Sea Kayaking Blog

On this page we will share with you our sea kayaking experiences. We’ll post descriptions, stories and pictures from our sea kayaking tours:

Sea kayaking journal – 23. – 24. May 2014
Sea kayaking overnight trip

Mara and her familie and friends from Colorado wanted to experience the bio-luminescence and discovered that we also do overnight kayak tours!
The rainy season has begun and it has turned very green and lush. We did not get a drop of rain on the tour, but the cluds made for really good pictures. We kayaked around Isla Cedros and made a stop at Gonzalos beach in the afternoon for a swim.
We set up camp at Isla Jesucita, and Alex and Angie as always treated us well with home cooked food.
We took the kayaks out again after dark and had a blast experiencing the bio-luminescence. In one area there were a lot of needlefish swiming away from our kayaks in a flash of bio-lumisent light.
Some of us could not get enough of it and went in for a late night swim. It is amazing to see your whole body glow in the water.
After a nice and relaxed morning, we ventured into the Paquera mangroves and up Rio Grande. From there we continued to Playa Lorenzo where we spent a long time swimming and enjoying the beach

Sea kayaking journal – 11. December 2013
Full day kayak tour Monkey Island and Isla Cedros

Jenny from Germany and Marcus from Scottland joined us for a full day on the water. It is already full summer and the water is getting nice and clear. We let the current bring us down to Punta Coral where we stopped to stretch our legs, and we even streached out a bit in the inviting hammocks they have there.

After the little rest we headed for Isla Nancital to see if we could located the Spider monkeys. As we kayaked along shore looking for the monkeys we spotted an Osprey diving down to catch fish and soon the monkeys made their appearance as well. They were about 7 of them and to moms with quite big babies on their backs.

From Nancital we crossed over to Playa Langosta at Isla Cedros for a nice swim and som lunch in the shade of the palm trees. We could not have asked for better conditions, just as we were ready to head back the tide had tourned and we could let it push us back home. We went on the north side of Isla Cedros and had a great time just watching all the birds on the drift wood and rocks.

Sea kayaking journal – 9. December 2013
½ kayak tour in the mangroves

Hege from Norway and Camilla from Germany got up real early for this kayak tour. We headed out at 5:15 in the morning while it was still a bit dark. The reward was to watch the sunrise on the water. After taking in the stunning colors of the sunrise we headed for the mangroves. As we kayaked up Rio Grande the birds where just waking up. We scared up quite a few Jesus Christ lizards and got to see them run on the water.

We had a nice breakfast on the beach and while we were sitting there a Roseate Spoonbill and some Ibis came flying by and sat down in a tree next to us.

We spent the rest of the morning exploring the mangroves and saw a lot of different birds such as the Boatbilled heron, Kingfishers, Stilts, Ospreys and different herons and egrets.

Sea kayaking journal – 8. December 2013
½ kayak tour Isla Jesucita


Camilla, Christian and their kids wanted to do a family kayaking tour. So we rigged two kayaks for having the kids in the back storage compartment, and that worked out fine. Bo and Blanca had fun being passengers and where cheering on their parents to see who would arrive first at the beach at Isla Jesucita, which was our first stop.

Bo and Christian jumped straight into the water, while Camilla and Blanca got all exited about all the beautiful sea shells they found on the beach.

We continued around on the north side of the island and saw a lot of fish on the surface, and not least crabs on the rocks. The sun is not showing any mercy though so it was nice to be able to rest and have some snacks in the shade on Alex beach  before we continued back home.

Sea kayaking journal – 7. December 2013
Evening kayak adventure

Hege and a couple for Hotel Vista las Islas headed out with the kayaks in the evening. It was a nice and dark night and they were not disappointed by the illuminating algae. In some areas the bioluminescence was incredible strong.

Sea kayaking journal – 4. – 5. December 2013
Sea kayaking overnight trip

Benjamin and his girlfriend stayed with us for a week and part of their stay was the overnight kayak trip. Due to their limited time we only spent one night out.

Day 1
After packing our stuff and prepping the kayaks we set out. Since the tide was coming in we headed north and kayaked with the current towards Playa Blanca. We had a little break at Islas Pajaros where we could watch all the pelicans and Frigate birds circle in the air above the islands.

It was nice and calm in the morning and before we knew it we were already Playa Blanca. We rested and had lunch at the beach before we slowly paddled down to Isla Gitana. The wind was picking up a little bit which was nice in order to cool us down a bit.

We arrived at Isla Gitana at the old hotel site. It has a beautiful grass lawn with lots of palm trees to hang our hammocks in. We put up our hammocks and watched the sunset. After dinner we headed out again with the kayaks to see the bioluminescence. We came over some shallow areas where there were thousands of small fish. Their movement in the water when they got scared up by our kayaks set of a firework of sparkling splashes in the water.

Day 2
After a good night’s sleep in the hammocks we paddled over towards the mainland and keep close to shore.  There were a lot of stilts and egrets on the muddy sandbanks in front of the mangroves searching for treats in the mud. We got to see several kingfishers and Ospreys as well as a couple of eagle rays and cow nose rays.

We arrived back at Bahia Rica at midday.

Sea kayaking journal – 31. August 2013
Bio-luminescence kayak adventure

4 travelers from California drove down from San Jose only to go night kayaking with us. As they came in with the ferry it started raining, but fortunately not too heavy. We put on some light rain gear and launched the kayaks. Also tonight the bio-luminescence was some of the most intense we have ever seen. The raindrops hit the water with a splash of light, and made the whole gulf gloom. One couple had never been in a kayak before and were a bit nervous about how to steer the kayaks, but that was soon forgotten when they saw the bio-luminescence. It was absolutely breath taking, and no one could care about the little drizzle of rain.

Sea kayaking journal – 30. August 2013
Evening kayak adventure

Brooke has over the years lived several periods in Costa Rica, mostly on the Caribbean side. She was now visiting with her boyfriend and wanted to explore a new place in Costa Rica. They heard about the bio-luminescence here in the gulf waters and decided to check it out. The bio-luminescence was very intense and our night kayaking experience made Brooke fall even more in love with Costa Rica. It was so strong that we could see the rocks on the bottom in most areas just because the water moved over the rocks. In on shallow part there was so much fish moving that it felt like we had some underwater flash lights shining.

Sea kayaking journal – 15. August 2013
Evening kayak adventure

Shirley and Joshua were very excited about the possibility of going night kayaking and experience the bio-luminescence. It was a nice and dark night and we were not disappointed by the illuminating algae. Several times we paddled into schools of fish that scattered in all directions and made the surface of the water look like fireworks. A stunning evening!

Sea kayaking journal – 3. – 6. August 2013
Sea kayaking overnight trip
resized_IMG_2671Deborah and Steven from Colorado came down and stayed with us for a week and part of their stay was the overnight kayak trip. This trip turned out to be very different from the plan however. We had a beautiful first day kayaking, but when we woke up on the second day Steven was in no shape for kayaking. He had caught a bad flue and had high fever and muscle ace. The rest of the trip had to be improvised.

