Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chasing Monkeys in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Hmm… more like slowly and quietly observing monkeys and other rare wildlife in their natural environment while we followed them in a silent electric boat, but that’s not as catchy of a title now is it?

I don’t remember how I heard about Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica, but once it was in my head I couldn’t get it out. I decided to change up my original route of backpacking Central America so that I could spend more time in the Afro-Caribbean communities that are present along the Caribbean coast. I preferred the laid back vibes of these towns and since I was backpacking by myself, I could go wherever I wanted! Birds, manatees, turtles, crocodiles, and monkeys consider themselves residents of the waterways along the small island village of Tortuguero so I made my way there to explore the coastal park for a few days.

Boat tours are the most popular way to see the park. I normally try to stick with locally owned and operated expeditions, but when I heard that Casa Marbella was owned by a Canadian whose electric boat tours had excellent reviews, I didn't wait to sign up (call it national loyalty or whatever you will but I can't help being a little biased to my home country!). Sadly his charming guesthouse didn’t have room for me to stay but I was able to reserve a spot for the next morning’s tour departing at 5.45am. 

As the dark blue skies of dawn lightened with the sun’s arrival, a local guide named Roberto navigated our group of eight through the park’s canals and expertly pointed out the exotic animals that camouflaged themselves among the vegetation. If I would've tried to do this tour by kayaking on my own, I know I would've missed the smaller animals that Roberto was able to identify. Sometimes it just makes more sense to join a tour.

I hope you enjoy this mini-photo essay of the wildlife that I had the privilege to observe while visiting Tortuguero. For a quick video of these monkeys in action, check out this post from earlier in the summer

Chasing Monkeys in Tortuguero, Costa Rica on The-Lifestyle-Project.com
Capuchin monkey scrounging for berries 
Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Wildlife
Camera shy
Capuchin monkey of Costa Rica

Capuchin monkey of Costa Rica
Starting to get nervous because he can sense what's below 
Caiman lizard in Tortuguero
I spy with my little eye... 
Caiman crocodiles in Costa Rica
A caiman crocodile 
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Bird preying in Costa Rica

Bird preying - making the kill in Costa Rica

Bird preying - making the kill in Costa Rica

Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park
Iguana laying out in the sun 
Fauna in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Wildlife in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park
Nicknamed Jesus Christ Lizards because of the way they appear to walk on water   
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Chasing Monkeys in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Have you ever been on a wildlife tour? Going on a safari in Africa is next on my dream wanderlist.

Linking up with Bonnie and Camila for Travel Tuesday.

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