The agenda at the Lapa Rios lodge is pretty simple, wake up to a great breakfast, pick an activity, return for a great lunch, pick an activity, go back to your room and then return to the central lodge for an amazing dinner. The next day, repeat.
With 1,000 acres of jungle on the doorstep, the most obvious activity is one of the many hikes – from short hikes to all day hikes. On our second day, to ‘get our feet wet’, we did a short 3 hour hike called the Waterfall hike. As you can imagine, it was through the jungle, along the river with 3 waterfalls along the way.
Everywhere you go there is something to see. Whether it is a beautiful plant or flower, to a monkey or a beautiful bird. The resort has many guides, for that day our guide was a trained botanist with a lot of knowledge and passion for the rainforest.
As we hiked I marveled at the density of the jungle. I could not imagine being an early Spanish explorer trying to make my way through. It is a wall of vegetation.
Taking photos leads to 2 challenges, the first being the volume (I took 2,000 photos while there) and the second being the height of the forest. With a 60m to 80m canopy above you, and a very high UV sun, you are often shooting into the sun, which means photos with all of the wrong shadows. Something this junior photographer (with much to learn) needs to research a bit more.
A great example, this is a Howler monkey staring at me. In the end, I just looked for elevation opportunities (which is a story for another blog entry).
That being said, there was no shortage of photo opportunities. One guide said that Costa Rica hosts less than .5% of the worlds land mass and something like 20% of the worlds biological inhabitants. If they measure by number of insects, I would tend to agree.
The colors are so much more diverse in Costa Rica.
A passion fruit. Had never eaten one before this trip, they were very different, as you eat the seeds. Eating a crunchy fruit was definitely different.
We came across three waterfalls on that first hike. The first was shallow so we stood in it and cooled off.
The second was a small falls with a very deep pool, so we swam (it was very hot).
The third was for jumping. We spent a lot of time and went back to the 3rd waterfall a few times.
Who wouldn’t want to?