Posted by Rick Civelli | 07.09.2012 | Sea Turtle Camp News

Travels in the land of the Tico

Hola from Costa Rica, This week has been excellent. So many “firsts” for our group. For some, it’s their first time in Costa Rica, for others it was their first time white water rafting, and for many of us the first time to see a leatherback sea turtle hatchling. What an amazing adventure this has been in just 6 days!

We all started our journey from different parts of the country and different walks of life, but we are connected by our love for the environment and our commitment to help preserve what we have in this beautiful world. After a quick stop in San Jose we boarded our transport to Turrialba and our first night. Leaving the big city of San Jose in the afternoon we had the opportunity to see the small farms, villages, and mountains that dot the landscape of this wonderful country.

Our first morning, we strapped on our hiking shoes and hit a trail that led us up to a spectacular lookout. On our walk we encountered various plants, mushrooms, flowers, and even saw toucans and monkeys! After all this we still had an exciting afternoon full of white water rafting with Green Frog Adventures. That evening we camped on the river in our Tico (local slang for anything Costa Rican) lean-tos/cabins. We were greeted with magnificent views of the Pacuare River along with the sounds of the jungle that was right outside our screen doors, windows, and front wall.

The next morning we were awoken to the sweet smells of fresh fruit, gallo pinto (rice and beans, a Costa Rican breakfast staple), scrambled eggs, and Costa Rican coffee all prepared by our wonderful guides. We hit the river again to finish our journey through the rapids. A couple of highlights from this leg of the excursion were cliff jumping, bull riding (riding the front of the raft through the rapids), and hiking to waterfalls.

At the end of day 4 we settled into our lodge at Parismina and began resting up for our turtle patrols that were coming. The next morning we met Jerry and Vicky, who led us on a quick guide of the island and introduced us to both Parismina’s history and the beginnings of the Turtle Project. That night would be our first to patrol the beaches to see if any turtles were nesting. Rain and distant storms have deterred many of the turtles that would have been nesting. While, we have not seen a mother turtle we were lucky to see some leatherback hatchlings. The leatherback is the largest turtle – and also the largest living reptile – in the world. Their population has been significantly decreased due to interactions with fishing equipment and the harvesting of their eggs. It was an incredible opportunity for the campers to see this wonderful creature make its way down the beach and into the Caribbean Sea.

From all of us, we would like to send a big thank you to the guides at Green Frog Adventures, Ross at the Game Fish Lodge, Vicky and Jerry with ASTOP (Turtle Project in Parismina), and all of our guides and interns here in Parismina.

Pura Vida, Sea Turtle Camp from Parismina, Limon, Costa Rica