Day 1
After packing our stuff and prepping the kayaks we set out. Since the tide was coming in we headed north and kayaked with the current towards Isla San Lucas. It was nice and calm in the morning and before we knew it we were already at Playa hacienda Vieja at isla San Lucas. We rested and had lunch at the beach before we crossed over to the main land. The current was picking up, so we had to do a big “half moon” route in order to end up where we wanted: at Playa Blanca. As the name indicates this is a perfectly white sand beach.
resized_IMG_2697We put up our hammocks and settled in for the night. Steven soon crawled into his hammock to read and only got out for dinner, meanwhile Deborah and I explored the beach and took in the scenery.
At Playa Blanca there is every now and then people camping, and this night we were joined by some Ticos from the mainland. Our biggest surprise of the night was when they brought out their new pet for us to hold….. a Boa Constrictor. As Deborah said “the strangest part is not that they have a snake as a pet, but that they bring it with them on a camping tour…”
We got a little bit of rain in the evening, but our hammock kept us nice and dry.

Day 2
Deborah and I had a very good night sleep and when we woke up we were surprised to learn that Steven had not slept at all. He had been feeling very bad, cold and hot with fever. The people at Playa Blanca offered him a bed to relax in while we figured out what to do with the rest of the trip.
In the end we figured Steven was in no shape to continue kayaking, so we called a taxi to drive us home. This drive on it’s own was kind of an adventure as Playa Blanca is easy to access from the water but is difficult to find using the roads. We got to some stunning viewpoints of the gulf, and even spotted some wild life as a Coatie crossed the road in front of us.

Day 3
resized_IMG_2714Steven was still in bed, but Deborah was eager to do some more kayaking. Steven and Deborah have their own kayaks and paddle on a reservoir in Colorado. However they wanted to learn some more kayaking skills so I did a session on kayaking skills with Deborah. We practiced how to get into the kayak on your own if you capsize and also how to help a partner get into the kayak.
After some practicing we went out kayaking again. The tide was good for going into the mangroves. We had lunch at the only beach there before we headed up the river Rio Grande. Paddling up this river is like being in a National Geographic’s program. We saw several egrets, herons, kingfishers and other birds and the Jesus Christ lizards put up a show running on the water for us.
We continued into the Paquera mangroves and saw several Ospreys, but no sign of the Roseate Spoonbill.

Day 4
resized_IMG_2730Steven was finally back on his feet and eager to go out on the water, but today Deborah was worried that she was going down with the same as Steven had. So she decided to relax. Steven was very excited about going into the mangroves and up Rio Grande as well.
So 4 days with on and of kayaking due to a bad flu, but at least we made the most of it and managed to get some lovely kayaking experiences.

See more pictures from the trip here.

Sea kayaking journal 22. July 2013
½ day Islas Pajaros

Jennifer has been here kayaking several times, and twice for our sea kayak competition. Last year she won a prize of a free kayaking tour with us and today was the day to enjoy the prize.

We decided to go north up to Islas Pajaros first. We roamed around the islands and watched the birdlife for a while before we headed over to shore. It is fascinating to paddle along shore in this area to watch the rock formations and the vegetation climbing on the bare rock.

A beautiful day with calm water, and on the way back to Bahia Rica we were accompanied by huge schools of sardines and pelicans diving into the water with a huge splash.

Sea kayaking journal – 11. July 2013
Evening kayak adventure

Vicky and her husband had experienced the bio-luminescence in Puerto Rico years ago, and they were very exited about showing their kids this amazing phenomenon. We set out right after dark and as soon as we turned off our flash lights the magic began. With every paddle stroke we stirred up the algae so that it gave of is beautiful glimmer. The whole family was delighted with the experience.

Sea kayaking journal – 10. July 2013
½ kayak tour from Punta Coral

resized_IMG_2486We are cooperating with Calypso Cruises and today they brought a group of 8 persons from Colorado. The group came to Punta Coral with the catamaran Manta Raya.

After getting everybody into their gear we launched the kayaks at the beach at Punta Coral and headed over to Isla Cedros. On our way into Playa Langosta we hung around the little island in the laugna as there were a lot of birds there; brown pelicans, frigate birds and Cormorants.

At Playa Langosta it was time for a refreshing swim and also some of the famous ceviche from Calyspo Cruises.

We continued on the south side of Isla Cedros as we were rounding the east end we got a bit of choppy water due to the wind and the current. But as soon as we were through the passage it was again nice and calm and we could just follow the current back home.

The group split up into smaller groups due to the difference in kayak experience and skills. The ones with less experience took the “straight route” while others were exploring little inlets and rock formations along the way.

When we reached Bahia Rica Thomas had a fantastic lunch ready for us! The group got to relax a little bit before we took them out in our boat to meet the catamaran in the bay in front of Bahia Rica. The group boarded Manta Raya and could enjoy the last leg of their tour; a sunset cruise over the Gulf of Nicoya.

Sea kayaking journal – 10. June 2013

½ day kayak tour Isla Jesucita and north side of Isla Cedros

Today I was visited by the famous Circus du Soleil 😉 Sam, a technician came down with two of the performers. The circus is performing Tuesday to Sunday in San Jose, so on their free day they came to kayak with us. It was a rainy day in Costa Rica, but as usual here at Bahia Rica we had a beautiful day with no rain. The water was calm as a mirror. The first swim in the morning was a bit cooler than usual though, because of the rain we had during the night. We saw a lot of fish, crabs, iguanas and birds.

See pictures here

Sea kayaking journal – 10. May 2013

½ day kayak tour Isla Jesucita and north side of Isla Cedros

resized_IMG_2102Ruth and Klaus from Hotel Vista Las Islas joined us for a sea kayak adventure. The morning was very calm and nice and we could see a lot of fish in the water. Klaus got friendly with several yellow Guineafowl Pufferfish. We kayaked past the little mangroves at Isla Cedros and saw several herons and egrets as well as a couple of Kingfishers picking up fish in their spectacular way.

We rested a bit at the first north beach on Cedros before we continued around the rocks in front of the Bat cave beach. The wind picked up a bit so it was nice to rest a bit for lunch at Alex beach at Isla Jesucita, before we worked our way round Jesucita on our way home. We logged about 6 km.

See pictures here

Sea kayaking journal – 9. May 2013

3 hour kayak tour Isla Jesucita and north side of Isla Cedros

Mary and her family came all the way from Utah and were excited about the opportunity to go sea kayaking here. Shad and Mary are active outdoors people, but Mary’s mom had not kayaked before so we decided to take it easy. We stopped for a nice swim at the graveyard beach at Isla Jesucita, before we continued through the passage between the two islands. As we came through a big mackerel jumped several feet above the water. We had a snack break at one of the north beaches of Isla Cedros, before we made our way back home. A nice relaxing kayak tour with a lot of good conversation and enjoyment. (approximately 5 km)

See the pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 8. May 2013

Evening kayak adventure

Stephan and Sandra from Germany and Amanda and Todd from USA wanted to experience the night kayaking. The night was very dark and there was a lot of fish in the water so they got more than they bargained for. The effects of the bioluminescence were like taken out of a Disney movie. Every paddle stroke lighted up the water, and hundreds of small sardines shot away in spark of light as we got close with the kayaks. As we approached the beach at Bahia Rica on our way back a big Eagle ray swam between our kayaks, an amazing glowing shade in the water.

