A short time ago I was allowed to be on a trip, which was organized for the guests of our hotel Paraiso del Cocodrilo. We went to a crocodile tour in the Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste. This national park is part of the conservation area Tempique, includes 45.492 acres and is focused on the preservation and protection of vital wetlands, marshes, limestone cliffs and seasonal pools of the advance of civilization that has endangered the ecology of the area.
The early bird catches the worm
Early in the morning we set off with our guests, so we could be on the River Tempisque at low tide. The 138 km long river flows from the Guanacaste Cordillera to the Palo Verde National Park and then merges into the Gulf of Nicoya. After about 2 hours we arrive and are greeted by our local boat guide and escorted to the boat.
Here we go
Then we are starting already. Just the sight of the mighty river with its muddy brown water and the mangroves on the banks is worth the trip. But of course we want to see the animals, that are the reason why we came here: the crocodiles. Rainer tells us that the odds are very good because the Río Tempisque has a very high population density of crocodiles. (On a square kilometer live 200 crocodiles, more is impossible, because otherwise the animals would eat themselves.) So we are in good spirits and enjoy the ride on the river with the slight wind, which makes the ride even more enjoyable. On our Left and our right, we already see many birds, such as the tiger heron, herons, river terns and many more.
The first crocodile and a giant iguana
Suddenly the boat operator calls us to something, and yes, we already see the first crocodile nose above the water. But just as quickly as it appeared, it is gone. But a few meters further we see a giant iguana on the shores edge, which looks very impressive with its bright colors and crest. So of course we take out our cameras and take pictures. The journey continues. And then we can already see the next crocodile, this time a slightly smaller, sunbathing on the shore. And also in the water we discover, with our now already more experienced eyes, another crocodile.
Crocodiles so close that we can almost touch them
Continuing the ride, all of the sudden a large crocodile appears right next to our boat. After the initial shock is over, I try to take as many pictures as possible before it submerges again. The experienced boat guide discovers another crocodile, which is well hidden in the mangroves. He steers the boat all the way to the shore, so that one has the feeling of being able to touch the crocodile. He waits patiently until we have shot enough photos shot and then the ride continues.
Exotic birds and capuchin monkeys
For a change, we observe some exotic birds and the driver makes us attentive to some capuchin monkeys that are relaxing in a tree. We can only grin, because there are enough monkeys at our hotel as well. And so it continues, we enjoy the journey with the beautiful view and the interesting wildlife around us. After about an hour we make our way back and meet the first and only other boat on the otherwise peaceful and deserted river, which comes from the other direction. Soon after that we arrive at the moorings and can only say that the trip was worth it for sure!