The sun’s slanting rays shine through the arbor’s roof of leaves in warm color shades. The calm water surface reflects the green of the plants and the roots of the surrounding trees. A couple of small boats are moving through the mangroves – not by disturbing nature, rather by merging with Right after entering the remote river from the seaside, the small group of five kayaks delve deeper and deeper into the mystery of the mangroves jungle.
Kayaking – a must-do in Puerto Jimenez
Kayaking on the Golfe Dulce and exploring the surrounding mangroves by the many rivers is one the top attractions in Puerto Jimenez, the biggest town of the Osa Peninsula. Charly, the owner of the Osa Dream Tours, allowed us to dip in the beauty of this water tour. Since five years he and his guides are providing this magical experience to small groups of five tourists in the area.
The group always meets at 3 pm at the local beach right in front of the restaurant “Los Delfines”. The bright colorful kayaks are already lying at the shore, waiting for us to enter them. Before we are allowed to start, we meet Greivin, our tour guide of the day. He introduces us to the kayak paddling technique and hands suiting life-jackets over to us. We are about to get wet, so everyone is only wearing bathing costumes and a t-shirt. The stuff get stored at the office. It is recommendable to only bring stuff in special fabricated dry bags with you in the kayak. As soon as we are reading, Greivin pushes the boat into the shallow sea and helps us to enter.
Kayaking on the sea – the beauty of the Golfo Dulce
The first third of our route directs over the Golfo Dulce, which translated means sweet gulf in Spanish. As typical for a gulf the waves are pretty low which allows us to cross the water by relaxed movements. We are not in hurry, so we can embrace the view: The beach of the Osa on the one, the mainland of Costa Rica on the other side. If you are lucky, you can see several dolphins playing in the gulf throughout the whole year. Stay alert and watch out for some sting rays and sea turtles. To catch a glimpse of some humpback whales, you need to travel to Puerto Jimenez in October or November during the whale watching season.
Mangroves by boat – what you will get to see
After a while we arrive at the entrance of the Rio Plantanares, a big river surrounded by mangrove forest that juts out into the Golfo Dulce. We notice the magical atmosphere right away. The tranquility surrounding your sharpens your senses by coincidently calming you down. The only sounds are coming from small plashes of kayak paddles sliding through the water, the songs of the tropical birds and the occasional noise coming from rainforest insects. Each side of the river is vegetated by tangled mangrove roots that stretch down like tentacles.
The mangroves seem abandoned and full of life at the same time. It depends on your attention as well as on pure luck, which types of wildlife you are about to see during your kayak tour. It is possible to spot caimans and crocodiles, at least the bumpy snout or eyes of them. If you look up into the trees, you might see a rainbow boa curled around the branches or some capuchin, spider or squirrel monkeys jumping from tree to tree. The bird biodiversity in here is intensive, so you for sure will catch sight of some. After all, ibis, toucans, scarlet macaws, kingfishers, herons and multitudes of shore birds call the mangroves their home.
Take a time-out our at Playa Preciosa
On our way back from the mangroves, we notice that our arms start to get tired. Time for a break: Greivin leads us to the shore of the Playa Preciosa (means beautiful beach in Spanish). We eat some fresh water melon and pineapple to gain back our strength. Meanwhile the colour of the sky is about to turn beautiful pink and violet. The sundown is close-by. While the sun is setting, we are entering our kayaks for the last part of our route. At 6 pm we arrive the the bay of our starting point – exhausted, but happy after all.
About Osa Dream Tours
Osa Dream Tours is a top kayak tour operator in Puerto Jimenez. Since five years Charly and his guides are offering kayak exploration tours through the mangroves on demand including the sunset, a snorkeling stop or enjoying the bioluminescence of the plankton during a tour at night. For more information visit them on Facebook and Trip Advisor or Contact Us.