Research Trip to Costa Rica September 29, 2022

Tortuguero National Park

After a night in San Jose, we travelled to the Tortuguero National Park, a remote area in the rainforest on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It is 51,870 acres and is one of the last large areas of tropical rain forest in Central America.


We travelled to the hotel by boat through the canals, noticing various wildlife as we went. Later, our guide Luis took us on a trip through the National Park waterways followed by a night walk through the rainforest. He was extremely knowledgeable and brilliant at spotting all the flora and fauna.

We saw sloths, sea otter, Caiman, crocodile, toucan, iguana, poison dart frog, golden orb spider, grasshopper, hummingbirds, pelican and a beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly amongst other things. It was a really wonderful experience to see the animals … sometimes a little too close!

We were also lucky enough to visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy. We visited the protected beach at night where we saw an Atlantic green sea turtle digging her nest, laying her eggs and covering them up in sand until they were ready to hatch. It was good to see that this nesting site was strictly controlled by the conservationists and we weren’t allowed to film or photograph the turtles.

Arenal – La Fortuna

Our hotel overlooked the Arenal Volcano. At 1,670 metres tall and active, it was an amazing sight! After a day white water rafting on the Balsa River, we visited the Asis Wildlife Rescue Centre to see the work that the naturalists are doing and the wildlife that they hope to rehabilitate and release back into the wild. Here we saw toucans, macaw, spider monkey, white faced monkey and peccaries.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

We visited the cloud forest on the mountainous central part of Costa Rica and zip-lined through the canopy … quite an experience! On a nocturnal tour through the forest we saw a sloth, tarantula, snake, possum and butterflies.

Manuel Antonio and Quepos

We spent the last part of our trip on the Caribbean coast. A wonderful rugged coastline with some spectacular beaches where we spotted monkey. Apparently they need watching carefully, as they like to steal phones! We kayaked to a snorkelling spot and watched the fish swimming around us and my daughter Otterlie spotted a starfish.

Costa Rica - Sloth

On our final day we went fishing aboard Moonwalker, where I came up with some ideas for Korite … watch this space!!

All in all, it was a really wonderful trip. So much inspiration and because there were a few of us to spot animals and take photographs and videos, I have plenty of great research material to add to my library of information. I can’t wait to get back into the studio and get sculpting!



The trip was organised by The Ultimate Travel Company and we flew with Air France.