Rainforest and boat trip in the river San Carlos

Boca Tapada Travel Blog

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Boat trip on Rio San Carlos

Sunrise is very early: at 05:30. By this time we start to wake up also and we are woken up by a morning concert of birds, some very close, others far away. We have breakfast at 06:30. At least, that’s what we wanted. Breakfast serves only at 08:00. This means, we have about 2 hours to watch all the different tropical birds. De people at the lodge hang bananas in a tree and some in a branch over some bushes. We sit here and get to see hundreds of birds, flying, fighting, playing. A marvelous sight! The most beautiful are Keel billed toucan, collared Aracari and Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, the montezuma oropendula. A kind of tanager (black and red), a little small blue bird en two woodpeckers. A flycatcher and with that I’ve mentioned the most common and most important species. This is really indescribable. If you like birds, then this is paradise. We see during breakfast (rice with black beans, egg, bread and coffee), one of the toucans fly out of the tree and comes straight to us. He lands at a distance of only 1 meter from our table. Seeing the bird now this close, it is a beautiful sight. Magnificent colors. Didier (our guide later) shows us through binoculars 1 scarlet macaw. We can check them out as often as we like. The birds are about 100 meters away in a very big tree. We already saw 5 birds landing there last night; they use that particular tree as a sleeping and hiding place. At 08:00 is the time to leave for a walk through the rainforest with Didier. We’re completely surrounded with rainforest and with a beautiful garden. That is the home of a few species of hummingbirds and they fly like daredevils. A black vulture in a tree in the garden is also nice to see. We receive a pair of boots to walk on the jungle trails and a stick (to keep up straight on the slippery soil). Timo first thought of not taking a stick, but then saw the guide take one and he decided to take one also – and it was good he did. Off we go! We receive a lot of explanation of the forest vegetation. We see a lot of leaf cutter ants, a salamander and a lot of poison dart frogs (little blue jeans). First we see only 1 or 2, but along the trail we see about 50 in total. It’s a small frog, but ‘cute’ as the two Americans, who joined us, describe it. We do not see a lot of birds, only a tinamou. Beautiful is the other kind of poison dart frog we see (the green and black one). This one is bigger. It is awesome to walk to real tropical rainforest like this. Didier points us to a special plant: monkey stairs. The monkeys use this to climb in trees more easily. After 3 hours we exit the forest and take the gravel road back to the lodge. When we come back, we eat lunch, spaghetti with cheese. At 13:30 they come to our room to start the boat trip on the river San Carlos. We take 2 people in our car to the next stop: We leave Didier in one of the houses along the road and the other one will be our guide on the boat. When we arrive at the boat rain is poring down and we make sure we’re quickly dry in the boat. We’re on the river San Carlos now and will go all the way to the San Juan, that river is the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The boat is fast and we see a lot of animals on and along the river. On the way to San Juan we see turtles, 1 American crocodile, a lot of blue and white herons, 2 jacana’s, a falcon, kingfishers, anhinga, cormorants and some iguanas: in Costa Rica they call it ‘chicken of the trees’. The locals sometimes eat the meat and it tastes like chicken. After a trip of 1.5 hours we arrive at the village Boca San Carlos, a small village at the mouth of the river. We walk through the village en receive some more insight in the plants and flowers and fruits, the people cultivate in their village. There are 2 schools, a police station, a church and a clinic, where a doctor is only available once a month. In the school the children have decorated the X-mas tree and there is 1 teacher and 1 student.  In the other school there are 10 students and also 1 teacher. The different types of fruit and flowers that grow there are: orchids, star fruits, kokospalms, strong peppers, manioc, maracuja, oranges and some kind of fruit, that taste like lemon. We stop at the bar to have a drink. There is always a tame parrot that runs around in the bar. He’s cute. After the drink we go back to the boat and go for the return to the lodge. We go a lot faster now and see mostly the same animals as we did on our way to Boca San Carlos. As an extra we now see small bats that are hanging over the river from a tree, a huge American croc and some black vultures. When the crocs or the caiman are just lying on the shore or on a tree, there is no problem the Costa Rican guys make sure they leave very fast, when they glide into the water. They quickly turn the boat and get away. It was a great day and a great experience. First this morning the hiking in the rainforest and a marvelous trip on the river this afternoon, even though the weather is not that great. At around 17:00 we’re back, where we started and we take our jeep back to the lodge. Back at the lodge we proudly present the digital photographs we took to Adolpho. Very close to the terrace we see a nose bear (coati), but we’re too late to take a picture. We take a shower, write our diary, rest a bit and go out for diner: malanga, broccoli, flower cowl and pudding. Again we leave early to go to bed. We did not expect, that we would be also getting up that early and also going to bed early. We‘ve already read this in the diaries of other people, who visited Costa Rica, but did not think we would be doing this. A person lives here between 6 in the morning to 21 and not from 9 to 23, as one does at home, a person really adapts to the rhythm of nature.

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Boat trip on Rio San Carlos
Boat trip on Rio San Carlos
Boca Tapada
photo by: Exciterte