Travel to Costa Rica
Day 10 San José - Tortuguero (125 Km.)
We depart San José towards Tortuguero. In principle it should do through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, but a landslide cut off the highway and we had to turn around through Turrialba, along the old road linking San José with Puerto Limon. Finally we arrived, after passing through a banana plantation, to a small jetty next to a river from which we took a boat to take us to Tortuguero National Park through its main channel.
Tortuguero channel - Pink flamingos
(in 125 Km.) Tortuguero: After the road trip, we advanced through about 70 kilometers of rivers and the main channel of the park to get to Tortuguero. Tortuguero National Park is located in the northern plains of the Caribbean country. A network of canals and navigable lagoons, parallel to the coast, crosses Tortuguero from southeast to northwest.
The channel seems the aquatic highway of the area. Aside from the planes, this channel is the only way to transport the large number of tourists visiting the area and move all the cargo, mail, etc. Tortuguero is the most important Western Caribbean area for the nesting of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) that comes to spawn along the coast area each year. Other species of sea turtles that spawn on the beach are the leatherback and hawksbill.
Once at Tortuguero, which is accessible only by boat or plane, we stayed in our lodge. It is important to know if it is located in the own village of Tortuguero or not, because if not, to move to the village can only be done with the boat from the hotel. But, the choice is to stay and enjoy the amenities: pool, walks, restaurant, etc. After dinner we will walk along the beach hoping to see the nesting turtles.
On this tour the main difficulty is to walk along the beach in the dark. There can be no white light flashlight, because the turtles are scared to see this light. The guide who accompanied us was the only one wearing a flashlight with a dim red light to see if there was a turtle on the sand or not. There you go quietly so as not to frighten them or to listen if some turtle is there. You also have to go looking at the ground to check for traces of a tortoise that has left the water in search of a place to hold spawning.