Manakin Trail/Trogon Trail/Golfo Dulce Trail
Bosque del Cabo Private Reserve, Costa Rica
While staying at Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, a naturalist’s paradise, we combined the Manakin, Trogon, and Golfo Dulce trails to form a loop of approximately 1-mile. Bosque del Cabo, located in the heart of the Osa Peninsula—one of the most biologically diverse places on earth—and the trails that penetrate the property, grants the adventurous traveler the opportunity to see the incredible flora and fauna of the rainforest first-hand. To reach the Manakin Trail, cross the suspension bridge and take a right at the trailhead— the path is 0.1-mile long, connecting the Tropical Garden with the Trogon Trail. It is named after the small brightly colored manakin birds, two of which are often found along the trail—the Blue crowned manakin and the Red capped manakin—we saw the Blue crowned variety while hiking. After passing under several spectacular trees, particularly Ajos (garlic) and Zapateros (shoemaker), you will reach the intersection with the Trogon Trail—a gorgeous trail through primary rainforest. At the intersection, take a left and head uphill 0.2-mile towards the Golfo Dulce Trail, and along the way, watch for monkeys, birds, and forest mammals. It is possible to see all four species of monkey found in Costa Rica—spider, howler, white-faced capuchin, and squirrel—along these trails and we saw them all, most notably, as we approached the Golfo Dulce intersection we noticed a troop of squirrel monkeys making there way across the canopy. We watched the monkeys for several minutes before taking a left on the Golfo Dulce Trail—bear right to reach Matapalo Beach, or turn left and hike downhill, where you will eventually reach the Tropical Gardens. Explore the gardens, complete with a pond, in hopes of seeing blue morpho butterflies, poison dart frogs, and jesus christ lizards. To complete the loop, we crossed the Tropical Gardens and walked back to the restaurant along the Bosque Driveway—surprisingly, another nice trail on which to spot wildlife. While making our way back to the restaurant, we spotted a three-toed sloth hanging out in a tree right beside the road—the proximity giving us amazing up-close views and terrific photo opportunities—not a bad way to end a day of hiking.