spotted in a tree so again, craning our necks for a good look we watched as it moved from tree to tree in search of tasty morsels for lunch.
The boat ride back to Drake Bay was much more enjoyable in the afternoon sun.
This was our first introduction to the jungles of Costa Rica and we began to recognize the enormous diversity. With approximately 500 species of trees in the park, over 360 types of birds and many small animals making their homes here it is an amazing place.
The visit was a little disappointing to us because of the large numbers of visitors. One of the Windstar ships had brought in about 50 young ladies who were on the trail ahead of us and I am sure the amount of noise sent many of the birds and animals into hiding, an ill-timed coincidence for us.