Gandoca-Manzanillo location mapKutztown Geology 2007-2008 trip to

Costa Rica
Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Hike to see wildlife in the refuge

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThe hike starts at a beach with a hip-deep river that you must cross.  We took off our boots and carried the kids across. 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeAnthony of the jungle!

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeShelby of the jungle!

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThere were some storms out at sea that kicked up some scenic waves. 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThe weather during our hike had spots of rain, but Caribbean rain is warm and pleasant. 

Lauren Storm - our fearless leaderLauren and her fancy camel back pack.  I think she was glad for all the work she put into planning this trip!

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThis sea stack with a lone tree was a nice accent to the scenery at one of the beaches.  The beach sediment was rich in fragments of coral (calcite). 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThe rocky surface is an exhumed reef limestone full of potholes eroded by burrowing/boring animals and wave action.  The tide pools hosted a variety of interesting snails.

Manzanillo - hiking through jungleHiking through the jungle involves watching carefully where you step over roots and through mud, all the while you need to be also looking up to see wildlife in the trees.  It's wise to hike a little, then periodically stop to look around.

Manzanillo - hiking through jungleHiking the slick, muddy trail through the jungle.  Hiking boots give good ankle support, but soon saturated with water and mud.  Sandals worked well, as well as plastic "crock" shoes because they cleaned off well when fording streams. 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeAbe needed to go to the bathroom, so I took him about 15 feet off the trail so he could go.  It gave me a chance to look around at the underbrush to find little creatures like this centipede (approximately 15 cm long (6 inches)). 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeThe creeks were dark brown with tannins from decaying vegetation in the jungle.  The trail crossed several creeks.  Some had log bridges - others required a bit of wading. 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeMangrove swamps like this surrounded us on the hike.  Many parts of this trail were slick with deep mud.  It reminded me of the opening scenes in an Indian Jones movie. 

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife refugeHermit crabs were all over the place - on the beach, in the cliffs, and on the trees. 

Lauren Storm in the swampLauren - our leader - in the mangrove swamp.  Hiking off the path would be a very tricky job!

Capuchin monkey - Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeOur first encounter with monkeys was in Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.  This is one of the Capuchin monkeys in the trees on the hike.  We also saw sloths, howler monkeys, and lots of little crabs. 

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife RefugeAnthony (260 pound muscle man) arm wrestling Abe (30 pounds) before dinner at Cahuita National Park Restaurant.
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