We were becoming a bit discouraged as rain overwhelmed the last couple of days in Costa Rica. We spent three nights at the final stop of our trip in Manuel Antonio. Luckily, on our last full day, the rain held long enough for us to enjoy one last unforgettable experience. We took a boat tour of the Damas Island, which brought us through the Mangrove.
As we began, our boat headed along the water’s edge and stopped not far from the dock. We were stopped not even a minute when we heard a rustling in the brush. Next, about 5 white-faced monkeys wandered into view, and could not contain my excitement!
During our weeklong trip we had chased after monkeys trying to get a good glimpse and snap a photo. I never imagined we would get as lucky as we did on this boat. The monkeys were so close I was overcome with a wild childlike excitement. They climbed up on the roof, and even peeked their heads down to look into our boat. It was an experience that every kid dreams of when they go on a cheap “safari”, but end up just seeing an elephant a half-mile away instead. Naturally, when the monkey’s realized we didn’t have any food, they gradually disappeared back into the brush. Just getting that close was an experience that made our entire trip that much more worth it.
As we continued along into the magical mangrove forest, we saw all sorts of wildlife. Not long after seeing the monkeys we floated past an alligator. We could not count the varying species of birds resting on mangroves. Some native, but most there for the warm season; I don’t blame them!
As we went further in, our boat ventured into tight quarters and slid through some branches. The mangrove roots were literally crawling with life! We spotted a baby alligator very close to the boat. The most common site were little crabs on the roots just above water.
Floating through the mangroves was a nice escape into the backcountry, and a very calming place. It’s great for anyone looking for some peace in nature on their trip with close encounters with wildlife along the way.