Aerial Tram, Rainforest Tour and Tortuguero Natonal Park
Tortuguero Travel Blog› entry 4 of 12 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.