Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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After 4 bus transfers and 1 panga ride later, we finally made it to Tortuguero Village. Tortuguero is a remote village nestled in the Northeastern most part of Costa Rica. The only way to reach the main village is by boat or plane. Cars are non existent, there are only sandy paths to lead you around the island. Tortuguero National Park covers over 77,000 acres including 20 miles of protected coastline. Tortuguero received it’s name “The Land of Turtles” because of the four species of turtle (green, hawksbill, loggerhead and leatherback) that visit the coastline every year to lay their eggs. Nesting season beings in March and ends in October. You can begin to see the turtles hatch in November to early January. The best way to experience the wildlife up close is by canoe or panga. We hired a local guide and canoe for 10,000 Colones ($20.00 USD). The tour lasted 2 and 1/2 hours and learned about all of the species within the park. Howler monkeys, white-faced capuchins, sloths, caiman, birds and plenty of other wildlife were seen throughout the tour. The best part of our tour was a three-toed sloth about 10-15 feet away climbed down from the canopy to check us out, it was an incredible experience. Aside from the national park you can enjoy the beach, hike Tortuguero hills, shop the local artisan markets and visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy museum. If you are looking for something a little more upbeat, you can roller skate at the local discoteca each night starting around 6:00pm to late in the night. We stayed at Cabinas Meriscar during our stay on the island. You can get a private room for 4,500 Colones ($9.00 USD) per night. The rooms are very clean and there is a small galley style kitchen. There wasn’t too many pans available, so we had to be selective on what we cooked. One thing I learned staying here is to be careful of the light switches. I got shocked trying to turn on the light before hoping in the shower. Tortuguero is an escape for those nature lovers and bird enthusiast alike. From here we make our way to the cloud forest of Monteverde.

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