One of the benefits of living in Costa Rica is the daily exposure to nature and the environment. Granted, in the US, I have always been “in tune” with nature: the changing of the leaves, the rainbows, the sunrises and sunsets….but there is something different when you are in a more “low key” environment that really makes (or enables you) to take time to “smell the roses”.
I am at the beach almost daily and the sun, sky, sand and water never cease to amaze me. Each morning seems like IT is the most beautiful and each sunset is photo opportunity. Sometimes, the sun glistening on the top of the water makes it breathtakingly look like glass and I seem to take pictures every day. The trees, flowers and animals are more perks and I am thankful on a daily basis that I am capable of seeing this beauty.
As I’ve mentioned before, nature is definitely not limited here. Many wild animals are frequently spotted: monkeys, anteaters, skunks, raccoons, crocodiles and those living in the mountainous region can see the sloths. There are also many of the “owned” animals roaming the land and the streets such as : goats, horses, dogs, cats, chickens.. to the point that sometimes I don’t know if I live on a farm or in a jungle.
The monkeys are a tourist favorite. In Tamarindo, we have a plethora of howler monkeys. At any given moment, and in no particular place, you will witness tourists standing around looking up at the trees with their cameras in hand. The howler monkeys that live in our area make crazy deep stretched-out sounds that cross the valleys and treetops sounding like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. The howler babies and females make these tiny squeaky-like noises that can only be heard if you are near to them. The monkeys are constantly on the move. They definitely have their favorite places and trees, but they do not stay in the same place all of the time. They are either eating or sleeping. It is very rare to see a monkey on the ground. A few months ago, there was one in the middle of the road as we were driving home from town. The car on the opposite side stopped and we did as well. I got out of the car and shooed it out of the street. The residents and natives both love the monkeys and generally do what they can to protect them. The monkey population has suffered over the years due to the increase in roadways, power lines and the number of vehicles now on the roads. Monkeys do not have the “street smarts” that some of the stray dogs have and cross roads when they feel like it, regardless. The increase in power lines has caused the pruning of trees to reduce the chance of downed lines and some monkeys have also been electrocuted from these lines as they will use them in place of the branches. An organization was created (Save the Monkeys Association) which provides monkey bridges to replace the downed trees. These are ropes (to simulate vines) which connect trees from one side of the roadway to the other so that the monkeys do not have to touch land to cross the roads. The electric company here will install them for free in areas needed. Referred to as “monkey bridges” cameras have photographed many different forms of wildlife using these bridges to cross the roads.
This time of year there are fewer tourists and more evidence of wildlife. It’s a shame that so many avoid Costa Rica in September and October. We had some clients last week talk about how beautiful it is here. However, Guanacaste is not beautiful year-round. The period from December through April is basically rain-free and all of the lush greenery turns brown…or gold as tit’s so fondly referred here. Guancaste is the “Golden Province” of Costa Rica. This time of year, the greenery, the temperatures AND the fishing are so much better. One gets a better idea and feel of what Costa Rica is REALLY like when the low season is here and the towns and beaches are quiet and the vibe is low key.
Whenever you DO plan your visit , don’t look at the weather apps. It has been raining every day, all day for months here…according to the apps. This is totally untrue. So don’t believe everything you read or here..just come and enjoy the experience…but remember, it’s a jungle out here.