Turtles, crocodiles and canoes in Tortuguero
Sandwiched between the river and ocean on the northern Caribbean cost is the relaxed village of Tortuguero. Surrounded by dense old growth forest and rivers, boats, canoes and legs are the only means of transport here.
Canoe tours allow you to get super close to wildlife in Tortuguero National Park. This is the most stunning jungle I have seen to date which is packed with tall trees that are covered with creepers and home to 400 bird species, 60 species of frogs, three species of monkey, and caiman and crocodiles. During our tour, we saw baby crocodiles, caimans, birds, turtles, lizards and a spider monkey came down to the water’s edge for a drink as we passed.
Travelling to and from Tortuguero is half the fun, with boats the only access to the town your close encounter with nature begins when you step off the dock.
From San Jose: Buses run frequently from San Jose to Cariari where you transfer to another bus that takes you to the water taxi to reach Tortugero. Total cost is about US$10.
To/From Limón: 3km from Puerto Limón is the Moin where water taxis to/from Tortuguero dock. It is US$35 one way and shared taxes from Limón bus station are US$2. The captain should point out the sloth not far from the dock.
Accommodation: Local Herchell Gutierrez and his German wife, Nehle have just bought Cabana Tortugero. Herchell has been a tour guide for 15 years and had eagle eyes that spotted the smallest camouflaged creatures. Privates from US$15.