Sea kayaking journal – 29. April 2013

Bio-luminescence night kayaking tour

Elisabeth and Michael were exited to experience the magic of the bio-luminescence. It was a dark night so the light from the algae was bright and strong. At one moment a big crocodile needle fish jumped up in front of our kayaks and went skipping along the surface for a long stretch. It looked amazing as it stirred up the bio-luminescence as it danced on top of the water.

Sea kayaking journal – 23. April 2013

½ day kayak tour around Isla Cedros

Jean-Pierre and his family joined us for a great day on the water. We set out in the morning on typically calm gulf water. Passing through the passage between Isla Jesucita and Isla Cedros we saw several schools of sardines flushing the water, a couple of rays and the pelicans and frigate birds were circling around us going down picking up their pray in the sardine schools.

We stopped and snorkeled at the “bat cave beach”. He water was not 100% clear, but the snorkeling was still great as we saw lots of fish, and some big schools of pilot fish, and other schools of sardines.

We continued around the north east point of Cedros and went over to Playa Langosta for some lunch and relaxation. On the way back home the wind picked up a bit which was nice and cooling, but it also made us work harder to get home. About 500 meter before we reached home the tide turned, and it was fascinating to experience the sudden change. Past Alexandra’s oyster farm we put down our paddles and just let the current bring us along, and 100 m further up we met the opposite current and had to really work it in the shallow part.

We logged about 10km

Check out the pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 2.- 4. April 2013

3-day kayak tour with camping

Julie from Scotland and Mike from USA are not experienced kayakers, but were looking very much forward to this overnight kayaking adventure. The first day we let the current take us out to Isla Tortuga. The second day we did some snorkeling and visited the Spider monkeys before camping at Isla Cedros. Mike and Julie were quite tired the last day so they were happy that the day’s route was short with several long stops. We returned to Bahia Rica after 3 beautiful days of kayaking and could log about 33 km.

Day 1 (15 km)

Overnight sea kayak tourAfter packing the kayaks and a quick kayak instruction at the beach we could start our 3 day kayak adventure. The current was strong and we could float like in a slow moving river the first part of the day. We stopped at the “tunnel beach” at Isla Nancital, but the swell was quite big, so it was only Vigdis that kayaked through the tunnel. The paddle over to Isla Quesera in Curu Wildlife Refuge was very calm and relaxing. However Mike and Julie were very happy to reach land as their arms were starting to get sore. It did not take them many seconds to get out of the kayaks and into the blue water to cool off. We had planned to have a longer stop with lunch here, but plans were changed as the restrictions in the park have become much stricter and you are only allowed to enter through the main gate or main beach.

Fortunately it was still early so we got in the kayaks again and kayaked over to Isla Alcatraz to have lunch there. We got a pretty strong head wind on our way over, so Julie and Mike got to feel the kayaking can be hard work too.

For the rest of the afternoon we relaxed at our private beach at Isla Alcatraz. Well almost private, we shared it with millions of hermit crabs. At last we made it over to Isla Tortuga and were exited to set up our hammock camp. We had dinner at the workers quarters and had the liberty of exploring a bit to see all the birds and animals they have on the island.

Day 2 (11 km)

Parrot on kayakAll of us slept really well in our Hennessy Expedition hammocks and were well rested apart from the sun burn that both Julie and Mike had gotten, so it was time for long sleeve shirts for them. We went straight out the rock in front of Isla Tortuga where Julie could rest on the floating dock while Mike and I went snorkeling. It is always nice to be at the snorkeling spot before anyone else gets there. The water was still murky, but there is so much fish around this rock that it is still really nice.

Half way over to Isla Nancital the water got quite choppy and as we stopped to make a kayak float to have a rest and some snacks Julie started to get sea sick. She had a very though time the last kilometers and I gave her some towing assistance. We kayaked through Boca the Tiburon (the passage between the two Negritos Islands) so that we could stop for lunch at the beautiful little white sand beach at Isla Nancital. After 2 good hours of rest we got into the kayaks to go looking for the Spider Monkeys, and we did not have to go far before we found them. It was a group of 4 females and one pregnant one came all the way down to the kayaks.

The water was calm and nice on the inside of the island and the last leg of the day’s kayaking was pleasant. We set up camp at Playa Langosta at Isla Cedros. Julie and Mike soon found some hammocks the local fishermen had made of old fishing nets and where in heaven. We had a relaxed dinner before Mike and I went out for a little evening kayak tour to see the bioluminescence. It was a dark night and the algae lit up the water around our kayaks. It is just an amazing phenomena and we agreed that Disney must have gotten the idea of Tinkerbell’s star dust from the bioluminescence.

Day 3 (7 km)

Sunrise Gulf of NicoyaWe woke up to the most stunning sunrise, and the beauty of sleeping in a Hammock on the beach is that you don’t even have to get out of “bed” to see it. We had a very relaxed morning treating sore muscles and sunburn and Julie and Mike were pleased that the day’s route was short. The lack of kayaking experience was felt in their shoulders and arms, but that is only normal and they did great and enjoyed the kayaking adventure a lot.

We looped around the small bird islands at the east side of Isla Cedros. It has still not rained this year so they are all covered in white from the bird shit. It looks like a thin layer of snow and frost.

We stopped for a rest at Gonzalos beach where we walked through the “hole in the wall” with water up to our waist. It is amazing to feel the power of the water just from the surge of the ocean swell through the hole. We also had to go up to the view point and look back at where we had come from.

From there we slowly made our way along the north shore of Isla Cedros looking at birds, crabs, iguanas and jumping rays. We stopped for lunch at Isla Jesucita. It was very nice to relax in the shade at Alex’s beach and again meet some of the local people living on these Pacific Islands.

At last we just had a short paddle home to Bahia Rica after lunch, which was good as the wind from south came up a bit and made us work harder.

All in all we had 3 great days, some hard work paddling, some smooth easy paddling and a lot of relaxing and exploring. Mike and Julie could proudly log about 33 km on their first real kayaking adventure.

See more pictures from this trip here.

Sea kayaking journal – 3. April 2013

Bio-luminescence night kayaking tour

Jens and Melanie came back for a night kayaking tour with us. They were exited to experience the magic of the bio-luminescence. It was a dark night so the light from the algae was bright and strong. We slowly kayaked along shore to Playa Nicoyana and into the tiny mangrove are there. We spotted quite a lot of fish swimming away form the kayak as we got close.

Sea kayaking journal – 1. April 2013

1/2 day kayak tour with Spider monkeys

resized_IMG_1709This was a 1/2 day trip with Jens and Melanie from Germany to go and see the spider monkeys. The day was beautiful and we made it out with the current pushing us from behind. We first went to the beach in the Boca de Tiburon but the monkeys were not there.

