Trip Start Mar 12, 2013
Trip End Apr 06, 2013

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Where I stayed
La Baula Lodge Tortuguero
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Limon,
Monday, March 18, 2013

We'd been told we were allowed one bag each up to fifteen Kg's which we had, however the rules seem to have changed and the boat can't hold all the luggage, so we hastily repackage and leave half our stuff in a locker for a couple of days.

Back on the bus and it's a two hour drive to the river, it's only about fifty K, so you can guess what the state of the road is. We stop en route at a botanical garden which is really neat.

Eventually get to the river and it's a really nice trip to the hotel, it's about a two hour ride and on the way we see all sorts of stuff, snakes, bats, turtles, caimans, howler monkeys and lots of different birds.

The trip was not without drama, one of the canals ( not sure why they're called canals as the majority are not man made) was very shallow and the boat got stuck. Its quite small, nine of us on it and it's full, so the plan is, we all try to squeeze ourselves onto the pointy end, thus raising the blunt end and allowing the outboard to push us through the shallows. What actually happened was the captain went overboard and manhandled the vessel into deeper waters.

Arrived at our hotel for lunch around two, I had the beef with rice and beans, Deb had the sea bass with rice and beans. After lunch we jump back on the boat for a five minute trip across to Tortuguero. This area is definitely different, the town is on an island surrounded by one hundred meter wide river and the Caribbean, it took two hours on a bus and an hour and a half to reach here, and that's the only way, there are no vehicles and no vehicular access.

Wandered along the beach and through the town, stopped in a bar before heading back to the hotel. Tea was at seven, pork chop for me, chicken for Deb, a little surprised they came with mash, no rice or beans in sight. As ever, retired early, another six AM start in the morning.

Tortuguero DAY TWO, Rain turning to sun

Up soon after five, even if you weren't doing anything a lay in would be a challenge, the howler monkeys wake up at day break and it sounds like the hounds of the Baskerville howling and barking, right outside you door. The guide book states the driest word you can use to describe this place is 'humid' so it's little surprise to wake up to find its raining off and on.

A quick coffee, then we headed off for a boat ride through the national park, all very pleasant, multitudes of birds including Toucans and Parrots. Spider and howler monkeys and lots of huge iguanas, returning to the hotel for breakfast (beans and rice for me, although Deb had stuffed pancake for a bit of variety) soon after eight.

After breakfast we had another short boat trip to the Rain Forrest for a hike, more monkeys and iguanas, plus several species of snake and deadly spider. I tried to get a close up picture of one of the snakes but Laura, our guide, suggested not to get too close as if it bites, you only have two hours to get treatment or you have a curtailed holiday.

Back to the Hotel, the rest of the group are finishing and heading back, we thought we deserved a rest, so we're staying for another twenty four hours, the plan was to go canoeing or similar but more likely to sit by the pool sipping refreshing drinks.

So that was the rest of the day, tea was pork chop or chicken with rice and beans. The place was then invaded with hordes of Canadian high school folk and a high school disco ensued, fortunately it finished around nine thirty, they must have known it was our bed time.

Deb must have in excess of fifty mosquito bites which are driving her wacky, I have one on my wrist and one on the back of my hand, but to be honest, I'm not getting much sympathy.

Tortuguero DAY THREE.

A real lay in as we did not wake until gone six and the rain is proper tropical and even the howler Monkeys are fairly quiet, the plan for today is.....
Breakfast at eight
Boat at ten thirty to meet the bus
Back to the tour centre at around two
Pick up a car from Guapiles soon after three
Drive to La Virgin before nightfall and find somewhere to stay.

All seems straight forward enough, what could possibly go wrong.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Paul Perkin on

Having heard the howlers on a TV prgramme I can imagine how they sound and pretty scary too. I shoild think the iguanas are a bit scary too if they are big. Trust deb to get bitten more than you - bit like man and girl flu!

kingy2 on

Yeah, I'm sure my two are worse

M on

No, I have sympathy for Deb . What not got mosquito bite lotion!?

M on

Your brother has an enormous iguana.!!!

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