GOING NATIVE! – in Sierpe, Osa, Costa Rica

welcomeSierpe is a teeny tiny town sierpe map(population of 1200 or so) in the northern portion of the Osa Penisula, in the south pacific region of Costa Rica. Some tourists use Sierpe as their starting point for visiting Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park. It is very biologically lush with vegetation (think: jungle) and amazing wildlife (think: macaws, crocodiles). This was our first time to visit this part of the country, and I’m so thankful for super cool (taunis!) friends who let us tag along and showed us an amazing time.

The town is so small that dogs sleep in the middle of the road, and cars don’t even scare them to move – I saw people actually get out of their cars in order to move the dogs out of their way…

The town also has these really cool perfectly round sphere things – that were FOUND in Sierpe on Farm #6 (Finca 6) – more on this later.  For now, here is one they placed in the park:

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On this little visit to Sierpe, I did and saw countless things I thought I would never do or see!

I slept with geckos running across the wall right above the head of my bed.

I took a cold shower.

I saw a snake.

(Disclaimer:  Come to find out they actually did have hot water at the hotel, but only turned it on at certain times.  I never found out when those certain times were.  The snake was in the pool, and turned out to be a fake – but I still didn’t take any chances.  Into the pool I did not go.  The geckos, however, were very, very real.)

I went on a fishing trip (I don’t even fish!) in the Sierpe River, and got to see all these things:

Crocodiles!

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Also a baby croc — he was so cute!

baby croc

Fruit bats!  These were under a bridge:

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One Clawed Crabs (not sure why they have just one claw, but they do). We could hear them “snapping” at each other while we were fishing close to the shore – they are cannibals, and fight each other. I was staying in the boat, thank you:

crab

I ate cocoa straight out of a cocoa pod!  Chocolate actually grows on trees!  A little bitter tasting, but you can for sure taste the cocoa – you take one of these white sections and suck on it and spit out the pit. This is what the pod looked like when our fishing guide cut it open:

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“We” (one of us, not me) caught Grouper (big fish below) and Black Snapper (small fish).  Later that day we took these fish to a restaurant and bartered with the owner.  He gave us such a great deal –  he had his chef make us fried snapper (the whole fish) and some filets from the grouper, plus all the drinks and other sides we wanted (including a separate meal for me, as I’m allergic to fish), and he kept the rest of the grouper for his restaurant.  It was a HUGE feast!

fish collage

We also saw macaws, herons, a sloth(!), howler monkeys, and iguanas… Our fishing guide was great at seeing and pointing out wildlife to us.  At one point we went through a very narrow canal, and I felt like we were on the crocodile hunter TV show:

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I crossed the river on a barge:

barge

I went on a jungle hike! It was in the mountains just outside of Sierpe, a little village called Sabalo. To get there we had to cross through three (3!) rivers in the car.  The hike was an intense, uphill climb through vines and brush with the humidity so dense you could almost see it. It was most definitely what I’ve always envisioned a real JUNGLE to look like. With the added threat of spiders, snakes, wild boars, jaguars (just to name a few)… luckily I didn’t see ANY of these things. We had a local guy, Randall, with us who was cutting the way through vines and trees with his machete, so that was nice and helped out quite a bit. Plus I just felt better with him being there with us, I’m sure he would know what do if we encountered a snake or something (of course he didn’t speak any English, so not sure how helpful someone yelling at me in Spanish would be).

jungle collage

When we got to the top, we were all completely drenched in sweat, but the view was beautiful.  I was happy and proud I had done it!  Greg was only smiling here because he was happy we were at the top turn-around-spot:

greg top of mt

Later, once we got back down, I drank coconut water straight out of a coconut!  (Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but all these things were super remarkable!!).   Randall knocked it out of a tree, chopped the top off with his machete, and handed it to me (what service!).

coconut

Then, because I was drenching myself in coconut water and couldn’t seem to get the hang of drinking it straight from the coconut (no one else seemed to have this problem), Randall got another coconut for me, and poured the water into my empty water bottle.   It tasted like heaven (slightly sweet with just a hint of coconut). And now I had my very own natural coconut water “to go”! Here it is – look how clear it is:

coco bottle

And my favorite thing!!   I finally saw some Scarlet Macaws up close and personal – so I could get some shots of them! Such a beautiful thing!

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That’s all for now folks!   Till next time! — Jen

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Jen

I quit my job in my early 40’s, sold everything and retired early to live a simple life in Costa Rica!

Check out my book: "Costa Rica Chica" - the book.

Check out my Arm Candy: Costa Rica Chica Arm Candy.

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19 Responses to GOING NATIVE! – in Sierpe, Osa, Costa Rica

  1. Jen,

    Your postings crack me up! I am living in the South of CR, and so
    see all those surprises (except the macaws — jealous of you), daily
    in my neck of the jungle. You should really come visit and I’ll give you the Perez Tour. If you’ve not been down here yet, you owe
    it to yourself to come. BTW, my geckos live right in my ceiling and
    chuckle to me at night — plus they eat lots of mosquitos!! Carol

    • You are lucky to see these things every day! Do you mean Perez Zeledon? Very cool – we’ve heard of and have been wanting to check out! Yes, I know the geckos are cool and good, and my hubby convinced me they would not fall off the ceiling and onto me while I slept. That clapping/knocking noise they make is so loud, it’s so funny!

  2. Jen….. loved reading about your experiences in Sierpe….. and am so glad to receive your blog!!!! Also, maybe you can have another blind wine testing of white wine in a box!!!!!
    Jeane

  3. I cant wait to go back already in Sept. It was awesome and hanging with you guys made it even better!

    • Peter – you totally rock!! We were so happy to get to go with you, and you are so cool to hang with (we actually really like you, and we don’t say that about a lot of people!). I’m trying to think of something I can bake for you to thank you, but not sure what you might like. 🙂 Any requests??

      • Hanging with you guys is payment enough but you can do something down the road go again in the future lol. There is more to see and everyday there is a little different.

        I read Carol’s statement above and I say this with no offense and hope none is taken. Only one big thing missing in Perez and most of the rest of CR… the fantastic Sierpe river and all the fun it has including ocean access. You can duplicate much of CR but the Sierpe river, corcovado, the delta with those mangroves is unique! Even the Indians thought it was great, they made all those cool spheres there. Must of been a special place for them too.

        • Well, we wouldn’t say NO to going in the future, for sure, maje! 🙂

          The river definitely makes Sierpe cool and unique, for sure. Next time maybe we could see some whales or dolphins – that would be a FIRST for me and would be so tuanis.

    • Hello Beverly! Glad to see you reading me! And yes, of course my advice is much better than Greg’s. lol Well – at least on the boxed wine. 🙂 lol

  4. Great post as always Jen. We’ve talked about getting down there eventually and your photos and writing really brought it to life!!!! P.S. LOVE my new arm candy — I’ll bring up your colones later today.

  5. Jen, loved your blog about the OSA. Would love to see that area. Understand October-November is whale migration time there and definitely interested in seeing that remote part of CR. I do believe you guys get around more than any of us with property to keep us anchored. Good reporting girl. Where are you headed next????

    • Hi sweet Beverly! Good to hear from you! Gosh, yes, I would love to see the whales (or dolphins, too, I hear!)! I know, we have been so lucky to get around or stay with friends – people are so nice! 🙂 No immediate future plans, but will keep you posted. 🙂 Hope to see you soon. 🙂

  6. I am so enjoying your blogs! Thanks for sharing.

    We are making plans for our exploratory trip to the Grecia / Aetnas area and wonder if you have any recommendations on places to stay. We will be there for about 12 days.

    Thanks!

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