rainforest waterfall treks & tucan birding with two locals in costa rica

you guys! the rice trick WORKED and my photos and videos were SAVED! the phone is still pretty gnarly with water damage, but slowly it’s coming back to life. happiest. day. ever.

so as i was saying here, our first night in manuel antonio we met two awesome locals. well, they’re americans who transplanted to costa rica. but unlike the majority of ex-pats we meet, Jackie and Buck aren’t 60, they’re our same age, we had lots in common and they’ve totally thrown themselves into la vida local. so after hanging out for a couple nights they asked if we’d be interested in going exploring with them. they know someone who has 230 (yes, 230) acres of remote, untouched rainforest that is rumored to have 23 private waterfalls on it and they’ve been given the thumbs up to go explore. it’s a bit of a drive to get there, outside of the town of quepos, but they’re in if we are.

obviously we jumped at the opportunity. so at 10am on sunday morning, they picked us up in their awesome 1970’s mini green tank, we grabbed some loot at the market and hit the road (mostly to keep the air flowing thru the non-ac ride)!

it was a really special day. they taught us a ton about costa rican culture, we got the inside scoop from a gringo point of view, checked out some off-the-beaten-path spots and just totally adventured.

so here’s a glimpse at our sunday with Jackie and Buck.

wanderlustthe local mart where we stopped for supplies.
IMG_6539buck and jackie’s rad toyota mini tank stopped at the local market. currently my favorite photo of mi esposo.

IMG_6538i’m a suck for muy authentico advertising like this. jackie formerly worked at rolling stone and then most recently at buzzfeed in NYC so we swapped all kinds of stories during our bumpy ride.
backpacking through costa ricaaaaaand we’re off! boys in the front seat…

backpacking through costa ricaand girls in the back jumpseat!
backpacking through costa ricahere’s where we parked our ride before the big trek back. how pretty is this?
backpacking through costa ricabuck led the way with beers in one hand and a machete in the other as we all watched our steps. the biggest warning – don’t step on the big leaves. that’s where the snakes like to take their afternoon naps, particularly costa rica’s MOST poisonous creature, the fer-de-lance snake (top 10 most poisonous list here – don’t click this link if you’re skeeved out by  slimy things or sharks). and yes, we did see one snake. eeeeekkkk!
wanderlustall to ourselves.

wanderlusti told d that this is usually my view on any adventure. me trailing behind with him constantly turning around to wave and encourage me to keep coming.
backpacking through costa ricain the photo above, this is where danny and jackie were walking to. buck and i decided to hang back, pop-a-squat on a rock and enjoy deep chats about balancing and appreciating life abroad and being married to two crazies. i guess only danny and jackie will know what they were chatting about down there in that private pool.

backpacking through costa ricabut this. this was pretty awesome. a waterfall all to ourselves to jump, swim, crack open beers and just take in the cool mist. i’ll forever be grateful to buck for snapping this shot of me and d in the middle of a laughing fit under a waterfall. a traveling duo, it’s rare we get these types of pics.

DCIM100GOPRO(grateful because most of our travel photos look something like this)
DCIM100GOPROjackie and buck shared this awesome spot with us, taught us about all kinds of costa rican animals and more. good peeps right here.
backpacking through costa ricaadventure dan so in his element.
DCIM100GOPROel blanco matching the white wash of the falls… perfectly content just chilling out, of course.
backpacking through costa ricabecause men are ridiculous, danny wanted his turn with the machete and that’s when he almost chopped off two of his fingers and earned the nickname, “senor ocho” for the rest of the day. and thank goodness for that bandana that became a tourniquet for the ride home. sheesh.

backpacking through costa ricaso we approached another waterfall and danny immediately ran over to it. then, buck made the mistake of saying, “i don’t think anyone has ever climbed up that.” wrong move. and before we knew it, both jackie and danny were racing up opposite sides of this slick rock as the rain started to pour down.
wanderlustthis is my favorite because buck and i were just standing at the bottom yelling out to our spouses wanting them to come down now! 
wanderlustoh, but there they are waving at us from the top! hahhaha
wanderlustwe made it back to the car, all alive and all limbs attached. buck was all smiles as we raced out to beat the rain.
backpacking through costa ricawe made it out alive! off to nachos y cervezas!

backpacking through costa rica

THEN the day couldn’t have ended more perfectly (even with two wet iPhones). we were telling Jackie and Buck (which is also Danny’s grandpa’s name which is kinda random and cool) that the only animal left on our Costa Rica animal bingo was a tucan (the birds with the big yellow beaks). we kept joking that we needed to see a tucan.

so after our day in the rainforest, they invited us to come back to their barrio for beers and sunset at their apartment with their two canines (so good to be around dogs!). and as we were sitting on their upper level patio, i screamed, “is that a tucan flying?!” and sure enough, all of a sudden SIX tucans appeared and were flying back and forth between the trees right in front of us. and on top of it, Jackie and Buck are “birders” so we whipped out their binoculars and the bird watching book and together identified two different kinds. we seriously couldn’t believe it and they swear they’ve never seen a tucan from their patio (they wouldn’t lie). it was a magical, super nerdy, moment. we were all like high-fiving and freaking out!

tucan{photo cred: google images}


hasta luego, amigos.
thanks for a day we won’t forget.
wishing you all kinds of clarity and happiness as you continue to explore this beautiful world of ours.
besitos xx

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