Our Rain Forest Aerial Tram Day. What we thought of the place.
Every once in a while we are lucky enough to get away from the work of the farm and enjoy ourselves at one of Costa Rica’s many tourist attractions. Our friends had family visiting and invited us to go along to a place we had passed every time we went to San Jose but had never stopped at before. The signs are right along Route 32 before entering the mountain pass through Braulio Carrillo National Park from Guapiles, Limon. You can not miss them (unless you are paying attention to your driving). I often wonder how many traffic accidents happen at the entrance to the adventure park due to the fact that the entrance is on a sharp curve and you can not see far in either direction, so be careful if you go. It was so relaxing to be sitting in the back seat, taking everything in with our eyes, instead of fighting the traffic.
There were a lot of options to choose from at the facility including zip lines and nature hikes in addition to the aerial tram. We stayed with our group and did the aerial tram and walking tour, which included a naturalist guide. Hands down the best part about the whole place was the knowledge that the guide shared. He knew the species and sub-species of the trees in the forest. They knew what seeds the animals ate and distributed and at what time of year they did it. They even knew symbiotic relationships between the animals, plants and fungi. It was so very interesting! What we didn’t know is that the day pass included as many trips on the gondolas, with the guide, as we wanted to take. This was an unfortunate lack of information because Barry & I would have ridden the tram at least 4 more times. Our guide even found us later in the day to tell us about a viper he saw on his next go round.
As you can see from the picture above the short walking trail is paved and all of the other facilities are handicap accessible. Our friend’s Dad who was in a wheelchair had the same adventure as everyone else. I thought that the gift shop’s products were over-priced but I think every tourist place has an over-priced gift shop. I did buy a laminated “Fish of the Atlantic” identification guide that I had never seen before and drank six tiny cups of the free Cafe Britt coffee samples.
Environmental Impact of the Gondola Ride at Aerial Tram
The facility boasts the lack of environmental impact that took place when building the aerial tram ride. A Sandinista helicopter brought in the large support beams (made off-site) and with careful precision placed them on pads at ground level. No roads for big trucks and no clear cutting for the electricity poles just narrow walking trails for the workers to hand carry supplies in. Story is that they didn’t cut down a single tree. Their brochures are even made out of 60% sugar cane fibers. Good for them!
Informative and Fun
The $60 (tourist) and $30 (student/resident) cost is not much when you consider that you get a history of the building of the facility, history of Matina and the banana rails and a English/Spanish speaking University educated Guide. If you are lucky, like we were, your guide has an awesome sense of humor to boot! The area pictured below is the start of the tour and features a video that shares just enough information to inform without getting stuck in details. There are black and white images of Limon that were probably my favorite part. I had been searching for some pictures from the past of Limon and Matina and never come across this many together. I normally see one in Black Star Line, one in a Barbershop visited by Marcus Garvey, etc. Simply an amazing collection.
*All of the pictures below are flora and fauna we saw that day. In the order that we came upon them..
This Helmeted Iguana (Corytophanes cristatus) was much darker when we first caught a glimpse of him and then quickly changed to the color of his surroundings when we started moving tree limbs to get a good shot. They can stay still for hours at a time. If he would have gotten upset with us his defensive pose would have been a puffed throat fan display, his crest would have bulged and his body would be raised off the branch.
Common Blunt Headed Snake. For more information about this snake go to our post Blunt Headed Snake to see the one that lives on our Farm.
A flower that appears to be a lightbulb
A Praying Mantis that appears to be a dead leaf
A large Forest Floor Millipede hugging a tree
This was our experience and we are not being sponsored or paid by Rainforest Adventures in any way. If you had your own experience there please share it with us in the comment section that follows. A link to the Aerial Tram website is in the first line of this post.