Costa Rica is a window to some of the most dynamic and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, cloud forests, and Mangrove forests can all be found within Costa Rica’s rich topography. While docked in Puerto Caldera, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, I chose to escort some guests on the “Skywalk” shore excursion to the Monteverde rainforest. We hiked about one and a half miles through jungle trails (no machete necessary!) and crossed six suspension bridges with jaw-dropping views of the flora and fauna.
It was midday by the time we began our hike and the temperature had soared well into the 90s. The songs and cries of the rainforest inhabitants played in surround sound, still not a critter in sight. Perhaps to our oblivion there were millions of eyes looking down on us, like in the old cartoons. To this city girl it seemed too darn hot for the local inhabitants to step outside the air-conditioned foliage, until…
I think the toucan felt sorry for us, coming all this way only to be met by a grey hawk and a pair of lizards. We had been bouncing back and forth across the very last suspension bridge for a while, looking for an exotic face to match the cacophony of screeches and whistles, when he offered his profile from a nearby tree hollow. He posed, unfazed by the paparazzi for several minutes, and remained in place as we giddily headed back up the trail toward ‘civilization’.
We saw the crocodiles while driving along the Tarcola River on the way back to the ship. I felt badly that no one stopped to warn the egret.