The Traveler: Verna Hillstrom of Maple Grove

A basilisk lizard hides among leaves in San Carlos, Costa Rica. Hillstrom was dining with her husband at the Tilajari Hotel, which is set beside the San Carlos River amid a rainforest. "I noticed something moving in some nearby tree branches and was quite surprised to see Mr. Green Lizard himself," Hillstrom wrote in an e-mail. Their trip, an AAA member Choice Vacation, also included days in the jungles of the Tortuguero National Park, where she had spied many of these lizards. "They are also called Jesus Christ lizards because they can run on water for up to 15 feet due to flaps between their toes. This was a male, as the female does not have the dorsal crest," she added. This was the first group tour for the couple, and they enjoyed their fellow travelers, who included Canadians, Australians and Brits. Hillstrom calls Costa Rica a nature lover's paradise.

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