Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

Mrs. of Tortuguero
A Lady sheltered by a large tortoise sculpture, outside La Pavona.
Palma channel below
Public boat transports passengers through the Canal de Palma.
Tortuguero. El Pueblito de
A resident of Tortuguero passes behind the village's two avian statues.
golden afternoon
Couple under the porch of their house in the village of Tortuguero.
Great Fishing
Don Emílio and his sons return from another fishing trip on the Tortuguero river, with large sea bass.
lazy maternity
Sloth mother holds a cub and looks for the sun after a long period of rain.
Socializing by the water
Friends live in a house on the banks of the Tortuguero canal.
anhinga anhinga
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Intersection in the Channel
Captain Mainor maneuvers one of the many boats that navigate the Tortuguero canals.
dizzy iguana
Iguana climbs back up a tree after an ostentatious fall in his sleep.
The sun sets over the horizon and gilds the Caribbean coast of Tortuguero, on Costa Rica's northeast coast.
The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.

Traveling 50km across the rural and sunny Limon province, the road threshold of La Pavona quickly puts the dots in the i's in terms of the illusion of some barometric goodness.

We were still heading for the protection of the bar-restaurant when leaden and unrelenting clouds cast a deluge over the shipboard.

At a time when the boats lightened, we climbed aboard the boat we would follow with final destination to Tortuguero. Waiting for other passengers, we went back out on photographic prospecting.

We find ourselves trapped by another rain under a rough shelter of beams and planks.

Blessing it and the newcomers to the riverside a sanctuary the like of which we had never seen, composed of a leggy turtle carved from dark wood.

And, under the high carapace, a bright green statuette of what looked to us like Our Lady holding a baby Jesus.

Finally, with everyone on board, Carlos Arceyut, the host at Laguna Lodge welcomes us, introduces us to the captain of the boat Minor.

Minor sets sail for the Suerte, a tributary of the Tortuguero River, another of several rivers that flow from the Cordillera Central towards the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and that flood vast areas in its path, as is the case of the de Caño Negro, further west.

After 20 minutes, as if by a miracle from an unusual divinity, the clouds open.

For almost an hour, under a dome that was almost sky blue, we zigzagged through the meanders of the Suerte, until we entered a wide channel pointing towards the town of San Francisco and Laguna Penitência.

Having bent the hook of one called Isla Quatro Esquinas, we left a passenger in the town of Tortuguero.

We went back up the channel parallel to that of Laguna da Providência until, at the scheduled time, we anchored at Laguna Lodge.

Laguna Lodge, between the Canals of Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean Sea

There we settled, between the last channel of the trip and the Caribbean Sea and, as soon as we went out onto the porch of our room, we were already in contact with the surrounding fauna.

A great thud makes us startled. It occurs to us that it should have caused a coconut discarded by its coconut tree.

A closer look reveals a large iguana that has just fallen from the top of a tree and sprawled on the damp ground.

We accompany her, unharmed, but somewhat dazed, as she returns to her interrupted sleep in the heights.

In a unique scenario and ecosystem like that, we didn't want to waste a minute.

In agreement, we returned to the channel, once again captained by Mainor and guided by Carlos Arceyut.

The Almost Amphibious and Risky Life of Tortuguero National Park

We scour the vegetation on the banks for animals when a trio aboard a canoe “rosmery”, struggling to row against the current, catches our attention. “It's Mr. Emílio and his children.” tells us Carlos. “They went fishing at the mouth of the river. Let's see what they caught"

Carlos questions them. Moments later, the fishermen show us a huge sea bass and a snapper just a little smaller. “For them, fishing like this is routine. They know these channels like no one else and have been through it all.

Just to give you an idea, once, one of Mr. Emílio's children was attacked by a crocodile, even close to where they caught these fish. Do you know how he got away with it? Hit him with a stick. That's not why they stopped going back there.”

Emile and his descendants were not the only ones to refuse to be intimidated by the omnipresence of the voracious reptiles.

A few hundred meters upstream, we crossed paths with another trio, this time aboard the canoe “Miss Sibella”. Dona Rosana, Axel and Genesis fished for river shrimp, which they unraveled from floating islands of vegetation. We established a new approach.

Despite a certain initial shyness, they also remind us that they live on water and that if crocodiles kept them away from the canals, they would not be able to live. “Anyway, it’s to avoid hassles  that I have the canoe between me and the shore.

We do what we can.”

Tortuguero, the Caricata Village

The sun was almost setting over the jungle to the west. We continued the navigation towards the Tortuguero village. We landed to the sound of cumbia coming from a street bar, at that hour, with few customers.

More than the Caribbean soundtrack, it is the imposition of an unusual nucleus of statues that takes us seriously.

Just in front of the jetty, beyond the colony of tires that cushion the boats from docking and above a multicolored playground, a green macaw coexisted with a toucan.

A few meters to the left, two polar bears sat on a shed enjoying the birds' conversation and their shimmering reflection in the dark water of the canal.

The birds' reason for being was clear to us.

The one about polar bears needed an explanation. “Oh! It was an advertisement or sponsorship for an ice cream brand.

I think it was Eskimo.” elucidates us Carlos.

Statues on the sidelines, the hamlet of Tortuguero was generated by ancestors, mestizos of Afro-Caribbeans, Indigenous Miskitos and immigrants from far away places.

From the Origins of Tortuguero to the Rewarding Return to Laguna Lodge

It was mainly developed by the need for labor in cocoa plantations, which, due to its imminence, ended up giving rise to additional exports of turtle meat, also for the USA and Europe.

