I went to Costa Rica for the animals. So after a week of tour guides showing me nothing more interesting than a giant millipede (which was, granted, very cool), I felt a little disappointed. At week's end we ventured to Los Chiles, where we would do volunteer work, and sightseeing was no longer on the itinerary.
Except I hadn't counted on the hospitality of our hosts nor their understandable pride in their own piece of “paradise.” Two days after our arrival, we boarded a boat to take us down the Rio Frio, where in two hours we saw more animals than I had seen all week in the reserves. Anhinga, caiman, white-faced capuchin—everywhere.
“You may see sloths—two-toed ones on the left side of the river and three-toed on the right.” I wondered if this was a bit of Tico humor. But no, those were their territories, and they stuck to them.
The potential sloths never materialized, but the morning was the perfect highlight—an abundance of animals and a scarcity of tourists.