A taste of Costa Rica travel blog

Howler monkeys calling, birds screeching and the lap of water is our alarm call. Down to the river to see the magical sunrise, shrimps jumping to catch insects, herons lurking to catch the shrimps and poisonous Puffer Fish in the river.

Our first ‘boat safari ‘ on the Tortuguero river and into the canals of the National Park. Wow, it is really hard to convey how amazing it is! Our guide has incredible eyesight spotting just a few of the over 200 species in this rainforest. Costa Rica boasts 920 species of birds, so far! We see Kingfishers,Toucans, Herons, Eigrets, others with names too complex to remember (written down!), a young hawk, a river turtle and a Cayman. Most exciting, including for our guide as it is very rare to see, was a 3-toed Sloth swimming in the river. Just incredible and so lucky.

Stunning and majestic trees loom above the dense rainforest. Huge tree roots, looking a little like massive mangroves, edge the canals. Everything in the Park is, of course, protected but rangers check the outer limits for poachers. The rarest creature is the Manatee which almost became extinct but is slowly making a comeback. Our guide has only seen one once in 20 years.

Only downside - mozzies in the depths of the forest but we are prepared!!! Lunch, R&R before our next ‘safari’!

We have been so lucky with the weather so it is sun cream as well as insect repellent.

We travel down quieter canals, more birds including a small male wader looking after 3 babies. Girl power, as the female can make up to 6 nests mating with different males and leaves them to incubate the eggs & care for the young! Some spider monkeys swing through the trees calling as they go. We are the only boat on this canal. Bliss.

Back for a 10 minute turn round to go to the beach. No sun bathing - looking for baby turtles. Our guide is checking nests as he can smell if there are eggs hatching. Huge excitement and power walking along the sand - it is too hot and humid to run. Just wonderful to see these babies set off on their extremely dangerous start in life. Everyone cheers as they reach the sea having navigated turning upside down & struggling out of potholes to get there.

It is a full day!!! Night hike in the rainforest before dinner with Luis, father of our day guide, also Luis! Bullfrogs, sleeping birds, the minute red poisonous frogs, frogspawn on a leaf halfway up a tree and mahogany trees 300 years old and probably 200ft high! Oh my goodness though, we are melting in long trousers, long-sleeved shirts and welly boots!!! Minutes after we return the heavens open - the tropical rain has arrived but we leave in the morning!

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