Crocs on the Tarcoles River

Published: October 22nd 2017
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Geo: 9.77944, -84.5631

Today was mostly a travel day as we began descending from the mountainous region of Monteverde and heading toward the Central Pacific Coast. I'm convinced there isn't a straight road in this country! As we wound down and around the hilly countryside, crossed narrow bridges, and made switchback turns, we came to respect our bus driver Henry all the more for what he can accomplish with a manual transmission, 40-passenger bus.

En route to the coast, we stopped at Carara National Park for a crocodile boat tour down the Tárcoles River. We filed onto the wide barge, glad for the cover to protect us from the sun, and set off upstream in search of crocodiles. In no time at all, we were pulling onto the muddy bank where our guide José was all too happy to point out an enormous crocodile, lazing in the heat. But when José retrieved a raw chicken breast from a green bucket, we knew we were in for a show. Edgar asked us to keep quiet and still as José tried to entice the croc out of the water so we could see the enormity of his scaly, reptilian body. Sure enough, the croc began to track José's movements, and in a flash, all 20 feet of him erupted out of the brown water, jaws agape, snapped them shut again, and the chicken was no more. You should have seen the toothy grin on José's face—just another day at the office!

By afternoon, we arrived at the coast for our first view of the ocean, and what quickly became our favorite hotel. Nestled right against the black sand beach, the hotel's open-air dining room was already set for our lunch: a buffet of rice and pasta, marinated chicken and carne asada, salad greens with seasoned beefsteak tomatoes, watermelon and pineapple slices, and caramel coconut flan for dessert. We spent the afternoon combing the beach for shells and bits of coral, reveling in the power of the waves.

Additional photos below
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28th June 2013

Your trip continues to be amazing! The croc is so fat it looks like it may still have a tourist inside. Nice writing!
28th June 2013

That croc is HUGE! What a fantastic time it looks like you're having. Stay safe and keep posting photos. :-)

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