Early on our first morning on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, in the far south west of the country, we boarded the small boat that was to take us and seven other guests of the Aguila de Osa lodge to the nearby national park, Corcovado. This is primary rainforest, never touched and preserved intact.
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wildernessJohn Muir
The boat 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 along the way.
We had a wet landing, paddling ashore just by the ranger station; but we could use some showers at the station 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.
Please join me on our walk, linked to Jo’s Monday Walks challenge.
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.
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.
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 (on the left and centre below) and a female Tiger Spider (Argiope savignyi, on the right)
- A Chestnut Backed Antbird, and several other birds I didn’t manage to photograph (or remember their names!)
- An elusive anteater up in a palm tree, which I tried in vain to get a decent photo of. See if you can spot him in the shots below – the slider will help if you’re stuck!
We saw huge termite nests attached to many of the trees.
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 cleverly the hermit crabs gathered at the foot of the trees to eat any fruits dropped by the birds.
Back at the beach
When we got back to the ranger station, after a detour in search of the anteater, it was about ten o’clock. I was very weary, with an aching back from looking up so much at the macaws and that elusive anteater. 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!)
After a short break we wandered down to the mouth of a small river that splits this beach in two and David pointed out a couple of crocodiles on its banks, one a juvenile.
He 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, also with a bad back. 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, while he had a snooze.
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!
I visited Costa Rica in February 2022