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"Wake Up to the Sounds of Howling Monkeys"

Wake Up To the Sounds of Howling Monkeys-slide0
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)

The thrills began on our way to the Pachira Lodge and Tortuguero National Park, only assessable by a 1-1/2 hour boat trip to take us into the jungle. We were surrounded by crocodiles while our boat made its way down the river. The guide pointed to one of the trees and told us where to look. Whole families of monkeys were almost hidden by the branches. It was exciting to be so close to so many crocodiles, monkeys and other wild animals. Relaxing in the sun, the crocodiles looked so tame. The further the boat traveled, the jungle scenery became even wilder and seemed untouched.

Upon our arrival at the Pachira Lodge, we stepped off the boat to an island paradise. We were in the jungle. There were no roads just a boat to take us on and off the island. Sharing a small part of the wild animal's jungle home was very exciting. The Pachira Lodge was build around the trees preserving nature to the fullest. We walked the path to our wooden bungalow. Even though we are in a jungle, we are not roughing it. All bungalows have a private bath, hot water and ceiling fans. You could not ask for a more romantic atmosphere. I can see why the movie "Congo" was filmed in this jungle. Pachira Lodge is the newest lodge in Tortuguero with 34 acres of lush jungle. Their all-you-can-eat buffet meals, bungalow, guided nature walk and guided boat tour through the narrow canals of the Tortuguero National Park are all included in the price of your stay.

I loved the boat tour into the Tortuguero National Park. The guide often brought the boat close and stopped so we could get an unrestricted view of the crocodiles, monkeys, birds or other animals. There are 60 species of mammals, 309 species of birds, 57 amphibians, 30 species of fresh water fish, 2,000 species of plants and 400 species of trees. We had a chance to spend time along the canals. The overgrown trees and brush reached into the lagoon's narrow passes and almost blocked our way. We never knew what to expect! The Pahira Lodge is only five minutes by boat from the Tortuguero National Park's main entrance.

The turtle mating season, July to October, brings even more thrilling tours. We can see the turtles nesting and the baby turtles awakening to make their way into the Caribbean Sea. Ask about their 2 and 3 night packages. Pachira Lodge, on the Caribbean coast, in the jungles of Costa Rica. www.pachiralodge.com