Bosque del Cabo Private Reserve, Costa Rica
The 0.3-mile Creek Trail is a short but beautiful trail that leads to two scenic destinations—one is a bird’s eye view of the Matapalo surf break at the mouth of the Golfo Dulce, and the other is a deep fresh-water pool with two cascades. To reach the first highlight, follow the marked trail that runs behind the restaurant for about 200 meters—here you will see a sign marked “Vista”—take this side trail until you reach a clearing in the trees perched high on a cliff above the ocean. From this vantage point, your reward is a breathtaking view of the crashing waves far below—while admiring the view, keep an eye open for scarlet macaws, which often fly by the cliff in a burst of color, or simply display their beautiful plumage while resting on nearby tree branches. Leave the vista behind and retrace your steps back to the main trail, taking a right and heading down hill will take you towards the creek—along the way, watch for wildlife such as the ground-foraging Great Tinamou—a small turkey-like bird that we encountered while hiking the Creek Trail. Upon reaching the creek and the first cascade, you will soon find a series of three pools—perfect for a refreshing dip—that is if you aren’t afraid of nibbling crawfish or the possibility of a visit from a snake. Whenever you hike in or near streambeds in the rainforest, your chances of encountering a snake increases, but just remain cautious and you will be fine—most snakes won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. From the depths of the invigorating pools, you can choose to end your hike, or continue down the creek for approximately 0.5-mile to the top of a 150-foot waterfall—an excursion best reserved for the very adventurous.