Costa Rica- Jungle Monkeys and Sandflies

We made our way down South to Jaco and Dominical for some surfing, but got eaten alive by the sandflies in the heat of the night. That was our mini breaking point, so we decided not to camp in this kind of heat anymore, and to avoid those little rascals at all costs! We met two Argentinians doing the same kind of trip we were except they are crazy enough to cycle it! We managed to pass them on the road south to our last stop in Costa Rica: the Osa peninsula. We wanted to do a two day hike to prepare for Machu Picchu but we were unaware that the Parque Nacional Corcovado, one of the most biologically diverse parks in the world, now made it mandatory to pay for a guide due to 5 disappearances in the last year. Sadly it was out of our budget, so we decided to save the 2 day hike for another time, and just do a 2 hour hike the next morning up to the entrance of the park.

We drove to the last town before the park and quickly realized that there were only three choices of ecolodges, all of them taking advantage of the fact that they were the only options. Thankfully a nice Mexico-raised German host let us stay in the Tiki tent, a large tent with a mattress and plenty of space, raised off the ground. Glam-ping at its best. He was kind enough to offer us a home cooked dinner with his family. We spent the evening in the kitchen (to my absolute delight) with a beer while exchanging stories and watching him cook. On our hike the next morning, we saw two different species of monkeys. One of them came to eye level and jumped from tree to tree as a group. At one point the mothers waited for their children to catch up. They then each put their offspring on their back and, as the baby monkey posed for pictures for us, the mother jumped over the big gap that would have been too challenging for the babies. This park is definitely a place to go if you want to see animals going about their business up close.

We wanted surf and that’s what we found.

Dominical was the quintessential surf bum town. Hammocks, waves, a few hostels and nothing more.

We made some friends on the beach, check out their blog (in spanish). 2 1/2 years living on a bicycle.

Driving to the Osa was fun, but there weren’t many options at the end of the road. The owner of Finca Exotica really helped us out, not to mention the free meal and great company!

The 2 hour hike down to the entrance of the park wasn’t the 2 day challenge we were looking for, but it was still well worth the drive out here. Beautiful jungle and tons of wildlife.

One night in Neily (near the border) and the next stop, Panama and the Darien Gap!

Recommendations:

Jaco
Stay: Room2Board Hostel (go during low season if you don’t like a party hostel, it was nice and quiet for us and very clean!)

Carate
Stay: Finca Exotica Ecolodge Port Jimenez
Eats: Marisquería Corcovado

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3 thoughts on “Costa Rica- Jungle Monkeys and Sandflies

    1. We were running out of daylight and needed a place to sleep. 🙂 Jaco isn’t bad. Good surf for beginners (3-6 foot waves). The town itself is a lot more developed than some of the other beach towns which I think can put some people off. Conclusion: not a must see but still a nice stop.

      Liked by 1 person

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