Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast is home to some of the most lively and diverse mangroves on the planet. These protected coastal ecosystems where fresh water meets salty seawater feature an abundance of reptiles, insects, birds, mammals, and flora.
Local mangroves are defined by a reliance on tidal surges and the fact that their soil is in a constant state of mush, never solid but never liquid. The largest mangrove reserve in Latin America can be found south of Dominical where the Sierpe and Terraba rivers meet. These incredibly spacious mangroves, which stretch all the way toward Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula, host more than 100 species of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
For visitors, mangrove tours serve as an excellent see-it-with-your-own-eyes experience. Imagine having your boat captain pull within 20 feet of a Costa Rican Cayman, far enough away to be completely safe but close enough to capture the beast’s raw beauty with a camera lens. Or picture yourself cruising in a kayak at a slow rate of speed, only to encounter a large family of white-faced monkeys playing in the branches above. Pretty cool, right?
These types of encounters are pretty commonplace during a mangrove tour.
Depending on the time of year and location of the mangrove you visit, there is a possibility of seeing hundreds of birds nesting in the mangrove trees. Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Neotropical Cormorants and Anhingas reproduce upstream on a regular basis.
Since 99 percent of all Costa Rican mangroves are located along the country’s Pacific coast, you won’t have to travel far from Dominical to experience the vivid charm of these natural wonderlands. Whether you opt to experience the mangroves by boat or by kayak, you and your travel companions are sure to have a blast as you slowly creep away from the concrete jungle and into a magical mangrove world filled with all types of interesting creatures.