Every Man for Himself (Carara National Park)


We recently went and spent the morning at one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks – Carara National Park.  We pilled in the car with Joe on the scooter behind us and made our way to Costa Rica’s northernmost region of Pacific rainforest.

Carara is a favorite with bird watchers for several reasons besides its ease of access. First, its position in a transition zone means that residents of both habitats are likely to appear. Second, the Río Grande de Tárcoles (this is where our Crocodile Man Tour took place) has free flowing sections and its waters seep into seasonal marshlands and a shallow oxbow lake covered with hyacinths further expanding number of local habitats. Finally, because it is slightly dryer, and not all of the trees are evergreen, Carara is more open than the rainforests further south making wildlife spotting easier.

Although we did not see too much wildlife, we were able to spot a pair of Toucans, several large Iguanas, a green parrot whom I (Brittany) swore was a monkey as it was dropping pieces of some fruit on Joe’s head, and a cute little gray kitten that I tried to convince Hetty to bring home.  Although the kitten followed us for about a kilometer and tried to get into our car, Hetty was unconvinced!

Surprisingly, the most interesting creatures we saw on our hike were the leaf eater ants.  We watched as they strolled along their ant-made highway; well-worn paths on which they made and travelled.  Their ant hills ranged in size but we saw a few that were a couple feet in height.

After our hike, as we walked around the ranger station, Joe spotted several large Iguanas fighting in the gutters.  We all got closer and watched with interest as these large prehistoric creatures sat in the sun.  As Joe got the camera closer, one lunged at him.  He quickly turned around and ran whilst yelling “Every man for himself!” leaving poor Gabriel behind wondering what was going on.  Luckily, the Iguana was just as scarred and took off up the roof.

On our way back to Playa Hermosa, we stopped at a unique looking restaurant.  We had heard of Outback Jack’s and were curios to give it a try.  Strangely enough, when the Australian owner guessed where we were from he then told us that he owned property in Bridgetown, such a small world.