Costa RicaCosta Rica

Gaudy Leaf Frogs and White-faced Monkeys

Destination: Monteverde

I slept in this morning for the first time since getting to Monteverde -- it was really nice! When it was time to get up, I did so, willingly, because I was excited to get to the Ranario (The Frog Pond). A light breakfast in the dining room of the Monteverde Lodge and Gardens was the perfect start to the day.

read more close

Many of the frogs in Costa Rica are beautiful, but I think those with the most brilliant colors were a real treat to see up close. The Ranario has over twenty species of frogs and other amphibians, which our guide happily told us all about. I think the prettiest ones were the blue-jeans frogs (bright red body with blue legs), the granular glass frogs (green with really thin, see-through skin), and, of course, the famous gaudy leaf frogs (green upper body with blue sides and reddish orange toes).

Since it was our last full-day in Monteverde, after a light lunch at the Lodge, Rayna and I spent some time driving around. We took in more of the sights, did a little shopping and took some final pictures. During our travels, we decided to book another night walk, because we had such a good time last night.

Arriving at the Ecological Sanctuary around 5:30 put us there at the perfect time to see the white-throated capuchins (white faced monkeys) which apparently pass by the office nightly! There were about five of them in total that we got to watch for about fifteen minutes. They are so cute, and seem to delight in watching people as much as we do them.

Our guide, Orlando, was very informative and friendly, and even indulged our fantasy of possibly seeing a puma. When we were well away from the office and in the dark, he told us that they have been spotted on the property, but not for a number for years. Again, I felt like a little kid with my flashlight. I was convinced I was going to be the one to spot some new species of something, or get really close to a sleeping something else -- all to no avail!

We were, however, fortunate enough tonight to see a pair of toucans sleeping in a tree, as well as a few other sleeping birds and a big sloth moving slowly high above us. Orland pointed out much flora and many insects, but we were out of luck as far as larger creatures were concerned. It was still a really good time. There is something sort of magical about being out in the breezy night with a flashlight. Rayna's camera has a night vision as well as a video feature. The two short videos she shot remind me of The Blair Witch Project, except I imagine us looking eagerly for pumas!

Well, after puma hunting for two hours, I was famished! We got back to the Monteverde Lodge and got ready for the last dinner in Monteverde. I had to get the same mixed salad from the night before, because it was wonderful. For an entree tonight, I ordered the beef tenderloin with balsamic sauce, potato puree and sauteed vegetables. It practically melted in my mouth -- delicious! Although I had planned to test the Jacuzzi before bed, I'm too tired!

Gaudy Leaf Frogs and White-faced Monkeys in Pictures

Best Hotel Deals in Costa Rica!

Get up to 30% off Hotels & Resorts worldwide compared to other major booking sites like Expedia and Priceline with our exclusive pricing ...