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Published: December 12th 2015
Last night Minnesota football was televised in Costa Rica! We left one suitcase at Quinta Avanita, some of the items we didn't need in Tortuguero. We wanted to pack lightly. We will stay here again on our last night.
Today was our travel day to Tortuguero. We were up early, found a taxi, and had lots of extra time at the bus station. Traffic was heavy, lots of horn honking, lots of people, and many motorcycles. San Jose seemed particularly crowded after four days in the jungle with the monkeys.
We picked up our tickets yesterday, about $6 total from San Jose to Cariari, the first leg of our journey. The favorite at the food stalls at the bus station (Caribe--there are about 15 stations spread throughout San Jose) seemed to be rice and beans, but we opted for croissants and coffee. The breads here are very good, and Costa Rica is reknown for its coffee, although the very best is usually exported. The bus was full. It left a little later than the scheduled 9am. There seemed to be some problem with tickets. Some were checked before the passenger got
on the bus, some checked after they were seated. This led to some confusion. One poor little dog was put in a cardboard fruit box with some holes, and rode in the baggage underneath the bus. Seemed to be very few tourists on the bus. The station is in the northern part of the city, so we didn't have to fight airport traffic.
We took Hwy 32 out of San Jose, over the continental divide, through the Zurqui Tunnel, Parque Nacional Carillo, through the rain forest. There was some controversy when building the road through the park. We made a stop in Santa Clara, where venders came on the bus selling their food items. Then went east to Guapiles, north to Cariari. The Guapiles area had some very nice homes with well- manicured lawns.
Next leg of the journey was from Cariari to La Pavona. Cost was only $5 per person for the 2 hour bus ride and the hour boat trip. An excellent value. The bus to La Pavona was very full. We didn't expect this. The road looks like nothing but jungle on the map, but contained much agricultural land, homes, fields,
and miles of banana trees. Big plastic bags were put over the banana bunches to prevent insect damage.
From the La Pavona stop, our last leg of the trip was a wonderful boat ride on Rio Suerte (Lucky River). If this had been a tour, it probably would have cost $60 per person. The boat held about 70 people, and wound through the jungle. Some of the people were from buses, but many drove to the boat. As we motored along the river, vines hung down, birds were on shore, and we saw a crocodile along the edge.
When we got to the Tortuguero pier, we found our hotel, Hotel Cabinas Icaco. Right on the ocean, away from the main street. Several hammocks out front. Will be a lovely place to stay. Walked the beach, walked around town a bit, found a place for dinner. (For Lowell and the other beer lovers, Bob says the Pilsen beer is stronger and more hoppy than the Imperial.) A very adventurous day.
I showed Margie this site and she was afraid to go to Tortuguero. I told her nobody has gotten hurt
and it is safer than traveling in north Minneapolis or St. Paul.
Google wikitravel tortuguero
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