Today we were up bright and early for a homemade breakfast at 7 am here at the hotel. Although tired, the students were buzzing with energy in anticipation of our Costa Rican Safari along the Rio de Tempisque, which is the 2nd longest river in Costa Rica.
We were greeted by our extremely knowledgeable tour guide Sergio, and his driver Emmanuel who each have over 20 years’ experience exploring the Costa Rican waters. We began the tour in a big way, having been told by another group that the Capuchin (White-Faced) Monkeys were spotted just down the river. Our driver wasted no time in taking us to these magnificent animals and we were greeted by the alpha male who needed to verify we were not a threat to his troop. Once he deemed we were not a predator, he allowed the other monkeys to investigate our boat, which resulted in many of the Capuchin’s coming right to the edge of the trees within arm’s reach of our group. Although we were not a threat, they also determined we did not have food for them, and off they went back into the trees and out of our sight.
After our visit with the monkeys, we were off to explore the Costa Rican waters which resulted in seeing many more creatures in their natural habitat. Some of the highlights of the exploration were seeing Blue Herons, a family of Fruit Bats, who eat 2000 bugs a day, Howler Monkeys, the Yellow-Crowned Euphonia Bird, and a mother and baby Bare-throated tiger heron in their nest.
Although it was amazing to see all of those animals in their natural habitat, we were lucky enough to finish the journey by coming within a few feet of a crocodile! Sergio told us that it was a male crocodile who was around 2.5 meters (8-9 feet) in length. Emmanuel attached a piece of cloth to a stick and waved it in the water to lure the big croc close to the boat thinking it was food. Once the croc determined there was nothing for him on the boat, he dropped his head back under water and off he went. Needless to say, the whole group was excited by our close encounter with such an impressive creature!
After our boat ride, we thanked Sergio and Emmanuel for sharing their expertise with us, and off we went back to the hotel for an afternoon of class by the pool. We were spoiled once again with homemade lunch and dinner by our tour guide, Mario and his family.
Following dinner, we were treated to a little “Off-Broadway” theatre as Mr. Delgado’s English class performed a scene out of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”. We provided a little popcorn to set the mood for the audience, and our actors did not disappoint!
For the remainder of the evening, the students were back at class for a little while before enjoying their last weekend night of the program! Tomorrow will be a non-excursion day which will allow everyone to get plenty of school work covered to begin the homestretch of their respective classes leading up to the final exams.