Jan 22nd
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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Activities Cultural Costa Rica Adventure - Part II

Costa Rica Adventure - Part II

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Postcards... from you

Join Anne, Tarek and Kurt Kutay of Wildland Adventures (800-345-4453) and five other families, on a 10-day overland journey through Costa Rica.  Follow seven 1st and 2nd graders, one kindergartner, and a 6th grader through rainforests, past volcanoes, over highlands on their way to the Pacific Coast.  Watch as their adventure continues to unfold in upcoming issues...

    Selva Verde Jungle... The first night in the jungle is always an unforgettable experience, allowing the warm, soft air and the symphony of cicadas and frogs to lull you to sleep. We awoke in the darkness to an invigorating tropical downpour. For one family, it also poured coconuts: kerplunk! They fell from a tree and rolled down the roof of their cabana at Selva Verde Lodge. The thatched roof cabanas are spread out along the Sarapiqui River, surrounded by colorful ornamental plants and flowers to attract birds. All the buildings are connected by covered walkways and are raised a good 10 ft. off the ground. We began our morning hike to the Selva Verde private rain forest preserve by walking above and across the Sarapiqui River via a long suspension foot bridge. It was a 1 1/2 hour loop trail along the river, up a small hill and back down through a lush canyon. It didn’t take long for the kids to catch on. Soon they were spotting amazing insects from their vantage point  and had Jeff, our guide, running back and forth to explain and teach them something new about their discoveries. It was exciting to see a mixed flock of raucous toucans with their great beaks. And, after a few exciting encounters with the red and blue poison dart frogs, we discovered they were all over the place--Selva Verde is one of the best sites in Costa Rica to see them.
    Jeff taught us how leaf cutter ants navigate through the jungle. He brushed the dirt from across their path breaking the trail of scent. However, it didn’t take them long to pick up the scent again. We then saw this huge trail of aggressive army ants moving through the jungle. When they came upon two large rocks separated by 1/2 inch, they formed a live “ant bridge” so the rest of the troops could easily cross.
    Back at the lodge, the wildlife was in abundance. Before lunch, we observed another flock of Keel-billed toucans close-up, flying around our cabanas. We also spotted a spectacular Pileated woodpecker with a bright tuft of red feather on its head. Jeff also led us to a place nearby to see another species of poison arrow frogs, light green with black splotches.
    After lunch, while the kids played games in the nearby commons area, they spotted an armadillo and a friendly 4 ft. long, black and yellow Sabanera, a common field snake, beneficial because it preys on poisonous vipers and rodents.
    That afternoon we took our bus into the old-west style town of Puerto Viejo, a simple port town at the crossroads of a paved road and the navigable Sarapiqui River. We had ice cream, strolled through the city park, then decided to take a river boat trip in search of wildlife along the rain forest riparian habitat.  We saw troops of howler monkeys, a sloth, iguanas, and numerous birds including the large ahinga, tiger heron, and colorful kingfishers. The kids sat out on the bow for the best view and cool breeze.
    Later, at 8 p.m. we met for a night walk in the rain forest. We walked along one of the many wide trails on the grounds at Selva Verde. The kids thought it was pretty cool to shine their lights in the forest and locate insects by the reflection in their eyes. We saw the cicada larvae transforming from its pupae case, click bugs, cockroaches, carnivorous grasshopper, giant centipedes and huge stick bugs.

    “Today, I found an armadillo; went on an awesome boat ride; hiked the rainforest; and saw a howler monkey, sloth, toucan, leaf cutter ants, and poison dart frogs.” --Tarek Kutay, 8 years old

                        Until next time...
                                 Kurt Kutay


Where are Tricia and Marla?

Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
Click here to find out. 

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