Tortuguero Canals and The Boat Ride

We finally arrived at the edge of the canal. The Tortuguero canals have been called the Costa Rican version of the Amazon. The canals are extensive system of natural and man-made waterways used for transportation and for exploration of the jungle. Thru these canals or by plane are the only ways one can reach Tortuguero.

As much fun as the picturesque bus ride from San Jose with changing landscape was, the narrated boat ride to the canals was truly fascinating with scenic views of the Tortuguero National Park, which is a jungle, and varied wildlife and plant life. Incredible indeed. I have seen a flower that I haven't laid eyes on in years. I have smelled the familiar tropical air and the refreshing splash of canal water in my arm. I have enjoyed skywatching from the boat and knew I was lucky to be there seeing all these. While the wildlife was interesting, I also found so much pleasure in watching the locals go about their daily business.

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Our transportation.
Other travelers in another boat.
Man's bestfriends taking a nice ride.
I spotted a CAMIA along the banks. It's a reunion of sorts, haven't seen it with my own eyes for more than a decade. I wished I was close enough to smell it. Camia is a member of the ginger family if I remember correctly.
The jungle which is also part of the Tortuguero National Park, most of the park is only accessible by boat.

From wiki: The Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), sometimes called Snakebird, Darter, American Darter, or Water Turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. The word "anhinga" comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means devil bird or snake bird.

Unlike ducks, the Anhinga is not able to waterproof its feathers using oil produced by the uropygial gland. Consequently, feathers can become waterlogged, making the bird barely buoyant. However, this allows it to dive easily and search for underwater prey, such as fish and amphibians. It can stay down for significant periods.

When necessary, the Anhinga will dry out its wings and feathers, with the resemblance of the semicircular full-spread shape of its group of tail feathers while drying them out, to that of true meleagrine males lending the name "water turkey" to it. It will perch for long periods with its wings spread to allow the drying process, as do cormorants. If it attempts to fly while its wings are wet, it has great difficulty getting off the water and takes off by flapping vigorously while 'running' on the water. Anhinga will often search for food in small groups.
Black-necked stilt.
Roseate spoonbill
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I knew we were nearing our destination when on both sides of the canals we were passing houses and lodges and hostels.
Looks like the roof is buckling under the weight of the satellite dish.
This is the main canal and flanked on both sides by lodges.
This is Tortuguero village, immediately across the canal from our accommodation.
Our lodge's dock.
We have arrived! (this is the seating area for the lodge's bar.)
And the welcome cocktail is all poured out!!!!


  1. Wonderful photos, Maria. Some truly interesting birds and oh, the cocktail looks nice!

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  3. It's the cocktail drinks that caught my attention. They look refreshing.

  4. Yes I was drawn to the cocktail drinks as well. Judging by your photos it must have been a hot, sunny day so those drinks are much welcomed.

  5. I bet there are crocodiles in there, and water snakes. Your photos are so vividly focused even if you're moving, amazing shots. This trip reminds me of ours in Kro-Red, Thailand which also has some stops for tourists to appreciate their wares or food processing. There was also this stop for feeding meter-long catfish, which are not being caught for food because it is opposite a monastery. Another trip like this is at the Mekong River in Saigon, Vietnam where we went to some islands and I am so amused as we just saw there the process of making 'bukayo', or sweets from coconut, as if we don't know it here in the country. But the boat rides were fun! I am waiting for the next posts!

  6. The bird watching photos are wonderful. I guess that would have been the part of the excursion I would enjoy most if I had been there.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. A fine series of this wonderful sounding trip. Your excellent photos are a good testament to the great time you had. The bird photos are especially good. A very nice post.

  8. Pretty interesting boat trip ;-) and I'm surprised you even know Camia hehehe coz I'm not familiar with different types of flowers, for me they're all the same if they have the same colors hahaha and same with birds I only know the common birds such as eagles, crows, owl, maya and parrot the rest I have to ask google LOL

  9. This is paradise especially for birders!

  10. The Amazon definitely comes to mind, Maria. WOW. What a fascinating place. I really don't know that much about Costa Tica, so thanks for the travel guide.

  11. I loved the time I spent there! Isn't Tortuguero just wonderful?

  12. every shot is postcard perfect!! hey join us! :D


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