I wanted to do two things on this trip to Costa Rica: surf and hike through a rainforest.
Now that I had the first checked off my travel to-do list, it was time to check off the other.
Turns out, where we are in Malpais is just on the edge of Cabo Blanco National Reserve, a 1,172-hectare rainforest. It’s located about a 40-minute drive through the small town of Cabuya on the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.
The reserve, which is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, boasts dozens of diferent animals, from raccoons to wrens to the howler monkeys you can hear all over this area. There are even pumas and coyote — both of which I wasn’t overly eager to meet on the trail.
We drove there about three hours before closing — not advisable — and was told by the park ranger to stay on one of the two trails. The one being the shorter, Danish trail that looped inside the reserve. The other trail — the Swedish Trail — which was about 4.5 kilometers one way, led to a pristine sandy beach.
“That takes two hours one way,” the ranger said in his best English. “So on the shorter one.”
We took the beach trail.
Thankfully, we made it back to the car about nine minutes before the park would close. We even drove the ranger to the gate, about a mile away.
Here’s what the crazy hike — we did it in record time! — looked like:
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