Estero Azul might seem like an unlikely place for wildlife viewing, since this manmade channel off the Sierpe River is lined with houses and plantations, and it’s a stones-throw from Restaurante Las Vegas, our favorite bar in Sierpe. However, the narrow band of trees and vegetation along the straight waterway harbors enough wildlife for prime viewing up close, from birds and monkeys to snakes and crocodiles. The canal is just upriver from Sierpe, in the opposite directions as Casa Roja, so this tour may be best to do at the beginning or end of your trip when passing through Sierpe. If you arrive late in Sierpe and need to spend the night, you can take a tour down Estero Azul first thing the next morning before heading to the house. Boats depart from Donde Don Jorge’s or Las Vegas, and it takes about three hours from Sierpe and back for a slow cruise down the canal with plenty of stops for wildlife. We can arrange this tour for you at the beginning or end of your trip, whichever you prefer.

As you travel down the Sierpe River, watch for ducks, caracaras (a type of falcon), or scarlet macaws flying overhead. Tiny long-nosed bats can be glimpsed clinging to the underside of a small bridge as your pass below into the canal, or might be lined up sleeping on a tree trunk by the waterside. Squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, and white-faced capuchins may all be seen feeding in the trees or crossing over the channel on arcing branches of bamboo. Crab eating racoons or brown squirrels may also scramble down tree trunks. Green herons and boat billed herons may be roosting in trees along the banks, basilisks may be basking near the water’s edge, or an American crocodile could be cruising near the mud. Sharp eyes might even spot a mussurana snake or a black tailed boa coiled up in an overhanging tree branch. Travelers come from as far as Drake’s Bay or Uvita just for a ride down this canal. While every day is different, it’s likely to be an experience that puts you up close and personal with wildlife while cruising comfortably by boat.