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Costa Rica 2005 (page 4 of 4)

We spent the last four days at Tortuguero on the Caribbean Coast. The "Amazon" of Costa Rica, this village can only be reached by boat or plane. It sits on a thin spit of jungle between the ocean and the river. We enjoyed the languid waters of the river. Crocodiles are rarely seen near the village, so it's safe enough.

We also had a blast playing in the ocean waves. All the books say sharks and rip tides make it too dangerous, but the locals cannot recall a single shark attack and we were careful about the currents.

The village is a wonderful place. With no cars, this path is "main street".

Laundry hangs near a small house along the Tortuguero Canal on the way to Moin.

The village is rather poor, with a mixture of Ticos, Nicos (Nicaraguans), and Westerners, as well as tourists. This house (left) is actually a four-unit complex, with one-room units with no windows. Poor housing, but their view is shown by the photo of Luke (right), as these two photos were taken from virtually the same spot.

A spider monkey uses its tail as it hangs from a tree top. We had great views of howler, spider, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. We recommend Daryl Loth, a Canadian naturalist (married to a Tico) who runs Casa Marbella, for boat tours into the national park.

More sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Tortuguero than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. Eco-tourism here has decreased poaching of eggs and natural predation of hatchlings, leading to increased populations of green sea-turtles. These are the tracks of females who came to lay eggs. On a guided nightwalk, we saw them laying eggs from a few feet away, but no cameras or lights were allowed.

This is not Tortuguero, but Termales del Bosque just outside Ciudad Quesada. CCS took us on an outing like this every Wednesday.

Another CCS outing, Catarata Arenal. We were able to swim in a pool nearby.

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