Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica's famous national parks. Over 20,000 people visit it every year. The park is a series of linking rivers and canals. It is possible to enter as an individual, but a lot easier to take an organised boat trip, which we did. We met our guide and our fellow travelers in Moin, on the coast. There were seven of us. A Dutch family of five and us. The boat was small with a very powerful outboard motor.
We packed our luggage in and started up the river.

There is a lot of real estate for sale.
We got very excited at out first viewing - a blue heron.
 And then an egret with mating feathers.
One of the memories of the trip is the peace, quietness and sheer beauty of the canals.
We were to travel upriver for 80kms  to reach the lodge in the village of Tortuguero.
On the way we saw lots of interesting things.
Men fishing
Green orchids
A huge crocodile!
A green Cameleon
and our first white faced monkey.
The flame trees are orange in Costa Rica and they were in full bloom.
We passed through canals linking the rivers. 
Watching birds sunning themselves and watching for fish.
Wading birds had amazing long legs!
And hiding in the undergrowth another green Cameleon.
Tortuguero is a park, but people live there. The people fish..
Goods have to be transported for all the tourists.
But, it is all so tranquil.
After about three hours we arrived at Tortuguero. 
We passed the village observing several things.
semidetached houses: 
 Guess what this is?
A recycling plant! All garbage is taken to the plant, sorted and recycled!
We were most impressed.
 Water ambulance.
 And a picking up point for the tourists who stay in lodges scattered along the river banks.
Our lodge was large, we were to move the next night as they had no space!
But, we liked the towels!
and our dinner table was right on the edge of the river!
A gentle sunset finished a great day.
We were up early the next day for more animal viewing.
We were not dissappointed.
An osprey - waiting.
 Very strange flowers!
 More idyllic waterways.
A Francesca bird.
A river turtle.
And an unknown bird!
We returned for breakfast and then went to explore the village.
The main street was lined with tourist shops!
 Old machinery had been left behind.
 A house in the middle of the jungle,
with fabulous plants in it's garden,

At certain times of year several different types of turtle come to nest here. 
The beach is miles long and very wild.
We moved hotel and were greeted by this troupe of white faced monkeys.
We spent a long time watching them.

Later we were off again to cruise down a very narrow canal, 
The vegetation was thick and great trees clung to the banks.

 We came across a caiman,
guarding her babies.
Several river turtles were resting on a bamboo branch.
We even managed to find a night bird with a huge beak - 
sorry can't remember it's name!
We cruised silently back to the lodge enjoying the peace.

The next morning we were on another boat on the way to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.