2009 World Cruise – The ship spent Saturday (Jan 10) slowly cruising along the Golfo Dulce coast of Costa Rica. This area is rarely seen by tourist as many of the beautiful, pristine beaches are set aside as breeding habitat for three species of turtle: the olive ridley, the Pacific green and the leatherneck. What we saw most of the day – which we spent on the balcony of our suite – was crystal clear, gorgeous turquoise water and a pod of dolphins that jumped and twisted and dove along and through the ship’s wake.
We spent the next day in Puerto Caldera, one of the main ports of Costa Rica. The population of the city and surrounding area is about 100,000 and it is located about 10 miles (16 km) south of the capital city of Puntarenas. A newer, larger port was built here when the one in Puntarenas became too old and too small for the volume of shipping coming and going in Costa Rica.
We had a one hour bus ride to the beginning of our tour. I don’t mind a lengthy bus ride out to a tour since you get to see the countryside and the local people going about their daily lives. The Skywalk took us up and down in the jungle and high into the leafy treetops of the rain forest. Costa Rica has a very, very rich diversity of plants, birds and animals. Unfortunately, we only saw an iguana and a lot of leaf-cutter ants. I was fascinated by the leaf-cutter ants that we saw on the pathways and tree trunks. They actually make roads – smoothing areas or removing debris from the path to facilitate the traffic. They work in a constant rotation to and from the nest and follow the road lane better than than a lot of human motorists.Some of the flowers were very pretty.
After a stop at Hotel Villa Lapas for a snack we were driven back to the ship and arrived at noon. We usually went to the theater each evening to enjoy the various entertainment – some we enjoyed more than others. That night the show was late: 10:30 – 11:30, and was presented by the Filipino crew. They shared their native music, stories and dance. It was very good.