Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park – on days 2 & 3 – approx. 5 hours by bus from San Jose

Click here for my Tortuguero National Park Photo Diary

 

  • Birds, Frogs, Jaguars, Manatees, Monkeys, Ocelots, Sloth
  • Buddha café, 50 yards west of public dock – riverside with decksover lagoon
  • Canoe trip at sunrise on canals – US25 -4.45am alarm today for a canoe trip into Tortuguero. My fear of small boats meant this was really not a morning that I was looking forward to. Luckily when we walked to the landing area at the lodge at 5.30am, I saw that the 10 of us were in one large canoe and not individual ones and that we did not have to do the rowing! Knowing how tough it was to ride and steer a 2 person canoe in Canada I was kind of in awe of the two guys (Mr Bill and his son) rowing this one with 10 of us on it plus them.   After finally getting up the courage to get in the canoe I was the last one in, life jackets on and we were ready to go. We had got up so early so that we could explore the canals before the other big hotels but I guess everyone had the same idea as when we arrived at the ranger station there were already lots of boats there, including motorized ones (not so good as they scare away all the wildlife). The queue was long as the ranger station does not open until 6am but by around 6.30am we were on our way.Exploring the canals was beautiful and serene, each boat is given a canal to explore so that none become overcrowded. Not sure where the motor ones went but we didn’t encounter any until our return to the main river. We managed to spot white faced-monkeys, blue butterflies, toucans, parrots we saw high above us in flight and certainly heard them, snake bird, tiger pelican?, white pelican thing, owl, caiman, jesus Christ lizard, other birds? Certainly a great way to spend a morning and Mr Bill was a real character and his son a great wildlife spotter. So amazing to be able to see these animals in their natural environment and the monkey certainly put on a fantastic show.

     

    Finally docked at around 9.30am although had been told 8am so certainly good value for money but all had numb bums by the end! Not sure of the cost as inclusive of our trip.

  • El Gavilan Land Trail 9(adjacent to Cuatro Esquinas ranger station) – 2km return – need rubber boots can rent near park entrance
  • La Casona restaurant – north side of village football pitch – thatched open air restaurant – palm hearts lasagna; carribbean fare daily 1.30-8.30pm
  • La Taberna bar – next to Bambu supermarket $2 beer & reggae
  • Miss Junies restaurant 6-9pm and lunchtime – lobster in Caribbean sauces – northern end of main street, 50mt before Natural History Museum
  • Park walk – included
  • Sunrise Restaurant 9.30-9 Wed-Mon – cozy log cabin
  • Taylors Place restaurant, 6-8.30pm garden setting, good cooking – backstreet southwest of soccer field
  • Turtles – nest March to October
  • Turtle Watching Night Tour – US20
  • Wild Ginger restaurant – beef stew – lowlit near beach 150m north of elementary school wildgingercr.com
  • No banks or ATMs in town, few places accept credit cards?

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