One of the many perks of staying at the Drake Bay Rainforest Chalet is that your hosts will book all your desired excursions for you. Our first tour was of El Parque Nacional Corcovado, which has been called "the most biologically intense place on Earth" by National Geographic.
While we spotted so much wildlife, I must admit I was rather disappointed with my photos. If you come here, I recommend that you bring a very powerful zoom to capture the beauty you will encounter. My 18-200mm just didn't cut it.
I ended up handing my little pink point-and-shoot to our guide, so he could snap photos through his spotting scope. Our guide was really possessive about his scope and would not allow me to snap myself. Sadly, he did not have steady hands and always zoomed in beyond the optical zoom capabilities of my dinky point-and-shoot.
But this is how life goes sometimes. I'm glad I have photos at all. Below is a mix of my real camera's photos and my point-and-shoot's photos through a spotting scope.
These were a lot brighter in real life. Please use your imagination.
Here are the first of four kinds of monkeys we spotted.
We tracked these guys by following their horrible stench. When they spied us, however, they made a mad dash.
Very noisy birds with an unmistakable call.
Don't they look just like suction cups?
It was neat seeing these in the wild.
So cute. So smart. So mischievous. So Mr. Nilsson.
This guy is super slow but is a surprisingly good swimmer.
It figures that the one animal that was really close was a scary one. I took a few steps to get even closer and almost had a heart attack when my boot got stuck in the mud.
Walking along the beach.
One guy on our six-person tour took pity on me and lent me his massive 500mm zoom for this crocodile shot. I had severe envy of his huge gear-filled backpack, but I was also glad I wasn't hauling all of that through the muggy jungle.
This is the rarest of the four monkeys. Our guide told us we were really lucky to see it.
Saw this plane during our lunch break.
Apparently, if you're rich enough, you can fly directly to the park.
If you're the largest dragonfly in the world, flying to and around the park is free.
This is what you see as you travel by boat to the lush park.
Really amazing stuff, even though these photos don't do it justice.
Next: Snorkeling and exploring Isla del Caño.