After a great couple of days in Puerto Viejo, we travelled to Tortuguero. Tortuguero is only accessible by boat or plane but getting to the boat was not a simple trip! We took a bus to Limon, waited an hour, took a bus to Guapiles, took another bus to Cariari then after a couple of hours took a fourth bus to the boat dock where we took a canal boat to the town of Tortuguero. Was it worth the trip? Absolutely.
We had one very full day there which started with a 6am canoe ride. For three hours we were paddled through the canals of Tortuguero National Park. Our guide took us under the trees and into places that the motor boats we saw were not able to get to. We saw lots of different birds, a sloth, a poisonous frog, a “Jesus lizard” that can walk on water, iguanas, lizards and caimans (a type of small crocodile).
By the time we got back the sun was high and after lunch we headed to the beach for a final swim. (Piako went climbing for coconuts there!)
In the evening we took a tour to see giant sea turtles laying their eggs. We went by boat to the airport runway and from there to the beach, where we saw two turtles heading back to the ocean before seeing the highlight – a giant turtle in the process of laying. The turtles are huge – between 1- 1.5 metres long. We weren’t allowed to take photos but by using a red torch we were able to see the hole that the turtle had dug, the eggs being laid, and the nest being covered up again. It was incredible! This was definitely a highlight of our time in Costa Rica. The next day we travelled back to San Jose, where we spent the night at the aiport before our return flight to the USA (with a 4am check in there was no point in paying for a hotel room).