After relaxing a bit we set out to find the monkeys. We paddled back and forth and waited for over 30 minutes by one of the natural springs. We saw rays and a turtle but no monkeys. On the way out we saw them coming and enjoyed a cool spider monkey show. One grabbed my water bottle and with a little coaching managed to drink like a person:-) Another great monkey experience.

See more pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 17. March 2013

Evening Bioluminescence kayak tour

Rob and Rebecca came to stay with us on their last day of their vacation in Costa Rica, and we took them out on a night kayaking adventure. We were joined by Laura and 3 guests from the Hotel Vista Las Islas. Some had kayaked before and others not, but as we mostly just float around splashing our hands in the water to see the bioluminescence that was not a problem.

Rebecca was very fascinated by the sparkling algae and wanted to get an even closer feel of it. When we came to where we have our Sport fishing boats anchored up, we tied her kayak up to one of the boats so that she could get into the water and swim. As soon as she got into the water we could see the outline of her whole body in the sparkling water. A beautiful experience.

Sea kayaking journal – 14. March 2013

Evening Bioluminescence kayak tour

It was a beautiful evening and Sam and Spencer, Tina and Karin were exited to go kayaking in the evening to experience the bioluminescence. It was a dark night, and the light from the bioluminescence was incredible strong. They all got a memory for life. We always kayak very close to shore on the night kayak trips as to see the fish swim away from the kayaks in the shallow water. On the way back the wind suddenly picked up and the water got a bit rough. Since Tina and Karin did not have any previous kayak experience we beached the kayaks on the neighboring beach and walked back to the lodge.

Sea kayaking journal – 1. March 2013

1/2 day kayak tour to Islas Pajaros

Sea kayaking Bahia Rica Costa RicaBarbara and her husband joined us for a ½ day kayak tour. It was a calm and nice (as usual should we almost say ;o).

The tide was coming in so we let it carry us north-east towards Islas Pajaros. The Brown Pelicans are roosting at the moment and we could see several white furry looking pelican babies already almost the size of their mom.

We had a relaxing lunch break at the tidal beach at Islas Pajaros. Even though we had the current with us both ways Barbara got a bit tired, but her husband had now problems giving her some towing service.

See pictures from the sea kayak tour here.

Sea kayaking journal – 28. February 2013

1/1 day kayak tour with snorkeling and Spider monkeys

Laura and her boyfriend joined us for a full day of kayaking before continuing down along the coast. We had beautiful flat water, the wind we have experienced the last days did not bother us at all this day. Our first stop we made at Isla San Pedro where we snorkeled a bit.  Due to the big tide this day the water was a bit murky but it was still really nice as we were swimming through huge schools of sardines. We saw a big lobster, a moray eel, a big starfish and a lot of different fish. We continued to Isla Nancital where we found the Spider monkeys right away. As we kayaked a long shore they followed us, but soon it was us following them as they got their speed up and were throwing themselves very fast in the branches. It is fantastic to look at how acrobatic they are. After a relaxing lunch (with some rest in the hammocks) at Playa Langosta we looped by the small bird islands at the far end of Isla Cedros.  Laura and her boyfriend really enjoyed the tour and we could log about 18 km.

See our pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 24.- 26. February 2013

3-day kayak tour with camping

On this overnight kayaking tour we had a very different route than in the last one since the tide was the total opposite.  We had a nice and varied group with Bente and John Arild from Norway, Ann-Elin and Aldo from Norway and Costa Rica and at last Thomas and Anya from Switzerland.

Day 1 (20 km):

sea kayaking Bahia Rica Costa RicaAfter a good breakfast and an hour of prepping and packing 5 of us were ready to set out on the beautiful calm gulf water. Thomas and Anya would join us later as they could not leave work so early in the morning. The stretch over to Playa Hacienda Vieja at Isla San Lucas was spent getting to know one another and just taking in the scenery of the Gulf of Nicoya. Just before we reached the island the northern wind came up so we decided to take little longer break there and have lunch on the beach instead of kayaking around the island to where the prison ruins are. Just as soon as it came the wind died down again and we could continue up to the fascinating small island in the channel between Isla San Lucas and the main land. These are bird islands with lots of nice caves and cactus.

We continued south again along shore and beached at Playa Blanca for another nice swim and could enjoy the beach party they had there for some minutes before we continued to the calmness on Isla Gitana (or Isla Muertos as it was previously named as it was a cemetery island for the villagers on the main land). Here we were met by the caretaker Edgar. He immediately advised us not to set up our hammock under certain palm trees due to some birds that came there to overnight. As this was the spot we thought was nicest we ignored his advise… thinking a little bit of bird song in the morning won’t harm us. Lesson learned: always listen to the locals! As it got dark a bunch of Great-tailed Grackles came flying in and as Edgar predicted landed in those particular palm trees and yes they are noisy.

At last we Thomas and Anya did not join us as they had an emergency with the water situation at the hotel Thomas owns and they had to stay behind to sort that out.

After enjoying a good barbeque meal Aldo, Ann-Elin and I went out for a little night kayaking tour. The light from the full moon gave the surroundings a beautiful silver shade. In some parts the biolumencese was quite strong as well and we started splashing around to move the water in order to see it.

Day 2 (15 km)

Costa Rica Sea Kyaking adventureWe started the day with a typical Norwegian breakfast before we explored the coast line across from Isla Gitana. The tide was nice and low so we could go ashore on the little tidal beach at Islas Pajaros when we got there. The morning was very calm and nice so it was nice with a refreshing dip in the water. We continued south to Playa Lorenzo where we split up with Ann-Elin and Aldo. They had to continue back to Bahia Rica as they had to catch the 2pm ferry back. Unfortunately Aldo could not get more time off from work.

Bente, John Arild and I continued into the Paquera mangroves and had lunch at the beach there before we floated up and down Rio Grande. Today the birds were numerous and floating down the river was like being in a bird zoo.

After a day filled with impressions and nice kayaking moments we beached at Isla Jesucita and set up our camp for the night. Alex and his wife made a nice Tico dinner for us and they even had some cold beer.

Day 3 (17 km)

sea kayak adventure Costa RicaWe woke up to a nice and calm day and followed the current out to Isla San Pedro. We beached on the small tidal beach and got out our snorkeling gear. We swam in dense schools of sardines, and we spotted a big lobster, a moray eel and a lot of other fish.

We of course also had to visit Isla Nacital and the Spider Monkeys. We found them quite soon and as we continued kayaking along shore they followed us. Suddenly we realized that it was not them following us, but we them. They had discovered something up ahead and were moving very fast through the branches and over the steep cliff. It is amazing to watch these acrobatic animals.

At last we left the monkey and headed over to Isla Cedros and had lunch at Playa Langosta. The tide was coming in fast so we had to pull the kayaks up higher and higher on the beach.

On the way back to Bahia Rica in the afternoon we made a detour out to the small bird islands Islas Carretos.

We landed on the Bahia Rica beach after 3 days packed with impression and experiences. All in all we logged a bit more than 50 km.

If you want to see more pictures from this sea kayak adventure click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 21. February 2013

Evening kayak tour with moon and Bioluminescence.

Kathreen and her friends had spent a beautiful relaxing day with Thomas at Isla Tortuga and wanted to see the bioluminescence.

They had never been kayaking before and were curious about how they would cope, but that was soon forgotten when they started to see the sparkling algae in the water.

The whole groups was absolutely stunned by the magic of this phenomena.

I took some pictures, but to take pictures of the bioluminescence you have to take pictures with night vision and not use flash.

Sea kayaking journal – 21. February 2013

1/1 day kayak tour to mangroves and bird islands

Tony and his son had had enough of the hustle and bustle of the more touristy places in Costa Rica and were delighted to go only the two of them kayaking with us. We started off in the mangroves where they could really take in the calmness of kayaking and the nature. We immediately spotted an Osprey and soon after also a Roseate Spoonbill. As we made our way up Rio Grande we met a local guy fishing for Pargo.

See pictures from the trip here.

Sea kayaking journal – 18. February 2013

1/1 day kayak tour with snorkeling, dolphins and Spider monkeys

Wayne and Cheryl from Canada have their own kayaks and kayak a lot back home. On their bucket list was also a kayak tour in Costa Rica. As we kayaked along shore past Punta Coral we got a pleasant surprise; 3 dolphins that came all the way up to our kayaks and hung around us for a little while. We made our way over to Isla Nacital to see if we could find the Spider monkeys. They were nowhere to be seen, so after a little break and swim we went searching again. This time we found them. They were in some trees hanging out over the water. After playing with the monkeys for a while we continued down to the “tunnel beach”. Wayne was excited about kayaking through the tunnel and let the surge bring him back and forth in there. The water was also very clear here and made for great snorkeling. On our way back we saw a bunch of Cow nose and Eagle rays. After about 12 km of pleasant kayaking Wayne and Cheryl could tick “kayaking

in Costa Rica” of their bucket list – only that now they want to come back and do it again – with more family!

 Check out our pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 18. February 2013

½ day kayak tour to Playa Langosta

We had been bothered with some north and eastern wind the last days creating big waves in the gulf here. Luckily the wind had died down and we could set out on nice flat water again. With Bjorn, Sissel and Lars we aimed for a trip around Isla Cedros, but as we came through the passage between Cedros and Jesucita the wind came up from the north again so we decided to go on the south side of the island – sheltered from the wind. From there we had a very pleasant paddle to Playa Langosta, we saw several puffer fish, a sting ray and a lot of big sea

urchins. It was perfect to relax in the shade of the many palm trees at Playa Langosta for lunch.

We took some nice pictures on tour that you can see here.

Sea kayaking journal – 16. February 2013

Evening kayak tour with bioluminescence

It was the darkest night of the month and we were looking forward to take Elliot and the 3 ladies out for a unique experience on the night kayaking tour. In some of the areas the bioluminescence was so strong

that you almost got blinded ;o) We could also see a lot of fish swimming away in the shallow water as we got close with the kayak. It’s like seeing a “ghost fish” as you only see the sparkling water around the fish.

Sea kayaking journal – 15. February 2013

Evening kayak tour with bioluminescence

A very dark and calm night – and very strong bioluminescence!

Our Mexican guest from Hotel Vista Las Islas had wanted to see the bioluminescence

and he was well awarded on this evening kayak trip.

Sea kayaking journal – 3. February 2013

1/2 day kayaking to the Monkey island

We have had a couple of days with northern wind and that makes the sea in the gulf of Nicoya quite rough. But today the weather is back to normal and the water is again like a mirror.

Bernt has kayaked a bit but this was the first time for Sandra so she was especially glad for the very nice conditions. Sandra got into the kayaking right away and we had no problems kayaking the 6 km down to Isla Nacital where we encountered the Spider monkeys. We saw some nice schools of quite large spadefish cruising with their fins out of the water as we worked our way along shore.

A couple of Spider monkeys came down to the shore. One was the mom with the baby that is now getting quite big.

On the way back we stopped at Punta Coral and had lunch with a bonus. Juan Jose taught us how to play Domino.

See pictures from this kayak tour here.

Sea kayaking journal – 26. January 2013

Full moon night kayaking

We got the kayaks ready as the sun set beautifully over the Gulf of Nicoya. Still it does not get very dark as the moon is already up. We are missing a couple of days before full moon, but the moon is already very big and is giving light to the surroundings. Thomas from Hotel Vista Las Islas came with his son (Manuel) and two others. We strapped Manuel up with a good life jacket and put him in the back storage compartment of Thomas kayak – and off we went on the calm water. Manuel had a great time in the back of the kayak playing in the water with his hands. Even though the moonlight was very strong we could see a lot of bioluminescence in several places. Eventually Manuel was rocked to sleep in the back of the kayak, but the rest of us enjoyed the magical feeling of floating around on this calm water with the moon to guide us.

Sea kayaking journal – 25. January 2013

Kayaking and boat tour +Full moon night kayaking

Kathie’s group of 10 people from Nature Adventures Kayak and Canoe Outfitters had only one day to spend at Bahia Rica, but managed to experience a lot. We divided them in two groups and the one group started with kayaking and the other group went with Thomas on the boat to go snorkeling and visit the Spider monkeys. They had a wonderful time both snorkeling of the rock in front of Isla Tortuga and were lucky to find about 10 monkeys when they came to the monkey island.

With kayak group we started off with a little kayak instruction from Paul before we let the current drag us out between Isla Jesucita and Isla Cedros. We stopped for a nice swim at one of the beaches on the north side, where I thaught Paul how to catch and “inflate” a puffer fish (without getting bitten). We reached Playa Langosta around noon and were joined by the other group that had been snorkeling.

After a nice lunch in the shade under the palm trees the groups swapped places and we hit the water again. We back tracked the same route as the other group took in, but suddenly the scenery was all different as the tide had come up and most of the beaches where under water, and you could paddle under the braches hanging out over the water. He pelicans were having a feast in the channel between Isla Jesucita and Isla Cedros giving us a nice show of their diving skills.

Back at Bahia Rica we rested for some hours until dark before we launched the kayaks again to do some night kayaking. The moon was beautifully strong, but still we could see some bioluminescence which is always magical.

To see some pictures from this kayak tour click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 17th, 18th, 20th and 22nd of January 2013

Kayaking and Spanish Course

David and Eva are avid birders, but on their stay with us at Bahia Rica kayaking and learning some Spanish was their main focus. They had a week of Spanish classes in the morning and either some hours of kayaking with our Costa Rican guide Juan Jose or applied learning with our co-teacher Marjorie. On the first day I took them out kayaking to give them a chance to get to know the kayaks and the area. We had a very pleasant tour around Isla Jesucita, and we saw both Kingfishers, and Osprey and another hawk we could not identify and several egrets and herons.

The second day the plan was to paddle out to Nancital – the monkey island with Juan Jose. They only made it to Punta Coral though as the northern wind was quite strong and made for decent waves here in the gulf. However Punta Coral is a great destination on its own, so Juan Jose took Eva and Dave on a walk in the private nature reserve. On the way back it was all calm and nice again.

Third is the charm they say, and on the third day there was no wind and they could easily get out to the monkey island. Eva and Dave had an experience of a lifetime with the monkeys. The communication in Spanish with Juan Jose went very well, and they got to practice their newly acquired language skills.

Dave and Eva had been looking forward to the last day of kayaking: mangrove day!

The mangroves and the river is a great treat for bird lovers.

To see a few pictures from Dave and Eva’s combined Spanish and kayak course click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 14th of January 2013

½ day Kayaking with Antonia and her husband

Antonia had not kayaked in a single kayak before and was quite curious of how she would cope. And of course – she did great! The water was as flat as can be, and we enjoyed paddling around in the shallow water between Isla Jesucita and Isla Cedros to spot puffer fish and rays. At the “bat beach” on the north side of Isla Cedros we stopped for a swim and were hoping to snorkel a bit, but the water was too murky for snorkeling. The sun was baking us so after some more kayaking it was nice to beach the kayaks at Isla Jesucita and have our lunch in the shade of the palm trees.

Check out the mirror flat water on the pictures from the trip.

Sea kayaking journal – 2.- 4. January 2013

3-day kayak tour with camping

 Our first 3-day kayak tour sleeping on different island in expedition hammocks turned out a great success.

The happy group of 4 Norwegians from Tromsø, had varied kayak experience. Nina had just kayaked two times before, while Ellen Marie and Oddvar own their own kayaks and go out a lot. This did not turn out to be any problem at all as Nina seems to be the born kayaker and had no problems keeping up with the rest.

Day 1 (16 km):

After a good breakfast and an hour of prepping and packing the kayaks we set out on the beautiful calm gulf water. Already along the shore here at Punta Cuchillo we spotted a lot of bird and the cameras and binoculars were actively in use.

We stopped for a quick swim and a bit of snorkeling at Isla San Pedro, before we headed out into the “open sea”. We enjoyed being out in the open water watching the islands and shoreline on one side and the horizon on the other. We spotted one turtle on our way to our lunch spot at Playa Quesera in Curu National Refuge. The beach was as always stunning, and we had a great rest with lots of swimming.

As we continued on the west side of Isla Alcatraz (or Isla Tortugo) the afternoon breeze had set in and we got a bit of a work out in the choppy water with head wind. Still we made it easily through the “arch’ – a hole through a small island. We arrived at the day’s final destination at Isla Tortuga in the late afternoon. Everybody immediately threw themselves in the beautiful blue water and even snorkeled a bit. It was still some people on the beach when we arrived, but soon we had the beach all to ourselves.

The hammock camp was quickly set up and we soon figured that the kayaks came in handy for tying up the side straps, as the pegs don’t get a grip in the beach sand.

Just after sunset we were ready for dinner which was served at the workers kitchen. We got a good meal and a funny experience of the local Tico culture.

Everybody was curious about how much sleep we would get sleeping in hammocks. We were dead tired so we hit the sack before 9pm, and all of us were fast asleep within a few minutes.

Day 2 (17 km):

After a very good sleep in the hammocks they all woke up early and well rested and took a morning dip already before sunrise.

There are some nice trails on Isla Tortuga and they all decided to go for an hour morning walk to watch the view and do some birding.

After a typical Tico breakfast (Gallo Pinto) we took down the hammock camp and headed out one the water again. Again the Pacific Ocean proved why it got it’s name as it was dead calm. The visibility in the water was really good so we could spot a lot of sealife just paddling along the shore on the small island in front of Isla Tortuga.

On our way to Isla Negritos we spotted a nice size turtle that poked it’s head above the water a couple of times before it dove. We still had the current with us as we paddled through the Shark mouth (one of our favorite Rooster fishing places).

We landed on the small white sand beach in the Shark mouth for some lunch, and the Spider monkeys made their appearance immediately as we got there. They were in total 6 monkeys, and a mom with her baby and a pregnant one came all the way up to us, while a few youngsters keep playing in the background. They ran after each other in something that looked like a monkey tag game. We had to take our lunch wraps with us and stand in the water and eat, as they got very interested in our food.

The water was crystal clear so we had a great time snorkeling. We swam with huge schools of tiny sardines and saw a lot of trigger and puffer fish amongst others.

As the group from Tromsø are birdwatchers we had to make it to Islas Carretos that are 5 tiny islands with a lot of brown pelicans and frigate birds, but on our way there we got distracted by lots of pelicans diving into the water next to Isla Garrobo and made our way over there instead. It turned out to be a good move as the tide was perfect for paddling through the hole in the wall there, and we spotted a lot of Black Ctenocaurs on the island.

The current had turned and was carrying us through the passage between Isla Cedros and La Mona. We made a pit stop for and cooked up some coffee at Gonzalos beach, and of course a swim ;o)

The last stretch of the day was on the north side of Isla Cedros where we saw a lot of birds and even a couple of Kingfishers. We had a day packed with experiences and everybody was very happy to land on Isla Jesucita. However I had planned for more too happen, so after an excellent dinner made by Alex and his wife we took the kayaks out again and went night kayaking. The experience of biolumecence in the water is unique, and only Nina had seen it before so they were all thrilled.

Again we crawled into our hammock early and had a good night sleep. These hammocks sleep surprisingly well.

Day 3 (17 km):

On our last day we got up before sunrise. We had to get going by 6am to make it to the mangroves in time as the full tide was at 7am. It is very shallow in the mangroves, so when the tide starts going out it is not possible to get in there. We got off ½ hour after schedule, but still we had two good hours of kayaking up the Rio Grande, and when we came back out the water level was still high enough for us to kayak along the mangrove forest for another hour and a half.

The whole group just loved this part of our kayak adventure as they are avid bird lovers. Our first sight getting into the mangroves was a group of White Ibis in the trees, and amongst them 3 Roseate Spoonbills. As we entered into the river mouth we immediately heard the Boat billed heron squeak and we found them hiding amongst the leaves in the mangrove trees. Up the river we saw two Ospreys, a black headed trogon, a stunningly red Summer Tananger, a Tiger Heron and of course a lot of blue and white herons. The Jesus Christ lizards also came out and ran on the water for us a couple of times.

As the tide got lower we had to leave the mangroves and head for deeper water. We looped around to Playa Lorenzo for a quick dip as we were overheated after all the hours in the mangroves. Our lunch spot for the day was Islas Pajaros (the bird island). It was not as many birds as sometimes here this time, but we were surprised to find a small Hummingbird out there as the island are very barren and with no flowers whatsoever.

We spent some relaxing time on the tidal beach here, before we headed towards home. Our last stop was at the graveyard beach at Isla Jesucita. We got a bit of head wind on the last little stretch home, but it was only nice as the sun was baking.

We landed on the Bahia Rica beach after 3 days packed with impression and experiences. All in all we logged about 50 km.

To see all the pictures from this great adventure click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 30. December 2012

½ day kayak tour with Spider monkeys

Kristin and Runar from Norway were very excited about the possibility of a close encounter with Spider monkeys. On our way to Isla Nancital – the monkey island – we made a quick stop at Isla San Pedro for a refreshing swim, but we did not bother to snorkel as the water was a bit murky.

