Costa Rica on a Shoestring - Day 3: Cahuita

Cahuita Travel Blog

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Turtle tracks
Woke up around 5:45AM to see if I could catch some mating turtles along the beaches.  I also wanted to check out the site from last night and see if there were any turtle tracks left on the beach.  Walked over to the section between 29 and 30 and found the nesting area we saw last night.  It looked pretty cool in the morning, it was nice to be able to see everything in the light and take some photos as proof of last night.  You could see the turtle's tracks and the giant hole where her body was laying.  I kept walking along the beach and found more turtle tracks that led to nests.  Then a local man pointed into the water and said turtle.  I could see a rock like thing on the shore so I ran over to investigate.  At first, I thought the guy was just messing with me because it really looked like a giant rock on the shore.
  It was actually 2 green turtles mating, it was totally awesome.  Not only did I get to see a turtle lay eggs last night, I was also able to see turtles mating.  The smaller male turtle was straddled on top of the larger female.  I saw the female stick her head out of the water every now and then to breath.  The tide was bringing them closer and closer to the shore.  I didn't want to get too close and scare them away.  However, these local dogs started barking at them and scared them into the sea.  The female was doing all the moving, all the male did was hold onto her.  I saw her flipping and flapping to try to get to deeper waters.  They disappeared into the ocean quickly and I soon saw a head bobbing in and out of the water from a distance.
Turtle Nest
  Amazing!

I headed back to the hotel and told everyone about the cool turtle mating encounter.  After breakfast, we headed to the port and loaded into the boat.  The boat ride took about 3 hours and we were able to see lots of birds, reptiles, and other animals.  The water in this section of the canal was a lot clearer, it was like a mirror.  We managed to get stuck in a shallow area of the canal and our captain had to maneuver us out.  There was a big earthquake a few years ago that ruined the canal passages.  They have a sediment boat that empties section of the canal so that boats can continue to pass through.  Our guide pointed out several different birds along the canal: rojo spoonbill bird, king vultur, and many more I can't remember.
  We even spotted a crocodile that was sunbathing under a log.  Along with a sloth hanging in a tree with a family of howler monkies. 

We reached the port and transferred into a bus that drove us to Cahuita.  It was a beautiful ride along the coast which took about 30-60 minutes.  We checked into our hotel and headed to lunch.  After lunch, we changed into our bathing suits and headed into the Cahuita National Reserve.  We each gave a donation and entered the park.  There was a path that goes through the trees and plants growing along the beach.  The vegetation create a sort of tunnel/canopy over the path giving a great shade against the sun.
Rock or turtles?
  We walked down the path for a little before finding a spot to swim.  The water wasn't as clear and blue as I expected the Caribbean to be.  It was kind of a creamy green with lots of debris and vegetation floating around.  The waves were also pretty big, which muddled the water clarity.  We swam for a little and tossed the frisbee around before heading back to the hotel. 

We met up for dinner to celebrate Rich's birthday and watch the soccer game with Costa Rica vs. Mexico.  Our guide managed to talk the owner of Pizza n' Love to bring in a TV so that we could watch the game.
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Turtle tracks
Turtle tracks
Turtle Nest
Turtle Nest
Rock or turtles?
Rock or turtles?
Green Sea turtles mating
Green Sea turtles mating
Tons of turtle tracks
Tons of turtle tracks
Marker 29
Marker 29
Mirror like canal
Mirror like canal
Red spoonbill bird
Red spoonbill bird
Crocodile
Crocodile
Sloth
Sloth
Howler monkies
Howler monkies
On the way to Cahuita
On the way to Cahuita
Cahuita National Reserve
Cahuita National Reserve
Forest path
Forest path
Ants
Ants
Crab
Crab
Beautiful
Beautiful
Cahuita
photo by: Stigen