Blogs from Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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After breakfast in the Monkey Dining Room, we once again boarded a boat to explore the waterways of the Tortuguero National Park. Because of the diverse wildlife in Costa Rica, that tends to be the primary focus of any excursion. As we made our way along the waterway we watched for birds, monkeys, lizards, iguanas, and other animals that may be within sight. Toucans were high on the list of birds to see and we found three perched in a tree for our viewing. Other birds found on the trip were Tiger Herons, Green Herons, Egrets, Sungrebes and Anhingas. Larger animals included Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys and White-faced Monkeys. Iguanas and lizards were also along the river. We returned to the hotel for lunch and found a little White-faced Monkey playing in the tree right outside ... read more
Tropical Flower
Female Emerald Lizard or Jesus Christ Lizard
Keel-billed Toucan


Up and out by 6 am, we were on our way to Tortuguero. We left San Jose and crossed the mountains to the Caribbean. About half way into the drive we stopped for breakfast at a restaurant owned by the company that also owns the Evergreen Lodge where we were spending the next two nights. After eating breakfast we explored area around the restaurant and found a sloth resting in a tree and poison dart frogs along the ground. From the restaurant we continued on our way to the river at LaPavona where we boarded a boat to take us to our accommodations at the Hotel Evergreen. As we traveled to La Pavona we passed a number of banana plantations. The ride along the canal took about 1 1/2 hours as we watched for and photographed ... read more
Colorful wall in San Jose
White-winged Dove
Tropical Flower


Today we are heading out for an early morning canoe tour and day hike. The gloomy weather outside guaranteed that there was going to be a 100% chance of rain that day. So, I prepared my camera with my own plastic rain cover and used the dry bag provided by Tortuguero Tours as extra protection. Renata’s phone was still not working. Jessica, from Tortuguero Tours suggested that we try to place the phone in rice to help remove the humidity. So after the canoe tour, Renata and I are heading to the local store to buy some rice. At the Tortuguero Tours office we were treated to some fresh fruits and coffee while Jessica went to get our National park entrance tickets. We were also given binoculars to help us locate animals in the distance. On ... read more
Day Walk
Lunch
Lunch


COSTA RICA TORTUGERO NATIONAL PARK Yesterday’s full day tour to Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs was great but really exhausting. I didn’t get back to my hotel until past midnight. I was actually dreading another long day in a tour bus but I had booked a Tortugero River Cruise the next morning. When I awoke I had time for breakfast. Hooray! Thus fortified I was ready for the day. This bus was smaller and more comfortable and the trip was a little shorter. The guide was a real character. He sang the national anthem for each passenger’s home country as he introduced us. After a couple of hours we stopped and had breakfast. I thought it was very good, with rice and beans, eggs, fruit, and juice. That’s right…I ate two breakfasts. It is my ... read more
IGUANA
CAIMAN
SPOTS OF NATURAL BEAUTY


Wow! What a rainforest day! Rain was falling in the night the few times I woke. Getting ready for breakfast, I couldn’t tell if it was actually raining or if the trees were dripping loudly on the tin roof. The latter. Today’s excursion was in a small open boat to look for animals and birds. Right by the hotel were a couple of Howler Monkeys sleeping high in a tree; they looked like bundles of fur, in Ollie’s words. We moved at speed down the river past the town, and then slowed to look around. I liked how a wide, long mat of graceful grasses bobbed even in the quiet wake of the boat as we looked up at the immensely tall trees. The mass of trees and bushes and grasses is known as a “gallery ... read more
Tortuguero National Park
Caño Palma Biological Station
Tortuguero Beach


First full day in the jungle. There was torrential rain and what sounded like a tree falling down overnight but our guide Marcos didn't hear a thing. Apparently this is their dry season - could have fooled us! Anyway the rain eased off as we emerged sleepily at 5.45 for a boat ride down the many small channels and saw caimen , lots of heron, a two toed sloth, howler monkeys and iguanas. Back for breakfast and then we were off again for a stroll though the jungle and boy was it muddy. Marcos told us a lot of interesting stuff about the rainforest and we nodded wisely and promptly forgot it. We could do the whole thing again tomorrow and still be interested. This afternoon the Waylors went zip wiring in the jungle canopy! This ... read more
But then it rained ....
 .... and rained ...
Brown eyed heron


We woke up to rain on January 1st and after breakfast (Crazy Lobster closed - hangovers!), we walked very leisurely with Ruthie to Black Beach, so called because of the very black sand. This is where nephew Ian's ashes were scattered just over a year ago. We then had an even more leisurely lunch (for this read really slow service from few staff and a little hung over).In the afternoon Roger treated us to a coffee roasting demonstration, black smoke billowing everywhere but the smell was gorgeous. It has been great to meet up with everyone in Puerto Viego and Roger and Lisa are generous and welcoming hosts. January 2nd was a travel day starting with 5am pickup. After a car, bus and boat ride on a river we arrived in Tortuguerra national park which will ... read more
Banana bird feeder at Cafe Rico
Poison Dart frog at Cafe Rico
Black beach


I'm awake really early again so finish packing, have a bit of grub and then head to the beach for a last look at the Carribean Sea before we have to leave wonderful Tortuguera. I get in a few silly selfies and Kathryn helps me out with some of my trade mark jumping photos. We board the boat, different driver this time, and find he's a bit of a speedy one. We zoom down the main river, wash smashing into the banks, and soon reach the turning into the 'Lucky River' not Luci river as I'd thougt it was previously! It's a translation of Rio la Suerte. Despite going quicker this time we still manage to spot quite a few things, the most abundant of which being the basilisks. These irridescent, brilliant green beauties are sunning ... read more
Lottie Let Loose enjoying the Caribbean Sea
Lottie Let Loose enjoying the Caribbean Sea
Saying goodbye to Tortuguero


Apart from arranging to go and walk the National Park's nature trail in the afternoon we have the rest of the day free so I decide to see if I can find the one geocache that's hidden at Tortuguera. I take my first proper look at the Caribbean Sea and set off along the shore. I stop to chat to a couple of other tourists who it turns out are regulars to this idyllic spot in Costa Rica. They say they were up last night trying to get a glimpse of the turtles that breed here, but it really isn't the right time of year to see them. As I walk further I see little print trails in the sand that head towards the sea and guess these are likely from the little turtles. It's interesting ... read more
Setting off from the hotel's turtle gate
First look at the Carribean Sea
Lone fisherman


Trying to fall asleep in San Jose is a bit of a challenge to say the least. It's bad enough trying to outsmart your messed up body clock but when you add into the mix massively amplified music and incessant train honking it becomes nigh on impossible. It's therefore a bleary eyed group who meet in the hotel lobby at 8am, bags packed and ready to travel to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. After a short van ride to the coach station we stuff our main bags in the hold then try to find a seat on board. Half of us squeeze long legs into seats with enough leg room for a ten year old and the rest have to stand. We are taking the same road through the cloud forest and unfortunately after about half ... read more
P1010340
P1010694
Bit different to the Broads bank side vegetation




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