Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast is only accessible by boat or plane but first we had to get to the embarkation point, Pavona, a long journey by coach. Our time in Costa Rica is an organised tour. Most of the time we are a group of two but for some parts we are joined up with others. It seemed as though the coach had picked up about 100 from all the hotels in San Jose . Fortunately ours was the last pick up, it meant we were in the back seat and couldn’t hear the announcements but some people had already been on the bus for an hour with no breakfast and it was another two hours before the first stop! At Guapiles we had our first sight of Costa Rica’s famous wildlife, a hawk, some sloths and a frog, as well as eating our second breakfast!
After brunch we travelled on to Pavona, in total 4 hours on the coach.
It rained heavily as we arrived resulting in total chaos! The car park was a sea of mud and we all raced for shelter, with all our luggage. When the rain stopped, the boats arrived and we set off into the rainforest!
Now we have to explain that our tour is budget priced which means we don’t get to chose our hotels, or even know which they are, until we set off.
We were in Pachira Lodge which suited us very well, the only draw back was the all-inclusive food service which was very unimaginative, but only for 2 nights. The cabins were excellent and set in beautiful, tropical grounds.
The weather front that brought the heavy snow to parts of the USA was still affecting the east coast of Central America causing the heavy rain. The 2 previous days had been a literal wash out but we were fortunate that it mostly only rained at night! And wellies were provided!
Tortuguero village is on a spit of land between the beach and the river. It was founded by Nicaraguan migrants who came to take advantage of the turtles who lay their eggs on the beach by importing turtle meat back to their home country! Killing turtles became illegal long ago and the residents now make their income from tourism, although I suspect a lot of the investment and therefore profits are US based – the village doesn’t look that affluent.
Wrong time for the turtles but we visited the village, explored the waterways by boat and had a walk in the rain forest. The whole area is very beautiful and we saw a fair amount of wildlife.
We have done a canopy walk but never tried zip lining, so Alan was able to cross something else off the ‘1000 things to do before you die’ list!