We admired the way the sunset gilded the houses of Tortuguero. Exhausted from a whole day of road and river travel, we decided to exchange the intriguing dimness of the village for the cozy shelter, which recharges energy at Laguna Lodge.

While we ate, we resisted an attempted assault by a family of hungry coatis.

We went to bed early, convinced that we would face a new sunny day, full of novelty and activity, like the one that was ending.

We were wrong and it was no small feat.

An Unexpected Meteorological Dramatism

In the middle of the night, a roar like the Caribbean Sea passing over the room makes us wake up with a start. When we looked out the window, we realized that it was a deluge rain, pushed from the north by almost cyclonic gusts of wind.

The Caribbean hurricane season had ended some ten days ago. Still, in December, it is common for cold fronts to descend across Central America and release their moisture and fury on the Caribbean side.

Bategas followed each other every night. They continued throughout the day. They agitated and inflated the grayish Caribbean Sea and, there, even in calm times, not suitable for bathing, due to the strong currents and the abundance of bull sharks.

Every other day has passed. The storm has not passed.

In this meteorological disaster so natural in the rainy Tortuguero, the Caribbean Sea was limited to projecting its waves almost to the coconut forest.

In the canal, the water rose before our eyes. He invaded the pier. He climbed the edge of the garden.

In that time, three times, Luís Torres, another guide at the service of the lodge, appeared at our service and, to our shared frustration, saw his services postponed for us.

So it went on until, two tenebrous and stormy dawns later, on the third, the bad weather took over.

We wake up without rain or wind. Instead of the angry sky unfurling over our heads, a gentle mist massaged the verdant top of the jungle.

Finally, back to the Canals of Tortuguero National Park

When we finish breakfast, Luís Torres is once again ready at the pier, accompanied by the boat's captain, Chito, nickname that replaced his real name Braulio.

“This time it really is, Luís, don't worry. It is, and it will be soon”, we assure you, imbued with the same evasive anxiety as the guide. Minutes later, we were browsing the channel.

The predicted territory was much wider than that of the opening day. And yet, it was enough for us to cross to the opposite bank to marvel at it.

After the long soaked punishment, like us, a good part of the animals yearned for the sun caress. Chito and Luís detect a family of howler monkeys in a tree.

As we admire and photograph them, they find a lazy mother, still soaked, dozing in the sun, with a winking cub on her back.

Enthusiastic about the absolute setback in fortunes that the Tortuguero National Park held for us, we made every effort to leave the creatures to their perennial sleep.

We point once again to the village of statue birds and then to the canal hook. As the village extends, we reach the entrance to the protected area.

After three days of access and forced shelter, we finally reached the wild and flooded heart of Tortuguero National Park.

Article written with the support of:


Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
miravalles, Costa Rica

The volcano that Miravalles

At 2023 meters, the Miravalles stands out in northern Costa Rica, high above a range of pairs that includes La Giganta, Tenório, Espiritu Santo, Santa Maria, Rincón de La Vieja and Orosi. Inactive with respect to eruptions, it feeds a prolific geothermal field that warms the lives of Costa Ricans in its shadow.
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

A Night at the Nursery of Tortuguero

The name of the Tortuguero region has an obvious and ancient reason. Turtles from the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea have long flocked to the black sand beaches of its narrow coastline to spawn. On one of the nights we spent in Tortuguero we watched their frenzied births.
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Back to the Tropical Arms of Montezuma

It's been 18 years since we were dazzled by this one of Costa Rica's blessed coastlines. Just two months ago, we found him again. As cozy as we had known it.
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Cahuita, Costa Rica

An Adult Return to Cahuita

During a backpacking tour of Costa Rica in 2003, the Caribbean warmth of Cahuita delights us. In 2021, after 18 years, we return. In addition to an expected, but contained modernization and hispanization of the town, little else had changed.
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Monteverde, Costa Rica

The Ecological Refuge the Quakers Bequeathed the World

Disillusioned with the US military propensity, a group of 44 Quakers migrated to Costa Rica, the nation that had abolished the army. Farmers, cattle raisers, became conservationists. They made possible one of the most revered natural strongholds in Central America.
Fogón de Lola Costa Rica

The Flavor of Costa Rica of El Fogón de Lola

As the name suggests, the Fogón de Lola de Guapiles serves dishes prepared on the stove and in the oven, according to Costa Rican family tradition. In particular, Tia Lola's.
Gandoca-Manzanillo (Wildlife Refuge), Costa Rica

The Caribbean Hideaway of Gandoca-Manzanillo

At the bottom of its southeastern coast, on the outskirts of Panama, the “Tica” nation protects a patch of jungle, swamps and the Caribbean Sea. As well as a providential wildlife refuge, Gandoca-Manzanillo is a stunning tropical Eden.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Architecture & Design
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s – Old-Fashioned Car Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
good buddhist advice
Ceremonies and Festivities
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
Nissan, Fashion, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
on this side of the Atlantic

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”

Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Boat on the Yellow River, Gansu, China
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
Natural Parks
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
improvised bank
UNESCO World Heritage
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Surf Lesson, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki, OahuHawaii

The Japanese Invasion of Hawaii

Decades after the attack on Pearl Harbor and from the capitulation in World War II, the Japanese returned to Hawaii armed with millions of dollars. Waikiki, his favorite target, insists on surrendering.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Valdez, Alaska

On the Black Gold Route

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker caused a massive environmental disaster. The vessel stopped plying the seas, but the victim city that gave it its name continues on the path of crude oil from the Arctic Ocean.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.