Tortuguero is a remote village wedged between the ocean and the canals of the Parque Nacional Tortuguero.  Located in the rainiest of all Costa Rican rain forests, half the adventure of visiting Tortuguero is traveling there.  From the closest town it’s just over an hour’s drive along an unpaved, potholed road that eventually dead-ends.  From there, it’s another hour’s travel time by lancha, or motorboat, through the canals. 

Tortuguero is a small place, only one main strip of boardwalk lined with a few shops, cabinas and restaurants connected to several muddy paths that lead further into the village.  There are no cars and driving is impossible.  It rains off and on all day and night; and not just a sprinkle here and there, when it rains it pours, followed by an hour or two of clear skies and then another downpour.  At times, everything floods.  In between the storms it’s hot and muggy and bug repellant is a necessity. 

Tortuguero’s residents hardly seem to notice the rain, no one rushes to escape it and there aren’t umbrellas popping up everywhere at the first drop.  Instead, it’s just nature’s way of providing relief from the heat and humidity.  We woke up at 5 a.m. the morning of our canal tour to find the rain had already begun.  Throughout the morning we all struggled to keep dry during some of the strongest downpours while our guide hardly seemed bothered. 

Rain or no rain, which is pretty much how it went, off and on for just over three hours, our tour on the aquatic trails through the national park turned out to be pretty amazing.  Referred to as the ‘mini-Amazon,’ because of its diverse plant and animal life, Tortuguero is one of the top destinations in all of Costa Rica to spot wildlife.  During our three hours out on the water we saw monkeys, iguanas, toucans, several species of birds and fish, sloths, and a small caiman.


1 Response to “Tortuguero”

  1. 1 David Wells June 11, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Hi Laura and Carlos,

    So I see you guys are in Bocas del Toro, Panama which is where Donna and I had hoped to meet up with you guys, but alas there were problems with getting passports renewed in time…sucks.
    I still read you guys’ page a few times a week, it helps me to escape from wherever i may be in my head. So i guesss you will be going to Colombia soon. While in Cartagena you guys might want to check out a restaurant that has seating in a really cool domed tower. it might be a little pricy for you i dont even know if its still there since its been about 16 years since i was there, but its called el Bodegon de la Candelaria. try getting a horse and carriage ride through the old city. its pretty, romantic, and other junk. i dont know if its still affordable since i heard globalization has made colombia reonculously expensive…have fun and keep in touch. David

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