Tag Archives: Sierpe

Sierpe Frogs : Sierpe, Costa Rica

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Sierpe Frogs : Sierpe, Costa Rica

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which is strange it’s a platform we hardly use as we have found that most of the review posts on there are years out of date.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

Sierpe : Costa Rica.

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Sierpe : Costa Rica.

Our last but one stop before leaving glorious Costa Rica. We are visiting the small town of Sierpe. Our journey was to be taxi to the bus station, then a direct bus to Sierpe with the Tracopa bus company. We asked the waiter in La French café where we were having breakfast if he would kindly call us a taxi, when a very kind Canadian who also was having breakfast and who now lives in Costa Rica offered us a lift, a very nice gesture indeed. The bus company we used Tracopa, are recommended in the guide books, they have a fleet of large coaches which serve most large and small towns in Costa Rica. Along with another company called Ticabus. The journey took about two hours and cost 14,000 CRC which is about £16.

We came to Sierpe to do a couple of things, one was to take a night hike in the jungle and also take a tour of the extensive mangroves here. We also considered visiting the Corcovado National Park, but after quite a bit of research we gave it a miss. Which is kind of sad as the park is billed as the jewel in the crown of Costa Rica’s national parks. Our reasons were firstly you can only enter the park with an authorised guide “ which isn’t a problem in itself “ but the only way to get there from Sierpe was to take a boat along the river to where you will eventually go out to sea, all this is before you reach the San Pedrillo ranger station. This journey takes around one and a half hours. After which you will disembark for your hike. There are other ways of getting to the park, (click here, to find out more). It’s also recommended you stay overnight in basic accommodation or to camp to get the best experience. As we had visited quite a few National parks on our trip we have learnt that you need to be in the parks early to get the best possibility of sighting wildlife. Taking the tour as above you would not arrive until possibly 10am, that’s if sea conditions are good. Another factor was the cost. At around $120 to $130 dollars per person, and the fact that it’s getting towards the end of our trip, and the budget was getting a little tight we did not go.

After viewing google maps of Sierpe we decided to stay for five nights, as there looked like there was plenty to do. Unfortunately Google hasn’t got around to or are not allowed to perform their street view imagery, (That goes for the whole of Costa Rica) so we could not have a good look as to what Sierpe is really like. When we arrived, the bus stopped outside a hotel called Oleaje Sereno, which also has a restaurant called Le Perla attached . There were a load of people waiting at the dock, either for their tour to Corcovado or going onto their accommodation at drake bay. So we thought the town seems lively enough so we would be okay with our five nights. It wasn’t until everyone had gone and just left me and Jackie alone in this large restaurant we noticed the town was deserted, apart from a few stray dogs and tumbleweed rolling down the street (not really) and the fact that the restaurant we were in, was one of only two in town, we looked at each other and said what on earth were we going to do for five nights?

We called the owner of the apartment we had booked, to arrange access. She told us to wait there and somebody would meet us. A lovely little Costa Rican woman greeted us and showed us around. It was quite nice but a lot darker than the photos on Booking.com but it was okay. We were still wondering what we were going to do for the next four days, but we need not have worried . Just read my next post, as I feel it needs a separate entry on the blog to do it justice. It was just amazing.