Since we began our relationship nearly seven years ago, I’ve successfully gotten Dan to try heaps of food he never thought he would enjoy. Things like guacamole, sushi, goat cheese, veggie burgers, and other various ‘chick’ foods used to be all off limits for him. Now he regularly chooses to eat them of his own free will.

However, no matter how hard I try, there’s one little drink Dan continues to avoid: coffee.  But while Dan might try to evade a cup of Joe at all costs, I regularly down at least three cups a day. I’m pretty sure the caffeine doesn’t do anything for me at this point, but the morning ritual of sitting down with a mug of coffee is certainly one of my favorite parts of the day.


Roasted coffee


So when we had the opportunity to go on a Coffee’N Jungle Night Tour, we knew it would be the perfect compromise for us both. Dan could focus on photographing Costa Rica’s diverse and constantly surprising wildlife, and I could learn about the coffee making process—and of course sample a few local varieties in the process.


coffee tree


Our expectations were met and then exceeded.


The Coffee’N Jungle Night Tour turned out to be one of our favorite tours, and the one where we saw the most wildlife in one area.


We knew the evening was going to be great the moment we met Junior and Orlando, our tour guides. Orlando was our nature specialist, while Junior enlightened us on the coffee making process. They both worked so well together that their roles flowed seamlessly; it was easy to believe they had been friends for years before creating the tour. Their energy and excitement was palpable—perhaps from all the coffee—and in no time we were spotting wildlife left and right.


Coffee N Jungle Tour


Nature is unpredictable, and there is no way to guarantee what can or can’t be sighted at any particular time. However, we seemed to have had a bit of luck. Here’s what Dan was able to photograph:


Two Toed Sloth

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Crested Owl


Wildlife in Costa Rica

Whoo’s that walking on my yard?

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Brilliant Forest Frog

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Stick Bug

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Rufus-eye Frog

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Orange Knee Tarantula

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Motmot (Blue Crown)

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Social Flycatcher

Wildlife in Costa Rica


Along our nighttime search for animals, we stopped to learn about the coffee making process. Orlando led us from the stages of collecting the beans all the way through to the roasting and grinding of them. When it came time to sample the different coffee roasts, Junior even let us in on a fact he claims only 1% of coffee drinkers know. We can’t divulge his biggest secret here, but let’s just say my mind was blown—and I will likely be purchasing coffee differently in the future.

It was quite amazing to view Costa Rica’s wildlife at night, and a completely different experience from seeing it in the daylight (with many fellow tourists competing for picture-taking space). Enjoying some high-quality, freshly brewed coffee during the evening only made it that much better.


And do you want to hear a secret I can divulge?

Even though Dan avoids coffee like the plague, he tried a baby sip on the tour to be polite. His reaction? “This ain’t half bad.” So there you have it. If Dan even enjoyed the coffee, then this must be one of the best tours in Costa Rica.

Have you ever searched for wildlife at night? What did you find? What’s your favorite critter from above? Would you get close to that tarantula?


As always, thanks for your comments below!


And in case you missed it, you can check out all our awesome wildlife finds in Part 1 here.