Matt’s mom, Monica came to visit us in Costa Rica and stayed at the very nice Croc’s Casino Beach Resort around the bay from us. It was easier for her to stay on land as it’s not easy to get on and off our boat and we had no easy way to get her on and off the dinghy from shore. Croc’s offers creature comforts that we don’t have, a pool, casino, spa, and access to many land-based tours. As a result, we all took advantage of the beautiful pool and some good eateries at the resort.
Croc’s has taken in two rescued crocodiles from the wild and has a team of professionals caring for them. Paco and Luna were out sunning themselves regularly.
Croc’s is located at Jaco Beach (pronounced Haco) and there are no anchorages in this bay. So, we anchored Sugar Shack at Bahia Herradura, the next bay over. It is a quick 8-minute cab ride or 30-minute bus ride to Croc’s. The only problem is that the water taxi that we take to get from our boat to shore only runs until 1730 at night so we cannot stay ashore for dinner, drinks or evening activities as we would have no way to get back to the boat. In essence, a minor setback.
Monkey Mangrove Tour
After we spent a day at the pool, we decided to take a Monkey Mangrove Tour. Our tour guide, Crazy Alex was absolutely AMAZING! He was able to replicate all of the bird calls, monkey sounds and lizard noises. Half the time you didn’t know if it was him or the real animal he was so good. He educated us on all of the flora, fauna, river, and islands. It was a constant chatter of humor, information, and wildlife.
Below is a photo of Crazy Alex along with his favorite American Pigmy King Fisher and a Yellow Belly Grey Kiskadine.
He guided us along the Paquita river which consisted of 14k acres of mangroves. The river was pretty narrow and covered with a canopy of trees. The river banks were full of wildlife and birds.
Birds, Birds, and More Birds
Image below: Top Row: 2 images of river, and a shot of a Tiger Heron. Middle Row: Crazy Alex’s favorite bird an American Pigmy Kingfisher, a Yellow Belly Grey Kiskadee (part of the fry catcher family) and a shy iguana. Bottom Row: Three varieties of ginger flowers.
Jesus Christ Lizard
We saw several Jesus Christ Lizards that can walk on water for over 60’. They are super funny to see scramble across the water and actually look like prehistoric dinosaurs.
The river spilled out onto a bay surrounded by mangroves. Crazy Alex nestled the boat inside a nook within the mangrove and we were instantly blessed with 3-4 white face Capuchin monkey family. Of course, they all had names and came when Crazy Alex called out to them. They were delightful and so sweet.
We each had an opportunity to be a human throne for the monkeys where they jumped on our heads and at banana from our hand. They were remarkably gentle. This particular family has claimed about 2 hectares of territory and protect it fiercely. They drink water by dipping their tail into the bay. Since it is brackish water, the salt falls off their tail while the fresh water clings to their hair.
We saw one 3 toed sloth ashore. The photo did not come out too well, but Crazy Alex told us all about them. They have 3 stomachs (along with 3 toes), eat 200 grams of leaves per day (110 calories) and only come down from the trees once a week to do “their business.”
The males (have a black stripe down their back) emit a strange smell and holler to attract females during mating season which can last up to 48 hours. The females decide when to become pregnant and they determine the sex.
Lunch at Jaco
It was a spectacular tour, full of laughter, information, and wildlife. We loved it. Afterwards, we walked around the town of Jaco and ended up having a really delicious lunch at Rugala.
When we got back to the boat, Matt had to do some surgery on our shoes. We both wear Reef’s and for some reason, the center fabric keeps pulling up so Matt has to out a piece of dynema there to hold them together. very annoying and poor quality!
- 3 Toed Sloth
- White Face Capuchin Monkey
- Jesus Christ Lizard
- American Pigmy Kingfisher
- Yellow Belly Grey Kiskadee
- Tiger Herron
- Green Herron