I traveled to the Pacuare Reserve by myself from my home in Mexico. I went as a volunteer. It felt like an adventure just getting there, but I simply followed the instructions that I received from the staff and I was met by taxi and boat without a hitch. It felt magical in the boat on the canal with all the birds and unfamiliar noises and sights and then we arrived, in that lovely spot where the ocean meets the rain forest, a civilized clearing in the jungle with comfortable rooms and an interesting people from all over the world. The fact that there is no electricity enhances the stay. At midnight that first night, as I waited to go out on the turtle patrol, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of toads enjoying the dark wet meadow. Three hours later I was on my stomach on the beach under the light of the moon, watching a green turtle lay 102 eggs. My guide was a young Spanish biologist who tagged the turtle and then relocated the nest to higher ground. Then we wiped away the tracks and headed home, wet, tired and extremely happy. I learned something new every day and saw things that delighted me: heron and kingfisher, a nesting nighthawk, monkey families, scary crocodiles, beautiful iguana. It made me laugh to see the gigantic relatives of my familiar houseplants and I was thrilled to see cacao pods growing on the trees. I spent a week there helping in different ways, I carved and painted a sign, cleaned gear for the biologists, helped out in a kids’ classroom and weeded a pasture. I met people, young and old, from Spain, England, Canada and the States. We communicated in both Spanish and English and I was fascinated to hear the differences in all our accents. Late at night when I close my eyes and think about my visit, I see the turtle, my turtle, swimming in the vast sea, traveling the world and in that way, I swim with her.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pacuare Nature Reserve is a magical place inside a tropical rainforest with 6kms of beach and next to a fresh water lagoon. We are the most important nesting site in Costa Rica for the giant critical endangered Leatherback turtle. Your adventure will start as soon as you board the boat and go along the Tortuguero canal. The journey usually takes twenty minutes or more depending on the wildlife we find along the river bank.You will stay in Casa Grande, a beautiful timber house built on pillars to give commanding views, from a huge three sided balcony, overlooking sea and lagoon. It has 3 bedrooms. One has a queen size bed & single bed with ensuite half bathroom. On the other end of the house there is a double and a twin bedroom sharing half bathroom. Solar heated shower is on ground floor. Open plan wood panel kitchen, dining and sitting room located between the bedrooms, with big windows front and back. Often you can see monkeys just behind the house.We have no electricity so it is all candles, lamps and solar lamps in certain areas -very low carbon footprint- Romantic candlelit dinners on the balcony! Enjoy the experience of going to bed to the sound of the ocean and waking up to natural light and sounds of the surrounding wildlife. It's incredible.If you feel like it you can patrol the beach at night with our biologists and beach guards and witness the Leatherbacks nesting process, a life changing experience for some... Or protect the hatchlings when they leave their nest and find their way to the sea. ... more less