River Rafting in Costa Rica
Safari on the Peñas Blancas


When we first heard about "river rafting in Costa Rica"...

Immediately, thoughts of crashing through rapids, down a white water canyon - adrenaline pumping the entire way down...

Came to mind.

And yes - while you most certainly can experience this exhilarating sport, here on the Rich Coast (we'll save this story for another time), as we quickly discovered...

This was actually a different kind of rafting...

River Rafting in Costa Rica
Mom, Stephanie, Dad and Kathleen - River Rafting in Costa Rica

One that involved peacefully drifting downstream - camera (and sometimes paddle) in hand :-)...

A great opportunity, to observe and photograph all sorts of different Costa Rican wildlife - there along the water's edge.

...

Yet another fun and exciting adventure, here in the land of Pura Vida!...

One which included a visit to the home of Don Pedro, a Costa Rican naturalist farmer - who had just celebrated his 100th birthday...

Please read on to learn more!








River Rafting in Costa Rica

Up bright an early once again - just as it always goes, prior to another adventurous outing, here on the Rich Coast...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Alonso, Mom and Dad
Alonso, Mom and Dad

We made our way down, from the Arenal Observatory - to just outside La Fortuna...

Meeting up with Alonso and Jorge - our guides for the day.

Boarding a tour bus, along with Kathleen and Stephanie, two really nice ladies - that would be joining in the adventure...

Next it was north - into the countryside, and eventually - arriving on the bank of the Peñas Blancas River...

Our launchpad for this river rafting in Costa Rica, safari.

...

And how neat this was too...

I had actually met Alonso, on a previous trip to the Arenal Volcano - about three years prior, to be exact.

River Rafting in Costa Rica Pigment
Alonso Displaying Natural Pigments

A walking encyclopedia...

Knowledge about pretty much every kind of animal and plant you can think of, here on the Rich Coast...

He's exceptionally good at his job - and also has experience working in the most biologically diverse place on the planet...

Corcovado National Park.

Something else too...

Alonso's quite knowledgeable about the Maleku indigenous tribe and their culture, offering private tours into the jungle - to meet with them, and even witness a shamanic ritual.

...

And as for Jorge...

Member, with one of the very best companies in the area - one that's been around since 1993...

Also very knowledgeable about wildlife in the area, he led the way - in charge of the rafts, and all of the equipment, needed for the journey.

...

Well, with Alonso and Jorge guiding the way...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Lookout
Alonso (Left), Jorge (Right), and I - River Rafting in Costa Rica

I had a pretty good feeling, that today - we'd be seeing some animals.

And yes, see them we did!

Not even 10 minutes into the journey - resting in the 'V' of a tree, off to the side of the river...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Raft
Binoculars are a *Must* - River Rafting in Costa Rica

Was a sloth - first one ever, any of us had seen in the wild.

And yes, if you can believe it...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Sloth
A Sloth, Resting in the "V" of a Tree

The first of two! that we saw that day.

The second, was much smaller than the first, but was easier to see - as it moved ever so...

Slooooooooowly...

From one branch, to the next. :-)

...

Continuing forward...

Again and again - we observed various animals along the way - ones that included a group of howler monkeys, a colony of bats, two emerald basilisks, an assortment of beautiful birds...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Crocodile
Nothing to See Here, Just a Few Sticks - Oh... and a Crocodile!

And even a few crocodiles - basking alongside the water's edge.

...

At one point - just off to the right, and quite close to our raft...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Toucan
Can You See the Toucan?

A toucan was perched, making for some truly memorable photo opportunities - and quite special ones too...

As similar with spotting the two sloths...

This was the very first time, Kathleen, Stephanie, and my parents - had ever seen one of these birds in the wild.

Was really something.

...

By the way. You may be wondering from the photo, why all those dead branches are stacked up, in a pile.

During the later part of the year, in rainy season - the water level of the river, is much much higher.

And so yes - these branches, are an indication - of just how much water this river sees!


An even better shot of the Toucan - here's one that Jorge took, by putting my mom's camera, right up to the lens of his binoculars...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Jorge and Toucan
Jorge, Photographing a Toucan - Right Through the Lens of His Binoculars

Turned out pretty well!

...

River rafting in Costa Rica, drifing onward - downstream...

We were all pretty excited, having seen so many different animals... all in the wild... in such close proximity - and in such a short time.

River Rafting in Costa Rica Arrival
Arriving at Don Pedro's Farm

But of course - as both Alonso and Jorge explained...

The Arenal Volcano region - rich in all sorts of wildlife - there's even more of a chance to observe it, here on the Peñas Blancas...

Animals throughout the day, making their way to the river - to eat, drink, and rest.

...

And yes, speaking of which...

"Rest" was the very next thing, on the agenda.

Floating a little ways further, a wooden staircase could be seen on the right - leading right up to the house of Don Pedro - a Costa Rican farmer who had lived in the area his entire life...

And who had also just celebrated, his 100th birthday!




River Rafting in Costa Rica: Don Pedro's Farm

Up the wooden stairs, and over toward the house of Don Pedro...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Basilisk
An Emerald Green Basilisk

It was just before the entrance, when there - sitting perfectly in a tree on the other side of the fence...

Was a full-grown emerald green basilisk.

An animal that resides along rivers, in many places throughout the country - the Corcovado and Nicoya Peninsula included...

It's also known as the "Jesus Lizard", given its remarkable ability, to skip gracefully across the water - propelling forward with its long legs and webbed feet.

...

Inside the house...

We were greeted by Don Pedro's daughters - who made us feel quite at home, offering drinks and snacks...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Snacks
Enjoying Some Snacks, at Don Pedro's Farm

Including some homemade cheese - something they'd been making here on the farm, for well over 100 years.

And yes, on to meet Don Pedro himself - a Costa Rican farmer, who'd lived here his entire life, and who also had just celebrated - becoming a centenarian...

River Rafting in Costa Rica Mom and Don Pedro
Mom and Don Pedro

We discovered that *one* of our questions for him...

"Don Pedro...

So what's the secret to living a long and happy life?"

...was exactly the same. :-)

...

But of course...

This is something, he best answer you himself - and in person too, during your next visit to the Peñas Blancas...

River rafting in Costa Rica.

...

Wow, what a fun experience this was.

Great group of people - Kathleen and Stephanie, we had a really nice time - it was great to meet you both.

And Alonso and Jorge of course - amazing tour guides. Thank you!

And yes of course, to yourself as well...

Thank you very much for reading.

If you'd like to experience a tour like this one, intimate - and with some really great guides to show you the way, I recommend you contact them directly - using the form below.

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