CW Travelogue

Howlers and Howling in Costa Rica
Postcards From Afar | By Sky Barsch Gleiner, Oct 15, 2012 12:09 pm

Howlers and Howling in Costa Rica

Greetings from Costa Rica!

The flora and fauna here are like nothing I've ever seen. There's probably not enough room on this postcard to tell you about all, so I'll start with the animals.

One of the major highlights was seeing a tapir. We were walking a trail running parallel to the beach in Corcovado National Park, when we first saw the tapir. It was laying down, camouflaged by the undergrowth. About 10 minutes farther down the trail, we saw it again. It was huge! But smoothly and silently lumbering. You'd expect an animal of this size to be noisy and crashing through the undergrowth. Not so: Absolute silence.

One animal that was noisy was the howler monkey. We could hear them (loud and clear!) in both the southwest coast region in the rainforest-covered mountains and in Corcovado National Park,  on the Osa Peninsula. In addition to the howlers, these regions also host spider, white-faced, and squirrel monkeys. Corcovado was once an island, and millions of years ago it drifted into the mainland. With this unique geography, in addition to hundreds of species of animals, plants, and birds, it is also one of the last places in Central America for jaguars, tapirs, and white-lipped peccaries.

So back to the howlers. They are nature's alarm clock. Right at 5 a.m., they began their morning conversation. Our guide told us it was likely a group of 15 to 20. The bantering was louder than imaginable! Screeches, long wails, harrumphing.

I'll never forget the blue morpho butterflies. Synonymous with Costa Rica, they are simply dazzling. Bold and iridescent, and at the same time, sweet and alluring. We caught flits and glimpses against the green of the forest. It was nature's electric light show. They were prevalent throughout the trip, but most plentiful in Corcovado National Park.

As you can tell, this trip has revealed and embraced a Costa Rica I have never before experienced. I'll write more soon,

Carolyn, CW Director of Marketing