Meet nature's best alarm clock... Being woken up at sunrise might not sound like an ideal holiday scenario, but for some reason it feels right in Costa Rica. This charming Central American country sells itself as one big wildlife sanctuary, and visitors often find themselves abiding by more natural sleep patterns, waking at dawn and tucked up in bed not long after sunset. The reason they are up with the birds? Well, it sometimes sounds as if every feathered thing (and animal inhabitant besides) in this most eco-diverse country is hiding under your bed and that - on cue - they kick off.

Howl at the sun

Leaders of the dawn chorus, and the loudest of all Costa Rica wildlife, are the howler monkeys, whose half bark half bray can be heard a mere three miles away. The fact that they might be sitting in a tree a few feet from your immaculate rainforest lodge means there's no escaping the sound, so it's probably advisable to lie back and listen. As others begin to accompany the soloists, it makes you realise that the rainforest here is crawling, hopping, slithering and scuttling with more wildlife than you can shake a stick at (not advisable). The entire place is animate. As for the flora, not an inch of soil is bereft of plant life. It's little wonder that none other than National Geographic dubbed this place 'the most biologically intense place on earth.' And you'll more than likely have all day to explore it after the dawn chorus.