San José / Costa Rica    ( Thursday 03/09 )

At 4pm my alarm clock did ring, since I had to get to the airport to catch my flight to San José ( 1150 m ), and since I got up so early I was already at 9.30pm in my Hotel the Hemingway Inn ( one block north of Museo de Jade on Av9 ). So first I got my breakfast at the hotel, it's included in the room rate, than I walked to the downtown of San José. Since I came from Guatemala City I had expected San José to be a similar city, and was now surprised to find a very modern, cosmopolitan city, with a nice pedestrian area and a view parks. The distances in the city are all not far so I explored everything by walking.

The Hemingway Inn San José San José

My main reason for this stop in Costa Rica was, that with my flight schedule I would have had at least a 24 hour stop in San José, so I had decided to extend my stopover here to a 5 nights stay.
After I had strolled through the city I went back to my hotel - there I booked a 3 day trip to Tortuguero for the next day.

Tortuguero    ( Friday 03/10 - Sunday 03/12 )

click click Friday, another day where I had to get up early, at 6.30am the bus came by to pick me up. After a few minutes on the bus I had my doubts if I had made the right decision to get on an organized 3 day trip - but now it was to late anyhow. During our first stop in the "Cloud Forrest" I got to talk to a few of the other travellers - they were mainly young american girls which studied spanish in San José. After a 2 hour drive we did stop on a banana plantation, was kind of interesting. Up till than I didn't know that a banana tree has only one time fruits and that's it.
At around noon we had arrived at the river, there we had to get on a boat for an 2 hour ride, during which we could observe the wildlife near the river. At about 2pm we arrived our final destination the Jungle Lodge, there we first went for Lunch after we had checked in to our rooms. In the afternoon we than took a boat ride across the river to get to the little village of Tortuguero. First we stopped by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) visitor center, to watch there a film which explains the turtle conservation and reseach work which was and is still done here. Later we walked a bit on the "Turtle" beach and than through the small village.

Jungle Lodge view of the Jungle Lodge Turtle beach

Village of Tortuguero Village of Tortuguero Sunset in Tortuguero

During the beautiful sunset we did get back ( by boat ) to the Jungle Lodge. After the dinner we ( Rachel - one girl from the travel group, Celimon - our guide, another guide, the barkeeper and me ) had lots of fun in the bar of the Lodge. At 11.30pm I said good night and than I sat down near the river for about an hour looked at the stars and just let wander my thoughts. In the meantime I was glad that had I followed the advice of Nicole ( a friend of mine ) and went on this trip to the Tortuguero National Park.

Saturday morning we did meet on 5.30am for a boat trip to see some wildlife of the park. This "early bird" trip was optional and did cost extra but if you are there you have to get up early to see a lot.

bird bird Howler Monkeys

Cayman Cayman Iguana

We saw many different birds ( also Toucans and Parrots ), many howler monkeys and caymans during this morning trip. At 8.15am we were back at the lodge for breakfast and at 9am jungle nearby the river crocodile we headed out again to lookout for the wildlife, but this time we didn't see as much as on the early morning trip. Around noon we were again back at the lodge did hang around the pool for a while and relaxed. In the afternoon at 3pm we did go by boat to a butterfly farm and later we went for a one hour hike through the jungle on a narrow path. This was a nice excursion.
On this evening we also had again a fun night at the bar. On Sunday we started our journey back to San José. Shortly after we had left the Lodge we did see a big corcodile on the banks of the river on a log. First I almost had the impression that this thing was just "decoration" and placed there for tourists, but seconds later it jumped into the river.

At about 4pm I was back at my B & B in San José ( I had left there again my big backpack ). On Monday, my last vacation day, I strolled again throug San José and did some shopping.

On Tuesday I got up at 4.30am to get to the airport to finally to return to Burlington, Vermont. My vacation was over!       ;-(((



Overview of all Webpages I've linked to, during this report:

Jabel Tinamit - Spanish School in Panajachel / Guatemala
Hotel Pan American - Guatemala City
Jaguar in the Night - photos from Tikal in 1895
Journey through Tikal
World Heritage - Tikal
Hemingway Inn - B & B in San Jose / Costa Rica
Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) - Tortuguero / Costa Rica

Wanna see more?
Check out these 3 links:

Andrea's Costa Rica Travel Report
Thomas Adamek's homepage about Guatemala & more
Lars' Guatemala travel page


All photographs contained on this site are Copyright   -   2001 Tina Leidinger


15-SEP-2001 - © copyright www.whatsoever.net