Sloths, Monkeys and Iguanas

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Villa Titi

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, January 4, 2013

We spent today in Manuel Antonio National Park.  It's a little blip on the map, and it doesn't have very many trails, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with creatures!  We hired a guide through our property manager and Dago was an amazing guide!  Before we even stepped foot in his "Turismo" van, he was pointing out various species of birds.  

 At the entrance to the park we stopped in a big field and Dago was setting his telescope up and we had close up views of lots of different birds.  We saw Green Parakeets, Baltimore Orioles, Turkey Vultures, Pale Vented Pigeons, Kiskadees, Woodpeckers, Toucan, Clay Coloured Thrush (Costa Rica's national bird), a few Chestnut-Manibled Toucans and a few others that I can't remember!  Dago became very excited when he saw the toucans as they apparently are rare in the area.  We have since seen a few around our villa too!  Villa Titi should be renamed Villa Toucan as we have yet to see any Titi monkeys at all!    The boys and I told Dago that we saw a Kiskadee during happy hour last night smacking a frog against a post.  We weren't sure whether it was going to eat it, but it went on for quite a while!  On a side note, during happy hour at the pool bar this week we have been watching the toro events occurring in San Jose this week.  Picture a few dozen testosterone pumped up young men in an arena chasing a bull trying to get a bandana off of it's horn.  It's quite crazy to watch!  Sometimes the guys need to be carried away after the bull gets them.  Looks riskier than the running with the bulls in Spain and a hundred times scarier than the Calgary Stampede events! I bet the competitors don't even sign waivers!
Entering the park along with tens of dozens of other tourists, Dago held us back so we wouldn't be surrounded by people.  We then saw some Howler Monkeys chasing one another in the trees and a few black iguanas.  Caleb woke up this morning ill (he's been feverish off and on for a few days, but we already booked our outing, so we dragged him along with us) and after a little while hiking and watching, Grandma took him the rest of the way to the beach to have a snooze with Dago's sister who was meeting us later with pineapple and burritos.  So Aiden, Jim and myself took the slow walk and saw three and two toed sloths - one with a baby, who was not cooperating for the camera. 

We saw several types of Iguanas and lizards - ask Aiden the difference between the two and he'll talk your ear off!  We saw a cool Golden Orb Spider!   The female and male were both on the web.  We watched the female devour a fly and the male (teeny tiny next to the female) apparently gets eaten after mating.  We found walking stick bugs, geckos and a little vine snake.  At the beach there were plenty of Capuchin Monkeys and even a few raccoons looking for lunch scraps.  Pleased to say there were signs everywhere in Spanish and English reminding people not to feed the animals! Caleb really wanted to find some frogs, but Dago is taking us to a private nature reserve, Rainmaker, on Monday where he found lots of frogs and snakes last week, so we are sure to see some soon!

We finished off our day at the park with a swim at one it's many beaches.  The water was much calmer than the main beach we have been frequenting.  The boys were not impressed!

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Pierrie on

Wow, great photographs! Looks like you have seen a lot in Manual Antonio!!

Deanne & Jeff on

What an amazing experience already! Love the blog....keep it coming!

Auntie Dawn and Donna on

Great stories, keep them coming and have fun!

Jami & Shawn on

Happy New Year! Wow what an amazing start to your adventure. The kids loved the photo's. We are enjoying your blog. All the best with your travels

viajamos on

You guy's have started off with what most would already consider to be an adventure! way to go. Hope Caleb feels better :-(
It's funny to read that Caleb wants to looking for frogs, Jones likes that too.

We really do like the pictures your taking, it must be overwhelming to see all those wonderful creatures. Oh, Jones say's not to lick the frogs Caleb! LOL.

Ryan on

Nice haircut aiden. I hope next time you bring me in your carry on bag because it looks awesome there. Make sure you guys keep writing notes because it gives me an excuse to stay up late reading them with my mom. Bye for now. I'm going to miss you at school. Ryan.

Wayne on

WOW!!!! Looks like a great time, lots of new things to see and do. Thanks for the update.

Dale & Wayne

colleen Joy on

Wow!! I am jealous already! Have some drinks in the pool for me! Love looking at the pictures and living vicariously through you guys!!!!! Stay safe!

Janet on

Those male Orb spiders must be something else....I know they always say that size doesn't matter but really!!!!!!

LaDonna on

Hi Michelle,
Looks like you are having the time of your life and it's only just begun! It's fun to read your blogs and see all your photos.

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