La Foresta Nature Reserve

The indescribable roars of howler monkeys awakened us; just like clockwork every morning as the sun rises they begin their morning vocals.  Listen to them at NPR. . . http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92926828

A beautiful sunny day as we head toward the coast, stopping at Sardinal near Punta Arenas for a rest stop.  This open restaurant was furnished with beautiful natural wood tables and benches, each unique.  On the grounds Andres showed us a Cashew tree, the fruit of which is sweet, not unlike an apple in texture.

Cashew Tree

Turning back onto the Pan American Highway we notice the landscaping changing as we  move south, beginning to see fields of cantaloupes, more flowering trees and parakeets.

We stopped before crossing the Tarcoles River to see the congregation of crocodiles attracted to this spot by food scraps thrown into the river by adjacent restaurants, a practice not condoned.  Andres related a story of an earlier tour group witnessing the crocs taking down a cow that wandered to close to the waters edge, not a sight that I would ever want to see.  These are huge crocodiles and can move very fast when they are after prey.  These beasts kill many people each year in Costa Rica, mostly people fishing or swimming in unsafe waters.

Rio Tarcoles

We arrived at La Foresta Nature Resort late in the afternoon and walked down a charming flower lined path to registration which was housed in a tall thatch roofed structure I would describe as a large open palapala with several conversational groupings of comfortable chairs and tables.  Just beyond the registration area was the pool, with wooden chaise lounges and small tables and beyond that the open-air bar and dining room. It was quite a pleasant entry.

La Foresta Nature Preserve

As we walked to our room we nearly stepped on a large iguana sunning and perfectly camouflaged on the path.  He was not the least bit concerned and moved not a muscle as we passed by; we would see him in pretty much the same location each day. Our cabin was very nice, quite roomy and with a small refrigerator so we could preserve our chocolate for another day. Each porch had a hammock strung and rocking chair on the porch, perfect for relaxing and listening to the birds or viewing the beautiful gardens.

La Foresta Cabin

We enjoyed a glass of wine sitting by the pool before joining the group for dinner, perfect end to the day.

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