We wouldn’t be The Vegan Pirates if we wouldn't be attracted or even addicted to water. So besides from diving in the Oceans and sometimes hanging out at the local beaches, we really enjoy doing other activities in the wet element whenever it is possible.
So it is no wonder that we came across Pineapple Kayak Tours, located in Dominical close to the Pacific and the Rio Barú. The company is run by Rachel and Nego who recently celebrated their 15th anniversary - operating in the area and providing both kayak and SUP tours and - needless to say - surf lessons.
We did several tours with them before and it was always such a great time with stunning memories and even greater pictures.
We kayaked through the caves at Playa Ventanas, paddled through the Mangroves in Matapalo and did a very special tour to Tres Hermanas, which are three little islands in front of Bahia Ballena.
Every one of these tours shows you the beauty of the South Pacific of Costa Rica and you can learn so much from Nego who is an amazing host and tour guide with immense knowledge about nature and wildlife.
Every trip is not only big fun in the water (or sometimes a good workout, when you paddle against the tide or wind...), but it’s also a very interesting lecture and education for us - especially in the diverse waters and important ecosystems of the Mangroves.
They say we are their VIP guests, but we are sure they treat all guests like VIPs. But of course if you think about it - we are VIPs - Very Interested Pirates.
Our latest tours have been an afternoon SUP trip at the river mouth of Rio Barú, which is a nice recreational area for many Ticos, who let their kids swim and have fun in the shallow waters of the river and it is also a beautiful territory with much wildlife despite the proximity to the Costanera (highway) and the busy village of Dominical. We spotted plenty of birds (White Ibises, Kingfishers, Herons and an Owl underneath the bridge) and Nego even found a hidden Yellow Boa in one of the overhanging trees. At the end of the tour we enjoyed a breathtaking sunset before we got treated with fruits (of course with juicy pineapples), nuts and homemade tea provided by our host.
Unfortunately this epic neighborhood is threatened and there are plans to start a mining project, which would be devastating and would greatly affect life, plants and animals. We have to protect this little piece of nature against commercial interests! #protejamoselriobaru
The other tour - a tricky route through the Mangroves - is not on the regular schedule of Pineapple Tours. The timing has to be perfect unless you want to get stuck in the mangroves (because the tide is too high) or to get stuck in the mud (because the tide is too low).
So we paddled from the beautiful Rio Savegre into the Mangroves of Matapalo - an area which is connected on the coast up to Manuel Antonio Nationalpark.
The waterway was wide with some gentle currents and curves at the beginning, but soon narrowed down and the Mangroves came close from both sides, so we had to go one by one, using our hands rather than the paddle and developed a technique like Tarzan - grabbing and pushing from root to root to slowly move forward. At one point there was a fallen tree ad we had to go full limbo - laying down in the in small kayak as good as possible.
Nego did a great job as always and navigated us safely through every tricky situation. After a short break at the wild beach and a total of 3,5 hours in the kayaks we came back to the usual drop off point and got out of the water.
Mangroves are an amazing and very important ecosystem with many functions and a perfect habitat for countless wildlife. The many roots in this closed meshed net of plants and trees not only provide an excellent protection for the land from erosion from the incoming tides and waves and is a perfect filter for the water, but is also a safe and ideal environment for countless animals. Did you know that some Shark species are having their babies in the protected waters of the Mangroves? We didn’t see any Sharks, but we came by a nocturnal and therefore sleeping two-toed Sloths and at the end by some Capuchin Monkeys.
All pictures © The Vegan Pirates