This is the first part of a two part series. We were offered the opportunity to participate in Gecko Trail Adventures popular 3 in 1 tour in Puerto Viejo. Due to the sheer awesomeness of this tour, I couldn’t justify putting all of it in just one post.
It was a gloomy, rainy day – something we had gotten used to over the past 3-4 months following rainy season south. I really didn’t know what to expect for the morning and to be honest, it was hard to get out of bed. I was ready to get the hell out of Costa Rica.
We pulled up to the Jaguar Rescue Center for their 9:30 tour. They only have 2 a day to make sure they don’t exhaust their animals. This place is not a zoo but a place for rehabilitation. Our tour guide is freakin’ hilarious and made sure to hit the creepy crawlies (including their extensive collection of pit vipers).
To offset the fact that most of us had the heebie jeebies we headed into the baby monkey enclosure.
This was a DREAM of mine.
We walk in and it immediately becomes a madhouse. Monkeys start climbing all over Shaun jumping from shoulder to shoulder, swinging from ropes and jumping on their trampoline. One female howler crawled into my arms, wrapped her beautiful arms around my neck and laid her head against my chest. She didn’t care to play, she just wanted to cuddle. How can I say no?
Did you know that the bottom of their tails are made from the same tissues as their fingers? They aren’t all fluffy. It is how they hold onto branches. It really is like another hand.
They are like puppies trying to wrestle with each other everywhere and we were just as playful giving little growls and tugs. At the end of 10 minutes or so I realized that Shaun, me and only 2 other people had stayed in the enclosure. Apparently they were a bit too energetic for people.
I loved it. I wanted to stay here. I wanted to volunteer.
Every day they take the monkeys out into the forest and let them play in the trees. Their hope is that the neighboring howler monkey troop will take them in after a while. They have already had success with others. When the babies are tired they come back down from the trees and take a nap on the blanket the volunteers have spread out. Many are carried home in their exhaustion.
After a tour of the rest of the property with sloths, wild cats, owls, and tree frogs, I fell in love with Costa Rica even more.
We seriously considered staying another month to volunteer at the Jaguar Rescue Center.
Thank you Gecko Trail Adventures for making one of my dreams come true.
And on Monday… more chocolate and waterfalls (no, not chocolate waterfalls, sorry)!
Disclosure: We did receive the tour as a complimentary service from Gecko Trail Adventures. While this may be true, all opinions are our own.