Trekking through Costa Rica’s Monteverde forests at night was like stepping into a scene from Tarzan – towering trees, dense vegetation and the air thick with the scent of damp earth. It was an adventure lifted right from the screen!
Our guide laid down the law from the start: stick together, keep voices low, and most importantly, don’t stray from the path. As if the forest’s natural eeriness wasn’t enough, signing a waiver certainly amped up the thrill factor. In the interest of safety, I armoured myself in the most unflattering yet essential creepy crawly gear – leggings tucked into socks, hood tightly drawn, wrists securely wrapped. Fashionable? Hardly. Necessary? Absolutely.
Guided only by the beam of a flashlight, we plunged into the depths of the forest. I mean Bear Grylls would get hard over this stuff! Forget a gentle introduction to the nocturnal wildlife (a sleeping Toucan perhaps?); Oh no, that would be too easy! First up, a scorpion hung menacingly close, just an arms distance overhead, followed by a hairy tarantula and the sinister hiss of a green viper snake. The guide’s casual commentary on the snake’s lethal bite did little to ease the tension, especially with the nearest hospital a daunting 4 hour drive away.
Just when I thought my nerves couldn’t take any more, Tracy, my ever-so-helpful roommate, decided to startle me with a playful tickle. My heart leapt into my throat, but luckily the sheer fear prevented me from waking up the jungle with my shriek! My bitch slap, followed by girly laughter did earn us a stern look from our guide. LOL
Emerging from the forest was an exhilarating rush. With heart rate finally returning to normal and clothes well and truly shook out, and layers removed. As a group we headed for a well-earned dinner in a nearby perfectly safe and beautiful town.
The path was dimly illuminated, prompting the youngest in our group to lead the way with their torch. Amidst the faint glow, my roomy nearly stepped on a scorpion right in our path, her sandals coming dangerously close! The sight sent a chill through me, particularly with the thought of upcoming stays in hostels with outdoor showers and toilets.
This G adventure wildlife tour provided exhilarating highs deep in Costa Rica’s forests but I can’t say its an experience I’ll repeat any time soon. I’ve well and truly ticked creepy crawlies as done and off the list. LOL
Wildlife Encounters: Scorpion, Kinkajou (also known as the honey bear), Porcupine, Toucan, Sloth (2 finger), Tarantula, Green Viper, Motmot bird (yes it’s really a thing and I haven’t made it up LOL).
For a deeper dive into my G Adventures journey, check out ‘G Adventures Solo Holidays: A Costa Rican Escapade Unveiled‘. Join me as I recount Day 2, featuring the enchanting Mi Cafecito Coffee Tour in Alajuela and the soothing Hot Springs in La Fortuna. Plus, uncover the joys and revelations of solo travel in my piece ‘Discovering the Beauty of Solo Holidays in Costa Rica‘.