We left the Arenal area and set to drive for a good while under the sun, for a change.
We stopped by the side of the road as Vlad spotted monkeys in a tree, spider monkeys.
We made quite a detour to see the Catarata de Cortés, the prettiest waterfall I ever saw.
In its vicinity there was a little pool of water where no tourist was, that was populated by lizards, one of which was really big, grey, and crested from head to tail, possibly a basilisk.
We didn’t stay long as there was driving to do, but Vlad took a dip. On the road again, we quickly saw the change of vegetation and scenery as we were driving south. Less forest, more plaines.
We were in Tarcoles, our next stop, around 4 p.m. This place is famous for its long bridge under which many crocodiles rest.
We even saw an iguana.
We had a little more than two hours of daylight and hit the road again to reach a place between Quepos and Manuel Antonio. We arrived a bit after dark which comes a half hour after sunset. And then there was thunder and rain.
Fast forward to next day, a rainy day, but the one day we could visit the Manuel Antonio National Park. In a tree right next to our room there was a howler monkey.
We were advised to take a guided tour as only a guide could show us animals on this rainy day, but we didn’t feel like being with a guide and preferred being on our own, taking our time. We didn’t regret that choice. We saw so many animals!
A deer, a toucan, woodpeckers, a bird big as a pigeon with a red chest and a striped tail, butterflies, dragonflies, an urubu (red-headed vulture), hermit crabs, crabs, spider monkeys, a bird of prey which was all black, a female capuchin carrying her baby and which let us follow her for a while in the forest –a most magical experience!– and finally, a female sloth.
The Park also had lovely beaches. Vlad went in the water (I forgot my gear). As I was on the sand, I saw two raccoons.
The park closed at 4 p.m. It was still raining. We rewarded ourselves with drinks and a late lunch of snacks. I chose a mango rita, the most delicious cocktail I ever tasted.