Today was the first day of our trip, and we woke up inside a little bay called Bahia Drake. This calm and lovely spot offers ships a rest from the rough edge of the Pacific Costa Rican coastline. We decided to take advantage of high tide and took Zodiac tours up the small but rich Agujitas River. In Spanish, aguja is the word for needle. The river is named after the town, which is named for the needlefish–pez aguja–that are abundant in the area.

Off we went in our faithful vessels, venturing into a tidal dependent river mouth. We were in for an adventure! At the entrance of the river, we spotted green iguanas, spiny-tailed iguanas, Jesus Christ lizards, yellow-crowned night herons, boat-billed herons, and kingfishers. Movement in the trees indicated the presence of…spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and white-throated capuchin monkeys! We spotted one species after another, three of Costa Rica’s four nonhuman primates in one place. Huge trees framed the picture-perfect setting. Images of the forest were reflected in the dark waters upriver, making for a picturesque and photogenic spot.

We returned to the ship for lunch and headed out again in the early afternoon. Guests chose between several hikes, including a long coastal trek, a forest trek, a nature walk, and a photo-oriented walk. A hike was offered for every style, interest, and skill level. We returned satisfied with our choices, as every hike offered each of us what we needed.

Today was a great first day in so many ways. We are all looking forward to new adventures tomorrow.