Aerial Tram, Rainforest Tour and Tortuguero Natonal Park

Tortuguero Travel Blog

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Dart Frog

Sunday started with buffet breakfast at the hotel (rice and beans anyone?).  Then we got on the bus and headed into the countryside.  The mountains and the views of Costa Rica are absolutely stunning.  We drove through Braulio Carrillo Park on the way to the rainforest.  When we arrived, we were separated into groups and were allowed to get on the Aerial Tram canopy tour. 

 

There were so many trees, everything was green!! The tram was interesting - and ... small! It was basically like a ski lift, but with two, two-person seats facing forward, with a seat for the guide on the back/outside of the open-air, gondola-style basket.  The guide pointed out several different species of birds and many of the different types of trees in the rainforest.

Aerial Tram
  After the trip into the rainforest and back out to the welcome center, we then met up with a naturalist who pointed out many of the local residents of the rainforest.

 

We saw scorpions, three toed sloths, bluejean dart frogs, other species of dart frogs, spiders, trantulas (yes, I know, this is a spider too), grasshoppers, beatles, cicadas. 

 

After the nature tour, we went to a place that had a butterfly garden for our lunch - you guessed it:  buffet, rice and beans.  After lunch, we got back on the bus and headed toward a Dole banana plantation.  We could see the workers harvesting the bananas, by hand!  Then they would carry bushels of bananas to a local washing station where they are washed and hand picked to either 1) stay in the local economy, or 2) be exported.

Local girl
 

 

The plantation is obviously a tourist stop because there were several locals that have set up shop.  One guy had these two HUGE beatles - they were 6-7" long! HUGE, with big pinchers!!  Then there was a 4 year old girl who was with a parakeet posing for photos, allowing people to hold her parakeet - and requesting tips.  There was also a man selling fresh coconut milk ... whack off the top, and you have a tasty beverage with a straw and umbrella, even!

 

Next we migrated to Limon where we picked up the boats for a 2 hour boat ride to the Tortuguero National Park.  On the way, we saw five oxen bathing in a local pool.

Oxen mudbath!
  That's the life, huh ... daily mudbath!  On the way to our hotel, the guide pointed out some caymens and a few birds, but since it rained the entire way, there wasn't much wildlife out and about.  We had reservations at the Laguna Lodge for the next two nights.  I don't think Bev was really looking forward to this place, they didn't have a tv, phone or air conditioning.  I don't think she cared about the tv or phone ... but she's not one to live with out AC!  It rained almost the entire way to the Lodge, but we were told that June is the rainy season, and Eldon was surprised that we hadn't had much rain yet. 

 

We pulled into the Lodge, disembarked, got checked in and had a free night.  We grabbed some dinner in the restaurant, then put on our swimsuits and headed over to the Caribbean Sea.

Caymans
  We were told not to swim in the Gulf because the undertows are quite strong.  We waded out to our waists (Mom is a little afraid of the ocean anyway ... she saw "Jaws" as a 20-something ...) then walked for about 1/2 a mile up and back on the beach.  We headed back to the Lodge and decided to take a dip in the warm, chlorinated pool instead. 

 

The Laguna Lodge was very cool - they do eco-tours, and have solar powered lights on the paths around the Lodge, they pretty much shut down most of the power after 10pm, and run the ceiling fans and lights on a small generator. 

 

We met a great, flea-infested stray dog who knows where to hang out - at the restaurant!  She came by every morning and evening, knowing the American tourists would feed her.

Laguna Lodge's pier
  She has quite the life!  I was very excited to meet this little pup, since I was just approved to adopt a cute baby named Magdalena from Small Dog Rescue in Alpharetta.  I met her two weeks ago, but decided not to adopt her until I got home, because it just wasn't fair to her to adopt her, then put her in a kennel for 10 days while I'm on vacation.  So, I hope she's still there when I get home, since they don't hold dogs ... and someone else may be interested in her while I'm away.  {keeping my fingers crossed I have a dog when I get home!}

 

I was actually thankful for the non-AC cabins at this place.  Bev likes to keep her rooms SO cold!  (another reason I brought a sweatshirt with me!)  While she was dying of heat exhaustion, I slept perfectly!

 

Day 3 • Rainforest Aerial Tram

Scenic morning drive through Braulio Carrillo Park.

Stray flea-infested dog
Look for cascading waterfalls. Then, a thrilling adventure into the heart of the rainforest. Glide through the jungle canopy on the world famous rainforest aerial tram, rated one of Costa Rica’s top tourist attractions. Next, with a naturalist guide, enjoy a short rainforest hike on level terrain. Enjoy lunch. Visit a butterfly garden. See a banana plantation. Then, cruise through rivers and canals to the 47,000 acre Tortuguero National Park. Tortuguero is home to more than 300 species of birds. Look for toucans, parrots, kingfishers and the rare green macaw. Enjoy a two night stay at your lodge. After dinner in Tortuguero, a naturalist talks about the rainforest. BLD

Laguna Lodge
Laguna Lodge is located on Tortuguero Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Tortuguero Beach is home to the foremost nesting site for the green turtle in the western half of the Caribbean. Laguna offers beautiful grounds, a dock on the canals, a restaurant, two bars, a swimming pool with outdoor Jacuzzi, and an open butterfly garden. All of the guest rooms have fans. Internet access is available for $5 per hour at the Internet cafe in the nearby village of Tortuguero.

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Dart Frog
Dart Frog
Aerial Tram
Aerial Tram
Local girl
Local girl
Oxen mudbath!
Oxen mudbath!
Caymans
Caymans
Laguna Lodges pier
Laguna Lodge's pier
Stray flea-infested dog
Stray flea-infested dog
Tortuguero
photo by: Paulovic