Blogs from La Tortuga Feliz, Limón, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


November of this past year I spent a week on a catamaran exploring French Polynesia: Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine, Maupiti, and spent a few days on Moorea and Tahiti. (Read all about it on this site, you’ll need to go back a few pages.) When I saw that there was a day excursion to Tortuga Island by catamaran I was 100% on board. Our day started about 6:30, packing and heading to breakfast before boarding a bus that took us into Puntarenas. We didn’t know that they would have breakfast here for us. Oh well, we sat outside and did a little people watching while waiting to embark on our one day ... read more
Brown Pelican
Islands rising up
Sophie sick of pictures

La Tortuga Feliz, Part II… baby turtles! Or as we learned to call them… tortugitas! Aside from our beach patrol responsibilities, our other duty was to man the hatchery. That meant working 4-hour shifts to keep it guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as well as building the correct nests for incoming eggs at night. Even though I didn't have a lot of turtles that I saw on patrol, I had a lot to do during my hatchery shifts! A few days into my week of volunteering, we received our hatchery training and practiced building the nests into sand. There are 3 types of turtles that nest on the LTF island: leatherback, green and hawksbill. Leatherback turtle season was from March - June, so we were in the beginning of green turtle nesting ... read more

How'd you like to spend a week on a secluded island, laying in a hammock, eating authentic Costa Rican fare all day long, listening to the Caribbean Sea and playing with sea turtles every afternoon? Not too shabby, you say? Volunteer at La Tortuga Feliz! As I mentioned previously, the point of our trip to Costa Rica was to do some volunteer work before each of my sisters and I started our new lives at our individual colleges. La Tortuga Feliz (LTF) seemed like the best option for us because it gave us the opportunity to work with sea turtles for a week at a bare-bones cost. I can't believe how many projects out there had a price tag of $ 1500 or more for one week's worth of volunteering. In a country where most people ... read more
Lovely sunset
Palm-fringed lane
Isla Pacuare home

July 6 until July 11 Once again, the week went by fast and uneventful. The major events that happened are as follows: *Saw another poisonous snake, which is like the fifth one I saw since my stay *Went kayaking and saw monkeys, for the first time!! White faced capuchin monkeys. *Trained Erin in exhumations and showed David how to clean the boat. *Did more exhumations. *Saw some more leatherbacks, but no more greens. * Hernon made me this kick ass necklace made out of Caiman teeth!! I love it!! *Worked more on the new hatchery. I am waking up at 4 tomorrow morning because the boat leaves at 5, then heading to Bataan, and then to San Jose!!I fly out on Tuesday.... read more

7 people came today, 6 girls and 1 guy. I was very shocked to meet one girl who came from Hungary, and spoke it fluently. I almost cried. She spoke like 4 other languages as well. Finally......someone I can talk to in my own language and not have to listen to Dutch all the time. I did some more exhumations today, then went patrolling tonight. We bought back a leatherback nest. 2 days in a row!!... read more

Independence Day!! I woke up this morning around 4 or 4 30, after I got back from my shift at 3, to this MASSIVE thunderstorm. I was sleeping in the hammock but the huge crackle of thunder jumped me. Literally. Downpour and lightning every 3 seconds. It was not safe to be out there. I ran my ass back into the cabins as fast as my feet could fly. The day flew by again, in a blink of an eye. Had another beach patrol shift tonight.... read more

Another day has flown by. I did more exhumations in the afternoon and found 5 babies in one nest!! I went out kayaking right after, but did not send up seeing anything except for some birds. I tried to use my phone today, because there is one spot on the island where you can get service, and that is IF you can find it. No luck for me. My touch screen has not been working, and its making me weary. One more week left!!... read more

Because we are low on volunteers, I started the day with a 2am to 8am hatchery shift. It went by VERY SLOWLY!!! No babies, no nests. There is another big storm coming in, I can feel it in the wind. I am doing 2 exhumations today in the afternoon and then walking tonight!!... read more

Well, the last two weeks have been pretty slow. Did not end up writing anymore blogs because it was the same shit, different day. No point in repeating myself every single time. The only exciting things that happened are as follows: *Saw a dead green turtle that washed up on shore. Poachers from the water shot it in the head and flipper but couldnt get to it in time because the coast guard busted their asses. *Saw another poisonous snake, but couldnt identify it. *I brought in a green turtle nest on monday morning, which was amazing to do. As of now we have 3 green nests at the hatchery. *Got bit by a spider right between the toes, which made my foot swell up, so I couldnt walk straight for the day. Thank god Josh ... read more

My 6 am shift was alright. Nothing exciting happened. Came back to the rancho, had the daily meeting, and then worked on building some cages. I then watched the others do the exhumations. Basically what that means is when we have a nest that hatches with a few babies, we wait 5 days for the rest to hatch. If nothing happens within those 5 days, we have to dig that nest up. There were a couple of relocated nests on the beach today and we found one baby that was alive, barely, and the rest were eggs and egg shells. ... read more

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