Wildlife at Carara National Park: Part 1

Red-capped Manakin (male). He has spiffy yellow thighs, unfortunately not visible in this picture.

A few weekends ago, James and I spent six hours at Parque Nacional Carara, on the Pacific side of Costa Rica and just about an hour and a half from Xandari. Braving the muggy, humid coastal rainforest with the intention of spotting and/or hearing at least fifty new (for us) species, we set off on the first couple miles of trail with our field guide in hand. James uses a pair of Nikon Monarch binoculars for quick spotting and following birds as they flit around, and I sport a Canon SX50 digital camera to hopefully capture still images or video for identification purposes. Sometimes I get lucky enough to take a photo that’s worth sharing!

But not all the wildlife we spotted at Carara was avian. On the way to the park entrance, we crossed the famous Río Tarcoles, a river that is home to dozens of crocodiles that bask in the mud, particularly under the bridge that tourists walk over to gaze at the enormous predators hanging around. James and I saw plenty of smaller reptilian relatives skitter across the paths at the park, including iguanas and a basilisk lizard. We passed several troops of leaf-cutter ants marching away, but there were also less active creepy crawlies, black and green poison dart frogs hopping around, and we were even fortunate enough to spot some mammals, both lazing about (White-faced Capuchin Monkeys) and snuffling for food (Armadillos, video to come).

A strange set of budding leaves that looked like a winged creature

In Part 2 tomorrow, I’ll share some photos and details on the winged animals we saw at Carara!


4 thoughts on “Wildlife at Carara National Park: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Winged Wildlife at Carara National Park (Part 2) | Raxa Collective

  2. Pingback: Wildlife at Carara and Manuel Antonio National Parks | Raxa Collective

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