Isla Tortuga - snorkeling, beaches and fish!

Trip Start Sep 30, 2009
Trip End Dec 04, 2009

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On the beach...

Flag of Costa Rica  , Puntarenas,
Monday, November 9, 2009

Once I came here to Montezuma, I did not take me long to figure out which excursions to do. The first thing on the list was to take a boat trip to Isla Tortuga to enjoy the pristine beaches and do some snorkeling. We left from the "port" here in Montezuma which is just the beach to the right - as opposed to the beach on the left, where you do your swimming. We were 6 girls and 3 - male - guides. Two girls from Norway, who really weren't that talkative, two girls from the UK, who were a lot more talkative, and then a very silent Spanish woman - and me. The trip to Isla Tortuga took around 45 minutes at full speed. I had decided to sit in the front, something I got to regret on a frequent basis each time the tip of the boat was bumping on the waves. I changed position several times to spare my tailbone, and finally one of the guides felt pity with me and handed me a life vest to sit on. That helped a lot. On the way to the island, we passed the waterfall that falls directly into the ocean - according to the guidebooks one of only 7 that do so in the world. I wonder how they know that. Has every single inch of coastline in the world really been explored? We also passed a small rock island, in which the ocean had carved a hole.

After having dropped off two of the guides on the island, we sailed straight for another rock off the island, where we were doing our snorkeling. The water was really warm, but unfortunately, not clear at all. However, the closer we got to the rock island, the more fish could we see. There were some amazing sergeant majors, butterfly fish, and also what I think was a small yellow stingray and a bright blue chromis (I have been surfing internet pages here to try to recognise them).

Back on the beach we relaxed and observed the varied bird life on the island, while the guides were cooking for us. I had a delicious piece of mahi-mahi again, but the most interesting things were to take pictures of the beautiful macaw, the less beautiful turkeys and the solitary peacock that actually did spread out its feathers at one occasion as an honor to the photographers. There was also a solitary wild pig, although we suspected it of being very domesticated.

Before leaving again, we rested on the beach while listening to the waves and the guides playing beach volley with some of the other tourists there. At one point, when I went into the water, I suddenly felt a stinging pain on my right arm, but suspected it was just an insect bite that I felt when getting into the water. However, after a while under the sun, the marks disappeared and I now suspect that it might have been a tiny jellyfish although there was nothing to be seen in the water.

The second snorkeling trip took us to another rock island, where we had to search for a suitable spot for swimming, because all this debris from tree was floating around. Our guide also jumped into the water. At one point I saw him swimming a little bit away from the two British girls who were the only ones remaining in the water by then, and when he returned I saw that he was holding something. Actually it was two things – two fishes. He had managed to grab hold of both a porgy pine fish and a blow fish. Both of them had blown themselves up – their defense mechanism I suppose, but there were so hilarious to watch – especially the blow fish. The pictures speak for themselves.

When we were heading back – escaping the menacing the clouds in the distance – we managed to see a stingray jumping in the surface. It was crazy to see a huge flatfish surfing the waves, but it all happened to quickly to take a photo. We also saw some dolphins, some of which were diving under the boat as we slowed down to get nearer to them. The only thing, I suppose, we did not get to see were whales, and then of course turtles.

Back at the hotel, I relaxed before I had dinner at the hotel and watched some of "Into the wild". I had seen it before, but strongly recommended it to the British girls from the trip, before I had to give in to my dire need for sleep. I was exhausted after a great day with great experiences but also an aching body and the suspicion – that proved right – that I had strained my neck a little bit as a consequence of the constant bumping up and down from my position at the bow of the boat.
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