Having been to the Caribbean many times, I'm used to powdery white sand beaches. But on the west coast of Costa Rica, the sand is a mixture of black and white - white from the usual coral, but the black is from the volcanic rock from which the country was formed.
As you can see in the background, the surrounding foliage is quite brown and dry. We travelled at the end of March, with the rainy season typically starting in mid-April.
This is a closer view of the black volcanic sand, common of the beaches in Costa Rica. While it is not as soft as the usual sugary white sand, it is very interesting, and forms beautiful patterns when the waves recede back to the ocean.
After our boat ride accompanied by the dolphins and stingrays, we arrived at this island. The staff prepared an excellent barbequed lunch and we spent the afternoon exploring this little island on our own. After a couple of hours, it was time to get back on the boat to return to the hotel.
We've all know that dolphins like to ride in the wake of a boat, or jump through the waves in front. Well, for the very first time, we saw this first hand. In this photo, you can see the dolphins swimming along behind the boat. Later on, they swam in front, almost close enough to touch.
The other amazing thing, which we had never heard of, was the sting rays. They were also playing in front of the boat, and would come straight up out of the water, and flip in the air, before landing back in the water again!
Seeing both of these miracles of nature was an amazing experience I will never forget.