Kayak Tour through the Mangroves
AUTHOR: Rebekka Probst
Recently, I had the unique opportunity to go on a Kayak tour through the mangroves in the river Terraba. We started at a small beach south of Ojochal (Puerto Boca Coronado), where our friendly tour guide greeted us. After a short introduction, we pushed our Kayaks into the river and started paddling! At first, navigating one Kayak with two persons was quite hard, but we got the trick after a while. So we were heading directly towards the river mouth until we weren’t pushed back by the waves anymore and turned left and followed the shoreline. About ten minutes later, our guide showed us a narrow, hidden entrance to the mangroves. As we were gliding through the mangrove forest, we became very quiet so as not to disturb the wildlife.
The mangroves are remarkable natural phenomena; in this environment, you can discover an enormous variety of species that live between the salty ocean and the sweet waters of the river (called salubrious water).
The Mangrove forest is essential in reducing tidal fluctuations and erosion and offers a unique habitat and recreational space for marine life with its labyrinth of large interwoven roots. As mangroves provide protection and food, they are the perfect environment for pelagic species such as Algae, barnacles, crustaceans, sponges, and mangrove crustaceans to grow. Over time, those plants have adapted perfectly to the saltwater and the small amount of oxygen.
Not only does marine life profit from this unique ecosystem, but reptiles, mammals, and a variety of birds also find a habitat with excellent conditions in the mangroves.
On our tour, we could see mangrove crabs, leguaans, and waterbirds.
After leaving the mangrove forest again, we paddled to the opposite shore of Playa Garza (which was further away than expected). It belongs to a small peninsula full of coconut trees. We walked to the other side of the island to find the perfect spot to sit and relax. We drank coconut milk, which our guide had freshly cut for us, ate some pineapple, and got rewarded for our efforts with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.
We returned to our starting point before it got completely dark, which was luckily easier as the tide was lower. As we arrived and thanked our guide for our tour, we were exhausted but filled with so many new expressions and emotions that made our trip worthwhile!
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The mangrove forest and its massive maze and the intertwining of trees and roots is considered to be a critical component acting to subdue tidal surge, reduce erosion, provide opportunities for recreation and serve as nurseries for fisheries.
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