STREET ART: Tortuguero Village

Only a few hundred people live here but they have more interesting “Street Art” than many big cities! Of course it helps that they are in the middle of a National Park! 🙂 That link is to the official park website in Spanish and for my photo galleries of 3 park visits, use links at the end of this post.

DISCLAIMER: “Street Art” for this series is paintings and tile work along streets, usually on buildings, that may or may not have been commissioned or done “illegally” without permission. I have no way of knowing. I purposefully did not include public statues, fountains, etc. obviously sanctioned by the government.

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero village is reachable only by boat or plane in what is called “The Amazon of Costa Rica” along the country’s northeast coast or Caribbean side. The village is the heart of Tortuguero National Park adjacent the Park Visitors Center with transportation to all lodges by boat. One side is the Atlantic beach and the other a river/canal into the glades. Above is the one art pix for email notice of post and please click READ MORE for more photos of this nature-centric Street Art . . .

Continue reading “STREET ART: Tortuguero Village”

Tree Frog HAIKU

Haiku poem on photo made at Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
 by Charlie Doggett

Check out my Haiku Photo Gallery for more like this. Expect a book eventually!  🙂

Or if it is the frog you like, see my Amphibians Photo Gallery for many more.


Retire in Latin America?

And for those thinking about retiring somewhere in Latin America, I agree with Christopher Howard’s evaluation of the latest ranking from International Living magazine which I used at first but do not trust as they invest in property in places like Ecuador, then push it as the best place to retire. If you are even thinking about the possibility of retiring “south of the border,” you will find this article by Christopher Howard helpful:

I am thoroughly convinced that I made the right decision, not only with Costa Rica but also a small town in the Central Valley. But I am not pushing retirement here because I think there are already too many Americans here! Nor am I encouraging you do it like me, because we are all different with different goals. That said, I will be glad to answer questions or give my opinion about concerns you may have about retiring here or anywhere in Latin America. The economics depend on your lifestyle as do the specific location (beach, mountain, valley, city) and also the kind of services you require. I have visited Panama & Nicaragua twice each and like them both. Nicaragua wins on cost of living, while Panama is more developed and Americanized which is one thing I don’t like about it, though even it has a lower cost of living than Costa Rica. My best economic decision was to live without a car! Easy to do in Costa Rica! ¡Buena suerte! 

And oh yes, the question of do you have to learn to speak Spanish? The simple answer is “No.” But the many gringos who do not stand out like sore thumbs. You cannot fully enjoy the people and culture nor function effectively in the business, government and medical worlds here without speaking Spanish. I am a slow learner, but determined to learn and I get by in most situations, with fluency my long-term goal. And that is saying a lot for a 77 year-old! 🙂  Long term?  🙂

Tortuguero Miscellaneous Photos

Okay. I’ll try to make this the last post from Tortuguero, then back to Atenas posts tomorrow!  🙂

Bus window view of Chiquita Banana Plantation, Costa Rica
Modern buses like this is how many tourists get around inside Costa Rica.
All the dozen or so lodges have boats making the 1.5 hours trip into park.

Our group on one of the Laguna Lodge boats enroute to lodge.
Robert Umaña, our guide, listening for a bird or other animal.

Robert using sand drawings to tell us about the life cycles of
the green sea turtles that lay their eggs on this beach and each
baby that makes it goes to ocean and returns years later to lay their own eggs.
One of the many river channels and canals we traveled looking for wildlife.

Another lodge’s guide pointing out a bird, monkey or other animal.

Unidentified butterflies/moths in our Laguna Lodge garden.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Pura Vida!

This trip significantly improved some of my photo collections in the PBase Galleries:
Later I will be adding a trip gallery in the travel section of my galleries, but not enough time yet!

Tortuguero Fruits & Flowers

Just a few of the hundreds of fruits and flowers found in this rainforest:

Large Heliconia growing wild along the river banks, same as in my garden.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Small Heliconia also growing wild in forest and
here in the lodge garden, similar to my garden!
Cashew Nut is usually a surprise to people when first seen growing!
One nut per flower!

Hooker’s Lips or Hot Lips is another surprising plant.
I can’t find the name of this blue berried plant in the rainforest.
Achiote (bixa orellana) is used for food coloring red and sometimes lips
Robert holds an open pod of the above Achiote flower showing the seeds
It is those red seeds that have the red coloring for food or lips.
A couple of children let him put red dots on their skin to show how it works.

Papaya tree with a very popular fruit
This is same one with the Collared Aracari Toucans I photographed
Tortuguero Village, Costa Rica

Torch Ginger flower
Neat vine I just had to photograph!  🙂

Read more About Tropical Rain Forests on Wikipedia.