We found the Spider monkeys right away when we got Isla Nancital, but in a very rocky area so we did not beach the kayaks there. We kayaked slowly along shore and they started to follow us, so we went to a beach and waited for them there. When they did not come we decided to go back to where we found them and just watch them from the water, but when we came there they were gone…

We continued the trip to the white sand beach at Boca de Tiburon where we had our lunch, and just as we swallowed the last bite the branches started moving in the trees above us…. The monkeys were on their way!

4 females, one with a baby, came all the way down to the lowest trees. The mom with the baby came walking straight up to us and Kristin and Runar were thrilled that they got to meet the monkeys after all.

We logged about 10 km on the trip, and Kristin got quite sore muscles the last stretch – but “ It was all worth it” as she said!

See pictures of the amazing Spider monkeys here.

Sea kayaking journal – 21. December 2012

½ day mangrove kayak tour with Gerd and Nils

Gerd and Nils from Norway were happy to see that the clouds rolled in a bit as the sun has been baking us on the fishing trips we have had with them. As we moved close to the mangroves we were immediately rewarded with the sight of an Osprey. The herons, sand pipers, sea gulls, Ibis and Comerant where abundant as usual. And we got a glimpse of a Roseate Spoonbill flying deep into the mangroves.  Up in the river there were a couple of “Jesus Christ lizards” that ran across the water in front of us.

A great afternoon tour where we logged about 10 km.

See pictures from this kayak tour here.

Sea Kayaking Journal  27. December 2012

Full moon and bioluminescence kayak tour

Anuj and his 3 friends from California took a detour out to the Nicoya Peninsula on their Costa Rica travel to join us on an evening kayak tour. Anuj had always wanted to experience the bioluminescence from a kayak and found that this is one of the great places in the world for that. It was the day before full moon and the light from the moon was so strong that we easily could see the colors of the kayaks and so on. But this just added on to the experience as the bioluminescence was incredible strong in patches, and we felt like we were kayaking in a sea full of tiny stars!

Sea kayaking journal – 21. December 2012

1/2 day Mangrove Kayak Tour

Camilla joined our mangrove kayak tour with Kaja and Trond Espen from Norway, and she did not regret. It was a bit windy, but as soon as we got into the mangroves we got into sheltered and calm water.

Amongst all the different herons, egrets and seagulls we were lucky enough to see an Osprey, a Roseate Spoonbill, the Boatbilled herons and a Cormorant swimming and catching fish. Trond Espen really wanted to see a Kingfisher and we were at last rewarded by several as we kayaked down Rio Grande.

We had a relaxing lunch at the beach at the river mouth of Rio Grande before we worked our way back home. 

See more pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 14. December 2012

Full day Monkey Island and Punta Coral Kayak Tour

On another beautiful day in Costa Rica we took Erik and Kari from Norway out on a full day of kayaking. We had no wind at all, but had to go a little bit against the current as we wanted to visit Isla Nancital and the Spider Monkeys. As we got to the island we immediately saw some monkeys and they followed us a bit as we kayaked along shore. We beached shortly at the “landslide beach” where we encountered a lot of huge sea urchins and played a bit with a puffer fish.

We continued to the white sand beach in Boca de Tiburon where we took a refreshing swim. Three spider monkeys came to greet us when we where there. Amazing acrobats when they throw themselves from branch to branch to get down to the beach.

At last we stopped at Punta Coral for a delicious lunch provided by Calypso Cruises. After the kayaking it was nice to relax a bit in the hammocks, but we also went for a walk in the private nature reserve of Punta Coral.

See more pictures from the tour here.

Sea kayaking journal – 9. December 2012
½ day Monkey Island Kayak Tour

1/2 day of kayaking with the 4 guys from Larvik that booked 10 days of fishing with us through XXL Adventures. We needed a brake from fishing and the guys wanted to kayak. We went off to look for the monkeys and we pulled in to the first beach but they were not there. We then went around to the next beach but they weren’t there either. We swam, snorkeled, ate lunch and enjoyed ourselves and when we were done with lunch they came. There were 10 monkeys plus one monkey baby. They put on their usual show and we all enjoyed it very much.

The guys enjoyed the kayaking and were ready to continue with some more days of fishing.

Thank you Andreas for taking the photos.

Sea kayaking journal – 16. November 2012
½ day kayaking tour with Dennis and Martine

We got up early to enjoy the beautiful mornings here in Costa Rica. As we were getting into our kayaks on the beach Dennis discovered a ray swimming around in the very shallow water. It was a small electric ray, the first one we have ever seen here. We had to do a little rescue mission and lift it out into the water again as it got stuck on the beach.

Today was the lowest tide of the month, so we had a very interesting tour around Isla Cedros. The whole landscape changes when the tide is so low. We could explore the areas we normally snorkel by foot.

The bay in front of Playa Langosta was extremely shallow, and we were exited to find a lot of sea urchins that we have never seen there before.

The day was really calm, and after a relaxing lunch at Playa Langosta we could just ride the current home.

To see more pictures from the trip click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 13. August 2012
½ day kayaking tour with Ola and Eva

Ola and Eva from Sweden were excited about wrapping up their Costa Rica adventure with a kayak tour with us at Bahia Rica. We let the tidal current drag us out to Isla Carrobo, where we saw a lot of Black Ctenocaurs (Iguanas). We toured around Los Carretos where huge colonies of Frigate birds and Pelicans were resting.

After having a relaxing lunch and a swim at Playa Langosta we continued around the north side of Isla Cedros. Among the many highlights of the trip was the Olive Ridely turtle we saw at Isla Garrobo, but even more exiting; Ola spotted something swimming in the water, and it turned out to be a small Garrobo. It was obviously very tired and cold. We rescued it and let it bake in the sun on the kayak for a while. Soon it recuperated some strength and we could release him ashore. Eva felt he looked like a “Knut” – so that is what we named him.

Beautiful 13 km on the water.

See pictures of Knut and our kayak tour here.

Sea kayaking journal – 12. August 2012
A 3 hour family kayak tour

Frank, Anette and their 11 year old daughter Sidney were ready to try on the sit-inside touring kayaks for the first time. Well for Sidney it was the first time paddling any kayak.
Frank and Anette quickly came to love the rudders and Sidney kayaked all they way over to the camp site at Isla Jesucita on her own. After the break there Sidney got quite tires, so I pulled out the tow rope and towed her. We continued to one of my favorite “low tide” beaches on the north side of Isla Cedros, where the family enjoyed exploring the caves and tunnels in the rock formations.

A nice short trip of 4 km with several stops.

See pictures here.

Sea kayaking journal – 5. August 2012
A little afternoon kayak trip

August and “rainy season”…. Well I guess it is green and lush, but that is also the only thing that reminds me of the fact that it is the rainy season ;o) I had a beautiful afternoon touring around in my kayak. The sardines are in so the pelicans kept diving into the water for their pray. I had a Roosterfish almost bump into the kayak chasing bait fish up too the surface. I went to one of my favorite little beaches on the north side of Isla Cedros, and continued home again after a refreshing swim.

