disembarked our ship around 1:45pm, in time to meet our guide at
2pm as instructed. Our guide for the day, Hariel, was waiting for us
just outside the gates to the port, as was the owner of Golfito Monkey
Tours, Adriana, and another GMT guide.
Our guide, Hariel, waiting for us at the pier
We all piled into a minivan, with Adriana
driving, and headed off to the nearby mountain rain forest. The drive to the
horseback tour location took about 30 minutes along some pretty rough roads, at times. When we arrived, we were
given helmets and soon mounted up for the ride. Be sure to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. You ride through a lot of foliage hanging over the trail and the more skin protected, the better!
Rickee gets familiar with her horse
Another local guide, probably the gentlemen who
owns the horses, was the lead guide on the tour. He did not speak
English, so having Hariel along to translate really helped. As we rode, he would point out flora and fauna we passed.
Riding through shallow river beds and on trails
After about 30 minutes of riding, we soon
learned why this is referred to as a "rain forest". It began raining,
then it began pouring. This is something we had not prepared for.
Rickee and I were soaked by the end of the ride! So, it is a good idea
to pack a portable, disposable poncho just to be safe. Lesson learned.
Adriana also pointed out later that most people do the tour in the
morning when rain is less likely. The ride ended with a short hike to a
beautiful waterfall. Our initial plan was to swim beneath the waterfall,
but we were already so soaked from the rain, we decided to forego the
experience. We decided, looking back, it is best if you wear your swimsuit under your riding clothes if you plan to swim under the waterfall. We carried our suits and towels in a tote bag and there really was no place to put it. Our "wrangler" tied the bag to my saddle. Plus, there was really no place to change clothes anyway. Perhaps if the weather were sunny and warm, there would be time for the wet swimsuits to dry out before you put your clothes back on. And, another tip: take some plastic Ziploc bags to cover your camera in case it rains. We forgot to bring a plastic bag, and since my primary camera was not waterproof, we had to use the
GoPro to take photos at the waterfall, resulting in a diminished photo quality.
At the end of our horseback ride, Adriana drove us back to the pier. We said goodbye to Adriana and our guides and promised to visit them again on our next journey to Golfito. I think on our next visit, we will opt for the Dolphin Watching Tour.
Rickee, Adriana and me in Golfito, Costa Rica
Golfito Monkey Tours offers a wide variety of hiking and boat tours, including whale watching (Aug-Oct) tours! Check their website for full details at GolfitoMonkey.com.