Behind the scenes #1: When a T-Rex crashed my Costa Rica trip

Behind the Scenes Costa Rica trip

One night, during our Costa Rica trip in Santa Teresa

I woke with a start; my profound slumber being violated by an uproarious noise, cry, scream. And uproarious it was, because I heard it through my earplugs.

As I had just gained consciousness, I did not really understand what caused this commotion. So, I lay there listening intensely at the surroundings, this time without my earplugs. I concentrated with such intensity that I quickly dozed off again… and suddenly, there it was again! That noise! No, wait it was definitely a voracious scream! A scream that was utterly frightening. My head was working its way through every possibility: It couldn’t be human, because it sounded too beast-like; insects, birds, lizards, cats … no, those animals were too small to emit such a fright-inducing outcry! What animal could possibly big enough to… And then suddenly, the unspeakable truth dawned on me: A T-Rex was claiming its territory next to our motel room!

Okay, okay, I have to admit it’s a bit far-fetched, but please show a little compassion here: It was in the middle of the night, I’ve never heard something remotely close to such furious wailing and according to the movie, Jurassic Park was built on an island off the Costa Rican coast!

Anyway, my heart was racing, my brain was storming and I only fell back to a restless sleep hours after the last monstrous outcry. To my great irritation, my husband slept steadily through the whole ordeal and rolled his eyes at my troubled report the next morning.

Later that day

Funnily, the same voracious howl surprised me, and a bunch of relaxing surfers a bit later that day at the beach. This time it came from the rainforest to which we all turned with a worried face. I prepared myself silently to see the palm trees scramble under the heavy steps of a hungry T-Rex. But nothing came out of the woods and the surfers went back to doing nothing. Still, I was relieved and contend that I had proof, that this was not something I made up; the surfers heard it too! So I looked over triumphantly at my husband, who was happily splashing around in the sea, a 100 meters away from the beach, aware of nothing! Needless to say that the “compassionate” look and the tap on the back he gave me when I told him “T-Rex had howled again” was just a teeny tiny tad humiliating!

A bit later, before we left the motel and set out to our next destination, I had to solve the enigma of the mysterious screams. Since my worried spouse began to think I was loosing it, I waited until I was alone with the manager and asked her about those worrisome cries. She looked at me in sheer bewilderment… even more so, when I started to imitate the outcry, making guttural howling noises (yeah, not a moment I’m particularly proud of). After a few seconds her face brightened and she smiled at me understandingly: “Those are howler monkeys, so cute those little monkeys.”

Feeling foolish would definitely be an understatement here! I hurriedly got back in the car with a fairly red face, staring very hard at the map and concentrating on my job as a copilot.

A few hours into our journey, my husband looked at me with a startled, inquisitive, concerned face when one of the monkeys howled almost right into the open car window. “What IS this????” he voiced at me in surprise.

Putting on my sunglasses, I replied nonchalantly: “Those are howler monkeys, so cute those little monkeys.”


Wanna hear the monkeys howl?

Read as well
Costa Rica Road Trip Guide

Ever had a similar experience? What was your freakiest holiday experience? Let me know below.




  1. haha that is so funny! I hate when I hear creatures outside and aren’t sure what they are. I was at a cabin in the woods with friends and heard something rattling in the bushes, thought it was a baby because it was crying like it was being suffocated! Sounded terrible and scary. We looked it up and it was some kind of fox haha. Great post!

    • Oh no, a suffocating baby!!! There as well I would have been terrified! During the night everything seems scarrier anyway! The next day I often laugh about myself and the funny thoughts I had. Thanks for sharing your anecdote here 😉

  2. Oh god. They sound scary! At night everything is so amplified as it is. But I guess monkeys just howl to mark their territory, you laugh and move on :P. I come from a place that has so many monkeys around that we stopped caring about them and their howls.

  3. Although it wasn’t funny to you to hear those unpleasant sounds, it is a funny story at the end. Thank you for letting us to know what we could expect to hear while visiting Costa Rica!

  4. I hadn’t heard those monkeys howl before visiting Costa Rica either. They’re noisy little things! Luckily they sprung on us during the evening… I don’t know what I would have thought, had I been woken up by them in the middle of the night!

  5. OK so you are not crazy..I’m not sure how you fell back asleep afterwards lol I would have been perched ON the ceiling with anything that resembled a weapon. I love your husbands comment at the end.

  6. When I read the title of the post about T-rex, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought that I was reading something wrong.
    Though, have never heard of howler monkeys before but their sound is quite scary!

  7. ahuauhahuahu I really laughed for 2 minutes while I was reading your post!! So funnyyyy 😀 Well, I believe you if I hear that sound in the middle of the night I do think something wrong :-p I have seen monkeys in many countries of Southeast Asia but even in Australia and South America, funny and really cute until their behaviour is ok, pretty thieves! thanks for sharing 😀

    • Thanks Stephanie! Lucky you for traveling to Costa Rica!!! I absolutely want to return, cause I absolutely loved everything about that country…even the howler monkeys. 🙂

  8. Okay, so that clip REALLY sounds like a TREX! I had to play it for my kids, who of course, subsequently asked to go see the howler monkeys. Luckily, there are reportedly nearby. (We live in coastal Ecuador). I guess I know what we’ll be doing soon!


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