We enjoyed the setting and convenience of the hotel’s indoor/outdoor restaurant and we ended up eating virtually all of our meals there. The breakfast buffets in particular were very good. As we ate we watched an attractive menagerie of brightly colored birds visiting the feeders. The feeders consisted of large branches stuck in the ground and one each limb there was a large papaya segment. There were also always a few large iguanas feasting on the papaya leftovers. Some of the big fellows came within 2-3 feet of our chairs. Other than the wildlife on display the other highlight was probably the juices. We had guava (red) and sour guava (green) as well as berry and orange juices. (I should mention that we drank the hotel water throughout the trip and didn’t have any bacterial trouble, which was a relief because my cousins had reported some bouts of “tourista” a decade earlier. I don’t know if changes were made to the water or bacterial levels varied by locale or we were just a bit luckier.)
In addition to near the river and the restaurant, we found iguanas near the pool and just about wherever we went. We even discovered large (easily 5’ long) iguanas sunning on the tree tops. They were everywhere! One of our favorites moments was when we passed by an iguana on the tiles near the rooms. In cartoon fashion, the iguana’s legs started going 100 kph but going nowhere as he couldn’t get traction on the slippery tiles. Another favorite moment was when I came upon of veritable herd of at least a couple dozen young iguanas that fled like a moving sea of green to a single nearby tree. Although we saw iguanas every time we left the room we didn’t tire of them for the whole of our stay. I heard whispers of a sloth on the grounds but somewhat surprisingly didn’t invest much energy to locating it.
As the days were quite warm another very popular attraction was the pools. There was a 9in deep baby pool, an 18in toddler pool, and a large 4ft adult pool accessed by a gentle series of steps leading into the water. It was custom made for our families and all pools were well used by all. Many times we had them to ourselves. Ellie borrowed Quincy’s wings and did an amazing job of swimming around the pool unassisted as did Aidan. Quincy still wanted an arm to hold onto. Surprisingly we even made repeated use of the hot tub (which wasn’t too hot) as the boys like the jets and the fun of running from pool to pool.