For our first Saturday in Costa Rica, we decided to do a 10 km hike through Cahuita National Park, just north of Puerto Viejo. This section of the Carribean coast has a famously consistent and powerful shore break, known as the Salsa Brava, which formed a constant background to the day’s adventure. After rounding the last curve of shoreline, the beaches turned volcanic, with dark black, almost purple sand. Lorelei managed to smear it all over herself and look like a coal miner!
There were tons of hermit crabs on the beach section of the hike! Whole families would scurry down the path as we approached.
Audrey trying to get her snail bindi to stick
Listening for coconut water
The last 3 km were a boardwalk straight through the heart of the jungle or bosque. We were completely surrounded by the noises of the jungle– birds, frogs, insects, howler monkeys and who knows what else!
Along the way we saw a ton of animals, including capuchins, spider monkeys, and howlers; sloths; and innumerable spiders. One of the spider was as big as our hand. Lorelei almost grabbed it as it was snuggled up under one of the hand railings eating a meal, right at her eye level.
Howlers in the trees
monkey mid jump
At one point we heard an amazing racket, long, loud, and almost musical. We looked up, way up, and finally found the source of the noise: a group of green parrots at least 200 feet up in the canopy.
Lorelei working on her camoflauge skills
Investigating a string of baby spiders
At dinner that night we showed our waitress the giant spider’s picture and she was convinced it was a Brazilian Wandering Spider, one of the deadliest in the world, known for pouncing on people that it feels threatened by. I guess we are lucky it was preoccupied!
A Brazilian Wandering Spider with Lorelei way too close!
Was it preparing to strike? I think we got lucky!