Today we arrived in Puerto Caldera Puntarenas, Costa Rica and headed off for the Tropical Train Ride & Exotic Mangrove Cruise. We headed by motor coach to board the Pacific Railroad train. The train consisted of two passenger cars and a caboose. We arrived in two buses, one for each passenger car. Much to my amazement the bus driver literally pulled within inches of the steps to get on the train. You could walk from the bus to the train without touching the ground first. Once on the train it was a rush for a seat. As we were at the back of the bus many of the good seats were taken. The train began in Sanchez, Costa Rica headed to Ceiba. Down the rails we went mostly through lush farm fields and rural scenery. We did pass a few houses that were literally inches from the tracks and passed through a tunnel that was inches from the train. Definitely best to keep hands and fingers inside. One gentleman who was filming out the window with his GoPro camera had it snagged from his hands by a bush. This resulted in the engineer stopping the train and backing us up about a mile to locate the GoPro. Headed down the rails we did stop for a bit to observe a Mantled howler monkey lazing about a tree. It was an interesting ride and I was able to find a few picture taking opportunities along the route. We exited the train at a road crossing in Ceiba, Costa Rica and immediately boarded back onto the waiting bus.
We now headed for the Targolas River mangrove cruise which was a bit of a drive. The last 30 minutes or so was on a rural dirt road that was beyond bumpy. However, the payoff was worth it. We arrived at the pontoon boat station and were immediately offered some fruit drink and pineapple. After about a 15 minute wait we were ushered to the boats. Once on-board we headed down the Targolas river where we observed a crocodile, a large termite nest, many species of birds and lots of nature. The river banks were largely overgrown with mangroves and you easily got caught up in trying to spy something on the river banks.
Once back on the bus we headed for the pier after a long day on the road and in the sun.