Trip Start Mar 30, 2005
Trip End Apr 21, 2005

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Monday, April 4, 2005

Tortuguero was great! Definately one of the most beautiful national parks of Costa Rica that i visited during my trip. After Tortuguero, i travelled back to San Jose to go to La Fortuna the day after. The trip to San Jose was quite an adventure, the water levels were very low which meant that it was difficult for the boatman to steer his boat over the river. Neverthless i arrived (after a very long trip) in San Jose that afternoon. The next day i moved on to La Fortuna, to see the (active) Arenal vulcano. Unfortunately, the top of the crater was covered in clouds during my 2-day stay here.. However, i did see some small lava streams lighting up every now and than. I also visited the hotsprings near la Fortuna, where you can swim in different pools filled with naturally heated water (it is very touristic though). After la Fortuna, i moved on to Santa Elena, to visit the Monteverde and Santa Elena cloud forests. The forest here is covered in clouds for 50% of the time and is therefore called tropical cloud forest. Hundreds of different species of epiphytes cover the trees here and this is the reason why you cannot see deep into the forest. You won't see many mammals here because of this. It is nevertheless very worthwile visiting, even more so bacause you have a good chance to see the famous quetzal, a beautiful red-green coloured bird. Because i visited Monteverde in the breeding season of the quetzal, i was lucky to see 3 of them, a young male and 2 females. I also saw some orange-kneed tarantulas, the 2-toed and 3-toed sloth, a porcupine, coatis and different species of hummingbirds. The Santa Elena guesthouse is a nice place to stay!
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