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I finally got a chance to write up and post some details about a really wicked one day tour that Zee & I experienced recently.

The tour was a one day trip with a tour company called Jungle Tom Safaris which involved a trip to the rain forests in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, with a few stop offs along the way. The other thing that we looked forward to was getting out of San Jose and experiencing some beach time along the way as both Zee and I were missing the feeling of wide open spaces quite a bit (we were very fortunate to have an amazing sea view apartment in Cape Town)

So, about the trip…

Tortuguero National Park Photo Gallery

To check out the rest of the photos from the set, visit my Tortuguero Album on Flickr

All in all it was a very long day, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Guides are friendly, experienced and have an excellent knowledge of the area and environment.

One unexpected & cool part of the trip was a stop at the botanical gardens where I spotted my first Howling Monkey and a Jesus Christ Lizard. The Jesus Christ Lizard is so named as it has the ability to run on water for short distances, a really impressive feat to witness.

My favourite part of the trip was definitely the water boat tour of the canals which were teeming with wildlife including, lizards, iguanas, crocodiles, Cayman and a plethora of bird species including the impressing Tiger Heron.

Regrettably, we did not spot any Toucans or snakes during our rainforest walk, but that was quickly forgotten when we hit the dark sandy beach which was full of tracks from the Green Leatherback Turtles that beach during the night to lay their eggs and nest – sadly the population is dwindling rapidly and currently the numbers have declined by as much as 90% over the past 10 years.

After taking the beach we made our way back along the canals to the tour bus and made our way back to San Jose. Zee and I were exhausted by the time we got home and fell into bed promptly after a hot shower.

Well, that was our first trip out of town and it was awesome. Our next one is the Poas Volcano tour which is a little shorter, but apparently just as awesome. I’m managed to get my digital camera sorted out so the photos will be better that the one’s taken with my mobile phone during the Tortuguero trip.

Until next time, adios muchachos, pura vida.

Here’s the clipping of the itinerary from the Jungle Tom Safaris page:

One day tour itinerary ($90)

6:10 am Depart from San José accompanied by your bilingual naturalist guide.

6:30 am Driving first past coffee plantations, we will head into the mountains of Braulio Carrillo National Park where steep slopes are covered with thick cloud forest and beautiful waterfalls can be seen from the road. That magnificent 46,000 hectare park is one of Costa Rica´s largest, home to three kinds of monkeys, Tapirs, 557 bird species and more than 4.000 different species of plants. Your tour guide will identify some of that flora and fauna.

7:30 am Just after Braulio Carrillo National Park, we stop for a typical Costa Rican breakfast, fresh fruit, coffee, eggs and the popular “Gallo Pinto”.

8:00 am Following breakfast, we continue to a Banana plantation, where your guide will explain the process of growing and exporting that fruit.

10:30 am We later abandon our bus and embark on the most exciting part of this tour: The boat trip into the jungle on the Caribbean Canals to the world famous Tortuguero National Park.

12:00 pm We will enjoy a hearty typical lunch to please the hungriest of appetites.

1:00 pm After lunch we will take a walk through the rainforest to learn about how nature works and to get a real feel of our tropical humid rainforest, plus a boat tour through Tortuguero National Park. Covering 29000 hectares, Tortuguero is one of the most important nesting sites for Chelonia Midas, the Green Sea Turtle, whereas its forests and waterways are home for such endangered mammals such as sloths, monkeys, Agoutis, Coatimundis and Manatees. There are also abundant birds, such as Toucans, Trogons, Egrets, Herons and Anhingas, as well as crocodiles, turtles and countless colourful) butterflies, including the beautiful blue Morpho. The boat trip offers a chance to see many of these rare animals up close.

3:30 pm Returning to the bus, we head back to San José, making a rest stop along the way and arriving around 6:30.