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In Corcovado National Park

Costa Rica, day three

View Costa Rica 2022 on ToonSarah's travel map.

Beach and coastline, Corcovado National Park

Our room was filled all day and all night with the sounds of the jungle and of the waves of the Pacific crashing on the shore just below us. I thought it might keep me awake but in fact I had fallen asleep quickly and easily. However when I woke up around three AM there was no going back. My body clock was still on UK time and was convinced it was long past time to get up! So I dosed fitfully until just before our 5.30 alarm, at what point we were both more than ready to start our day.

After a nice bowl of granola and tropical fruits for breakfast we boarded the small boat that was to take us and seven other lodge guests to the national park, Corcovado. This is primary rainforest, preserved intact.

The ride took about twenty minutes and was pretty bumpy at times. The early morning light was beautiful; I would have like to have travelled more slowly in order to take photos of the coast and waves breaking on the rocks. One of the latter, very craggy, somehow had a whole tree growing from the top. I tried my best between bumps and got a couple of shots.

The coastline from the boat

We had a wet landing by the ranger station but could use some showers there to wash our feet and dry them before putting our shoes back on. And here I could get that desired photo of this beautiful coastline, albeit from a different angle, on land - see above.

Our guide David led us along a path that bordered the coast to the north of our landing place, a walk of about two miles I believe. Little hermit crabs regularly scuttled across our path. And in many places we had glimpses of the sea between the trees and at times walked down on to these tiny but stunning coves.


A couple of the coves

As we walked David pointed out some of the more interesting plants. The red ginger flowers. The sea almond trees beloved by the macaws. The bromeliads and strangler figs. The beautiful scented white flowers of the Barrigon Kapok tree, a favourite food of the monkeys.

Fallen Barrigon Kapok flower

Ginger flower, and strangler fig trunk

Most of the path was quite easy walking but in places there were muddy spots to navigate and lots of vines and branches along the way with the potential to trip you (well, me at least!) up. We saw huge termite nests attached to many of the trees.

The wildlife wasn't as plentiful as I'd anticipated. But we did see the following:
Spider monkeys (in the distance and impossible to photograph)
Several spiders, including a Golden Orb
A large lizard
Chestnut Backed Antbird
An elusive anteater up in a palm tree

Spiders (the one on the right is a Golden Orb

Chestnut-backed Antbird


Tree with an almost invisible anteater (look for a tail near the top left above the coconuts), and a much more visible lizard!

And we heard pumas but didn’t see them (a group visiting the following day was luckier, spotting two on the path we had walked just 24 hours earlier!)

The best sightings by far were of the Scarlet Macaws. We spent a lot of time trying to photograph them high above our heads, eating the sea almonds. David pointed out how the hermit crabs gathered at the foot of the trees to eat any fruits dropped by the birds.


Scarlet macaws

When we got back to the ranger station, after a detour in search of the anteater, it was about ten o'clock and I was very weary, with an aching back. We looked on jealously as another group were given fruit, cookies and water; the hotel had told us picnics weren't allowed at present due to the pandemic (although I have no idea how they could spread the virus!) Later I learned that it was a general national park rule, which made more sense, and the other group and their guide were breaking it.

After a short break David led us over to where a river meandered down to the sea. There were several crocodiles on the banks. Including a juvenile.

The river mouth


David then proposed a second walk up to a waterfall on a path said to be rather more challenging. I decided to give this a miss, as did one of the others in the group, a friendly Paraguayan/Canadian. He and I sat and chatted a bit, then I amused myself watching and photographing the pelicans diving for fish, and taking more photos of the beautiful beach.

Panorama shot of the beach where we'd landed

Pelican fishing

Pelicans over the rainforest

When the main group returned from their walk Chris showed me his sodden trainers. They had had to wade through a river with a bed of sharp stones and he'd been advised to keep his shoes on! I was more pleased than ever with my decision not to go. One walk had been more than enough for me and I’d had a wonderful morning.

Incidentally Chris’s trainers remained damp for much of the holiday and were thrown away before we flew home!

We all waded out the boat and climbed in, after which the longed-for fruit was served as well as brownies. The watermelon and pineapple were so juicy and the brownie tasty, although we'd have enjoyed them all the more had they been handed out mid-morning rather than just before lunch.

When we got back to the hotel we freshened up and then yes, it was lunchtime. The rice and chicken I'd ordered at breakfast time were tasty, and we were then asked to order dinner. A sensible system given the remote location and relatively small number of guests.

We spent the afternoon sorting photos, taking more around the grounds, and generally relaxing after our tiring morning. We had a great sighting of a large lizard down by the jetty as well as more hummingbirds in the bush opposite our room.


In the garden of the Aguila de Osa

The lizard by the jetty

The evening followed the same pattern as yesterday, with drinks on the terrace and a meal at large tables. My mango daiquiri was as good as last night's papaya and the mahi mahi probably the best dish of the trip to date.

Posted by ToonSarah 09:27 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged trees birds rainforest flowers coast costa_rica national_park seabirds spiders

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Just fantastic!! You transported me from the cold Yorkshire rain.

by Yvonne Dumsday

No wonder you fell asleep at least for a while if you could hear the sea. There's nothing more soothing.

by irenevt

Thank you both, and yes Irene, the sea noises can be soothing indeed. Yvonne, we have rain here too today!

by ToonSarah

Reminded me very much of our trip. we did a walk along the beach and then the other couple went up to the waterfall and we just stayed around the base. But we did a wet landing - we jumped out of the boat in shallow water. I wore Teva sandals.

We have snow here today

by greatgrandmaR

Thanks for reading and commenting Rosalie - I know this duplicates a lot of what I posted on my main blog and you've already seen it there :)

by ToonSarah

This country is on my long list as well. Seeing the pictures and reading about it, you are definitely going to make me think of going withing the next few years. Is February - March a good time visiting the country?

by Ils1976

Didn't they use wave-sounds in those relaxation-music-tapes too? :)
Efficient method for food but what if you order steak at lunch but feel more like fish at dinner? :D
Those bird photos are stunning! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Thanks Ils and Henna :) Ils, February is an excellent time to go. In the cloud forest region you could get rain at any time (we did one day) but otherwise the weather is great!

Henna, yes - in fact my chiropractor uses those tapes and often there are waves sounds :) As to the food, there was only a choice between two dishes so usually one was much more to my taste than the other and I wasn't likely to change my mind!

by ToonSarah

Fantastic photos but it sound a little too energetic for me. I will never forget the pineapple we had in Costa Rica - the best I've ever had!

by Grete Howard

thanks for the info Sarah, I am definetely going to remember this since I now have other months to reckon with concerning holiday. Nothing seems to be easy anymore nowadays! :)

by Ils1976

Absolutely stunning wildlife photography, Sarah. You definitely missed your calling, you should have done this professionally.

by planxty

Thank you Fergy 😊 I do OK but truly I'm not of that standard!

by ToonSarah

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