After a whirlwind tour of the Panama Canal, we moved up the coast to our final port of call, Puerto Limon. Not really a tourist town, it's more of an industrial port. Docking there did allow many people to go ashore to explore some of the natural wonders Costa Rica has to offer. Costa Rica is know for its lush tropical landscape and rain forests. Several of the shore excursions would have you exploring the rain forest or zip lining through the jungle or kayaking or visit a banana plantation or a butterfly farm or tour the Tortuguero Canals.
I was hoping to try the zip line run - zipping under the rain forest canopy from platform to platform (12 total) with longest one running 270 yards but that trek filled up early (teachable moment: if you think you want to do a trek, sign up early). Instead, I opted to go with my dad and one brother for a tour of the rain forest via an aerial tramway. Excellent, laid back way to see the rain forest up close and personal. The tramway was a ski lift kind of rig with a basket for riders to glide through the forest silently as you took in the sights and sounds. About 2k long, the outbound trek takes you at the level of the forest floor - down in the plants and bushes. You glide along with an incredibly close look at the flora and fauna of a real live rain forest. The return trip has you up in the treetops - just inside the canopy. There were thousands of different plants and trees - it boggles the mind trying to take it all in. There is an opportunity to view a lot of wildlife (toucans, howler monkeys, snakes, etc.) but we did not see much (one viper and a pair of toucans). Those pesky animals just didn't want to show up for the show. After the tram ride, we did a hike through the forest to get a guided tour and explanation of life in a rain forest. After the tour, we had a authentic Costa Rican lunch complete with heart of palm and plantains. For a rain forest we expected to get drenched but we got lucky and it only rained on us during the bus ride back to the boat. The only downside for the trip was the 2 hour bus ride to get to/from the rain forest.
This was probably one of the more exotic of our Caribbean destinations. The country has an amazing and diverse ecosystem, with very unique and friendly people. The one main road out of Puerto Limon seemed like the entire country is driving on it (at the same time) so it was packed. Lots of buses and mopeds traffic.
And, of course, the most things are way cheaper than it is back home.
After another 2 hour bus ride, we made it back to the boat for another fabulous 4 course meal and world class entertainment and our journey back to Florida.