Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

For more of our visit to Costa Rica click on Butterflies, Animals and birds, Flowers and plants, Arenal or San Jose.

Getting to the park was an adventure.
The main road over the mountains was a little better than the paved roads here in Kentucky, as winding but with shoulders.
Our Costa Rica animals, flowers and butterflies web pages show some of what we saw along the way.
Once we got to the flatland near the coast we had about 30 miles of potholes.
The video here will give you some idea.
A dirt road, rainy season, banana trucks, and little maintenance combine to make for a rough road.
The driver did slow down for the big holes.
For the record we are familiar with roads like this in KY as well.

At the end of the road we boarded one of these boats for the ride through the park to the town of Tortuguero.
Our guide and the driver were the only other folks on board.

We did see other people near villages that predate the national park.

The boat landing and a gate in the communities of Tortuguero.

The canal leading from the end of the road to where we stayed at the Turtle Beach Lodge goes past a joint Canadian Costa Rican research station.

Our first view of the lodge grounds about 30 Km from where we boarded the boat.

This tree had aerial roots hanging down and in some cases there were unrelated plants that had taken up residence.

Some scenes from the lodge.
The swimming pool was in the shape of a turtle.
The dining room was open air.
Many of the plants on the grounds had plaques identifying them.

Our room was great.
The windows were screened so we could enjoy the breezes and sounds.
We have seen lots of towel figures on our travels but not many fit with the location as well these turtles coming through the surf.

The first day at the lodge we had the opportunity to see the rain forest canopy from a series of zip lines and sky bridges.
It was raining while we went to the site by boat.

We were provided with equipment and training so we would be safe.

The practice run was about ten feet up.

This swing was an optional part of the tour.
We were about 40 feet up at this point.

Nancy had fun.

We traveled on seven zip lines.
Some of the runs were quite long.

You used your hand on the line to keep you facing forward and to slow yourself at the end of a run.

Sky bridges gave a chance to stop and study the trees around you from a new vantage point.

This video of a friend we met on our zip line tour of the rain forest canopy demonstrates how (un)stable they were.
This skybridge went from about 25 to 40 feet above the forest floor.

We rented kayaks ($5 for as long as you were at the lodge) and set out to explore the waterways on our own.

A dry palm frond hanging into the water created this modern art.

Some of what we saw, though we were going slower.
It is hard to take a video from a kayak so this video was actually taken from a power boat.

We didn't notice this sign until we came back to the lodge.
Is the message that it will make it easier for the crocodiles.

Our guide lead us along this trail.
Calling it a trail is being generous, the mud was challenging.
Our guide was able to point out many animals and plants for us.

A video shows how we picked our way along the edge where the  mud wasn't as deep.

I missed getting a video of Nancy's mud bath.
As she stepped down on a root or stick in the mud she slipped and fell.
She was covered to her waist, and had dipped her hand and camera as well.
She noted that people pay good money at some spas for a mud bath, she got one for free.

Spider monkeys in the trees near the lodge.

These howler monkeys were overhead but by the time I got the camera going they were nearly out of range.

We were the only ones enjoying this beach on the Caribbean.
The sand was a mix of fine coral and volcanic sand.

OK, there was this cow and calf.

Some of the carvings decorating the boat landing area.

On the way out downed trees and rushing water complicated piloting the boat.
The result of heavy rains and winds while we were visiting.

For more of our visit to Costa Rica click on
Butterflies, Animals and birds, Flowers and plants Arenal or San Jose.

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