Canal Tours - Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero Travel Blog

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Bird (or monkey) watching!

We got up and had breakfast early.  We were scheduled for a 4 hour canal tour this morning, back to the hotel for lunch, then a trip into the village in the afternoon to see all of the local wildlife.  It was raining and I did not really feel like sitting in a boat getting wet all day.  Ugh.  I figured I would go out for the morning tour, then if it's still raining - I'll skip the afternoon tour to the village of Tortuguero

We got into the boats and within 20 minutes, it quit raining, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day!  It was amazing how many animals we ended up seeing.  I know I won't end up being able to list them all here, but here's the ones I remember:

Several varieties of kites, white and brown pelicans, herrons, ibis, anhingas, pink spoonbills, vultures, terns, parakeets, parrots, cuckoos, owls, swirfts, kingfishers, warblers.

Kingfisher
  We had a father/son ornathologist with us (that's a bird watcher, right?) 

Then we saw a huge boa constrictor curled up in a tree, lots of caymans, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white faced capuchins, turtles, Jesus Christ Lizards, Basalisk lizards, three-toed sloths, lots of iguanas, other snakes just swimming in the canal, tons of butterflies - including the wonderful Blue Morpho. 

How about I just upload a bunch of photos and you can enjoy ...

 

That afternoon, we went to the Green Sea Turtle Refuge in the village of Tortuguero.  We scheduled a night time walk along the beach to see if we could find some nesting green turtles.  We're still about 4 weeks early based on their regular nesting habits, but the guides said they have been seeing a couple of turtles come in early.

Emeral Green Basilisk
  We had about 15 people from our group take the hike along the beach.  We were out about 2 hours, so I'm guessing we walked about 2-3 miles looking for turtles.  It was a bit creepy because there are NO lights on the beach what so ever, the guide has a blue light that he walks with, but turns it off whenever possible because the lights attract the turtles and disrupts their egg-laying habits. 

The guide told us to stay in larger groups, and hold hands because there are jaguars that live in the jungles along the beaches, and they look for easy prey.  Could you imagine going down on a guided tour to Costa Rica and getting killed by a jaguar???  We obviously didn't see any ... but that doesn't mean they weren't there  ;-)

Day 4 • Tortuguero Park, Canal Cruise

Cruise this morning with naturalist guides along canals lined by raffia palm, habitat of howler and white-faced monkeys, green iguanas and tropical birds.

Howler Monkeys
Look for white and snowy egrets and the amazing nests of the montezuma oropendola. Then, enter the mysterious reflecting waters of Caño Palma wildlife reserve. Next, visit the Green Turtle Research Station. Learn about efforts to protect the turtle’s nesting habitat, eggs and young hatchlings. Walk along the Atlantic turtle nesting beaches with a naturalist guide. Next, to Tortuguero village. Meet Costa Rican school children on your visit to a local school (when in session). Return to your lodge for lunch. Free time to enjoy your lodge’s swimming pool and tropical flower gardens. Enjoy an afternoon boat excursion into Tortuguero Park. Look for otters, turtles and manatees. Dinner. BLD

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Bird (or monkey) watching!
Bird (or monkey) watching!
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Emeral Green Basilisk
Emeral Green Basilisk
Howler Monkeys
Howler Monkeys
Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
Caymans
Caymans
Green snake
Green snake
Three-toed sloth
Three-toed sloth
Cayman
Cayman
The canals
The canals
River turtle
River turtle
Howler monkey
Howler monkey
White faced capuchin
White faced capuchin
Local Bird
Local Bird
Green Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Jumping Howler Monkey
Jumping Howler Monkey
White faced capuchin
White faced capuchin
White faced capuchin
White faced capuchin
Tortuguero
photo by: Paulovic