Today was the first full day of our expedition through the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, and it was an amazing day. Yesterday we boarded the ship in Puerto Caldera near the city of Puntarenas and began a navigation of around 130 miles to the northwest. During sunrise this morning, we pulled into Bahia Huevos and headed to shore at a place called Punta Zapotal. At the shoreline, we were immediately greeted by brown pelicans, great egrets, and even black iguanas. From there, we split into different groups based on interest to explore the tropical dry forest. Along the way, we spotted snakes and many bird species, but the highlight for many was the mantled howler monkey. At one point, we observed eight individuals including two babies in a large mango tree.
Right after arriving at the ship, the captain announced that some wildlife had been spotted nearby. Guests enjoyed good views of humpback whales, and many observed sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and brown boobies soaring around the ship.
After lunch, we spent time exploring a vast mangrove forest near the Papagayo Peninsula. We spotted American crocodiles, snowy egrets, and black hawks. Some guests chose to explore this area via kayak and others by Zodiac. Finally, we ended the day by snorkeling from a lovely sand beach. Serendipitously, there was a beautiful sunset as we made our way back to the ship in the Zodiacs. It was an amazing and full day, and we are all looking forward to another great day exploring the wild side of Guanacaste in the next few days.