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Tortuguero kayaking and wildlife-spotting trip

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An early-morning kayaking trip through the backwaters of Tortuguero offers the chance to watch the jungle awake.

With its maze-like network of canals, lagoons and swamps smothered by tangled tropical vegetation, Tortuguero National Park is best explored from the water. Kayaking will allow you to remain quiet and unobtrusive, with a great chance of spotting the monkeys, sloths, river otters, caiman and iguanas that are regularly seen here. There is also a huge amount of bird life, from toucans, parrots and kingfishers to lesser-known species like the trogon, manakin and fruitcrow.

Wildlife is at its most active in the early morning, so we'll set off at 7.30am for some gentle kayaking along a peaceful tributary where there are no motorised boats to disturb the animals. Trees laden with vines and orchids hang over these backwater channels and mangroves line their edges – a rich habitat for river life.

Activity Rating: easy

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