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BlogGo for a walk in a beautiful country

27 January, 2017by Billy Johnson

Go for a walk in a beautiful country

Costa Rica is well named the ‘jewel of Central America’, with its tropical rainforest, active volcanoes, deserted beaches, colourful wildlife, perfect climate and friendly people; experience it all on a exciting wildlife and walking adventure. Walking on hills is literally built into most tours, lodges, and resorts in Costa Rica.

Independent guides can usually hired at the entrance to the more popular wildlife watching areas and sometimes they are extremely good. If you don’t want to gamble on quality it’s advisable to book a guided nature walk in advance with a travel service or tour company where they generally require certification and training and also realize that if you have a bad experience it will probably be reflected in your reviews.

If you really know your stuff you can usually pick out the guides that do too.  Give them a little pop quiz on the habits of the Puma yagouaroundi and ask if you’re likely to spot a great tinamou near the beach.  Their answers should give you a pretty good idea of their natural history knowledge.  This isn’t necessarily a good indicator of how much they can show you though.

01 Walk in Costa Rica

Night hikes are basically guided nature walks after dark. Flashlights are provided and typically they take advantage of the best paved or highly improved paths and walkways or very high quality trails because they don’t want visitors stumbling around and tripping on roots in the dark.

Wide clear paths are also a good idea for night walks because a whole different collection of creatures comes out and some of them you don’t want to step on.  Snakes are just one of the animals you’re much more likely to see after dark and one of the reasons they’re active is that the frogs and small rodents they hunt come alive at sunset.  Most of Costa Rica’s jungle cats including Ocelots, Jaguarundi and Jaguars are nocturnal as well as a whole group of cat like tree dwellers including Kinkajoos and highly endangered northern olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii).

One of the best night tours is at Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve where the first half kilometer is on a suspension bridge through the rain forest canopy and over the Sarapiquí river.  Most tours keep your feet firmly on the ground but a lot of the action is in the tree tops.  The cloud forest night tours at Los Angeles (Villa Blanca), Monteverde and the surrounding private reserves are also excellent.

Billy Johnson

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Go for a walk in a beautiful country

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