Costa Rica, October, 2022
Diane and I had a lovely 10 day holiday in the rain forests of the Caribbean Coast area in beautiful Costa Rica. We spent the 1st 3 days in Tortuguero National Park, which is in the north Caribbean, 4 days in the southern area of Puerto Viejo and the last day in San Jose at the Hotel Bouganvillea, which has 10 acres of gorgeous, lush gardens. We photographed monkeys, sloths, iguanas, caiman, crocodile, lizards a variety of birds including Toucans, water birds and baby turtles.
Tortuguero National Park
We stayed at the Tortuga Lodge located right on the river in the Caribbean lowlands. An hour boat ride was required to reach the lodge. Originally intended to protect a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle, Tortuguero National Park protects 77,000 acres of one of the largest tropical rain forest in Central America. A highlight for us was the witnessing of baby turtles dig their way out of the nest and make their way to the water. If these turtles can avoid predators, they will return to this very beach in 25-30 years to start the life cycle again.
Puerto Viejo/Cahuita National Park
We stayed at the Cariblue Hotel which is in a large jungle complex right on the Caribbean Ocean. There are monkeys, sloths etc that live in the many huge trees on this property. Our room had a small pool right outside our patio. Puerto Viejo is known for its beaches and the surf break that attracts international surfers. Cahuita National Park protects beaches and lowlands and has many species of mammals and a variety of birds.
Jaguar Rescue Centre, Puerto Viejo
We visited the Jaguar Rescue Centre (there are no Jaguars here but many other birds and mammals). It was interesting to learn why the animals are here and what rehabilitation is needed. Some are released back into nature as soon as possible, but the unlucky ones with malformations at birth or injuries that would allow them to be prey if released, stay forever. One sloth was born with only 1 toe/claw on each foot and hand. One very sad spider monkey was trained to pose with tourists and lived in a cage for 22 years. It was gratifying to hear what the Rescue Centre is doing.
We spent our last day at the gorgeous Hotel Bougainvilla in San Jose. Their gardens include 10 acres of tropical grounds with numerous species of native trees, orchids, ferns and birds.
Memorial to Karen & Brenda
I found the perfect place to mingle the ashes of my great niece Karen and niece Brenda in Costa Rica . Brenda, of course, had not traveled but I know she'd love to be here with Karen. On the morning we left for a private tour of a national park, we saw a sloth (Karen's fav) sleeping in a tree on our Cariblue Hotel property. It was still in the same tree when we returned later that day. I then spread their ashes at the bottom of this gorgeous tree while the sloth continued to sleep. It felt so perfect.