December 17, 2010 - Hiking in the rainforest
We were picked up at 8:30am and taken to the Arenal rainforest. Our guide, Indira, fresh out of school, showed us a variety of flora & fauna, and a lot of details about their behavior in the wild. We spotted howler monkeys, spider monkeys, leaf-cutter ants, and saw for the first time a real 3-toed sloth. There are about 10 hanging bridges, offering a fabulous view of the canopy and the Arenal volcano. The last bridge is the highest & the longest, overlooking the entire forest.
We spotted an entire colony of leaf cutter ants & their home. Leaf cutters are blind & follow each other by sensing the pheromones, but any rain causes them to lose their scent & their way back to the anthill. Its amazing to watch a collection of tiny leaves walking by themselves on the forest floor, until you realize each leaf is held up by a tiny ant!
Indira, our guide, is Costa Rican but was named Indira after 'Indira Gandhi', the Indian Prime minister whom Indira's Mom greatly admired !!