Our final stop in Costa Rica was in a little town on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero. Our stay wasn’t in the actual town itself but rather at a lodge nearby. The area is surrounded by natural canals with the only man made canals being the actual “driveways” up to the resorts. This remote camp required over an hour of travel by boat down the series of canals. On our way in, the canals were seven feet higher than usual due to recent rains and they were filled with muddy/silty water.
Unlike the other areas we visited, this was very remote. Our hotel only had screens in the windows, no glass. It rained everyday but we got lucky with having good weather any time we had something scheduled. We were able to go on a jungle hike through the National Park which was fascinating but there were thousands of mosquitos. We covered up and sprayed Deep Woods Off on our exposed skin. I suppose it helped but we still got bit, a lot, even through our clothes! But we saw lots of animals, birds, and flowers.
We went out on a canal float in the morning for more wildlife viewing and got a real treat of birds, monkeys, caiman, and even crocodile. Because the rain had stopped the water was like glass but is always filled with tannins from all the decomposing plant material. It made for an amazing mirror to reflect the beautiful jungle landscape.
Of all the amazing things we saw on our organized hike and boat trips, perhaps even more amazing was what you could see around the lodge itself. They had kayaks to explore the canals at your leisure. The beach was beautiful but too violent for swimming. There was space junk on the property, pieces of two rockets that had washed ashore after delivering their payload to space. They had several giant iguanas that could always be found somewhere on the grounds, usually high up in the trees. A few giant bugs could be found, and monkeys visited every day. The monkeys were always good for a show. You could easily spend a few hours each day following them around trying to get the perfect photo or video. The lodge didn’t feed them so they behaved naturally and didn’t really want to be watched.
I’ll close this post with a few videos from our stay in Tortuguero. Even on our boat ride back to civilization we got to see a six foot crocodile basking on the beach. He didn’t like seeing us so he got up and darted into the water. It was a great way to close an amazing trip.
When it rained, it rained!
Jesus Christ lizard showing how it got its name (in slow motion).
Spider monkeys in the trees