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  Puntarenas - Costa Rica

After leaving Huatulco, we've been sailing again for two nights and the day inbetween. Today we arrive in Costa Rica! Costa Rica has some wonderful nature. Rainforests start at the coastline and continue into the mountain ranges with rivers, waterfalls, parks and wildlife preserves.
Here we arrive at Puntarenas. Puntarenas means 'sandy point'. It's a small, traditional fishing village. But there's more and more tourism as the village is developing rapidly.
It's hard work for the crew at this moment. The bow of the ship, as you see here, is not accessible for passengers because of safety reasons. So no possibility to play the famous scene from the movie 'Titanic'.
This new pier opened in 1998, giving space for more than one cruise ship to dock at the same time.
We decided to do the shore excursion called 'Skywalk in the forest', a guided walk in the rainforest with some of Costa Rica's famous suspended cable bridges while searching for wildlife. This tour has a first stop at an eco-hotel, hidden in the rainforest.
This forest hotel looks a bit like paradise. All the luxury you can get, but completely integrated into the forest. No large and high buildings and with much respect for the surrounding nature.
The start of the 'Skywalk in the forest' excursion. We take the stairs to one of the lookout places..
A nice view over the forest and the river. From this point on, we go into the forest.
A small path has been made for the people who do the 'Skywalk'. Notice that the forest is not only to the left and right of you, but also above you.
Again a nice view over the forest. You actually see the border of the rainforest with some green fields beyond.
Here it is, the first hanging suspension bridge, only for pedestrians. It’s been painted green so the bridge isn't to visible between the vegetation.
There are several of these bridges we cross during the 1,5 hr walk. But because the forest is so dense, you don't see them until you're really nearby.
For people who are afraid of heights: the Skywalk is not the most pleasant excursion for you. The bridges are narrow and long and most important: sometimes very high above the ground and you can see right through the iron grates you're walking on. For people who like this: it's a beautiful excursion with lots of nature. It gives you the feeling you're in the middle of nowhere.
There's a guide who is telling much about the forest and its inhabitants. Unfortunately you don't see much animal wildlife because probably the group (18 people) is too big and makes too much noise and scares the wildlife away.
Although the bridges are stable enough, they are moving as people are walking on it. In my opinion: that makes it more exiting!
This is a termite nest in the trees. It houses thousands of termites.
On steep parts of the path a helpful fence has been made, which also prevents you from falling.
Look also on the ground for animals. These ants are walking down a trail of hundreds of feet, in two directions, like a highway. They are carrying parts of leaves as you can see. It's a funny view. We could not see where they were coming from or where they were going, only a part of their 'higway' went parallel with our trail.
A snake! When you look closely (click for the larger version of this photo) you see a snake in the trees in the colors yellow and black. Although this one is not poisonous, it's still an impressive snake since it's almost 3 metres (9 feet) long.
On our way back we cross a river where a lot of crocodiles live. We decided not to take a swim there.
Here are two of the crocodiles. It seems they are waiting for some fresh tourist meat.
Near the bridge we find this little shop with many colorful towels.
When we get back to the ship it's already getting dark. The ship looks great in the evening light.