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

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Tortuguero means “turtle hunter” but there’s very little of that happening in the town (more of a village) of the same name these days. Tortuguero is THE place in the Western hemisphere to see nesting turtles and the people here are wise to the tourism opportunities that this brings – virtually everyone here is involved in the turtle tourism business. There are however still some turtle hunters around, but these aren’t human. There is a decent jaguar population in the surrounding area and according to estimates we saw about 100 turtles are killed each year by them. There is a national park in Tortuguero, but it’s tough to access much of it as the area is thick jungle by the coast and there are no roads. Just to get here you need to take a 1 ... read more


Friday morning I headed out early, driving from Puerto Viejo to Moin, near Puerto Limon. Moin also has a seaport and loads up ships with fruit destined for other parts of the world. When I booked my boat tour Thursday evening, the gentleman at the tour centre gave me instructions on how to get to the boat dock, avoiding the main port or he warned I would be going to Europe with the pineapples and bananas! Friday was a sunny day, perfect for being out on the water. We went through a series of canals that run adjacent to the ocean (probably about 75 km), stopping to see any animals we happened upon during the journey. We mostly saw birds - cormorants, anhingas, pelicans, herons, bitterns, egrets, roseate spoonbills (related to the flamingo!), jacanas, but also ... read more
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Today, Renata and I are traveling from San Jose to Tortuguero. On the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero, has a prominent Afro-Caribbean vibe and a remote Amazon jungle sort of feel. The main attraction in Tortuguero, as the name suggests, is turtles. Green Sea Turtles, Leatherback, and Hawksbill turtles all nest on Tortuguero’s shores. However, since we are going in the off season, we are unlikely to see turtles. If we are lucky, we may catch a rare sighting of the leatherback turtle, the largest of living sea turtles. There are no roads leading to Tortuguero. The only way to get there is by boat or plane. We learned from research online that there is a way to take public transportation from San Jose to Tortuguero. After our first delicious typical Costa Rican breakfast of gallo pinto (rice ... read more
Boat Ride to Tortuguero
Night Walk
Boat Ride to Tortuguero

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero November 11th 2016

Up at 5:30, breakfast at 6:00, in the vehicle at 7:00. Why did I think this would be a more relaxing tour than I usually take! Driving out of San Jose took an hour or so. The traffic was almost continuous bumper-to-bumper stop and go, regulated by either traffic lights or stop signs or both! Last night quite a few drivers ignored the red lights, and the stop signs are ignored if the light is green. Gradually the city receded, and we entered the Braulio Carrillio National Park. The highway was the single road through the park; National Parks forbid virtually all development, including camping and backpacking. The few facilities for tourism are built only at the edges. This is to preserve the delicate interconnected habitat of the animals, insects, flowers, etc. The views of the ... read more
Braulio Carrillo National Park
Banana conveyor
Two Toed Sloth


“Your credit card please.” the gentleman at the front desk of the Christina Apartments asked me politely. I just arrived in San Jose from Quepos on an afternoon flight. “Sure, it’s Visa,” and I was about to take my wallet out, when I felt an arm on my right shoulder. I am usually alert during my trips and I turned around like a lightning rod to confront the intruder who I thought was laying his hand on my backpack. Surprise, surprise! I saw my friend Dipankar was standing there with a big smile. “Helllllooo”, - I gave him a high five so hard that my palm was burning. If you recall from one of my earlier blog that Dipankar and I departed our own way from Monteverde…I went towards Arenal and he went to climb Mount ... read more
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Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero January 21st 2016

Some images from San Jose, Monteverde, Arenal, Tortuguero, Manual Antonio - Costa Rica... read more
National Theater Hall in San Jose
A nice building in San Jose
arenal

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero December 14th 2015

Monday We were followed half-way back from the bakery this morning by a little dog. Guess he liked the smell of fresh bread. When we got back to the room, our very creative maid had made two towel dogs! Walked some of the back streets in town this morning. Saw the cutest little boy playing with a stick and two huge bugs. They were cockroaches, the biggest bugs I have ever seen. I asked if I could take his picture and got a big smile. We walked by a few restaurants found online, just to check them out. Then we sat by the ocean to get a sea breeze. Early afternoon we walked through town again. Music is big here. There is a large music academy in town. You always see kids in the main park ... read more
Facing our Hotel with the Pacific Beyond
A Boy and his Bugs
Unique Tortuguero Trash Cans

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero December 13th 2015

Sunday Lots of rain last night, but it let up enough this morning to go to the bakery to get a fresh baguette. So good! We got rid of some coins. Bob's pockets were loaded down with colones coins, so much change back from last night's dinner! Ate breakfast on the patio again, with a little dog outside the railing looking in at us. The hotel here is very clean. Maids are very creative.Yesterday our towels were a swan, today they were a basket with real flowers. Took another walk after breakfast. There was a little breeze, but it gets pretty hot by 9:30am. Saw my blue bird again; googled him this time and found out he was a blue-gray tanager. Went to the pool this afternoon to cool off. They had put in some ... read more
Hey, what about me?
Cabanas Icaco
Relaxing by the Pool

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero December 12th 2015

Saturday Took an early morning walk on the beach, looking for birds and sand dollars. We heard and saw a couple of green macaws, but we probably won't be able to get a photo. Saw a group watching some baby turtles buried in a hole. Some babies are hatching now. On the way back stopped at the bakery and fruit market for breakfast items. We have a nice patio in front of our room, very peaceful. Breakfast pineapple was delicious. The hotel is very colorful, with a strip of jungle plants down the middle of two sets of units. There is a small restaurant area near the front where you can order breakfast if you wish. Seven hammocks are strung from a center post under a pagoda, with a great ocean view We can hear the ... read more
Sea Turtles are Hatching
Big Birds in Tortuguero Central Park
Tortuguero Main Street

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Tortuguero December 11th 2015

Friday 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, ... read more
Start of Rio Suerte Boat Ride
Along the River Shore
Crocodile Along the River




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