Monkeys, Mangoes, and Waterfalls

Junebug said “Dada did you know black howler monkeys are considered the loudest land animal in the world. Their calls can be heard up to three miles away.” Then she joked, “I wonder if the Ploops and I are related to howler monkeys because you always ask us why we are so loud!” I for real laughed out loud at her and then we both went back to watching Bubba try to copy the calls of the howler monkeys in the trees above us…

We were staying in a small town called San Mateo for a stopover as we decided to break up our journey to the far south. I had picked the area because it was a 3-4 hour drive from Playa Grande, was close-ish to a wave I wanted to surf, and had a cool looking waterfall nearby. On the day we had planned to go to the waterfall it absolutely POURED down rain, so we postponed the hike until the next morning.

We arrived at the rural farm and saw a small sign that said “Catarata El Encanto”. No one else was there. We parked and were met by a farmer who let us know that the waterfall was brown from all the rain. This helped us negotiate a small discount and we were off. The trail was beautiful, and the farmer’s dog led us down the path. The forest was an electric green and while doo-doo brown, the cascading water really was an awesome site. On the hike back we ran into a troop of howler monkeys and Junebug dropped her animal knowledge on me while Ploops did monkey calls back at them.

Once we returned to the farm, the kids played in the barn and visited a few of the animals. We pointed out the ripe mangoes all over the trees and the farmer offered us “as many as you want!” We spent the next 15 minutes picking mangoes from the trees and left with a bountiful supply of what turned out to be the best mangoes we had ever eaten. It was well worth the $5 price of admission!

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