Have you ever heard a Howler Monkey make noise? If not, imagine the noise coming from an animal that is (sonically) a mix between a cow and a lion–mostly lethargic, but fierce when it wants–that is about to die and screams out all the pain and agony. To me that’s how it sounds.
I arrived in Manuel Antonio three days ago. It’s a small village that shares both name and location with a national park on the mid-Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Within 20 minutes of my arrival I had spotted Howler Monkeys, White Faced Capuchin Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys (an endangered species locally called Mono Titi), a pair of big lizards and different birds. The beaches here are beautiful and quite secluded. I am glad I came here out of the season, it’s calm and quiet.
One evening I went on a night walk, led by Vivian, a young local guide. I would call her the frog whisperer! She spotted even the tiniest frogs and attracted them by making the same noise as they do. Vivian was extremely knowledgeable about all the animals and plants, and most of all she was so enthusiastic about everything. You could hear, see and feel her passion for nature, every little animal or plant is a small wonder for her. It was a blessing to be guided by her. And we observed amazing frogs in almost all sizes and colors, as well as spiders, a snake, crocodiles and other interesting nocturnal creatures. This was for sure one of the highlights in Manuel Antonio.
The next day I went on another guided tour, this time through the national park. I had the good fortune to be the only participant, and having a private tour was quite nice. We were hiking through the park for three hours, spotting lots of birds (mainly hummingbirds), sloths and iguanas. As my travels unfold for me I’m happy I stopped here!