Day 5 – We were collected in the very early hours (5.30am!) by the lovely Alex and driven to Guapiles in time for an 8.30am breakfast. From here, we took a 2 hour coach ride to the dock at La Pavona, driving through the banana plantations and having the opportunity to see a banana production line at work. At the dock, we transferred into a fast covered boat which travelled along the narrow river channels to our next destination, Evergreen Lodge in Tortuguero. A highlight of the trip was having some of the passengers disembark to (1) lighten the load and (2) help push the boat through a stretch of water that was particularly shallow due to the lack of recent rain fall.
Tortuguero lays on the northern Caribbean coast and is known for its network of waterways and canals – and the turtles after which it is named. It’s one of the rainiest parts of Costa Rica, and we did see a shower or two!
Most wildlife watching here is done from the water. Our room here had a veranda with two rocking chairs. Two HUGE beds and windows which were mesh rather than glass. Great for keeping out the mosquitos, but not so great for keeping out the sound of the howler monkeys and people walking past the room on early morning trips.
Here, Andy had the opportunity to have a go at zip lining – traversing the tree canopies whilst hanging from a wire. We took a boat to visit Tortuguero village – built on a tiny strip of land no more than 400m wide. To get a real feel for this place, it is worth watching this video. One side is the rough Caribbean sea and turtle nesting beaches and the other is flanked by the network of canals and rivers which make up the Tortuguero National Park.
Here we saw a poison dart frog (tiny but very poisonous – in fact one of the most poisonous animals alive) – thankfully easy to spot as it crossed the path in front of us on account of its bright red colour.