Costa RicaCosta Rica

There are Always the Monkeys

Destination: Tortuguero

Laguna Lodge, also located on the Caribbean side of Tortuguero River, is just a short boat ride from Mawamba. I arrive mid morning in time to go on a tour of Cano Chiquero via kayak (no additional fee for boat rental) with a small group and a naturalist guide. We are shuttled by motor boat close to Cano Chiquero where we carefully transfer form the river boat to the kayaks without getting wet. No motorboats are permitted in this canal and we find that we have the canal all to ourselves.

We begin our journey upstream and immediately hear the endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambigua). They taunt us, calling while in flight, but never even give us a peek at their grandly colored plumage. We find a small group of spider monkeys feeding above us. Since we are in kayaks, we are able to sit silently and watch as they leap from tree to tree, stopping to nibble along the way.

We continue to paddle up to the park boundary and then turn around. The kayaks are easy to maneuver and a fun way to tour the canals. I feel calm, yet energized after such a serene morning. We return in time to catch lunch, which is on a more flexible schedule here at Laguna. You can eat during a 2 hour period rather than at an exact time.

While its still sunny, I venture to the pool for a little R&R. Laguna's pool area is inviting. There is a second bar here and plenty of lounge chairs. I drift to sleep but am awakened by the sounds of an approaching thunderstorm. Storms move in quick here so I return to my room for a nap. There is nothing like sleeping during a afternoon thunderstorm.

The best thing about Laguna is that its main bar and restaurant are located along the River's edge. The rainy evening passes quickly at the bar, especially after a few pipa fria (fresh coconut water) and white rum drinks.

It stops raining just prior to departure for a guided night turtle walk (turtle walks are rain OR shine). We are hoping to see a green sea turtle coming out of the ocean to dig a nest and lay eggs. We walk in total darkness at a comfortable pace for 2 hours with no encounters. It's nearing the end of the nesting season so its less likely that we will find any. Two nights ago a group went out and found five turtles coming ashore. Its just pure luck.

There are Always the Monkeys in Pictures