Carara Biological Reserve
Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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Up early as usual to make sure we spot as many animals as possible. Today we visited our last national park in Costa Rica - Carara Biological Reserve - which is on the way back towards Costa Rica.
We were actually very lucky to have crossed the bridge at Parrita yesterday (see videos and picture) as a tree fell during Saturday and has blocked the bridge. Also further to the south some of the roads have been washed away totally together with an important bridge so hundreds of people are trapped there. So we were out just in time.
Link to news in Spanish: http://www.nacion.com/ln_ee/2008/junio/01/pais1560265.html
Anyway, we arrived at the national park of Carara and the tickets office tried to sell us the services of a local guide
It cost us $20 dollars each but it was well worth it, not only because of the explanations he gave to us, but because the jungle was in a total mess. Water had risen to nearly 2 metres height in most of the path we walked in the morning, so it was not easy to find your way. There was thick mud and small rivers all along and we often had to climb on top or around huge trees. It would have been impossible without the assistance of a guide.
Steffi actually had a couple of moments of panic when we reached some of the deeper puddles. The guide had not been able to find rubber boots of his size (45) so he had his normal light trekking shoes. In a moment of terror he shouted "my feet will get wet!". Unluckily for him...going back was not an option! His feet did get wet....
The rubber boots incidentally are not only for the mud and water
The park itself has 2 routes:
- the difficult one which takes about 2-3 hours when there are no trees in the path and which we did with a guide. There is plenty of wildlife and lots of crocodiles close to the lake area.
- the touristy one. It has a cement path all along with explanations and wildlife is more difficult to see, especially when the bus groups appear and talk all the way along. In any case we did see quite a few animals.
All three of us did the first trek in the morning, and Vero and Marcos did the second one after lunch. A total of 6 hours walking along a wonderful protected area. Stefan decided the afternoon walk was too much for him and stayed under a tree reading...
After the treks we started our 100 km way back to San Jose to hand the rental car back, with a short stop at Torcales bridge. This is quite a popular stop as if you pop your head over the bridge side you can see a large number of american crocodiles sleeping.