Since one of our friends told us that Cahuita National Park was a MUST, we couldn’t miss it! We were of course still wary of such recommendations after Manuel Antonio but according to her, this was her favorite park because 1) its wildlife was sensational 2) the entrance fee was on a donation basis. Say whaaaat? After bitching for two weeks that Costa Rica was ridiculously expensive, I couldn’t not go to the only park that was affordable! To Cahuita! After an easy bus ride, we found a comfortable and affordable double room (private? Yes sure. Why not) and we couldn’t wait for the next day to explore the park. My wish was to spot snakes. Don’t get me wrong, it has been fantastic to see sloths, monkeys, crocodiles but snakes were missing. They scare (the sh** out of) me as much as they fascinate me but my fear couldn’t stop me. I needed an encounter with the yellow eyelash viper I had seen on an Instagram account I have been following.
We set off early to increase our chances to spot snakes, one can hope! When we entered the park, we asked the staff how easy it was for us to find snakes and she looked uncertain and answered ‘it can happen’. Hmmm not very useful. However a young man, who had heard us enquiring about snakes, asked us to follow him. He showed us a small tree where a beautiful little viper was curled up. My first yellow eyelash viper! I was so excited. I probably took a zillion pics; she was simply gorgeous. He told us that the day before he spotted 12 of them in the park, we simply had to look around so we felt pretty hopeful. We walked very (very very) slowly, checking trees and bushes next to the trail but we had no luck. I was a bit disappointed as I knew they were around, we were simply missing them. We saw so many beautiful spiders, iguanas, squirrels, monkeys and grasshoppers, my disappointment was soon forgotten. Suddenly M pointed up and this was how we started to spot more and more yellow vipers! Who would have thought they were actually on tree trunks (I expected them to be on branches!). They were pretty thin but long and very scarily fascinating. We walked the 8km trail without seeing many people and instead of taking the bus back, we decided to walk back the same trail as it was gorgeous and peaceful and hoping to spot more snakes. We were rewarded with more vipers (one of the floor might have made me a scare!), a raccoon and a coati. Happy!
With this wonderful stop in Cahuita we were thankful for, our Costa Rican adventure was coming to an end and we were ready to discover the last remaining country in Central America: Panama. Next stop: Bocas Del Toro