Blogs from Parque Nacional Tortuguero, Limón, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


I never realized I have visited the three most prestigious coffee regions in the world, until right now. Read this, and maybe you might want to do the same? There are plenty of travels that are musts for any foodie: fried chicken in the American South, a pint of Guinness in Ireland, cheese and chocolate in Switzerland, sashimi in Japan and so much more. But there seems to be one beverage in particular that sends a sizable segment of travelers on worldwide pilgrimages – coffee. The drink comes from the seeds of berries from certain Coffea plant species. Certain parts of the world are known for the quality of their coffee. Here are three of the most prestigious coffee regions in the world. Ethiopia is thought to be the birthplace of coffee. I stopped here on ... read more
Peets French roast, still my favorite

I'd wanted to go to tortugero ever since I first started my travel research. Although it's not currently turtle season it is still rich in wildlife. There are no roads here - you have to fly or boat in. The boat to and from tortugero is half the charm here - it's a 1.5hr steady boat cruise along the river, spotting wildlife as you go. As we were crossing the country by bus I could see a definite change in the landscape and housing style as we got closer to the Caribbean coast. This side of the country has a more laid back feel to it than the Pacific side, which is a refreshing change from the ultra touristy destinations we have been to recently. On our drive up to the boat dock we spotted another ... read more
Iguana on our canoe trip
Looking for his next meal

In the afternoon a few of our group trek down to the park entrance, don our hired wellies and set off along what turns out to be a VERY long path running parallel to the beach. We pass my geocache at one point and I show everyone the leaf cutter ants pointing the way. Despite being on our own without the spotting and ID skills of a guide we manage to see and identify quite a bit between us. Some of our group are really eagle eyed and we see both howler and white faced capuchin monkeys, two little lizards in a fight, land crabs, leaf cutter ants and two really beautiful red and black butterflies later identified as Pierella and a type of Helliconious - melpomene. But the most impressive bird we saw, thanks to ... read more
Great Curassow
Land crab
Cute girl at the wellie hire place

After my first decent night's sleep of the trip so far I wake refreshed and ready to go on an early morning canoe trip around the lagoon and rivers, or canals as they call them here. We meet Bill our octogenarian canoe guide and set off in our 15 seater canoe towards the 'entrance' to the national park where we have to pay to get in. The government uses money collected in this way for the upkeep of all the national parks. It turns out Bill is a bit of a character and an excellent spotter of wildlife, with information to match. He tells us he was born in 1928 which is the same year my mum was born. There's lots of banter thrown back and forth between the other canoe guys and Bill. He's obviously ... read more
Anhinga cormorant
Atura flower
Lattice tailed trogon

A sad day for Jalova as Ian, my mentor and all round brilliant person has to leave Costa Rica and return to Scotland. It's definitely going to be (and in fact has been because I am writing this after the event) a very different place at Jalova without him. I learnt a lot from him in quite a short space of time and I will miss his leadership in the weeks to come. In fact listening to Old Crow Medicine Show as I type this which was the song Ian would play on a Friday night when the food order was away and everyone was sat down ready to take their first sup of beer. Ahhh the memories made when on an adventure are the ones that stay forever. With sad hearts we said goodbye to ... read more

Dear Readers, Hot on the heels of my last update, thought I'd give you a flavour of some of the highlights from the first 3 days in March in Jalova (the location in the National Park where Base is located). 1 March: got up earlier than needed so I could spot birds in Base. Binos in hand wandered from the garden area, to the back of the kitchen and then back near the compost bins. Pretty good start to the day as managed to see (and identify no less) a Blue-gray Tanager, Common Tody Flycatcher and spotted the resident Clay Colored Robin (yes I know American spelling of colour but I am following how it's spelt in the bird book). That morning after breakfast there was no survey because Saturdays are the official 'day off' in ... read more
Ready for the Jalova games
Central American Agouti
Second breakfast

Dear All, Hope this finds you well and dandy. So what have I been up to in the last few weeks. A few volunteers left last month and we had a handful of new ones arrive - Kathrine, Benedict and Jessica. They love Ian's porridge but are undecided about getting stuck in the mud on monkey surveys....especially when they don't see any monkeys either. After a few days rest out of the jungle (when I last posted some pictures) we got back into the jungle and the interns (including me) were hit with a list of tasks to complete in addition to carrying out surveys and preparing ourselves to start to lead some surveys to! More of that later. In relation to animals and bird spotting, the new volunteers (and interns) were treated to a trip ... read more
Green Kingfisher
Bare Throated Tiger Heron
Jag Walk

US$ ≈ 500 Costa Rican colones (col) Tortuguero National Park lies on the remote Northern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. From April to May and July to October two species of sea turtles return to the shore to lay their eggs. During these seasons there are programs for tourists to take guided night walks on the beach to look for egg-laying turtles and hatchlings. According to my canoe guide, Costa Rica hosts 75% of all the world's sea turtles which astounds me. Even though I came here out of season I really enjoyed Tortuguero. The weather's nice but not oppressively hot like Corcovado and the accommodation suits all budgets. It's got kind of an Afro-Caribe vibe so it's very relaxing... definitely not a party scene but plenty of places to chug a cold one. The sea ... read more
Marine Iguana
Small Outpost on the Way to Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero Village

Edited version..... I have just reviewed the blog after publishing and realised some of the photos were hidden at the end because there was not enough text and I wanted to confirm which photos I captured.....and give proper credit to Peter who took and said I could use the Mantled Howler Monkey picture - I took a picture but the face wasn't as clear and Peter's photo captures brilliantly what we all saw. I took the rest of the pictures in this blog - and despite the lack of detail and blurriness I like the face of the Hour Glass frog....he's kind of cute don't you think? Right, hopefully that has covered all the administrative points, I will re-publish now and you can look till your hearts content. As always, let me know if there's any ... read more
A venomous Eyelash palm pitviper
The hour glass frog
Face of the hourglass frog

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