But first...we spent another 2 days at the Samasati Nature Retreat, enjoying some excellent food (read further for more information about this awesome chef!) and of course some more Carribean wildlife...
Day 3: Snorkeling & hiking in Cahuita National Park
We were in luck, as we had the first sunny days in a long time according to our guide and actually got to swim with sharks! How exciting!
Okay so they weren't that big or threatening or even paying any real attention to us while they were slowly cruising on the botttom of the Carribean sea, but still...check!
After that, we stranded the boat and got the salt out of our mouths by eating some freshly cut pineapple. Luck was still following us, as we discovered this young sloth just hanging (obviously...) roughly 2 meters above our heads!
Davina kept drooling over this for a while (you guessed it, sloths were her number 1 thing to see in Costa Rica), so I went off to look for some orchids and bingo, found some! Check out this Catasetum hanging from a coconut tree, talk about a view :)
So we started wrapping things up and getting ready for our hike back, when some friends came slinging down the trees, looking for some scraps. These little Carablancas are not afraid to come and steal from your hands!
Along the way back, more Catasetum but no other orchids to be spotted at the coast, can you see the little seedling as well?
Heading back to Cahuita, we came across more sloths (yay!), raccoons, squirrels, a basilisc (you know, the one that can run over water), many many birds, Morpho butterflies and...a yellow pit viper! Still small, but deadly enough!
Phew, enough for one day don't you think?
Time to hit the sack and get some sleep, but not before another awesome meal!
This is where Danilo comes in, he was our chef for the last 2 evenings and his cuisine was simply divine! And all vegeterian as well, so that's a big plus for those weirdoes amongst you (yes, we're meat lovers!). Check out his facebook page La cocina de Danilo and don't be afraid to reach out for some great Costa Rican recipes, it was nice to meet you Danilo!
Day 4: Nothing planned for today
So obviously, we left our cabin at 6 AM to go for a quick hike. It sounds incredibly early, but when howler monkeys start their morning ritual at 5 AM, there's no sleeping in :)
Yes, waking up a that time of the day in the Costa Rican jungle was an experience we'll never forget...howler monkeys were just the loudest, but not the only ones waking us up!
Anyway, off we went, all enthousiastic and such, until we reached the beginning of the trail and went '...ow, that's steep...and dark'.
But okay, we went anyway and it was exhausting, but worth it! We saw a Coati from afar, so that was enough to satisfy us! We got back after an hour and went to breakfast (yes, we went before breakfast...talk about motivated ey?).
After breakfast, we spent the day in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Not our kind of town (it had people in it, yuck!), but enjoyed some nicely overprized lunch and went back to the hotel.
Day 5: Bye bye Samasati Nature Retreat, hello Sarapiquí!
We said our goodbyes to our first hotel (has it really only been 4 days?!) and arrived at La Quinta Country Inn after a 4 hour bus drive.
Cooler atmosphere, more humidity and moss-covered trees everywhere...hey, this is looking good!
And yes, after walking around a bit in the hotel we found it, our very first orchid-covered tree in Costa Rica!
This tree was covered in Dichaea, Epidendrum and some Maxillaria looking orchids.
And the one in the picture as well, what is it?! We're guessing some Acianthera sp.!
A bit further, we stumbled upon these nice Epidendrum sp. Can you spot the little Dichaea at the back?
That's it for now! If you see any species you recognize, don't be afraid to comment!
Plans for tomorrow: visit to La Selva biological station, this should be a nice introduction to the real Costa Rican cloud forest!