Since already arriving in Tortuguero was quite spectacular, I had high hopes for my visit to the national park. After buying a ticket for the Cuatro Esquinas Sector online, I was more than ready for my booked canoe tour. Wearing my new blue rain poncho I set over the channel with the shuttle I had booked the previous day. The tour was supposed to start at 8:30 and with my ingrained punctuality I was right on time. Not so the guide. He waited for two more guest who arrived an hour later. But who cares as long as you have a book with you. It’s vacation after all and time is of no essence.
We eventually started with the tour and exactly at the same time rain started pouring again. At least it was warm and I had I thought of bringing my stuff in a waterproof bag. The guide really did a great job with explaining the basics about the park and its animals. Thanks to him I was able to see different birds, monkeys, lizards, a green basilisk, a green snake wrapped around a tree and therefore basically invisible, as well as a caiman. Especially the sighting of the snake was unique. Apparently it’s rather unusual to see one in the park. Without the guide I probably would have only seen some obvious birds, and maybe even not them. I’ve not such a good eye for spotting animals in the wild.
After two and a half hours on the water, sometimes in pouring rain, I had enough of all the nature. Not sure if I wanted to go back in the national park myself for a walk, I settled on eating lunch first and making a decision later. Right after lunch it stared to rain again. But since I already had a ticket for the day, I concluded that no time was better than the present. With my bright blue poncho I started trudging through the mud. Sometimes I was ankle deep in the mud, but that was all part of the fun.
As was to be expected, on my own I did a lot worse in regards to animal spotting. I managed to spot some monkeys because the leaves overhead moved in unduly fashion. These leaves also obscured the view. So I couldn’t take a picture. I saw other monkeys because people were already gazing up, some birds which made a raucous noise while flying overhead, and two other larger birds because they crossed my paths. Not even sure if the were real birds from the national park. They did look a bit like turkeys. Another guide later told me that they are called guan.
Only upon leaving the park did I see the big poster on how to behave when you meet a jaguar. In my case there was no need to worry about that. I probably would have seen the cat only if it pounced on me.
I loved the guided tour in the park. So worthwhile to pay someone to point out animals and other interesting things in a national park. Also the guide was the one who did the paddling. Without him it would have felt more like one of my regular walks in a park. Yours, Pollybert