After a delicious buffet lunch at Mawamba Lodge and a quick dip in the pool, our guide gathered us around to take a quick boat ride to Tortuguero Village.
Since there were no cars, the majority of the walkways were dirt paths that took you through the whole village. These walkways luckily hit all the fun attractions, like the cute little restaurants, the colorful central park located on the river, and a small path cutting through the whole village, 200 meters, to the other side – the beach. Here we enjoyed a yummy, fresh coconut with rum delight!
(Note: the riptide is extremely rough and is completely inadvisable for swimming.)
One of the lovely benefits of Mawamba, and there were many, was that it was only about a 15 minute walk along the sandy shore from the actual village. So on the way back we enjoyed a peaceful stroll and stopped at the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), the turtle education and research center of the area.
Tortuguero is known as the “Land of the Turtles”, and is one of the most important green turtle nesting sites in the Western Hemisphere. However, it wasn’t always like this. In the 1950’s Dr. Archi Carr, a biologist from the University of Florida arrived to this area to study the green turtle. During those years Tortuguero was heavily logged by the huge lumber corporations and had direct effect on the turtle. He was the primary player in turning this area into a national park. After many years of standing his ground, the Costa Rican government finally agreed and in 1978 it became the Tortuguero National Park.
Insider information: When you are floating through the canals and you are amazed by this tropical jungle, it fools everyone into thinking that it’s a primary forest. However, it’s only 40 years old. That’s the beauty of nature, with all the right ingredients (rain, humidity, great soil and permission), jungles can rebuild themselves almost to their original glory.