See pictures from my trip here.

Sea kayaking journal – 24. July 2012

½ day sea kayaking with Knut and Vigdis

Knut and Vigdis from Bergen in Norway had never been kayaking before and were very curious about how they would manage and if they would like it.

When we beached at home after a beautiful day on the water Vigdis exclaimed:

“This was our Costa Rican high light”!

We let the current take us out along the shore of Isla Cedros, checked out the Iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds and crabs at Isla Garrobo and I went through the “hole in the wall” a couple of times. After a refreshing swim at Playa Langosta we enjoyed our lunch in the shade of the palm trees.

As the current turned we made our way back home and could log a nice 8 km of kayaking.

Click here to see pictures from this sea kayaking tour

Sea kayaking journal – 19. July 2012

Afternoon kayak tour with the Domben family

Åse, Pål and Tarjei from Norway stayed with us for a week, and have been out on a couple of shorter sea kayak tours around the nearest island, but today they opted for the mangrove adventure. The tide was high at around 3 o’clock, so we made it a nice afternoon tour.

As usual the water was very calm and incredible warm in the mangroves. And we were not disappointed when it came to the wildlife. In addition to all the birds we came across two raccoons climbing down a tree, a big green iguana, a troop of howler monkeys and a Jesus Christ lizard ran on the water right in front of our kayaks. It has been raining up in the mountains the last days so the water level in the river was high and we could get very far up the river where the water gets nice and clear. In the clear water we saw hundreds of fish swimming past us.

As we kayaked home we were surrounded by bait fish skipping on the surface trying to escape the bigger fish hunting them from below. We saw two sierra mackerel jump high out of the water in their chase.

We covered about 9 km on this beautiful sea kayak tour.

To see more pictures from this sea kayak tour – click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 16. July 2012

1/2 day mangrove adventure with Karin and Mark

Karin and Mark, a Swiss couple staying at Hotel Vista las Islas, joined us for a beautiful kayak tour into the Paquera mangroves. This was the first time for both Karin and Mark in a kayak, but they felt comfortable in our Dagger Specter sea kayaks, and got the hang of using the rudder in no time.

As we got to the first little inlet in the mangroves we spotted a Roseate Spoonbill, a Cormorant, a Pelican, a Great Egret and a Sandpiper all in the same tree. As usual we were delighted to see a lot of different birds both in the mangroves and up in the river. We got very far up the river today as the water level was high, and the river was abundant with fish. In the clear river water we had the fish seaking refuge under our kayaks. Further down the river we saw some bug splashes from a big Snook chasing bait fish. As we got close we could see the whole take and the shadow of the body, it was probably around 5-6 kg.

Karin and Mark could log about 8 km on their first kayak trip.

To see pictures from this sea kayak tour click here.

Sea kayaking journal – 15. July 2012
1/2 day mangrove adventure with Jens and Melanie

Jens and Melanie from Germany have enjoyed some days at Fidelito Ranch and were now ready for getting out on the water and explore the mangroves. The tide today was perfect for going into the mangroves and we got plenty of time there.

Close to the canal to Paquera we were lucky to spot the only pink bird in Costa Rica; the Roseate Spoonbill. It posed nicely for some photos before it flew off. A big Eagle ray came up twice next to Melanie’s kayak.

As usual we saw plentiful of herons, egrets, fly catchers, kingfishers, Ibis, vultures and sandpipers going up the smooth flowing Rio Grande. We also found a lonely female Howler monkey in a tree hanging out over the water. It obviously felt a little intimidated by us, and showed this by peeing and pooping… it almost hit Jens’ kayak!

We stopped for lunch at the beach at the entrance of Rio Grande, and I feel very fortunate that we saw a huge stork. It is the first time we have seen a stork in the Paquera mangroves. On the way back he pelicans gave us full action diving into schools of sardines. 8 km of relaxing sea kayaking in the amazing nature here.

 Sea kayaking journal – 10. July 2012

1/2 day sea kayaking with Stephan and Stephanie

Another sunny day in the rainy season made for a beautiful kayak tour with Stef x 2: Stephan and Stephanie from France.

We did our first stop at Isla Jesucita to look at all the big sea shells and conchs that wash up at the beach there. From there we could let the tidal current drag us out the end of Isla Cedros where we found a lot of big Iguanas at Isla Garrobo and we were surprised by an Olive Ridely turtle that came up next to our kayaks. Another exiting moment on the trip was when a huge Roosterfish chased mullets right next to us. We had a relaxing lunch at Playa Langosta. Stef x2 were really happy when the clouds rolled in and we got a little breeze in the afternoon to cool them of a bit. 10 km all in all.

See more pictures from this kayak tour at our Facebook site.

Sea kayaking journal – 24. June 2012

Full day sea kayaking with Keira and Perrin

Keira and Perrin, avid kayakers from Canada, were thrilled to go sea kayaking in Costa Rica. We had a leisurely start in the morning and enjoyed the tranquil water of the Gulf of Nicoya. As we rounded on the north side of Isla Cedros we had a bit of northern wind. It was not much more than a breeze, but still it ruffed up the water enough to give us some good splashes. With the temperature we have in the water and the air here, those splashes was only refreshing.

We beached shortly at the beach at the north east end of Isla Cedros and explored the tunnel through the cliff, and had a chat with the friendly neighbor, Gonzalo. When we continued the wind had totally died down again. Before the next stop at Playa Langosta, we explored the small islands and cliffs at the end of Isla Cedros, they were as usual crowded with brown pelicans and frigate birds.

On our way to Isla San Pedros where we explored the tidal pool ant took a refreshing swim, we spotted tow Cow nose rays, a huge eagle ray swam right under our kayaks and a turtle peaked her head up to check us out.

After a whole day out on the water it was perfect to rest in the shade at Punta Coral and have a relaxing lunch. From Punta Coral we headed home and could log a beautiful sea kayak adventure of about 18 km.

When we were at Punta Coral we were joined by Jonathan that had rented a kayak from us to roam around the islands in search for some Geo-caches that are placed there. He found the one at Punta Coral after a little bit of searching. If you don’t know what Geo-caching is, check it out on It can bring a little extra challenge into your kayaking trip (or any kind of trip actually).

See pictures of the tour with Keira and Perrin in this Facebook album.

Sea kayaking journal – 14. June 2012

1/2 day sea kayaking with Erik and Terje

Terje and Erik had been sport fishing for 4 days straight and opted for a morning kayak tour before more sport fishing in the afternoon. They have both been canoeing a lot, but this was their first time in a sea kayak. After working a bit on the paddling technique they loved it. We went to Isla Jesucita for a short stop before we continued to the Paquera mangroves and we made it far up Rio Grande. A great trip with very tranquil water. 10km – not bad for being first time in a sea kayak!

See pictures in this Facebook photo album. 

A little video of our mangrove kayaking adventure with Terje and Erik:

For older sea kayak tours check our photo albums on Facebook.

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