There is a romantic notion when considering staying in the rain forests, communing with nature, frolicking in the foliage, sweet and charming animals that purr and pose for your camera. It is all so simple and charming, just like out of a Disney movie. In fact, when I first saw the room I would be staying in I thought, as I looked out an untouched, unvarnished jungle reality, This is a place to make a baby. To create life here makes sense. It’s perfect. However, the jungle is not just a series of convenient, common vacation experiences. Vacationing in the jungle means embracing the reality of the jungle.

Here are a few thoughts of my first several days visiting the Oso Peninsula during the wet season in Costa Rica.

Bugs are everywhere. If you are hoping to find a bug-free, five-star hotel in the jungle, forget it. Use loads of bug repellent and sleep under a mosqito net when available. Right now there are twenty-five types of insects on the floor of my bathroom, which is relatively clean. There are also two small tree frogs in there too. I leave them all be. Actually, I woke up with a stray dog sleeping on the floor next to my luggage. He seemed like he belonged, so he stayed too, until he left on his own.

Expect a bumpy ride. Smooth roads are the exception to the rule, not the norm. Roads frequently have streams running through them and frequently get washed out and can strand visitors unwilling to cross on foot.

The jungle is far from quiet. Barking monkeys, clucking and clacking birds, croaking frogs, and a variety of noises coming from the most bizarre insects on earth do not care about human slumber. And no, they do not take a break.

Mother Nature has the final word on everything. When it rains it pours and plans are based upon her whims, so I always plan for my roll-with-the-punches attitute.

The best advice I can give potential rain forest visitors, think adventure, not vacation and expect a lot of memories to pile on.