Mangroves are one of the most interesting ecosystems in the world. On this riverboat tour, you’ll explore a protected Mangrove led by a knowledgeable nature guide. Mangroves typically live where fresh water meets salt water. In this difficult environment, they thrive and provide protection for newly spawned fish to grow and survive. Their massive air roots create an impenetrable web and their intertwined branches offer a safe place for birds to build their nests. They are teeming with wildlife.
Your tour will begin when you are picked up from your hotel and driven inside the Terraba Forest Reserve where your boat and captain will be waiting. You’ll meet your naturalist guide who will help you aboard the riverboat and give you a lifejacket while going over the safety instructions. This slow moving sightseeing boat contains a roof for sun and rain protection plus has seating for a large group of people. Next, you’ll be on your way to see the sights!
While slowly gliding through the lush forest and interwoven Mangroves, your guide will tell you about the various types of wildlife in the area. You’ll see changing landscapes including woodlands, Mangrove tree forests, sandy beaches, small lagoons and palm tree swamps all with their own unique ecosystems.
This is a birdwatcher’s paradise! From the riverboat, you’ll have plenty of time to take photos as your guide points out and identifies an abundance of bird species such as Herons, Egrets, Pandions, Haliaetus, and Contingas.
In addition to birds, there are currently 55 species of identified fish, 10 species of shellfish, mammals such as the Agouti Paca and Lutra Annectens, plus reptiles including Boa Constrictors and Caimans living within the Terraba Mangroves. This area was founded as a forest reserve in 1977 in order to protect these species, some of which are endangered. It is only open for guided tours and educational events.
Besides wildlife and nature viewing, you will learn the importance of three types of Mangrove - white, red, and black. Each has different characteristics and grow in slightly different conditions. These are some of the only plants in the world that can grow in salt water with harsh temperatures and low oxygen. The unique thing about Mangroves is that they contain a saltwater filtration system that absorbs only the fresh water and leaves behind the salt. That’s how they are able to stay alive.
The iconic roots of the Mangrove extend above the water surface water and act as breathing tubes, absorbing oxygen to feed the rest of the massive plant system. On this Mangrove tour, you’ll learn many other interesting facts about how this specialized form of vegetation is so important to the survival of several species of marine animals and bird life. There is great concern as the Mangrove populations all over the world have been rapidly decreasing over recent years.
About half way, your guide will slice up fresh fruit and provide bottled water so that you can feel refreshed for the rest of your expedition. When the tour comes to an end, you will hop back on dry land to be driven back to your hotel.
This tour includes a bilingual naturalist guide, park entrance fee, snack, water, and transportation is NOT included. One way transport to the Terraba Forest Reserve can take from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on where you are picked up from your hotel, and local traffic conditions. The time of the Mangrove riverboat tour usually takes from 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
NOTE: Tour requires a minimum of 6 participants. Also, the departure time varies as it is tide dependent. Please bring sunscreen, hat, rain jacket, binoculars and your camera.