Want to see wildlife up close? Then the mangroves in Sierpe are just up your alley! Each time I have visited I have seen a myriad of birds, from blue herons to bright red scarlet macaws, each time I have watched the monkeys play on the river banks, and time after time there have been crocodiles sunbathing on the riverbanks. There is much to discover, like Isla Violines, an island hidden by the mangroves that have grown around to create canals that twist and turn, or you can talk with locals and get them to share the stories of long lost treasures still buried in the depths of the once ventured back country. There are eight species of mangroves found in the area, the most common being the black mangrove, the red mangrove, the tea mangrove and the grey mangrove.
In 1977, the Térraba-Sierpe was nationally designated as a Forest Reserve and now it is home to many large colonies of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and aquatic life forms. Mangroves themselves are fascinating plants as they have evolved to survive despite low oxygen content and in the salty water. They have long roots that extended to reach the ground below and they provide the perfect habitat for many shellfish and mollusks.
A river boat ride is very enjoyable and suitable for everyone, and thereafter a leisurely lunch at any one of the local restaurants is a must as their daily catches are always served up fresh and with local flavour. An added bonus, on your way to Sierpe you will drive through the palm plantations and it sets the tone for a mindset to go back in time, to a simpler way of life, at least for a little while.
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