Pura Vida!

Tortuguero Reptiles

Ebony Keelback snakeon banks of Tortuguero River, Costa Rica
It is similar to a Mussurana, which is more common in South America than here.

Many people think that they will see more snakes than anything in the rainforest, but that is not usually the case as they fear humans more than we fear them and many are well camouflaged. I’m including a second photo of the only snake we saw in Tortuguero to show the full length:

Ebony Keelback snake, Tortuguero, Costa rica
Green Iguana was the most often seen reptile. This male is orange because he is mating.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Green Basilisk or “Jesus Christ Lizard” because he walks on water.
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Spectacled Caiman, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Spectacled Caiman, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Note that this is a lighter color than the first photo. Color varies and light makes photos different.
Black River Turtle, Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Be not in haste, said the tortoise.There is nothing here but time.

If you live long enough, you will see.Of course, though, you will see them from your cage.

Live long enough? I asked. Are there mortal dangers here?
The tortoise chuckled. 

The boy doesn’t always take very good care of his prisoners, Rex the lizard chimed in.
What do you mean? He doesn’t feed us enough?

Sometimes he doesn’t understand what we need to survive, Rex answered. Sometimes he plays too rough.

How can a creature able to bend the laws of nature be so cruel? I asked.” 

― Patrick Jennings, We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

Pura Vida!

Check out my  Costa Rica Reptiles  Photo Gallery

Tortuguero Monkeys

Mantled Howler Monkey, Laguna Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Photo made on cell phone through the guide’s spotting scope.

Central American Spider Monkey (Juvenile)
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey,  Tortuguero, Costa Rica
It is lumped in with the other spider monkey as just one species of the 4 here
This is a mature adult while the Central American above is a juvenile
They are like first cousins with mainly a color difference.

White-faced Capuchin Monkey, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Of the four monkeys that live in Costa Rica, three can be found in Tortuguero National Park and I managed to get photos of all three on this trip. The one not here is the Squirrel Monkey found only in and around Manuel Antonio National Park. See one of my photos of Squirrel Monkey at Manuel Antonio.

“A pie” – That is Spanish for “On foot” which is what I now am again! And I love it! Reagan left today and I turned in the expensive rent car at the airport, road a bus back to Atenas and walked from the bus station to my house. Wow! I didn’t realize how much detail in the world you miss from a car. Walking puts you close to people, animals, flowers, other nature and interesting buildings, sounds, odors, things to stump your toe on and the weather! Warning to future visitors: You might be “A pie” which is not said like my favorite dessert because all i’s in Spanish are pronounced like ee, thus it is said something like: “Ah Pee Eh.”
That’s all the Spanish for now but not all of Tortuguero yet!  🙂  I still have more photos to share over the next few days. And must say thanks to Reagan for being a great guest and tourist in my Costa Rica! And for the delicious going away lunch! (American food of course!)   🙂

Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of his visit here!       Pura Vida!

The Other Birds – Tortuguero

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

From our Tortuguero Trip last week I have already shown photos of 3 Species of Toucans, a Sungrebe, a Red-lored Parrot, and a Snowy Egret. And here are about 15 more species that I got photos of plus of course seeing others. You can see why I love Tortuguero! And a few of these were first-time sightings for me which will be added to my Birds of Costa Rica Photo Gallery.

Belted Kingfisher, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Little Blue Heron, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Montezuma Oropendola, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Female Anhinga, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Male Anhinga, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Great Curassow Female, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Interesting note: This nest was above the outdoor bar at Laguna Lodge.
I watched the male bring twigs and female arrange them. Fun!

Royal Tern Juvenile, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Osprey, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Long-tailed Grackle Female, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Northern Jacana, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Common Black Hawk, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Orange-breasted Falcon or Bat Falcon or Black-collared Hawk ???Tortuguero, Costa Rica
If you can narrow the identification down, please contact me!
Wings only is tough to ID!

Social Flycatcher (most likely) or Great Kiskadee or
White-ringed Flycatcher, 
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Birds of Tortuguero Checklist

Red-lored Parrot

Red-lored Parrot, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

It looks like it will be next week before I get all my shots from Tortuguero processed, so here is one more! He is the only parrot we saw and I am pleased with this shot. But there are still several more shots of birds to share! (And 3 species of monkeys, several lizards, and one snake.) And I assume you know that all of these were shot in the wild! Tortuguero is a terrific place for nature lovers!

“We need the tonic of wildness… We can never have enough of nature.” 

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods