Sunday 9 May 2021

FROGS RULE IN SARAPIQUÍ

If you are interested in seeing Costa Rican wildlife, with or without a camera, Sarapiquí is the place to be.

Neotropical frogs are the rock stars of wildlife in Sarapiquí. They may not be the largest or the fiercest beasts in the jungle, but they are without doubt the most attractive and interesting.

Apart from agriculture, the main industry of Sarapiquí is ecotourism. Hotels and nature guides tell me around 95% of the visitors are European—very few tourists from the U.S.A. or Canada.

Walking around, you will hear more German, French, and Dutch than English. On a recent trip, staying at a decidedly tourist hotel, the maid was afraid to talk to me—she had never before spoken to a U.S. citizen and she didn’t think I would speak Spanish. We later chatted and got along just fine.

- Advertisement -

There are numerous hotels and nature centers that cater to ecotourists with guided walks through public and private reserves. There is a serpentarium and river tours by boat leave from the main dock in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. Hotel gardens abound with birds and small creatures of all sorts. In short, it’s a wonderful place to see and photograph wildlife.

Red-eyed Leaf (or Tree) Frog

 

The Red-eyed Leaf Frog (Rana de hoja de ojos rojos) is an iconic image of Costa Rican tourism. You can find this little guy on hats, T-shirts, books, hotels, publicity of every flavor, etc. They are quite common, but not frequently seen because they are nocturnal.

Poisonous Frogs

- Advertisement -

These two amphibians have opted out of the food chain—nothing eats them unless suicide is the daily special. The Green and Black Poison Frog (Rana venenosa verdinegra) is quite common—I have frequently seen them in hotel gardens. The Strawberry Poison Frog (Rana venenosa roja) was alleged to have gone extinct, but seems to be alive and well and making a comeback.

There is an active debate as to which of these frogs is the more poisonous. My frog guide assured me the Green and Black is the deadlier of the pair. However, most Costa Ricans I’ve spoken to about this, some of them quite knowledgeable on the subject, assure me the Strawberry Poison Frog is the king of frog venom.

In Sarapiquí, the Strawberry Poison Frog is also known as the Rana blue jeans—the Blue Jeans Frog—for its dark bluish legs. Both species are also known as Poison Dart/Arrow Frogs because their toxins were used by indigenous peoples to poison blowgun darts.

Dark-eyed Leaf Frog

- Advertisement -

The Dark-eyed Leaf Frog (Rana de hoja de ojos negros) is another very cute critter. It is arboreal—living in trees—and the webbing on its feet allows it to glide through the air from one tree to another.

Three-toed Sloth

The Three-toed Sloth (Perezoso de tres garras) lives quietly high in the trees above the frogs, descending maybe once a week to relieve himself. This young sloth lives on a private nature reserve and the guide told me he was about seven months old. His mother cut him loose when he was three months old—the normal age for sloth emancipation.

If you are interested in seeing Costa Rican wildlife, with or without a camera, Sarapiquí is the place to be.

 

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Jack Donnelly
Jack Donnelly is a writer, photographer, and speaker living in San Pablo de Heredia. His topics of interest include Costa Rican folk culture, national traditions, traditional cuisine, ecotourism, and wildlife. Donnelly is the author of COSTA RICA: Folk Culture, Traditions, and Cuisine which is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Related Articles

Costa Rican Baby Sloth Won the Love of Lonely Planet Fans

QCOSTARICA - A cute photo of a three-toed baby sloth that...

A surprise encounter with Costa Rica’s laziest animal

It’s 8:30 in the morning, and the birds are out in...

MOST READ

48 patients with covid-19 from other provinces wait for beds in San Jose hospitals

QCOSTARICA - 48 patients with covid-19, the majority in severe and moderate condition, this Thursday morning were waiting for a bed in a hospital...

Chevrolet installs its first charger for electric cars at its headquarters in Ayarco

QCOSTARICA - With more than 1,600 electric cars of various brands circulating in the country and Chevrolet's new proposal for the second half of...

Maikol Yordan is no longer lost, he’s on Amazon Prime Video

Q MAGAZINE - The Costa Rican movies "Maikol Yordan de Viaje Perdido" and "Maikol Yordan 2 La Cura Lejana", joined the catalog of the...

Mexico City: Metro train bridge collapse leaves 23 dead

Q24N - An elevated section of metro track in Mexico City partially collapsed on Monday night, bringing down rubble and some train carriages onto...

Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica

  Photo by digitaltravelcouple, "In Puerto Viejo we were located on the sunrise side of Costa Rica so we watched (sic) as many sunrises as...

Judiciary compensates teacher taken off a plane by mistake for not paying alimony

QCOSTARICA - A PhysEd teacher managed to get the Judiciary to agree to pay him just over ¢1.2 million colones (US$2,000) for taking him...

Boeing boosts production capacity in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - The Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA), the Costa Rican company that started as a manufacturer of bus bodies until 1993, and...

Costa Rica has appllied almost one million vaccines

QCOSTARICA - At the beginning of this month of May, Costa Rica has applied almost a million vaccines, as announced by President Carlos Alvarado...

Airport Police apprehend American carrying crocodile head

QCOSTARICA - Authorities from the Air Surveillance Service (SVA) - airport police - apprehended an American named Dale, who was in possession of an...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.