As I said in my previous post I felt the only way to describe how amazing our mangrove and night hike tours were was to cover it in a separate post completely .
All through our journey through Costa Rica we had wanted to do a night hike to see the elusive Red eye tree frog, or any frog to be honest. We have heard plenty of them when visiting the National parks, but despite hearing the amazing chorus of all the frogs calling out we never actually got to see any. It seemed every time we did our research on the different companies offering night frog tours or hikes the reviews were never great. A lot of the night walk tours are on private reserves where a man made frog pond is built just to get the tourists in and to make a whole lot of money in the process, something we definitely do not subscribe to. It seemed we were never going to find a good company or tour that would satisfy our ethical way of thinking. It was not until Jackie was browsing the net that she stumbled upon Sierpe Frogs on trip advisor, which is strange it’s a platform we hardly use as we have found that most of the review posts on there are years out of date. But in this case the majority of the reviews were up to date and were excellent, and there were none rated below good. So our decision was made. When we arrive at Sierpe we will contact Raby Nuñez the proprietor and book our tour.
We met Raby at 5:30pm at the dock, as we had to cross the Sierpe river to start our walk. Raby was a really lovely guy and spoke perfect English so we were off to a good start. Raby’s friend, Jeffrey who was training as a guide came along too. We disembarked the small boat and started our walk. We walked for about 25 minutes, up hill for the most part. All along our journey to the start of the trail Raby was explaining about the many types of different plants and trees and how they help and supply food for the wildlife. His knowledge was excellent. We reached a bend in the road when Raby pointed out a huge ants nest. We were astounded when he told us the nest can be up to six metres deep “ wow “. Eventually we got to where the walk started. I could describe it as a path but it was far from that, it was a real trek through the jungle and in places very slippery under foot, which did not impress me as on more than one occasion my worn out knees have given way causing me to fall “I’ve got two grazed knees to prove it”. It was a good job we brought out very good Brasher walking boots with us because in places the track was very muddy and wet. Whilst we were walking along to get to the path Raby asked us if we minded him picking up the frogs to show us or just point them out. We asked him if by picking them up would they get harmed in any way, but he reassured us it wouldn’t . Incidentally he told us he doesn’t even use insect repellent whilst handling the frogs so that no harmful chemicals can be transferred. So we were happy to say we were okay with it. Raby’s knowledge on all types of frog species was excellent. He is really passionate about the little fellows. Raby’s passion for frogs and lizards, started as a small child, so it is great that he can now turn his love of nature and wildlife into his job. We learned so much about the species and every frog he picked up was placed on a leaf for us to admire and look at and for me to photograph them. Raby or Jeffery then placed them meticulously back in the same place he found them. Another highlight was seeing a Wedge billed wood creeper fast asleep in the nook. An absolutely amazing and unforgettable night. Apart from where I was stung by a huge wasp, which somehow managed to get up my shirt sleeve. Boy did it sting. Oh and also being thoroughly exhausted by the experience, but so so worth it. Apart from the bee sting that is.
As we had such an amazing time on the night hike we also booked a mangrove tour with Raby. Once again we were not disappointed. The trip lasted three hours and once again saw plenty of wildlife. Howler Monkeys, white faced capuchin monkeys, and for the first time on our trip the adorable squirrel monkeys. We also saw a Boa snake curled up in a tree. Plenty of iguanas enjoying the sun, a toucan crocodiles,oh and a raccoon perched on a branch high up in a tree. I had no idea that’s where they live and sleep during the day, being nocturnal. We would never have spotted all this amazing wildlife without our guide. Another amazing Costa Rican experience. All made possible by Raby, Jeffrey and Sierpe Frogs. Who I cannot recommend highly enough