Exploring Curu Wildlife Refuge-Costa Rica

The final afternoon of our Uncruise Adventure is spent in Curu Wildlife Refuge.

Jenny, who has a keen eye for spotting the refuge’s wildlife, is our guide.

She assures us that we will hike several Curu trails, but not the ominously named, “Killer” trail.

Perhaps the animals of Costa Rica know that it is our final hike, as they decide to give us a show. We see plenty of lizards, deer, and three different species of monkeys (white faced, howler, and spider).

As the howler monkeys swing overhead with their Jurassic dinosaur growls, Jenny leads us across bridges, and down skinny paths, and wide paths.

What makes Curu especially interesting, is that it’s a dry tropical forest. It goes through a period of drought every year. It is really neat seeing the chaotic, intricate, intertwining, mangrove trees sans water.

Eventually the forest receives its rainy season which nourishes all of the flora and fauna.

With every new bridge, path, and turn, there is something eye pleasing to see in Curu.

We hike for three hours. I want to hike more. We pass by entrances to paths, and I long to know where they lead.

I could hike for another three hours, and then three hours after that, anything to stall getting back on the  ship that will inch us closer to home.

As we wait on the beach for the skifts, I have the sudden urge to make a run for it. I’m sure I could find a nice, little, Costa Rican beach hut to live in. I decide against this plan however, as I assume a MIA guest would be a huge hassle for the crew.

We have one last dinner, complete with fancy cheese board.

After packing, Shannon and I sit on the deck, until our eyes refuse to stay open. All we have tomorrow is a plane ride, so who needs sleep.

The following day we take advantage of the early morning luggage assembly, and watch the sunrise.


We reach the port and have to make the sad descent back to normal, non-boat life. Sigh.

A gauntlet of crew greets us as we depart. By the end of this week, everyone, passengers and crew, have become friends, and I’m forlorn saying my goodbyes.

As sad as the trip coming to an end is, I can no longer imagine this adventure not being part of my life story. At least I get to have the amazing memories forever.

I just want to reiterate a HUGE THANK YOU to Uncruise Adventures for choosing me as their essay contest winner and allowing me the opportunity to spend a week aboard the Safari Voyager. It was truly one of the best weeks I’ve ever had. I’m greatly looking forward to my Uncruise week in Alaska in 2019, but first…it’s time for Africa!

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  1. Amanda - EatWorkTravel

    September 19, 2017 at 1:12 am

    What an amazing experience, congratulations on winning the essay contest. I just love the wildlife in Costa Rica although admittedly the howler monkeys also gave me a bit of a scare. They are so unpredictable!

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      September 19, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks! The first time we stayed in Costa Rica the howler monkeys swung over our bungalow at 5 am every morning. One of the guys staying at the same place actually asked the owners if they could do something about the monkeys because they woke him up…lol…

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