Mangrove tour – Palmar Norte

(March 25 – written by Dave)

Today we went on a boat tour with Kokopelli Mangrove Tours.  We were up early and caught the 6:30AM bus from Palmar Norte to Sierpe (I know, that’s way too early for a rest day!).  The bus was a Costa Rican chicken bus (meaning old USA school bus) but it was nowhere near as frightful as the Guatemalan chicken buses.

Our bus 1

Our ride – heading to Sierpe

We were met at the dock at 7AM by our local guide and boat captain named Kerren.  Later in the day we saw several much larger groups out, so going early was a good idea.  We were on a small boat and had no other guests – our own private tour.

Kerren was born and raised in Sierpe.  He was a great guide and very knowledgeable about the animals, plants and whole ecosystem.  He guides regularly and took us right to where the animals were.  Sure, they move everyday and overnight but Kerren’s ability to locate them, and actually see them today was pretty amazing.  It was almost as if we were going cage to cage in a zoo – we had to remind ourselves of this several times that this was a wild environment as Kerren took us directly to another perfect spot.

So, what did we see…

Two toed sloth – no photo as they were up high and don’t move
Three toed sloth – no photos, same story
Howler monkeys – photos below
Toucan – small species, photos below
Squirrel monkey – photos below – they moved fast
White Faced Monkey – photos below
Snakes – a couple small pythons –photo below
Barn Owl – seen hanging out on bottom of bridge, photo below
Bats – owl’s favourite food, also under bridge, photos below
Red macaws – Mostly seen through binoculars – no photos
Iguanas – photos below
Stick bird  – blends very well with tree, photo below, honest
Other birds – heaps

Overall it was a great trip.  Kerren spoke great English and answered many of our questions, even those well beyond the scope of the mangrove.  As per normal, the people are what make our trip special.  Tomorrow we continue south, one more full day of riding in Costa Rica, then we’re onto Panama – the last country in Central America.  Enjoy the photos…

Howler monkey 3

Howler Monkey

Howler monkey 2

Howler Monkey

Small toucan 2


Squirl monkey 3

Squirrel Monkey

Squirl monkey 2

Squirrel Monkey

Whiteface monkey 4

White Faced Monkey

Whiteface monkey 1

White Faced Monkey


Snake sleeping

Common owl

Barn Owl

Common owl food 1

Barn Owl food – Bats – only a few feet away

Common owl 2

Bats on tree – they move together looking like a snake – clever disguise



Stick bird

Stick Bird – can you see it?

Riverside dock 1

River dock view

River view 5

River view

Blood fig roots

Root of the Blood Fig tree

12 thoughts on “Mangrove tour – Palmar Norte

  1. Very cool tour!! I’m glad you are taking time off for such wonderful extra adventures! That snake looked huge! Enjoy your last days in Central America!

  2. Happy for your Vacation Day! Great Pictures, but monkeys are still my favorite! Is the Stick Bird what looks like a limb on the left?

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