Tiskita Jungle Lodge Tour

The Tiskita Jungle Lodge is a hotel on 800 acres of jungle (with an orchard with over 100 kinds of tropical fruit). We went with Yann and Marie one morning on a tour with Clyde, the son of the owners, and it was wonderful.

The trail began near the lodge, and one of the first things we saw was a small boa on a branch right beside the trail. We continued down a small valley with a stream, stopping by a particularly moist spot to see if we could find a poison arrow frog. It’s actually quite amazing to think that think that one should avoid touching leaves in a certain area because a tiny frog might have been on one. We in fact did see a poison arrow frog after some searching, I believe it was Oophaga granulifera.

Another interesting sight was an agouti that was sitting rather listlessly in the stream, apparently injured or sick. An agouti is a rather large rodent that looks a bit like a long-legged guinea pig. We also spotted a pug-nosed anole (Norops capito), which is apparently a lucky find. As you can see from the photos below, there were also plenty of strange and wonderful insects.

Exiting the jungle, we passed through the orchard to eat some starfruit, cacao, pickle fruit, and a variety of other unusual fruit. We also stocked up on lemons, including one that was the size of a grapefruit. Our last stop was one of the cabins where a white bat (I think Ectophylla alba) was roosting under the eaves.

While it would have been fantastic just to walk around there by ourselves, having Clyde as a knowledgeable and passionate guide made a huge difference. In general, Costa Rica was amazing because so many people there have studied biology and ecology. Some, of course are foreign scientists who have come there to do research, but many are locals who studied these subjects in university in Costa Rica. Clyde had the added bonus of knowing first-hand the history of the land we were on, having grown up there. I would guess there are few places in the world where so many people are so knowledgeable about their country’s natural history.

As we headed to the car, we were also blessed with a final gift: a large group of squirrel monkeys crossing between trees in the parking area!

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