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.
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.
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!!!!