Costa Rica is all about water. There is almost constant precipitation in the rainforest. In addition, during the time I was there only two days were without consistent driving rain, despite it being the “drier” season. Most days looked and sounded like this:
The amazing thing is that the rain did not dampen my spirits at all – in fact it added more texture to my journey. This is a far cry from my reaction to the constant drizzle that accompanied me on my trip through Central Europe a number of years ago – I was cold and miserable.
Costa Rica and its downpours, on the other hand were a perfect fit. The rain was warm and somehow cozy, inviting me to dance in it rather than wait for it to pass. Yes, I even stamped in puddles like any kid at heart. The rain also provided an additional boon – I didn’t have to worry about my skin burning in the tropical sun.
Water also provided incredibly beautiful views, beginning with our short trip from the San José to the hotel. We passed over the somewhat muddy looking Sucio River – its name means dirty river, although that is partially misleading.
There are actually two rivers that converge where we were, although I couldn’t get a good photo, so here is one from the internet
The “clean” river, El Río Honduras, flows from springs and rainforest runoff. El Rio Sucio gets it color from iron and sulfur deposits from the Irazü Volcano. The two rivers mix and the colors blend into a greenish tint (pic also from internet):
Then there are the canals – an extensive system of mostly natural waterways that not only are used for transportation, jungle tours and water sports, but also provide serene views – like this one at dawn from the lodge in Tortuguero (the rain had stopped momentarily, graciously allowing me to take this video and photo before it started again):
The jungle water tours, despite the rain were simply astounding as the edges of the jungle were teeming with wildlife:
This last photo was unfortunately only a butt shot of one of the most fascinating but elusive animals in Costa Rica. It took a lot of patience, scores of bad photos and just plain luck before I was able to secure a few good shots. For that challenge, this is one of my most favorite and most iconic memory of Costa Rica – the sloth. More on this laid back animal as well as other Costa Rica wildlife in future posts.