Our last stop on our eleven night cruise was at Puerto Limon in Costa Rica. This was the only port that had a number of local vendors right at the docks in a huge tent. I imagine that there is some government involvement as to who is actually selling their wares as all the vendors are wearing the same “uniform”. Also in the tent you can get a pedicure, manicure and massage. I’ve had a pedicure here twice!
I had been here before and had gone on a boat ride on the Tortuguero Canal, stopped at Bonita Beach, visited Dole Banana Plantation, saw cashew trees and had lunch at an authentic restaurant on a bluff overlooking the harbor. Since I had seen so much, I decided to stay on the boat (other than getting my pedicure). Blogger Friend Susan did take an excursion and she has written about her aerial tramway tour in the Rain Forest in Costa Rica. Here is her account:
Our day in Costa Rica dawned early and brightly. The sun rose as we pulled into port at Puerto Limon (San Jose) on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. After a brief rain shower, the sun came out and the temperatures were warm. It was not nearly as humid as it had been in Panama.
I was up early, excited to see a new place. I had already packed my day bag with bottles of water, a hat, sunscreen, a few snacks, camera, binoculars and bug spray (which had been recommended.) Those going ashore on HAL excursions gathered in the Vista Lounge and waited to be called by group. The cruise line offered quite a variety of day trips, as we were going to be in port for a long day.
I chose the Rain Forest Aerial Tram trip, which lasted over seven hours, for $124.95. We boarded a comfortable, air-conditioned bus right at the dock. Our guide Dennis was quite personable and knowledgeable. As we passed banana groves, pineapple fields, coffee plantations and views of the fog-covered semi-active volcano ranges; he gave us many facts about what we were seeing. Our driver Freddie did a wonderful job of navigating the potholes, truck traffic and narrow sections of road. Rain overnight and that morning had caused landslides in several areas. Our drive to the rain forest took almost two hours, but we were allowed to pass traffic on the “wrong” side of the road in order to meet our appointed time there. A baby sloth was spotted in one of the coconut palms, so we pulled over to watch it hang upside down.
Costa Rica is known world-wide for its progressive environmental policies and sustainability, and has a high literacy rate. The government has announced a goal for it to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country.
The Rainforest Adventures Atlantic activities can be found at www.rainforestadventure.com. It received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Its property borders Braulio Carrillo National Park.
Our bus of forty passengers was divided into two groups upon arrival. Half the group went on a 20-25 minute walk with Manuel, an enthusiastic guide. The path was clean, packed dirt or concrete with slight elevation changes. He stopped often to discuss the floor and sub-canopy species of plants. We heard many birds, and saw evidence of travel through the area by animals (most of whom are nocturnal.) If you did not want to walk; there was a shaded, covered area with benches to wait. There was also an air-conditioned gift shop with bathrooms conveniently nearby.
When we returned, we climbed aboard a seven person gondola for a 70-75 minute excursion through the canopy of the rain forest. Our guide Damien was thrilled to be able to show us several birds and butterflies, including the beautiful blue Morpho.
The tram runs in two directions, one higher and one lower, so you actually see different layers of the rain forest. He pointed out and explained many different plants, bushes and trees at each level.
A wonderful typical Costa Rican lunch awaited us on the patio. We had been encouraged to try to mixed guava/papaya juice and the white soursop drink, both of which were delicious. Buffet choices included chicken, rice, black beans, fresh fruit, salad and warm plantains.
As we awaited our shuttle bus back to the parking lot, a sloth and baby snake were spotted. What fun to watch the sloth right over our heads.
On our return bus ride, a pineapple, banana bunch and large cacao bean were passed around the bus. Trivia questions were asked and answered by our guide. Then Dennis came to each set of seats with a map of Costa Rica to orient us, and answer any further questions we might have. We were the last bus back to the ship, after a very informative day. I would highly recommend this excursion, and would love to return here to try the zip line and stay in the lodge!
Thank you for detailing your day and your excursion into the rain forest of Costa Rica.