Day 6: To Caño Negro

We start the day in Sarapiquí like many others before this one in Costa Rica, with a big breakfast. I have started each and every one with a good sized portion of Gallo Pinto, the local rice and beans recipe, and today was not different. I can get used to breakfasts like these! Fresh fruit, Gallo Pinto, freshly pressed juice, Costa Rican Café Negro and scrambled eggs: a good way to start the day.

We start off by driving to the main docking area of Porto Viejo De Sarapiquí to get on a boat (again) for a river tour to see whatever wants to be seen.
Today it is Kingfishers, Flycatchers, Cayman, Herons, Egrets, Swallows, and much more.
And rain. A lot of it. It started after about an hour, and basically didn’t stop until around 3pm. Luckily the boat has a closed top!

After yesterday’s and this morning’s rain, today is a much nicer temperature at around 25 degrees and with a little bit of fresh wind it is not searingly hot. A good day for some driving!
We will travel from Sarapiquí to Caño Negro, specifically to Hotel De Campo. At around 160kms it will take us the better part of 4 hours as the maximum speed is around 60km/h and the route is straight through many small towns where the speed limit is much less. Also, we need to have lunch somewhere!

The drive takes us through many pineapple and banana plantations, and really showcases Costa Rica’s agricultural history.
The last leg of the journey takes us through swamps and wetland and over an unpaved road for about 20km’s. I hope all parts of the car are still in their correct order, that was one bumpy ride!

We are the only guests at the hotel, and with it having around 40 cabañas, it feels really empty. Tomorrow, we’ll be the only guests when the owner of the facility takes us on a boat to see the wetlands!


Day 5: To Sarapiquí

05:00 am, you know the drill. Get up, curse at yourself for having to wake up this early, dress up for the canoe trip, grab a cup of coffee and wait for the dude in the boat to arrive. 05:45: Rey junior shows up and we are off!

Being in a group of 6 today instead of a private tour like we had yesterday is a little different, but the animals don’t mind. Luckily for us, they all show up to show off!
Cayman, frogs, egrets and herons, spiders, cuckoos, toucan: they all turned up and we got good looks at them. Rey junior is also very knowledgeable and even tries to crack a few jokes! Like his father, he knows an impressive amount of German words reminiscent of the number of tourists gracing their boats with their presence and foreign languages.

A quick, flying pests infested, breakfast later we are ready to leave Tortuguero NP and Evergreen Lodge altogether to start the next leg in our journey, this time by car.
The journey back is in reverse order to the one we made on the way in: first by boat, and then by coach. We stopped at Restaurant El Ceibo where the rental cars met us, and off we are.
A white Rav 4 is what we’ll call our means of transportation for the next two weeks.

The first leg of the trip is to Sarapiquí, most famous for it pineapple plantations and white water rafting, here, we will not visit the pineapple plantations, but will jump in a raft tomorrow.
Upon arrival at the Ara Ambigua Lodge, the lady at the front desk informed us a tour would start at 6 PM to find the Red Eyed Frog from the reception. We immediately signed up, because… Well, just because.

Between us checking in and 6PM however, the skies opened up big time, and we experienced our very first tropical rainstorm. Everything they told us about it is true. The rain is really heavy, it seems to go on forever and our storm even got spiced up a little with heavy thunder!
Right before 6, the skies cleared and it stopped pouring down.
So, on the trip we went and we found a grand total of 6 different species of frogs!
We found the Red Eyed Frog, Marked Frog, Hammer Frog, Bull Frog, a Camouflage Frog and an unidentifiable type of the same family as the Red Eyed Frog, and all that within an hours and about 400 square metres!

Tomorrow, we will be on a boat again, and after that we need to drive for a few hours to the next destination: Caño Negro.