... is the only National Park in Costa Rica which relies upon donation. You can enter a beautiful trail protecting a plethora of wild life and see all sorts of things you've only seen in the zoo or on television previously. We saw various crabs, lizards, beautiful butterflies and other funky insects. Sloths hung high up in the trees, which was a treat because we never made it to the Sloth Rescue Center.
The park runs along miles of preserved beaches and lowlands, so we could hop in for a dip to cool off whenever we wanted. Tons of uprooted trees lay along the shore, which make for lovely resting areas. Examining the intricate sea shells, we discovered hermit crabs peeping their heads out of some - nature is quite clever.
Dangling vines, reaching Liana roots, and other unique foliage all have an ecological role and impressed us just as much as the animals. There is an amazing tree we deemed the rainbow tree for it's magestice bright colors - so I went to wikipedia and typed in "rainbow tree"... its proper name is "Eucapyptus deglupta". Another red-clayish looking tree we were told is called "the naked Indian". Seeing most of Costa Rica is comprised of beaches and rainforest, the translation of "Rich Coast" seems very fitting.
It is common knowledge that monkeys are my favorite thing in the WORLD! I looove them. Even after they ganged up on me and robbed my trail mix.
Unlike these adorable HOWLER monkeys (above), who stay in the trees and howl through the jungle loudly beginning at sunrise, Capuchin monkeys (aka White Face monkeys) are not shy in the least. Locals and tourists have given me more than fair warning to watch my stuff when they are around. Yet I still naively pulled out a bag of mixed nuts, raisins, and yogurt while walking along the trail. That's like walking down an alley in Harlem waiving hundred dollar bills. We heard rustling in the branches above us, which drew our attention upward, and when we looked back down we were surrounded by 15 monkeys who meant business. Rumor has it they can be vicious thieves, taking your cameras, wallets, or even entire backpacks. One particularly aggressive one sat on a branch and stared me in the face like he was going to gouge my eyes out. They were all staring at me. Apparantly fear makes the brain stop working because I went into shock and heard myself saying, "They want the trail mix. They want the trail mix. Should I give them the trail mix?" My sister shouted "Yes!" as one neared her. I threw the bag and they all went APE :) leaping for it. One grabbed the bag and ran off into the jungle, scattering the blend of treats all along the trail, which his friends immediately began to devour.
Here the culprits are, enjoying my trail mix. Sure they look cute and innocent but don't let them fool you! They had a feast while we took tons of photos and video. If you would like to see more from our trip, I will be posting all the footage when I get home on the following website: http://www.zanichild.myphotoalbum.com/