Isla Tortuga Catamaran Tour
Exploring the Gulf of the Nicoya


A trip to Isla Tortuga ("Turtle Island" as it translates to, in English) or perhaps even better - Tortuga Island as it's often referred to... a mix between the two...

Request information about this tour in Montezuma.

Is a popular place to visit, here on the Gulf of the Nicoya - in Puntarenas province, Costa Rica.

And yes, today...

Making our way north, from the shore of Montezuma Beach - exploring the coastline of the peninsula, taking it all in from the comfort of a brand new catamaran...

Private Catamaran Tour to Isla Tortuga
A Gorgeous Day for Exploring the Gulf of the Nicoya

The weather... was just, gorgeous!

Another adventure unraveling here on the Rich Coast - one that included snorkeling, sea turtles, shipwrecks, and even an encounter with one (actually three!) of the most impressive animals of the Pacific...

Please read on to learn more.








Private Catamaran Tour

Departing the shore at Montezuma Beach - water and sky, vibrant azul as ever, no way could we ask for a more beautiful weekend morning - beginning our private tour by catamaran...

A Private Catamaran Tour
Quite a Bit of Fun! :-)

Exploring the Gulf of the Nicoya.

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Accompanied by crew members J.C. and Douglas...

Ivan Rutter, long-time resident of Montezuma, and yes - owner of Zuma Tours, one of the largest tour operations on the entire Nicoya Peninsula - a company that's been around, since 1993...

Was our captain, for the day.

He was saying how a tour like this one - traveling by catamaran - a faster and more stable vessel than a traditional mono-hull of about the same size...

Was actually, quite unique.

Isla Tortuga El Chorro
El Chorro, at Playa Cocalito

While most tours to Isla Tortuga, are more or less "there and back" excursions...

Today - while a visit to the Island would certainly be part of the adventure...

Ivan was excited to show us a variety of different places along the coastline...

Those which not everyone gets to experience.

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Continuing north, only minutes into our journey - and it was just before Tambor Bay...

Where we could see the El Chorro waterfall, off in the distance - one of just 7 of its kind in the world, emptying directly from a cliff, and down into the ocean below.

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Further still - at a point where we could now see the island, off on the horizon...

Something really special happened.

There in the water in front of us, just off the bow...

A Humpback Whale Spotted, Just Off the Bow
A Large Dark Shape Emerges, Just Off the Bow...

A large dark shape, gradually and gracefully emerged from the depths.

It was amazing.

And it got even better.

Closer now - a dive boat in the area, also stopping by to take in this truly incredible sight...

Humpback Whales Spotted Near Isla Tortuga
The Light Blue Shape, is a Baby Humpback

We could make out two additional, smaller (yet still very big!) shapes in the water...

Each one, pale blue in color.

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From a personal standpoint, I really have to say...

This was an unforgettable moment, truly one-of-a-kind - here on the Rich Coast. It marked the first-ever time I witnessed humpback whales in Costa Rica.

And seeing two babies, as well - everyone just loved it.

Interesting too, it was only about a year prior, when during a water taxi ride to Playa Herradura - with the very same crew as today (J.C. was was at the wheel)...

A pod of dolphins began swimming alongside us, yet another first!

...

*Already* - this would certainly be a day to remember.

But of course, our adventure pressed on. And turning away from the coast now - we began moving forward once again, next stop...

Isla Tortuga.




This is Isla Tortuga

Drawing near its southern-most point, the perimeter of the island - gave way to some really neat-looking rock formations, making for some really beautiful sights.

Classified as igneous...

Volcanic Rock Formation Near Isla Tortuga
Volcanic Rock Formation on Isla Tortuga

A type of rock which comprises over 95% of the outermost layer, of the earth's crust...

Rainbow Arch Rock, Near Isla Tortuga
Rainbow Arch Rock

This "volcanic" variety is actually the result of magma, once almost liquid - before cooling after an eruption...

A long time ago.

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At one point - we came across a popular landmark in the area...

Something called Rainbow Arch Rock.

Curving around, just like an arco iris (this is the Spanish word for 'rainbow') - the boat in the image, looks as though it could pass right on through - the large open space, at its base.

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A little ways further still...

The View at Isla Tortuga
The Beach at Isla Tortuga

And alas...

The Beach at Tortuga Island
The Beach at Isla Tortuga

The beach at Tortuga Island, was finally in full view - the very same place we'd be returning, after of course - an activity everyone on board was anticipating...

Snorkeling!

Fish at Isla Tortuga
Gulf of Nicoya Fish

Anchoring no more than a kilometer from shore from Isla Tortuga...

And close to yet another interesting rock formation - one that marked the transition from shallow to deeper waters...

We geared up and took to the water, observing a variety of Gulf of Nicoyan fish.

One of the best parts by far, was when Ivan and J.C. - discovered an enormous red snapper, hiding in a cave - near the base of the volcanic rock.

Diving down to depth of about 12 to 15 feet - we were able to catch a glimpse, before it scooted away into the dark.

A Peccary at Isla Tortuga
A Very Sleepy Peccary

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Back to the beach - appetites well worked up...

Next, we enjoyed a delicious barbeque lunch (both chicken and fish on the menu) - along with an assortment of fresh tropical fruit, for dessert.

While here, we had the chance to relax, play a little volleyball, and even pay a visit to one very sleepy peccary...

An animal that while closely resembling a pig - actually belongs to a class, all of its own.

Sun Tanning on a Catamaran in Costa Rica
Catching Some Rays

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Changing the scene again...

Soon, we were back aboard the catamaran - en route to yet a few more spots on the Gulf - including a stop at the Pachote River, great area for birdwatching...

And also a second snorkeling place - right over top, of the old "smokestack" shipwreck site.

But of course...

Some of us, were just all too comfortable - happy to relax at the front of the catamaran...

Soaking up some sun.

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One last stop, before heading back - and we ran into Moncho, a local fisherman and friend of Ivan's - who was eager to show us his catch of the day, and also...

A Pearl at Isla Tortuga
Moncho, with a Tiny Pearl from an Oyster

A tiny pearl, that he had just discovered - in an oyster.

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And so...

Wrapping up, yet another exciting adventure - next, we made our way back toward Tambor, and eventually returned to our starting point, at Montezuma Beach.

What a trip!





More Adventures, on the Nicoya!

In addition to a private catamaran tour - exploring the Gulf, and Isla Tortuga - there are lots of other exciting things to see and do - here on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Dolphins Along for the Ride
Dolphins Along for the Ride

Take for example, the water taxi ride - same one that goes back and forth between Playa Herradura (near Jaco), and Montezuma.

As mentioned above - we had a really neat experience, when a pod of dolphins began swimming alongside the boat.

But yes, the water taxi from Jaco - is definitely something to consider - both cheaper than flying, and faster than taking the ferry, up in Puntarenas.

More still...

Sport fishing is something else to consider.

Ivan Rutter with a Guest, Deep Sea Fishing
Ivan (Right), with One Very Happy Guest

Pictured here, Ivan and one very happy customer - are holding up a "gallo" - Spanish for roosterfish...

One of the most sought-after species, along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean.

Deep sea fishing trips like this one can be arranged, chances to go after gallos - and other giants too...

Those like marlin, mahi mahi, and snapper.

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So yes...

Definitely keep Ivan and crew in mind, for your next journey on the Nicoya!