Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tortuguero National Park - Costa Rica

Alright, I've been remiss about blogging lately!  In June-July, I spent a month in San Jose, Costa Rica for work.  It was great to spend time with great friends I met there on my first stay there for work.  I was also lucky to go to Tortuguero National Park in NE Costa Rica.  This beautiful area is a part of Costa Rica's ecotourism.  They decided to preserve the beautiful natural landscapes for tourism rather than use the land in other ways to make money and destroy the natural environment.  Just a few photos from this amazingly memorable trip!

Our first stop on the trip was for breakfast and we saw this painted map of CR.  I love the scale of the zipliner guy over the trees.

Baby sloth on the drive to the park.  Amazed he and his mama let us touch him.

Nisey - happy to be on a boat!

Once we reached the park, we took a two hour boat ride through the canals and then to a river to search for wildlife

We saw many birds and crocodiles - and this Jesus Christ Lizard (the one that walks/runs on water)

Our cabin/room at the amazing place we stayed.  The animal sounds were incredible in this jungle hotel!

The dock at our hotel where our shuttle boat always picked us up

Nothing like fresh, cold coconut water and meat by the ocean

Nisey is an expert coconut meat scraper-outer

At night, we went to the beach and were guided to see some of the turtles laying eggs.  We were lucky to see three sea turtles and watch one lay her eggs and cover them up again.  The turtles were over a meter long and just amazing to watch!  No photos were allowed, but this shot (stolen from Wikipedia) at least gives a glimpse of the size.  The turtles lay over 100 eggs and they hatch in 3 months time.  Seeing this firsthand was probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen.  Turtle conservation projects happen all over the world to help preserve these amazing animals.  It was estimated the turtle we watched lay her eggs was about 250 years old!  Most turtles are killed at a young age by poachers and predator animals.
The light outside our cabin - love the butterfly!