Last week, I had the chance to experience a nighttime walk with an experienced guide in the Karen Mogensen Reserve in Costa Rica. The tour promised sightings of various native animals in the reserve, and I was excited to see some of the creatures that I had only read about in books.
Our guide, Carlos, met us at 8:30 pm after dinner at our lodge in the reserve. We had arrived the day before and spent one night at the reserve, so it was our second evening there. We were eager to begin the walk and see what the reserve had to offer.
The walk started with a trail through the dry forest, and Carlos led the way with his flashlight. We walked in silence, and I could feel the excitement growing as I waited to see the first animal. Suddenly, Carlos stopped, pointed his flashlight in a tree, and whispered, "There!" We saw a Lowland Paca, a nocturnal animal that is part of the rodent family, perched on a fallen tree trunk. We watched in awe as the creature stared back at us.
As we continued on the trail, we saw several more animals, including a Four-eyed Opossum, and a giant tarantula. Carlos explained interesting facts about each animal we saw, and we were able to see their unique features up close, thanks to our guide's flashlight.
A Four-eyed Opossum
One of the most incredible moments was when we spotted a pair of glowing eyes in the distance. Carlos shone his flashlight towards the eyes, and we saw a beautiful and rare Mottled Owl. It was an amazing experience to see the reflection of the light in the eyes of the animals as we made our way through the reserve.
The Mottled Owl
The hike continued along a creek, and we could hear the sound of the water as we walked. The night was still and peaceful, and we felt like we had the entire reserve to ourselves. The hike took about an hour before we arrived back at the starting point.
We then headed to our cabin to sleep for the night. The cabins were situated on a clearing in the forest, which allowed us to observe the stars before falling asleep. It was an incredible sight and a great way to end the day.
In conclusion, the nighttime hike in the Karen Mogensen Reserve was an unforgettable experience. Seeing the different animals in their natural habitat was incredible, and I learned so much from our knowledgeable guide. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who has a love for nature and wants to get closer to the wildlife of Costa Rica.