Have Twins, Will Travel

Monkey Park

La Fortuna, Costa Rica – Monkey Park is a misnomer. This is not a park at all, but rather a family-owned forest preserve that occupies a corner of a flourishing farm. A 2.5-kilometer trail winds through the luscious primary forest. And yes, a troop of capuchin monkeys happens to frequent these ancient trees. (It helps that the caretaker Guillermo leaves out plenty of bananas to attract them.)

Capuchin monkeys at Monkey Park

Of course, these are wild animals and there are no fences to keep them in or out. So there are plenty of other species around.

On my visit, I encountered this cool anteater, specifically, the northern tamandua.

Even if you see no other animals, you will see the friendly resident raccoon, known as Mapache, which means raccoon. Mapache was abandoned as a baby, so Guillermo adopted him (contrary to local recommendations about wildlife, but never mind). Now he acts like “man’s best friend” and accompanies visitors on their walks through the forest.

Incidentally, Mapache did not play it cool when we spotted the anteater. He was so excited and ran over to play, which clearly distressed the anteater. Note to self: it’s best not to bring wildlife when trying to watch wildlife.

My visit to the Monkey Farm turned into an impromptu cooking class, as Guillermo was preparing lunch when I finished my walk. Our menu was a classic Costa Rican lunch:

– Sopa Negra (basically black bean soup with rice and a hard boiled egg)

– Fried yucca

– Homemade tortillas

A hearty and delicious meal!

Sopa Negra