The thrill for me when I photograph nature and wildlife is that I always feel as if I am on a treasure hunt—I never know what might be around the next corner and I am rarely ever disappointed.
Peek-a-boo! I see you Ms. three-toed sloth. This typically difficult animal to spot was sitting in this tree for two days a 100 feet from my bungalow[/caption]
The rainforest in Costa Rica is one of my favorite destinations (I’ve gone twice in the last five years) because its thousands of species of plant life, monkeys and other mammals; spectacular birds and brightly colored frogs; not to mention a boatload of fascinating (yes, a little creepy too sometimes) insects and reptiles, make every day a new adventure. And more times than not it begins only steps from your bungalow.
My favorite time is in the morning when everything is waking up. I’m not typically a morning person but when I know there are animals about I leap out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed before it’s light. It’s a wonderful time: the howler monkeys bellow, the sun begins to rise, and the forest comes alive with bird calls and beautiful shafts of light that filter down through the trees.
Did you know that iguanas are excellent climbers? Somewhere in the back of my mind I vaguely knew but it wasn’t until Costa Rica that I saw just how adept they really are.
Monkeys, Monkeys and More Monkeys!
Monkeys are everywhere in Costa Rica and fascinating to watch. On any given day I saw numerous spider, Capuchin (or white-faced), and howler monkeys, sometimes all at once! (Be careful though.. while incredibly cute, monkeys can be aggressive. Be sure to watch from a safe distance and they’ll leave you alone.)
Birds of Many Feathers
I was never particularly a “birder” until I went to Costa Rica. As plentiful as pigeons in New York City, the rainforest is home to some of the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen.
Oh the Bouquets You Could Make!
I didn’t take as many photos of all the beautiful flowers and foliage as I should have, but here are just a few of the treats I found while hiking.
Don’t forget to look down
Go on a Night Hike
Not for the faint of heart but incredibly cool, and a tad hair-raising if I am being honest, be sure to take a night hike through the rainforest if your hotel offers it. Yes, you may see lots of spiders and snakes, but don’t worry, they don’t want you and they won’t follow you home. It’s perfectly safe and an amazing experience. There are so many interesting nocturnal sights worth seeing.
Savor Special Moments
Sometimes the stars align and you get to see something really special… On my last trip, I was lucky enough to see two things!
Sign up for The Insatiable Traveler Newsletter