40 Photos

Selva Bananito Lodge
Panama and Costa Rica Expedition Cruise

A Capucin MonkeyA Capucin Monkey (Mary Curry)
Our room at Selva Bananito has a lovely verandah with two hammocks overlooking the rainforest. The room has a high ceiling, wooden walls, and a tile floor. After the twin beds on the cruise, the queen beds here felt positively luxurious.

We spent the morning on a rainy but peaceful horseback ride. About five minutes into Matthew's first ride, he promptly fell asleep. Despite the rain, we really enjoyed the beautiful ride. Our horses were thankfully very docile and didn't require much guidance from us. The ride took us across the farm and along the border of the nearby rainforest. We spent a full two hours riding and could have gone longer, but Matthew had woken up and was starting to get a bit more restless.

We returned for lunch and a short break. That afternoon the rain was still coming down hard so the guide asked if we still wanted to make our planned zip line excursion. Was he kidding? I had been looking forward to zip-lining since my first brief introduction to the idea at another kid's birthday party 20 years ago. We were set to go as long as he felt it was safe in the rain.

I put Matthew in the backpack and we headed out across the farm and into the rainforest. The trail was extremely muddy and I was thankful for the large rubber boots that got sucked into ankle-deep mud more than once. The hike was not far but still felt challenging given the steep and slippery terrain. Once we entered the rainforest, we were sheltered from the rains, but the heat was more noticeable.

We hiked to the first platform and set Matthew down, asleep, in the backpack as we got geared up to go. My mom went first, harnessed in with multiple safety back-ups, gloves, and a helmet. She zipped to the next platform and I followed behind. What a rush! We took a few minutes to enjoy the view and then headed back to the main trail on a separate zipline.

Matthew had woken up shortly before I zipped out so the guide graciously volunteered to watch him during my short ride. As I zipped back, he looked up happily at me. The guide asked if I wanted to take him with me on the next ride and I asked how we could do that. He had brought a child's harness, gloves and helmet for Matthew and carabineers to attach Matthew to the zipline as well as to me. I asked Matthew if he wanted to go "up in the trees" with mommy and he enthusiastically shouted "up in the tees."

We hooked Matthew up and did another zipline circuit with all of us. Matthew adored the ride. From that point onward, he spent the rest of our trip shouting "up in the tees again!" whenever something would remind him of the experience.

We hiked back to the lodge for dinner and an early night.

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