Ever wonder what’s lurking in the jungle at night? Come check it out by going on a night safari weaving through the spooky mangroves by kayak while you are staying in the Manuel Antonio area. There’s a totally different population of nocturnal wildlife waiting to surprise you, and your knowledgeable guide will know each one by name.
You’ll be picked up at your hotel and taken to the estuary where you’ll don your lifejacket, go over safety information, and climb onto your open seat kayak. This is the kind of kayak where you sit on top. Your guide will lead you through a thicket of mangrove trees with interwoven branches and giant dancing roots. These unusual trees only grow where fresh and salt water meet creating a unique transition area that allows the Mangroves to thrive and offer protection to both fish nurseries and roosting birds. It is also a place full of wonderful creepy crawly things!
Starting out around dusk, you’ll experience night falling as the darkness starts to surround you. Depending on what stage the moon is in, you might witness the moonrise and enjoy a naturally well-lit paddle downstream. Or, the inky blackness may heighten your senses as you navigate the night waters under the stars seeking out nocturnal wildlife.
Did you know that more jungle animals are awake at night than during the day? Using a flashlight, your guide will be illuminating such species as sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, kinkajous, snakes, frogs, lizards, and glowing insects! You’re bound to see birds sleeping in trees and you might even encounter an anteater! Leaving the hustle and bustle of daytime behind, you’ll hear a different rhythm while exploring the mysteries within the nighttime mangrove forest.
At some point, before or after the tour, you’ll be treated to dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy some good Costa Rican cooking. Scheduling a tour depends on when the tide is high, so tour times change almost daily. It is good to make plans ahead if you want to take this tour.
The time spent out on the water is typically two hours with an added hour for dinner. Transport to and from the estuary can take up to 30 minutes depending on your hotel’s location. Total time of tour, dinner, and round-trip transportation can take up to 4 hours.
Some kayaking experience is preferred but not necessary if you’re physically fit. Children ages 10 years or older are welcome and may need to share a two person kayak with an adult, depending on their ability and water conditions.